Besser Co. awarded the inaugural, $2,500 Besser Pipe Industry Scholarship to Joe Pelica, a production team member at Michigan’s Northern Concrete Pipe and part-time Mechanical Engineering Technology student at Delta College, Bay City. Besser Vice President – Pipe & Precast Ryan Suszek announced the recipient last month during the American Concrete Pipe Association Annual Meeting in Hilton Head, S.C.
|Besser’s Ryan Suszek (left) and Northern Concrete Pipe’s Joe Pelica.|
“Besser Company’s commitment to education spans most of the 113 years we have been in business. We are excited to continue our leadership role in addressing the ongoing need for securing talent for our industry by offering this scholarship,” Suszek told ACPA members. “Based upon the response and need for financial support for students, Besser will be offering the scholarship on an ongoing basis and encourages other companies to show their support as well.”
“The scholarship, established with the ACPA Foundation, was created by the employee-owners of Besser Company in recognition of the American Concrete Pipe Association’s annual National Concrete Pipe week in 2016,” explained Director of Sales – Pipe and Precast Gary Ericson, an ACPA Board Member.
A committee consisting of an ACPA staff member and two directors, plus two Besser representatives, considered the qualifications of all 32 scholarship applicants before selecting Pelica. In his application, he noted, “I firmly believe education as well as a good work ethic are two of the most important things a person can bring to the table in this or any industry.”
“This comment speaks directly to two of the fundamental tenants that have made, and will continue to make, our industry stronger in the future,” affirms Besser CEO Kevin Curtis.
“Besser has been a huge supporter of ACPA from the beginning and we are thrilled to partner with them in helping a worthy student further his education,” noted outgoing ACPA President Matt Childs.
“I am proud to be part of an Association where member companies like Besser invest in the future of employees in our industry who want to pursue higher education,” added his successor, Russell Tripp.
STATE ENGINEER TRIPP TO LEAD ACPA
Russell Tripp, P.E., succeeds American Concrete Pipe Association President Matt Childs, P.E. this month. His appointment follows seven years as ACPA California, Florida and Georgia engineer, working with local producer members to strengthen their state associations and build concrete drainage products market share.
“Russell has invested a lot of time and energy working with ACPA staff colleagues, member volunteers, and industry leaders,” affirms Childs, underscoring his successor’s role in ACPA Annual Meeting, Committee Week, PAC and Pipe School activities, plus related work on behalf of the industry in ASTM and AASHTO functions.
ACPA directors recognize Tripp’s vision of an association that is relevant, visible and known to agencies, engineers, contractors, legislators, members, associates, partners, and competitors; belief in a strategy for retention and development of member volunteers, future volunteers, and staff for long-term association success; and, pursuit of stronger Concrete Industry Management Program ties through outreach to students seeking a career in the concrete pipe industry.
Tripp holds a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Clemson University, South Carolina. He spent the first 21 years of his professional career in the natural gas industry, followed by seven years in PVC sheet pile and HDPE drainage products businesses prior to joining ACPA as state engineer.