PCA executives assure allied groups of cement companies’ support

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

Hosting a World of Concrete opening day luncheon, PCA President and CEO Gregory Scott and 2013 Chairman Cary Cohrs (American Cement LLC) underscored the group’s commitment to industry-wide promotion and greater advocacy efforts in the nation’s capital. The February 5 event marked the introduction of newly appointed PCA leadership to representatives from major national groups in concrete production and construction, and one of the first industry gatherings following the PCA headquarters shift from north suburban Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Scott, who joined PCA in January 2012 as senior vice president of Government Affairs, was named president in September and chief executive officer last month. He expressed confidence in the association’s ability to pursue a two-point mission on the hope that three years of “regulatory demands are behind us,” acknowledging a final cement plant emissions rule that the Environmental Protection Agency issued in late-2012.

Entering the new year, Scott noted how PCA activities are driven by: 1) market development, encompassing the association’s traditional role of promotion and technical efforts supporting concrete and other cement user interests; and, 2) business continuity, with focus on regulatory and other forces affecting member company operating methods and costs. Much of the market development component will continue out of Skokie, Ill., where about 40 PCA staff will remain in a campus alongside lab facilities housing the association’s for-profit CTL Group subsidiary, which saw record billings last year.

The headquarters move positions PCA and the industry for more visibility on the big stage of Washington, D.C., added Cohrs, who association board members elected last November to succeed Aris Papadopolous (Titan America). An Essroc Cement and Florida Rock veteran who joined American Cement upon its 2005 launch, Cohrs noted that the emphasis on sustainability in construction challenges the industry to move beyond promoting the benefits of concrete and think in terms of a “position,” concluding, “We need to translate feature and product information into things people can use.” Among them, he cited concrete structures’ life-cycle cost and assessment attributes proved in ongoing research at the PCA- and RMC Research and Education Foundation-sponsored Concrete Sustainability Hub at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Allied-group leaders on hand for the luncheon included American Concrete Institute’s Ron Burg, National Concrete Masonry Association’s Bob Thomas, National Precast Concrete Association’s Ty Gable, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s Jim Toscas, and RMC Foundation’s Julie Garbini.