Former GCP Applied Technologies President and CEO Simon Bates has taken the helm of Argos USA, succeeding the retiring Regional Vice President – USA Bill Wagner. He arrives with 33 years of experience, much of it in building materials, including a C-suite tenure with Oldcastle Infrastructure ahead of the GCP appointment in 2017. Bates is credited with executing GCP’s successful transformation to increase profitability and value, leading to a December 2021 takeover offer by Paris-based Saint-Gobain Group, spawning a transaction that closed in September.
“His deep knowledge of the sector, together with leadership skills and the shared vision he has with the higher purpose of Argos—to promote housing and infrastructure projects that enable more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies—make him the ideal candidate to lead the business in the United States,” notes Grupo Argos management. Directors also cite Bates’ experience leading a publicly traded company as augmenting their strategic initiative: A New York Stock Exchange listing of Argos North America Corp.
Argos USA is based in Alpharetta, Ga., where GCP also maintained headquarters prior to the Saint-Gobain integration.
The venture capital unit of Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. has launched an acceleration program for innovative startups that address industry challenges in Green Construction, Enhanced Productivity, Construction Supply Chain, and Future of Construction focus areas. Cemex Ventures Leaplab leverages the cement, aggregate and concrete producer’s facilities, expertise, and resources to help promising construction technology entrepreneurial ecosystem arrivals validate their value propositions. In its inaugural edition, Leaplab will connect a cohort of startups with Cemex business units in six countries for an intensive 14-week program, nearly 100 experts providing mentorship and real-world experience.
“Leaplab is the next step in the evolution of our open innovation strategy,” says Cemex Executive Vice President of Digital and Organization Development Luis Hernández. “The program perfectly complements our strategy by giving us earlier access to high-potential construction technology startups. By collaborating to test emerging technologies and new business models, we are better positioned to continue working with and investing in potential industry disruptors. Innovation will remain at the core of everything we do at Cemex.”
Cemex Ventures is a key part of the Digital Innovation in Motion ecosystem, propelling commercial, manufacturing, and back-office practices across the construction industry.
Fort Pierce, Fla. precast producer Americast has shipped premium concrete generator pads to Ukraine, teaming with U.S. distributors of Generac Corp. and Kohler Co. portable generator models. “I welcome this opportunity to contribute to the fight for democracy for which the Ukraine is a shining symbol of a life and death struggle against tyranny,” says Americast CEO Charles Pitt. “Our engineers have taken care to custom design generator pads for the Ukraine, including Flood Plain Elevated models constructed with blast proof concrete.”
Midwest precast, prestressed concrete market leader Wells has named Josh Demant as director of Project Management, Great Lakes region. He brings in-depth understanding of the prefabrication process, transitioning from his position of interim plant manager for the producer’s Crystal Lake, Ill. operation. In his new role, Demant works with other regional project management leaders to develop best practices and ensure process consistency across Wells divisions.
“Our ability to collaborate and offer strategic project management services creates unique value for building partners,” says Wells Great Lakes Region Vice President of Construction Services Nate Grachan. “In his time with Wells, Josh has held many different roles and responsibilities, bringing a unique, growth-minded perspective that improves the project experience—and ultimately creates greater success for our partners.”
Since joining Wells as a project manager in 2019, Demant has moved up the ranks through different management roles. Prior to joining Wells he worked in many construction capacities, beginning his career as a laborer and quickly assuming managerial responsibilities. At Wells, project managers are integral to contract success, serving as the central hub between internal experts, clients and building partners. As director of Project Management, Demant aims to promote a philosophy rooted in Wells’ mission to transform how its partners think, design, construct and succeed.