Key Events In Association History, and The People, Places and Projects That Built an Important Industry Organization.
A century ago, in 1916, the leadership of the then-fledgling U.S. cement industry formed the Portland Cement Association (PCA) “to raise the standard of concrete construction, to improve the quality of concrete work, to increase the quantity of cement used in established fields, and to develop new fields.”
Ben F. Affleck
PCA’s original charter still stands – like many of the concrete roads, buildings and other structures that were built over the past century and are still in active use.
The precursor to modern portland cement was invented by English bricklayer Joseph Aspdin in the 1820s. Aspdin pulverized limestone and clay, burned the mixture to form pebble-sized lumps called clinker, then ground the clinker into powder. To make the process faster and easier, Aspdin reportedly used limestone from local roads that had already been pulverized by traffic – and was fined for stealing the limestone!
His perseverance paid off, and on Oct. 21, 1824, King George IV granted Aspdin the first patent on portland cement – so called because concrete made with it resembled a popular stone mined on the Isle of Portland.
In 1872, David O. Saylor built the first portland cement plant in the U.S. near Allentown in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Others soon followed, and by the turn of the 20th century cement was emerging as a construction staple.
This increasing popularity brought about a serious problem. At that time cement was sold in cloth sacks. Buyers paid a deposit on each sack, which was refunded upon return of the sack to the plant for re-use. But return of sacks was slow and erratic, and they were often in poor condition. Sacks were often stolen from construction sites and cashed in for deposits. Railroads complained of poor packaging and labeling.
B.F. Stradley of Vulcanite Portland Cement Co. wrote to cement company executives calling for a meeting to discuss “the present methods of handling sacks, which are almost universally unsatisfactory” and proposed that an industry group be formed to facilitate the collection, repair and recycling of cement sacks. Accordingly, in 1902 cement makers formed the Association of American Portland Cement Manufacturers (AAPCM).
As the industry continued to expand, there were needs for reliable technical information, research, and uniform test methods and standards. In 1916, the AAPCM was reorganized as the Portland Cement Association to address these needs.
PCA began operations with 53 cement company members, a headquarters office in Chicago, eight district offices, and a total of 121 employees. Promotion and government affairs were priorities right from the start. Ben F. Affleck, president of Atlas Universal Cement, served as PCA’s first chairman and president from 1916 to 1920.
The year of PCA’s founding was also the year that Congress passed the first federal-aid highway act, which allotted $5 million per year to the states, and set into motion the creation of a network of highways across America.
PCA marketed concrete roads aggressively with an advertising campaign in 10 national weeklies, 23 trade magazines and 59 farm journals. These early ads stressed the value of paved roads for the distribution of food and other products, including the idea that concrete roads provided better fuel economy. In fact,
“Concrete for Permanence” became a slogan that would endure through the 1950s.
From the research laboratory at its Chicago headquarters, PCA developed basic information about cement and concrete and standards governing their use. Later, research shifted from producing cement and concrete with uniform qualities to addressing basic durability and performance.
As part of its research into aggregates, PCA founded what came to be known as the sand library. Samples of aggregates were kept in bottles and jars and indexed with information on locations and properties. All had been analyzed for chemical properties, used to make concrete cylinders, and subjected to strength and durability tests.
Therefore, every sample of aggregate had a pedigree. Engineers and contractors could contact PCA and learn whether local aggregate could make satisfactory concrete.
With the advent of the automobile, road construction was a top priority for the United States in the 1920s, and PCA seized upon opportunities for paving promotion.
When PCA was founded in 1916, there were only about 4,000 miles of concrete paving in the United States. Concrete was regarded as a new road-building material. The late 1920s and early 1930s saw the greatest expansion of concrete pavement in history. In 1930 alone, more than a 150 million sq. yd. of concrete streets, roads and alleys were built.
PCA formed a Central Road Bureau staffed with field promoter – a staff of 125 for the Road Bureau alone, most of whom were field engineers. Their strategy was to increase public demand for concrete pavement with “seedling miles.”
PCA promoters urged local officials to build a one-mile stretch of concrete road in an unpaved area. When farmers and motorists rode on it, they would realize it was the type of road they needed and would pressure their legislators to fund more miles.
In support of the pavement promotion, PCA joined the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads and various state agencies to find the best ways to design and build concrete roads. A landmark project was the Illinois Division of Highway’s (IDH) Bates Test Road. In the early 1920s, that project established the most economical design for concrete pavements. The project was headed IDH engineer Frank T. Sheets, who later became president of PCA.
In 1926, the association moved its laboratory from the Lewis Institute to the newly constructed headquarters building on Grand Avenue in Chicago. In the new laboratory, research shifted from producing cement and concrete with uniform qualities to addressing basic durability and performance.
PCA Chicago Office
Blaine S. Smith, president of PCA, served as master of ceremonies at the dedication ceremony for the new building during the 1925 meeting; 250 member company executives were present.
Work from this era gave rise to subbases and air-entrainment – perhaps the greatest single factor in maintaining the durability of concrete pavements.
The Great Depression made its mark on nearly every aspect of American life and business. Construction was no exception. Public works dominated, as a primary strategy of President Roosevelt was to provide jobs and restore economic health through New Deal policies.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency. It employed millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.
The WPA’s initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 Gross Domestic Product).
The program built traditional infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, courthouses, hospitals, and more. Projects included 40,000 new and 85,000 improved buildings. New buildings included 5,900 schools; 9,300 auditoriums, gyms and recreational buildings; 1,000 libraries; 7,000 dormitories; and 900 armories.
Total expenditures on WPA projects through June 1941, totaled approximately $11.4 billion. Over $4 billion was spent on highway, road, and street projects.
Perhaps the most monumental concrete WPA project – and one of the century’s most iconic – was the Hoover Dam. Thousands of workers flocked to Black Canyon on the Colorado River to build the largest dam of the era.
The dam required massive amounts of concrete. A total of 3.2 million cu. yd. of concrete was placed before pouring ceased on May 29, 1935. Another 1.1 million cu. yd. was used for the power plant and other works. There is enough concrete in the dam to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York.
The 1930s witnessed one of the most profound technical advancements for concrete of the century: Air entrainment. Treval Clifford (T.C.) Powers, PCA’s head of research, discovered air entrainment as a method of making concrete less susceptible to damage from freeze-thaw cycles, a problem in northern climates.
Air-entrained concrete contains billions of microscopic air cells in each cu. ft. of material. These air pockets relieve internal pressure on the concrete by providing tiny chambers for water to expand into when it freezes. It significantly reduces concrete’s tendency to crack and spall during freeze-thaw cycles.
Air-entrained concrete is produced using air-entraining portland cement, or by the introduction of air-entraining agents as the concrete is mixed on the job. The amount of entrained air is usually between four and seven percent of the volume of the concrete, but may vary as required by special conditions.
Other PCA research focused on best practices in concrete construction. In 1931, the introduction of internal vibrators as a means of placing concrete lead PCA to assess how the practice affected strength. Researchers found that internally vibrated concrete was 2,000 pounds per sq. in. (psi) stronger than hand-placed concrete with the same cement content.
The vibration itself did not make the concrete stronger. However, it did allow workers to place stiff concrete mixtures made with less water and therefore a lower water-cement ratio, which increased the product’s strength significantly.
Other major research initiatives in the 1930s explored the effects of concrete admixtures and conducted field tests of soil cement.
Edward J. Mehren joined PCA in 1931 as its first staff president. Previously he served as the editor of Engineering News-Record, the construction industry trade magazine still published today.
For the 15 previous years, the office of PCA president was an unpaid position held by a succession of member company executives. A general manager working closely with the honorary president handled day-to-day management.
Mehren served until 1937. He was succeeded by Frank T. Sheets, who was president until his death in 1951. Sheets was previously the Illinois state highway superintendent and chief highway engineer prior to joining PCA in 1933.
In the 1930s and 1940s, PCA consumer ads branched out to include single-family housing and architectural concrete. Messages were built around benefits such as fire safety, security and long life.
Research and innovation also made headlines. PCA took unquestioned leadership in concrete research by building the largest and best-equipped laboratory in the world devoted exclusively to cement and concrete. The building, which now houses CTLGroup, contained more than two acres of floor space and cost $3 million, including land and equipment.
Charles Aspdin, great great grandson of Joseph Aspdin, the inventor of portland cement, placed the first concrete for the footing of the new lab on June 30, 1948.
The new laboratory was dedicated on June 8, 1950. Charles F. Kettering, research consultant and director of General Motors Corp., was keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony. More than 1,500 people attended the event.
In June 1945, PCA’s special committee on research reported on technical accomplishments, focusing on four developments that lead to new markets and materials for cement:
1. Construction and testing procedures that led to the wide acceptance of soil-cement paving.
2. Methods for successful grouting of railroad track sub-ballast.
3. Development of precast floor systems, which led to a greater us of cement in residences and small buildings.
4. Research into factors affecting the resistance of concrete masonry wall to rain penetration, which fueled tremendous growth in the use of concrete block.
Other research: Investigation of cracking of concrete walls due to drying shrinkage was conducted at MIT laboratories with the cooperation of PCA from 1940-42.
In 1940, construction of the all-concrete Pennsylvania Turnpike marked the first intercity tollway as well as the first limited access divided highway. The project lead President Roosevelt to appoint an Inter-regional Highway Committee to study the need for network of controlled access divided highways, which would become the basis for the Interstate Highway System.
In 1956, the Federal Aid Highway Act ushered in the Age of the Interstate.
The Interstate Highway system has been called the greatest public works project in history, and President Eisenhower considered it one of his greatest achievements. Beyond its importance for transportation and economic development, it transformed American life and culture because of the mobility it fostered.
For PCA, the Age of the Interstate was also the age of the spokesman. In the late 1950s, PCA launched an ad campaign that took the benefits of “New-Type Concrete” directly to consumers with a parade of celebrity pitchmen. Bob Hope, Robert Young, Art Linkletter, Sam Snead … the list reads like a late-1950s who’s who of actors, sports figures and television. All trumpeted “new type” concrete for the “Sweetest Ride Yet.”
PCA greatly expanded its research capability in 1958 with two new facilities: the fire research center and a structural laboratory. The industry needed the new capabilities for specialized research and testing in support of emerging construction markets. The rapid adoption of prestressed concrete, for example, made fire testing a top priority.
Extensive bridge and highway programs, coupled with the rising use of concrete for taller structures, created a need to test large structural members. The new facilities enabled research to improve transportation facilities, develop more durable and economical facilities, refine architectural effects, and improve fire safety for concrete structures throughout North America.
The 1950s also witnessed a breakthrough for structural concrete in building design. PCA engineers developed the ultimate strength design concept, which was adopted by the ACI Building Code of 1956.
This advancement greatly reduced the required size of concrete structural members. It placed concrete building frames in a highly competitive position with steel and extended the use of reinforced concrete to very tall buildings.
It laid the foundation for concrete to break the 500-ft. barrier with construction of Marina City in Chicago, which was completed in the early 1960s.
G. Donald Kennedy served as president of PCA from 1954-1967. Prior to joining PCA, Kennedy was among the chief architects of the national interstate highway system. He coordinated building what is considered the first modern expressway, West Davison in Detroit, in 1941.
G. Donald Kennedy
A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in civil engineering, Kennedy was a registered professional engineer in 11 states and in Washington, D.C.
He was the city engineer in Jackson, Mich., and then served as director of water supply and aeronautics in Pontiac, Mich.
Kennedy became closely associated there with Murray D. Van Wagoner, who was the state highway commissioner from 1932 to 1940. He served Van Wagoner as deputy in the Highway Department and succeeded him when the latter became governor.
In 1950, Kennedy joined PCA as consulting engineer and assistant to the president.
PCA operations may have been largely unaffected by the upheavals in culture and lifestyle that characterized the 1960s. But the organization did participate in the flight to the suburbs, another trend of the era.
In 1968, PCA moved its headquarters from downtown Chicago to a newly completed general office building in suburban Skokie, Ill. “It is up to people from now on – people in the industry, people on the association staff – to make our fine machine, represented by our complex at Skokie, run as it can and must to achieve the objectives that are so vital to every on of us in this industry,” said Cris Dobbins, chairman and president, Ideal Basic Industries, at the dedication of the new Skokie headquarters on Nov. 12, 1968.
Changes were more than geographical. A new leadership structure sought better representation of regional operations in senior management. The goals sound an all-too-familiar refrain: better integration with the regional offices without sacrificing their autonomy and ability to reflect local trends and practices.
Harry N. Huntzicker presided over the transition, serving as PCA president from 1967-1971. He succeeded G. Donald Kennedy.
Advertising campaigns of the decade mirrored concrete’s coming of age in home and high-rise markets. One ad series reached out to architects with case histories of how concrete helped to realize their vision and the goals of their clients.
Single-family homes were also a focus. PCA teamed up with several allied industry groups to jointly sponsor the Concrete Industries Horizon Homes program in cooperation with the National Association of Home Builders. The program encouraged and assisted homebuilders to build moderately priced homes that made creative use of textures, patterns and shapes of concrete.
One national and seven regional awards were given each year to builders whose entries showed the best merchandising and design efforts. The top national award was a trip for two anywhere in the world.
Skokie, Ill. Headquarters
Past research paid dividends in terms of gains in the high-rise buildings market. In the 1950s, PCA engineers developed the ultimate strength design concept, which was adopted by the ACI Building Code of 1956.
This advancement greatly reduced the required size of concrete structural members. It placed concrete building frames in a highly competitive position with steel and extended the use of reinforced concrete to very tall buildings.
It laid the foundation for concrete to compete in the high-rise market with a string of record-breaking projects. Chicago became the leader in the ascent of concrete.
Among the notable buildings:
- When completed in 1960, Chicago’s Executive House Hotel was the tallest concrete building in the world at 36 stories and 385-ft. tall.
- Chicago broke the 500-ft.-high barrier for reinforced concrete buildings in 1962 with the construction of Marina City.
- In 1964, Chicago’s One Thousand Lake Shore Drive took the crown, soaring 640 ft. with 58 floors of luxury apartments.
- At 645 ft., Lake Point Tower, Chicago, became the world’s tallest concrete building in 1968.
Robert D. MacLean was PCA president from 1971-1978. Richard E. Reuss served as PCA president from 1978-1983.
Advances in concrete strength and innovations in construction technology, such as pumping, fueled concrete’s entry into high-rise buildings, previously the exclusive domain of steel. Today, concrete rules the high-rise market with basically two types of structure: Concrete and concrete-steel hybrids.
At 859 ft., Chicago’s Water Place became the world’s tallest concrete building, opened in 1975. Located on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, Water Tower Place was built next to the city’s historic water tower, one of the few buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1871. The mixed-used building housed apartments, shops, theaters and restaurants.
Commerce Tower, Houston, Texas, set a new concrete pumping record (1034 ft.) in 1981.
Completed in 1982, Willow Creek Dam in Heppner, Ore., was the first roller-compacted (RCC) dam. The project was originally planned as a rock- and earth-fill dam. When initial cost estimates were deemed excessive, the solution was an RCC alternative.
RCC placement took only five months. More than 433,000 cu. yd. of RCC was used in the 51-m tall dam. Average in-place cost of RCC was less than $19.00 per cu. yd. Since this first project, more than 70 other RCC dams have been built in the United States.
William Young served as PCA president from 1983-1986.
In 1985, Construction Technology Laboratories, the cement and concrete technology research and development arm of PCA, gained national attention when NASA provided one of the largest samples of lunar soil it had allocated for investigative research. Test results verified that lunar material is an excellent aggregate for making concrete on the moon.
In 1987, Construction Technology Laboratories became a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of PCA called Construction Technology Laboratories Inc. (CTLGroup). It functioned as a separate profit center to conduct research, testing, and consulting on a contract basis for a wide range of clients, including PCA member companies and PCA itself.
Construction Technology Laboratories
Walter Kunze was the first president of CTLGroup and vice president of research and development for PCA. Kunze joined PCA in 1952 as a structural engineer and subsequently served as manager of personnel training, manager of the structural bureau, director of promotion planning and engineering services, Midwestern regional manager, vice president of the Eastern division and vice president for U.S. regional operations.
Prior to joining PCA, Kunze worked as a structural engineer for Boston-based Metcalf and Eddy. During World War II he served as an officer with the U.S. infantry and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Citadel and a master’s in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as president of the American Concrete Institute and was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Illinois Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society for Testing and Materials. He retired in 1989 and died in 2010.
John P. “Jay” Gleason, Jr., served as PCA president from 1986 until his retirement in 2007. Gleason was known for his consensus building among both members and allies and for his strong leadership skills.
During his tenure, PCA membership rose from 57 percent to 98 percent of the U.S. industry. Gleason excelled at recognizing long-term opportunities and strove to bring more of a market focus to PCA programs. With the proceeds from a property sale, he created the Education Foundation. In 1987, he championed the spin-off of CTLGroup as a for-profit subsidiary.
At 70 stories tall, Chicago’s 311 South Wacker Drive tower was the tallest concrete building in the world at the time of its completion in 1989. Kohn Pederson Fox Associates designed the 969-ft. high office tower, which lost its height title in 1996 to the Twin Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur City Center in Malaysia.
Completed in 1989, Chicago’s 918-ft., 64-story Two Prudential Plaza was designed by the firm Loebl, Schlossman & Hackl, with Stephen T. Wright as the principal in charge of design. It has been honored with eight awards, including winning the Best Structure Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois in 1995.
The goal of CTLGroup’s first project in sustainability was to determine the embodied energy of concrete and steel. This project took place before ISO standards for life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment (LCA) were established. CTLGroup joined USGBC in 2000 as one of its first members and gained two LEED-accredited professionals by 2002.
PCA partnered with the National Association of Home Builders to create The New American Home, a show house for the International Builders’ Show constructed using insulating concrete forms. PCA began promoting concrete for above-grade walls.
Senior Vice President Dr. W. Gene Corley headed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) investigation of the bombing and structural response that caused the collapse of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma.
Senior Vice President Dr. W. Gene Corley worked with the U.S. Justice Dept. to counter claims by the Branch Davidians that the FBI used unreasonable force and trapped people in the building during the Waco, Texas, showdown. Corley’s team’s investigation of the building proved that this was false.
The United States Green Building Council launched LEED, the first standards and certification program for sustainable construction. It sparked a new push toward green building that ultimately transformed criteria for evaluating building materials and their performance, a process that continues today with PCA programs on resilience and sustainability.
Founded in 2001, the PCA Education Foundation funds a variety of educational activities that increase public knowledge regarding appropriate uses of cement and concrete.
Senior Vice President Dr. W. Gene Corley oversaw the initial report to FEMA on the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings in New York, and testified in front of a Congressional committee. His team found that lack of fire-proofing in the building led to much of the severity of the destruction. Recommendations on structural fireproofing arising from Corley’s report were gradually implemented throughout the industry.
The nation’s first green residential high-rise was built just blocks away from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, the product of a first-ever coordination of three green-building guidelines. A concrete structural system was at the heart of the environmentally engineered and sustainable building.
In 2004, PCA launched “Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable Future” – a program highlighting concrete’s use in sustainable construction and environmental improvements in cement manufacturing.
The growing mandate for green design in home building was explored comprehensively for the first time by the National Building Museum in The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design. The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design was sponsored by presenting sponsor The Home Depot Foundation, lead sponsors the ASID Foundation of the American Society of Interior Designers, Bosch home appliances and PCA.
Tony Fiorato was president and CEO of CTLGroup from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. From 1989 to 1999 he was vice president of research and technical services for PCA. He joined PCA in 1973 as a structural engineer and served in a number of professional and management positions within the association and its subsidiary, CTLGroup.
While at PCA, Fiorato was responsible for overall direction and management of the association’s research and technical services program. From 2010 to 2012 he provided technical and program management services to the Slag Cement Association.
Tony received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. He actively contributed to technical publications and committee work of ACI, ASTM, ASCE, and other professional organizations.
In 1997 he was awarded ACI’s Henry C. Turner Medal. In 1999 he received the Arthur J. Boase Award of the Reinforced Concrete Research Council.
At its annual meeting on Oct. 23, 2007, the PCA board of directors named Brian McCarthy president and CEO. McCarthy succeeded John Gleason Jr., who retired after serving as PCA president since 1986.
McCarthy was COO for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and led efforts to expand the group’s membership, products and services. Prior to joining CompTIA in 1999, McCarthy was executive director of the International Reprographic Association, Printing Industry of Indiana, and the Master Printers Association of Illinois.
George B. Barney served as PCA’s senior vice president for market development and technical services until his retirement in 2008. He was responsible for market-development programs, research and development, education and training, market research, and codes and standards.
Barney joined PCA in 1970 as a research engineer in PCA’s R&D laboratory. He transferred to the Market Development Group in 1978 and held a number of positions leading to his current assignment in 2004.
He was awarded the ASCE T.Y. Lin Award and the Martin P. Korn Award of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, both for his paper titled “Behavior and Design of Prestressed Concrete Beams with Large Web Openings.” Barney was an engineer officer in the United States Marine Corps and served in Vietnam, attaining the rank of captain and earning the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V.”
In 2009, PCA teamed up with the Ready Mixed Concrete Research and Education Foundation to establish the Concrete Sustainability Hub at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The mission of the research center “is to accelerate emerging breakthroughs in concrete science and to transfer the best available data into engineering practices.”
Trump Tower Chicago, a multi-use building with a height of 1,134 ft. (1,362 ft. including the spire) above grade, was completed in 2009. The building is located on the site of the former Sun-Times Building, bounded by the Chicago River to the south, Rush Street to the east, and Wabash Street to the west.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), the 92-story Trump Tower is the tallest concrete building in the United States, and the tallest building built in North America since the completion of Sears Tower in 1974. The 2.6-million-sq.-ft. building includes condominium, service apartments, health club, parking and retail functions.
Also in 2009, CTLGroup completed its most recent set of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, formerly the U.S. National Bureau of Standards).
For 40 years, CTLGroup has been involved with the selection, packaging and certifying of SRMs used throughout world, including some of the biggest selling at NIST.
When NESHAP regulations threatened U.S. cement production, PCA lead a successful multi-pronged approach that saved the industry more than $2 billion in compliance costs and extended the compliance timeframe by two years.
In 2012, PCA announced management changes designed to shift leadership to Washington, D.C., in support of a renewed emphasis on national advocacy efforts.
“Over the past 10 years, we have debated the merits of our national association becoming more ‘DC-centric’,” said PCA Chairman of the Board Aris Papadopoulos in an announcement of the changes. “The time has come to adapt to this new reality of the cement industry.”
Effective Sept. 6, 2012, Greg Scott, PCA’s senior vice president of government affairs, was promoted to president. On Jan.1, 2013, he assumed the position of president/CEO of PCA.
“Although PCA’s president/CEO will be based in Washington, D.C., the Skokie office will continue to operate as an important resource for North American and regional promotion and advocacy efforts,” PCA said.
PCA successfully changed ASTM and AASHTO specifications to permit limestone additions of up to 15 percent, saving $100 to $150 million per year and advancing its environmental position.
Effective, Jan. 2, 2013, Gregory M. Scott became president/CEO of PCA. “He will head the association from its Washington, D.C., office and represent PCA and its members before Congress, the Administration and the White House,” the association said. Scott joined PCA in January 2012 as the senior president of government affairs.
While executive vice president, Scott initiated a significant expansion of the association’s public policy advocacy efforts. His work helped to position the group as a leading advocate for American manufacturing and a balanced, long-term national energy policy. Prior to joining NPRA, Scott served as vice president of National Strategies, Inc., a trade association representing CEOs of Fortune 100 firms on corporate finance and tax issues.
At its annual meeting on Nov. 18, 2014, the board of directors of PCA named James G. Toscas president and chief executive officer, effective Dec. 15, 2014.
Toscas served as president and CEO of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), and from 1998 to 2002, he was executive vice president and CEO at the American Concrete Institute (ACI).
As a founder of the Concrete and Masonry-Related Associations, Toscas improved the collaboration of all industry allies and provided a forum for the establishment of a strategic roadmap for the entire concrete industry.
“Jim brings to PCA a wealth of skill and knowledge that will serve the association and membership well,” said Cary Cohrs, PCA’s immediate past board of directors chairman and chairman of the recruitment committee. “He understands the value of membership engagement and its vital role for the success of the Association.”
“PCA is a leader in the cement and concrete industry. It is an honor to safeguard that reputation while establishing the paths to move it toward new challenges and opportunities,” said Toscas.
Prior to joining ACI, Toscas was executive director and CEO of the American Nuclear Society. Toscas received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from the University of Chicago and a Masters of Science in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana.
As an advocate for durable and economical construction, PCA teemed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and FLASH to showcase storm shelter and wall systems. The Showcase made its debut at two trade shows, World of Concrete and the International Builders Show.
In 2015, Congress passed the FAST Act, which provides funding and sets policy. PCA worked to ensure that the bill included several industry policy priorities, such as alternative bidding and research funding.
In 2016, PCA announced the 10 recipients of the inaugural Resilience Leadership Awards, coinciding with the associaiton’s centennial anniversary.
The Resilience Leadership Awards recognize the individuals, organizations, and projects that have advocated, communicated and showcased the benefits of durable construction and the importance of concrete in achieving resilience. Resilience Leadership Award winners practice their message in a variety of arenas, including education, community organization, construction and code enhancement.
PCA also launched Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, 16th edition, a fully revised and comprehensive guide to today’s concrete applications, methods and materials. Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures is the definitive resource on concrete technology, backed by a 100-year history of PCA research.
The 16th edition of the guide provides a wealth of new information, including chapters on concrete pavements and structures, and the latest information on standards, specifications, and test methods of ASTM International (ASTM), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the American Concrete Institute (ACI).
The 2016 edition was released in conjunction with PCA’s Centennial Anniversary.
Source: Portland Cement Association