May 2015, Vol. 70, No.5


PCCA Celebrates 70th Anniversary In Sunny Aruba

The Power & Communication Contractors Association celebrated its 70th Annual Convention, March 6-11, in Palm Beach, Aruba, with more than 300 members and their families in attendance.

The convention featured important industry education, captivating speakers, the Annual Associates Exhibit, the launch of the PCCA Hall of Fame and a variety of fun-filled events where PCCA members kicked back, got to know one another better and enjoyed each other’s company.

PCCA kicked off the convention with the second installment of its Leadership Development Program (LDP), an ongoing learning experience that focuses on a particular aspect of construction industry leadership. The full-day LDP session in Aruba, led by FMI’s Andy Patron, was on Executive Communication. On the next day, PCCA Past President Steve Spears addressed the LDP group, recounting his fascinating journey from working his way through college for Indiana Ma Bell to owning Bonneville Contracting & Technology Group Inc., in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Spears’ speech was organized around a list of “Always be…” pieces of advice, along with relevant examples from his career that would make an excellent roadmap for any up-and-coming construction executive. For example, “Always be honest. Run from dishonesty; it will put you out of business.” Another important one: “Always be learning. The truth will set you free.”

Speakers and education

Another educational highlight at every PCCA convention is the Utility Construction Industry Overview from FMI’s Chris Daum. Daum had good news for PCCA members again this year saying that the utility market is the most profitable construction sector in North America. He said that the next five years in telecom are going to be “absolutely wild,” driven by the ever-growing demand for mobile broadband, and that power is a very healthy market, “the largest contributor to overall construction spending except single-family homes.” Other education highlights were the Construction Industry Roundtable, with an upbeat economic forecast from Mark Bridgers of the Continuum Advisory Group and a session on finding and retaining top employees, which was very relevant given the shortage of qualified workers in the construction industry today.
Steve Spears (right) receives a Hall of Fame plaque from PCCA Executive Director Tim Wagner.

Ken Schmidt, who was director of communications at Harley-Davidson during the company’s remarkable turnaround in the 1990s, delivered the convention’s keynote address. Schmidt provided plenty of practical business advice peppered with humorous anecdotes and cool motorcycle stories. He told the audience that their customers like seeing passion, calling it “the most attractive human trait.”

John Heerema, the main speaker during PCCA’s Annual Prayer Breakfast, kept his audience spellbound as he explained the heroic work of his Big Life Ministries, a nondenominational, rapidly reproducing church-planting movement that is literally transforming some of the spiritually darkest places and groups in the world. The movement grows at an astounding rate each year, transforming more than 200,000 lives.

Hall of Fame

During the convention, the association inducted four of the ten individuals who comprise the inaugural class of the PCCA Hall of Fame: Edwin Malzahn, Ditch Witch; Austin Shanfelter, Shanco Corp./MasTec North America/Global HR Research; Steve Spears, Bonneville Contracting & Technology Group; and Gary Vermeer, Vermeer Manufacturing. The remainder of the class will be inducted during the 2015 Mid-Year Meeting and will include Ken Atkinson, Jimmie Brooks, Max Clark, Ted Koenigs, Winston Weaver, Jr. and Winston Weaver, Sr.

The liveliest part of the convention, as usual, was the night of the Annual PCCA Auction, which was masterfully guided by Michael Whitebread and Charles Cook of J.J. Kane Auctioneers. The auction raised a record amount of more than $260,000 which goes toward PCCA programs including the newly created PCCA Past Presidents Scholarships for the children of association members and their employees. PCCA will announce more information on the scholarships in the coming weeks. PCCA members also donated funds for 14 motorbikes for missionaries of Big Life Ministries.
Herb Fluharty, organizer of the annual PCCA Prayer Breakfast, introduces a guest speaker.

At the convention’s Final Banquet, PCCA members saluted outgoing President Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction, for an outstanding year of hard work and accomplishment, and welcomed new President Tim Killoren, TelCom Construction, and two new Board members: Robin Gilbertson, J&R Underground, and Tony Briggs, Vermeer.

PCCA’s next event is the 2015 Mid-Year Meeting, Sept. 23-26, at the Belmond Charleston Place, Charleston, SC. The 71th Annual Convention will be held March 4–9, 2016, at the Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, FL

Officers and directors

Offices for 2015-16 include: President Timothy Killoren, TelCom Construction, Clearwater, MN; President-Elect Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction Co., Green Spring, OH; 1st Vice President Jim Dillahunty, Henkels & McCoy Inc., San Dimas, CA; 2nd Vice President Larry Pribyl, MP Nexlevel LLC, Maple Lake, MN; Treasurer David Aubrey, Irby Construction Co., dba Okay Construction, Princeton, MN; and Secretary John Fluharty, Mears Group Inc.; Naples, FL.

The 2015-16 PCCA General Board Directors are: Garrett Akin, Brooks Construction Co. Inc., Shawnee, OK; Craig Amerine, Amerine Utilities Construction Inc., Great Bend, KS; Robert Breeden, ElectriCom Inc., Paoli, IN; Ed Campbell, Henkels & McCoy Inc., Pomona, CA; Matthew Gabrielse, Gabe’s Construction Co. Inc., Sheboygan, WI; Robin Gilbertson, J&R Underground LLC, Blanchardville, WI; Jerrod Henschel, Michels Corporation, Brownsville, WI; John Higgins, MasTec North America Inc., Seattle, WA; Chase Lapcinski, Push Inc., Rice Lake, WI; Rob Pribyl, MP Nexlevel LLC; Maple Lake, MN; Heath Sellenriek Inc., Sellenriek Construction, Jonesburg, MO; Don Stephens, Tjader & Highstrom, New Richmond, WI; and Lindsley Thulin, Michels Corporation, Brownsville, WI.

Past President Directors are: Glen Amerine, Amerine Utilities Construction Inc., Great Bend, KS; and Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction Inc., Jonesburg, MO.
Board member Jerrod Henschel (left) with 2014-15 PCCA President Steve Sellenriek

Associate Directors for 2015-16 will be: Tony Briggs, Vermeer Corporation, Pella, IA; Marty Ferguson, FS3 Inc., Annandale, MN; Dan Levac, Preformed Line Products Co., Mayfield Village, OH; and Jameson Ringer, NESCO LLC, Bluffton, IN.

PCCA, (800) 542-7222,

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