March 2016, Vol. 71, No. 3


DCA Has Near Record Attendance in Naples

Coming off a strong year for construction, the Distribution Contractors Association attracted a near record attendance of 460 people to it’s annual convention in Naples, Florida.

The five day meeting was filled with social events, networking opportunities, committee meetings (including the HDD, Government Relations, Safety/Risk Management, Membership and Education). Guest speakers included Stephen Hayes from the “Weekly Standard” and Fox News, and Chris Daum, president and CEO of FMI Corporation.

Officers and directors elected to serve in 2016 are: President: Dale A. Anderson, Miller Pipeline; Vice President: Dale A. Mykyte, Pe Ben USA, Inc.; Treasurer Jay Osborn, Primoris Services Corporation and Immediate Past President: Frank L. Patterson, Patterson & Wilder Construction Co., Inc. The Past President Director for 2016 is Greg Dahl, ARB, Inc.

2016 Directors are: Thomas R. Clapper, TekRock Trenching LLC; Larry W. Ernst, Midwest Underground, Inc.; Michael J. Hickey, The Hallen Construction Co., Inc.; Raymond K. Swerdfeger, K.R. Swerdfeger Construction, Inc.; Greg Gapinski, Snelson Companies and Ben G. Nelson, Michels Corporation. This year’s Director at Large is Rob DeRue, D.R.S. Enterprises.

The Associate Member Directors are: Dave Holcomb, TT Technologies, Inc. and Jon Heinan, Vermeer Corporation.

Executive Vice President of DCA, Rob Darden, reported the association is in excellent shape and gained three new members in 2016. Upcoming meetings include a joint DCA/AGA Utility Contractor Workshop, DCA Safety Congress and the Mid-Year Meeting in Alaska. This year’s auction raised $880,000. The Dale R. Michels Scholarship awarded $91,000 in scholarships and the Curtis H. Allen Scholarship Fund (funded by Bentonite Performance Minerals and Halliburton) awarded another $27,000.

Safety Awards

The Arthur T. Everham Safety Awards were presented in categories. In the under 300,000 manhours worked category the winner was H & H Enterprises, with Pe Ben USA and Mid America Underground tied for second place. For over 301,000 and under 899,000 manhours worked the winner was Midwestern Contractors. Second place was H.L. Chapman Pipeline Construction. In the over 900,000 hour category, ARB, Inc. was the winner with Mears Group second.


Chris Daum highlighted the outlook for the overall construction market predicting a growth in residential construction of 10% for 2016 followed by 6-7% growth through 2019. Manufacturing construction is growing at 25% but expected to drop to 11% in 2016. The passing of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act has stabilized funding for highways, bridges and transit systems at $105 billion annually, but it is estimated the needs are for $163 billion.

Gas distribution construction is a real bright spot, especially in the Northeast. Overall annual spending is expected to increase to $5 billion by 2019 from $3.8 billion in 2015 (est.). One of the biggest challenges facing the industry is developing a qualified labor market. FMI is reporting inroads by non-union contractors in the Northeast and expects international contactors to look for acquisition opportunities in this profitable market niche.

Next year’s annual meeting is in Maui, February 6-11, 2017. Visit DCA at

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