Between September 29th to October 1st this year the Tilt-Up Concrete Association held its annual TCA Convention in New Brunswick, NJ. This is the annual industry gathering of Tilt-Up Professionals from across the country and abroad and as the event sponsor AH Harris was there in full force. Approximately 30 Harris people attended and we were well represented from each of the Regions as well as HarMac.
This year the event started off on Tuesday morning the 29th with an intro to Tilt called Tilt-up 101 and there were a number of Harris attendees there to learn more about this idea of pouring concrete walls on a flat surface and then “Tilting” them into place. Tuesday afternoon we could get into the ballroom to begin setting up our booth for Wednesday’s trade show and it was all hands on deck lending a hand to get this done quickly and efficiently. As this year’s sponsor we had a booth right up front with a lot of exposure and we made the most of it – even showcasing a new MBW MK8-75 ride on trowel machine. At the same time as the trade show booth was being put together our own Russ Tooker pulled into the back lot with the Harris 1500 Trailer. The outdoor demo was that evening and Russ and Greg Hodlin set up our H1500 display for all to see.
During the outdoor demo all the manufacturers and suppliers were given an opportunity in front of the attendees to say a few words about their products and services. At the same time there was a crew of Lithko Contracting’s finest preparing and then lifting a tilt panel in order to demonstrate the process to the crowd. The panel that was picked and the one that was previously set in place contained products from the various suppliers attending the show and it was a great time to show off everyone’s particular items. After the demo the Harris team had a “Team Building” dinner to bring everyone together before the next day’s activities.
Wednesday started at 7 am at the Trade show where all the booths were open for “Breakfast with the Exhibitors.” Throughout the day Wednesday the trade show revolved around the scheduled speakers and allowed attendees to wander through the booths during breaks. And there was always a group of AH Harris people in the audience listening to what the speakers had to say. The trade show culminated with the cocktail hour prior to the Awards Dinner and traffic at the AH Harris booth was great. At the end of the show we had a business card drawing and gave away a SMK Sprayer, a Benner Nawman Cutting Saw, and a Chapin Extreme Sprayer. Special recognition needs to be given to Sally Harris for everything she pulled together to make this part of the event a huge success. There were AH Harris banners on each side of the stage and we had a lot of great give-a-ways that helped draw people in. Thanks Sally. Wednesday evening finished off with the Annual Awards Dinner and it was a great culmination to the event.
On Thursday GMA Sales Leader Fred Anton, President and CEO Kim Corwin and myself attended the Dedication Ceremony for the Hurricane Sandy Memorial in the town of Highlands, NJ. This Memorial is a Monument dedicated to the towns and communities so devastatingly affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and the perseverance and stability displayed in that storms aftermath. The Memorial consists of 4 Tilt Panels acting as support pillars to a massive roof with ocular openings to the sky above. The roof panel is a world record for weight of a tilt panel and weighed in at just under 350,000 lbs. On a clear day you can see the Freedom Tower standing above the Manhattan skyline. There were many companies involved with this Memorial and the driving force was Alston Construction overseeing the project with Lithko Contracting performing the Tilt work associated with it. These two companies put in some very long days in an effort to finish on-time and did a great job. Meadow Burke performed the engineering and AH Harris supplied the lifting clutches, lift beams and braces. Shelter Enterprises from Cohoes, NY supplied the foam infill for casting and Timbur, LLC did the cutting to create the molds. Design for the project was done by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects out of NYC. AH Harris and HarMac provided a great deal of support to this project and Fred Anton and the entire Parlin Team under Branch Manager Deirdre Rubay deserve a hand for being there whenever anything was needed.
The final event of the conference was a stop at Alston Construction’s project in Cranbury, NJ. A 1,200,000 sf under construction tilt-up project where those still on the bus tour could suit up in their AH Harris safety gear and walk out to get a better look at the slabs and panels being built. It was a great opportunity to see a large scale project with finished panels next to panels still waiting for concrete, as well as insulated sandwich panels. It was a fitting way to end this year’s Conference. I’m always glad to be a part of what has become one of my favorite events of the year and I can’t wait to see what the TCA Team of Executive Director Mitch Bloomquist, Communications Manager Lindsey Bloomquist, and Technical Director Jim Baty put together next year in Denver. See you there.