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Professional Achievement Award Winners Announced

By: Wendy Ward, Constructive Communication, Inc.

TCA has announced the recipients of five professional achievement awards presented at TCA’s annual meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 20 in conjunction with the World of Concrete.

The award recipients for 2011, selected by the Association’s Board of Directors after nomination by the general membership and recommendation by the TCA’s Awards Committee, are:

  • Sherman D. Balch, Principal at Balch Enterprises for the Peter Courtois Memorial Award
  • Frank Adames of Contratistas Civiles y Mecanicos (CCM) for the Murray Parker Memorial Award
  • Glen Stephens of SAA Architecture for the Irving Gill Distinguished Architect Award
  • Philip Kopf of The Kopf Consulting Group for the David L. Kelly Engineering Award
  • Somero Enterprises, Inc. for the Robert Aiken Innovation Award

Peter Courtois Memorial Award

This award honors Peter Courtois, who died in 1992 after serving as senior vice president of engineering for Dayton Superior Concrete Accessories (formerly Dayton-Richmond Corporation). Courtois, an employee of Dayton Superior for 32 years, immeasurably contributed to the Tilt-Up industry through his tireless effort and dedication to several industry associations. He served on seven ACI committees, most notably the ACI-551 Tilt-Up Construction Committee. In addition, he was a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served as the initial president of TCA, for which he was made an honorary member in 1991. Past recipients include: Robert Tobin, Dave Kelly, Dr. Koladi Kripanarayanan, Bill Lockwood, Sam Hodges, Bill Simpson, Murray Parker, Bob Truitt, Jesse Wyatt, Don Musser, Tom Collins, Hugh Brooks, Malcolm Davis, Gerry Miller and Bob Foley.

A tireless promoter of Tilt-Up for decades, Sherman D. Balch served as member of the TCA Board of Directors for six years, including a term as president in 2001. For several years, Sherman, along with Shawn Hickey, led a preparation course for the ACI/TCA Certification program, which helped to grow the program and increase participation. He was a frequent speaker touting the benefits of Tilt-Up and educating others about the possibilities available with the method.  In addition to Sherman’s personal efforts, his firm, Balch Enterprises, set a new standard for building form through the use of subtle and dramatic curves at building corners and along building elevations. He continues to pursue new concepts for Tilt-Up through Extollo International, a non-profit organization focusing on bringing building technology education to the country of Haiti, expanding their rebuilding effort.

“Sherman’s leadership in the industry came at a critical time where designers were challenging the industry to expand the palette of form and finish. His commitment to education for emerging Tilt-Up professionals as well as a career dedicated to producing challenging examples of Tilt-Up excellence have set the standard for many contractors that have followed in his footsteps,” said Jim Baty, technical director of TCA.

“It is a great honor and I am humbled by the award as there are so many hard working men and women that have contributed so much to the TCA,” said Balch.

Murray Parker Memorial Award

Named in honor of Murray Parker who died in 2000, this award was created to recognize a contractor who has significantly contributed to the Tilt-Up industry. Parker was regarded for his development and promotion of Tilt-Up throughout the industry, especially in the Atlantic Provinces region of Canada. As General Manager/Vice President of B.D. Stevens, Ltd. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Parker is credited with introducing Tilt-Up to an area of the world where many thought it was impossible to use the medium. His contributions and commitment to excellence helped the method gain credibility in the area and paved the way for future Tilt-Up projects. Past recipients include Tilt-Up Systems (S. Africa), Balch Enterprises, L.D. Clark, Citadel Contractors, Hughes General Contractors, Seretta Construction and Steve Miers.

During the past five years, Frank Adames and his company, CCM, have received high acclaim for their extreme works of Tilt-Up in a market that has been dominated by cast-in-place frame and block in-fill. In addition, Adames has shown great devotion becoming highly active in the TCA and the promotion of the creativity embodied by Tilt-Up construction. Through the Tilt-Up Achievement Awards program, Frank Adames has shown many an aggressive Tilt-Up solution for multi-level above- and below-grade structures that use Tilt-Up as both perimeter bearing wall construction as well as internal structural frames. His consistent involvement in TCA Convention has brought significant content to his peers while bringing home solutions to the challenges faced in the Dominican Republic. More than any other accomplishment, CCM has been single-handedly responsible for the growth of Tilt-Up as a major construction system throughout the Dominican Republic with more than 100 buildings now on the island, some among the largest in the world. He now sets the standard for not only development of Tilt-Up in this market, but also integrating technology through each and every project using BIM to provide complete integration for his projects.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the Murray Parker Memorial award, recognizing the pioneering and innovation in the Tilt-Up industry,” said Adames. “We started using the Tilt-Up system 15 years ago with great acceptance from the Dominican market. It was possible with the help of the TCA and its members. Many people opened their doors and spent hours and days reviewing and commenting on our projects. They gave us the confidence that we were on the right path. Thank you for the recognition and support.”

Irving Gill Distinguished Architect Award

The TCA’s Distinguished Architect Award is named in honor of Irving J. Gill. Early in the history of concrete construction, Gill—a prominent architect in Southern California—designed and constructed a house in Hollywood employing Aiken’s method for Tilt-Up in 1912.  This led Gill to purchase the patent rights of the bankrupt Aiken Reinforced Concrete Company forming his own Concrete Building and Investment Company. Without the architectural mindset of Gill, the industry may very well have taken a much slower time to rise to its current dominance. His crowning Tilt-Up achievement remains as one of the great early examples of modern concrete, the La Jolla Women’s Club. Past recipients include RMW architecture, Intergroup Architects, Kovert Hawkins Architects, The Haskell Company, Powers Brown Architecture, Kenneth R. Carlson, Architect – P.A and James M. Williams of AE URBIA and J.M. Williams and Associates.

For 35 years, R. Glen Stephens has had a vision for how a successful architect should guide himself and his practice – by creating a “client centered firm dedicated to designing buildings that are functional, striking and innovative.” Stephens has been a devoted advocate for Tilt-Up and has been instrumental in several key TCA projects and programs. These include The Architecture of Tilt-Up, now in its 2nd edition; the globally-expanded TCA Achievement Awards; and a Design Charette forum for architects.  His participation and leadership has been present on several TCA committees as well as on the TCA Board, where he was the first architect elected to the TCA Board of Directors and served as president of the TCA Board 2003. His knowledge and background have been inspiring to many members of the TCA and he has been a true leader in the industry by constantly learning how to apply Tilt-Up construction in new and innovative ways.

“I am honored to win an award named after the innovative Irving Gill,” said Stephens. “In our goal of designing striking, functional, innovative projects, we strive to honor his legacy.”

David L. Kelly Engineering Award

The TCA’s Distinguished Engineer Award was renamed in 2008 to honor the career-long commitment by David Kelly of Meadow Burke to the Tilt-Up industry. Kelly retired from Meadow Burke as Vice President and Chief Engineer and continues in private practice to solve unique Tilt-Up challenges. He was a longtime board member and past president of the TCA. His innovative and creative engineering ideas led to the construction of hundreds of Tilt-Up projects. Previous winners of this award include Johnson Structural Group, BBM Structural Engineers, John Lawson, Jeff Griffin, Alan Reay Consultants and Gerry Weiler.

This year’s recipient, Philip Kopf, has been committed to promoting Tilt-Up as a preferred method of construction. He has served the industry unselfishly by maintaining active participation and consistent input on various ACI and TCA committees focused at improving both the design recognition of Tilt-Up and the parameters to which it is promoted. Kopf served on the TCA Board of Directors for 15 years, during which he served two terms as TCA president to provide leadership to the direction of the industry.  His service also included participation in the TCA’s Seismic Task Force, AFRL Blast Testing Program and a variety of other initiatives that aimed to set standards or answer key industry influences.

“I am humbled and excited to receive this award,” said Kopf. “This award has special meaning to me since Dave Kelly is a friend and mentor to me in this industry. Throughout my career, I have always sought to invest back into the industry that has provided so much help and support for me over the years. I am truly honored that my years of professional practice are being recognized. “

Robert Aiken Innovation Award

This award honors Robert Aiken – a founding father of Tilt-Up construction. Known for initiating a more architectural direction for Tilt-Up, Aiken is credited with the concept of casting panels face-up to provide a medium for developing craftsmanship in the construction method. Past recipients include: Accubrace Shoring, Elmer Payne (Dayton Richmond), Composite Technologies (Thermomass), Scott System, Victory Bear, Tilt-Con and Textured Coatings of America, Inc.

As the Tilt-Up industry looked to conquer a more architectural appearance, the quality of finishes needed to improve both for the slabs and panel surfaces.  With the advent of the Laser Screed®, Somero Enterprises, Inc. provided Tilt-Up contractors with a tool to achieve a high architectural finish. Invented to improve the quality of floor slabs, few could have anticipated the significance to which this piece of equipment would liberate the contractor to once again become a craftsman.

“Somero strives to be an innovative force in concrete equipment and we are proud to have been honored with the prestigious Robert Aiken Innovation Award,” said Jack Cooney, President of Somero Enterprises, Inc. “TCA members represent the best of the best in the industry and we hope Somero can continue to contribute to the growth and quality practices of its members.”

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.