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A Conversation With TCA’s Executive Committee

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

Leadership within the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) consists of 15 people serving on the board of directors. They serve in rotational three-year terms that may be renewed for up to two consecutive terms. During their tenure on the board, certain leaders begin to impact the Association at the level of the executive committee. Members of the executive committee engage regularly and intensively with TCA staff to ensure that vision and purpose are maintained throughout the calendar year. A TCA president serves just one year, magnifying reliance on both passion and experience of the executive team.

Perhaps one of the hardest things to recognize in an industry organization like the TCA is the personal side of leadership. Unless you attend events regularly and invest in relationship building, you may not recognize the faces and names that are imprinting the Association with their character, leadership styles, and experiences. Therefore, to enhance our understanding of the makeup of the TCA’s Executive Committee, our executive director, Mitch Bloomquist, took time during a recent retreat to engage them as a group.

The executive committee consists of Barclay Gebel (president), vice president for Concrete Strategies out of St. Louis, Missouri, a nationwide tilt-up subcontractor and panel erector; Karen Hand (vice president), president of Needham DBS out of Lenexa, Kansas, a nationwide engineering firm and tilt-up engineering specialty firm; Robert Murray (treasurer), vice president and general manager for Alston Construction Company out of Edison, New Jersey, a national general contracting firm; Rick Galloway (secretary), executive vice president for Martin Concrete Construction out of Kennesaw, Georgia, a southeastern U.S. general concrete contracting firm specializing in tilt-up construction; and Scott Bunney (past president), president for KB Concrete Systems out of Commerce City, Colorado, a regional concrete construction firm specializing in tilt-up construction.

Mitch: Thanks for taking some time here during our retreat to think about the members of the Association and help them more readily identify with each of you. For starters, what has been your inspiration to give back to the industry through service on the TCA Board?

Gebel: It inspires me to work on the board of directors because of all the great people that are active and belong to the TCA. I want to do my part to make the industry the best it can be and to keep growing and getting better for the next generation!

Galloway: This industry has given so much to me personally and professionally. The people I have met while working at Martin Concrete Construction, and through the Tilt-up Concrete Association, continue to impact both me and my family in incredibly positive ways. I hope that I can have that same kind of constructive impact on my contemporaries while lending support and encouragement to the next group of professionals coming up through the ranks.

Murray: The tilt-up industry has provided me with the ability to deliver design-build projects quickly and efficiently. By collaborating with members of the Association—be it suppliers, subcontractors, or even competitors—it allows collaborative growth in the industry as well as personal growth for all that stay involved.

Hand: The TCA network has provided an avenue to specialize in a sector of the engineering field that is unique and marketable. The relationships that I have established over the last 20 years of involvement in the TCA has helped to propel my career. My progression from engineer to manager to president could not have happened without the career path that involvement in the TCA has offered. Participation in the TCA Board and Executive Committee offers the ability to pay it forward to the next generation of leaders.

Bunney: My inspiration to give back to the industry has been that, in the past, our local tilt-up market has used tilt-up as a building substitute to other building systems and material types, rather than a primary option. I have worked hard to make tilt-up construction a preferred building system method, knowing that increased tilt-up volume would draw attention and create more interest in tilt-up building types across our industry, from warehouses to “class A” offices.

Mitch: Thanks for those insights. You each come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, disciplines, and industry experiences. In what capacity do you feel TCA can best serve to advance the tilt-up industry?

Galloway: The Tilt-up Concrete Association is the rare professional group that encourages collaboration between all parties involved in an industry. Architects, contractors, engineers, material suppliers, and others are all represented and have an equal voice. Taking advantage of the expertise of these individuals and passing along that knowledge to younger emerging leaders is critical to the advancement of our industry. The TCA achieves this through the Tilt-Up Academy, personal and company certification, programs like the Bigwig Lunch Talks from a few years ago, and the TILT (Tilt-Up Industry Leaders of Tomorrow) young professionals leadership group.

Gebel: I believe the TCA serves the industry the best by its networking ability, and hosting events and platforms that brings people together to learn and grow!

Murray: TCA can best serve the tilt-up industry by staying on the cutting edge and continuously advancing the tools of the industry. Providing design guidance and safety suggestions as well as help improving tilt-up techniques will serve the tilt-up [industry] well in the short term and into the future.

Bunney: Through accessible and reliable resources, the TCA has continued to broaden, promote, and accessorize the TCA website, and it has become an information staple for new and old users of tilt-up concrete. The online information is always kept current and leading edge, to keep new ideas flowing throughout the industry. The development and continued work to keep the tilt-up industry a community, through group collaboration, has been and will continue to be a significant way to continue to promote tilt-up. Collaboration between all groups in our trade association is what continues to create new ideas for our industry.

Hand: [The TCA should] attract interest for new products and vendors, and promote growth of the industry through marketing and advertising. The TCA is instrumental in creating a source of exclusive educational and network opportunities. An essential part of serving our industry comes from expanding our reach further into the depths of the companies that have been a part of the organization for years as well as attracting new members from new companies to better train and educate.

Mitch: The TCA has seen tremendous growth and success since the great recession, and we are poised for leading continued success in this new decade. What would you say is the greatest opportunity for growth in our industry?

Bunney: The greatest opportunity exists in incorporating tilt-up design where it was not considered possible. An example of this opportunity would be in the education sector. Also, the education of developers, engineers, and architects in the continued advancement of tilt-up technology and design.

Galloway: I am excited by the potential of Tilt Lab to expand ways tilt-up construction can find solutions [for problems] that not only face our industry, but the changing world we live in. By refining details and processes we can reach beyond the big box space and continue tilt-up adoption into office buildings, education, institutional, residential, and other structures. We can continue growth into geographical areas that do not typically see these kinds of construction performed with tilt-up.

Gebel: I believe the greatest opportunity for growth in our industry is to convince the younger people & generations that you can make a great career in the tilt up industry. The tilt up/concrete industry is short on all types of workers from engineers to tradespeople. The tilt up industry needs to market, recruit, and retain the best and brightest people to keep up with the growth that we are experiencing!

Hand: Development of new products and technology improvements that make the construction of tilt-up panels more efficient with less labor.

Murray: The greatest opportunity for growth in our industry is to pass on the knowledge we have to the next generation. By bringing the next generation on board and seeking their involvement and ingenuity we are certain to build a better product and a better organization.

Mitch: Given those thoughts on industry growth and knowing that TCA is seen as the purveyor or curator of the environment for leading such growth, there are key factors or topics presently on the frontlines. What is the TCA’s role in addressing topics like material and labor shortages, cement and concrete sustainability, and disaster preparedness?

Hand: Issues impacting our industry are both global and regional. TCA has a large network of industry professionals, contractors, architects, and engineers to address every issue that comes along. Using the strengths of our members allows the TCA to provide a valuable service to the industry.

Bunney: The TCA’s role is being a resource by creating a community that empowers the members to collaborate with each other to find unique solutions for each individual’s unique challenges. Regarding cement and concrete sustainability, the TCA’s role has been their significant presence in this industry; with our significant concrete usage, we need to do our part to be part of the solution.

Galloway: The TCA can best address these topics by engaging and leveraging ts network of professionals to respond to issues as they develop. Having events like the Roundtable Series and Future Think programs on the calendar keeps our members focused on continuous improvement and advancement. The annual Tilt-Up Convention and Expo is a great benchmark for what is happening, good or bad, in the industry and economy at large. The webinar series that was featured during the pandemic was a great resource for information and encouragement when everyone was very uncertain about what was happening, the implications, and what was going to happen next. It was impressive to see how quickly and appropriately the Association responded to help its members during a terribly troubling time.

Murray: While addressing topics like material and labor shortages, cement and concrete sustainability, and disaster preparedness may not be a specific role of the TCA, the general collaboration and conversation amongst the members of the Association will certainly lead to mutual support in outlining and addressing the problems of the day.

Gebel: I think the TCA would best serve the industry shortage problem by continuing to provide an open platform for everyone in the tilt-up industry to discuss the problem and come up with solutions.

Mitch: Those make for a strong platform of leadership for the TCA and this board, as well as for those that will come along after you. What do you hope to take from your experience on the TCA executive committee? What do you hope to give?

Murray: What I hope to take from my experience on the TCA Executive Committee is to gain knowledge and perspective. Like any experience in life, you learn by listening to others and engaging in a thoughtful discussion. For me, [it] is a true honor to serve on the Executive Committee of the TCA and interact with such a devoted group of individuals in my industry that I love. What I hope to give the TCA Executive Committee is a small amount of perspective based on my industry experience and my continued thirst for knowledge.

Gebel: I would pledge to give my knowledge from experience and to share our tilt-up best practices with the industry, so the industry continues to prosper, grow, and improve! I will “take” from the TCA and tilt-up industry what I give!

Hand: My hope is to create excitement for new developments, continue to build a professional network with membership increases, and continue to advance the industry for our future leaders.

Galloway: I expect my experience on the TCA Executive Committee will mirror the experience I have had within the Association since I first attended a convention in 2016. I am sure that I will grow professionally and personally by being around exceptional people that care immensely about what they do and how they do it. I have no doubt that I will develop relationships that will become critical to the decisions I make and the future those decisions lead me toward. I will strive to assist and inspire others in this community and have the same influence on their lives that the Tilt-Up Concrete Association and its members have had on mine.

Bunney: My experience through the executive committee has been tremendous: a small group of industry leaders discussing valuable details of conceptual planning to implementation of major business concepts. The experience I will take from the executive committee is a goal of making tilt-up more than just a concrete panel. The executive committee is, by virtue of its makeup, never just focused on the concrete tilt-up panel, but the idea that the panel starts as a general concept and finishes with a multitude of valued people putting their touches on it to make it a valued work. The process is then modified, repeated, and improved, with no secrets kept. What I have given to the executive committee are my experiences from a developer perspective to a concrete subcontractor perspective, maturing from a past constrained tilt-up market, to a current thriving market.

This group of leaders has already contributed a great deal to bring the Association where it is at the moment and, as you can tell from their passionate answers, there is much more to come. They continue to build on the legacy of leadership that has been the backbone of this Association for decades and will continue to move us forward in this new era. During the conversation, programs such as the Tilt Up Leaders for Tomorrow (TILT) were discussed as priorities that this executive committee continues to support. They are excited to see rising future board and executive leaders.

If you would like more information about serving on the TCA’s Board of Directors, you are encouraged to reach out to Executive Director Mitch Bloomquist at If you would like to find out more about the roles and responsibilities for the TCA Board, as well as all those currently serving, including the five executive committee members participating in this session, please visit

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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.