Hosting a World of Concrete opening day luncheon, PCA President and CEO Gregory Scott and 2013 Chairman Cary Cohrs underscored the group’s commitment to industry-wide promotion and greater advocacy efforts in the nation’s capital. The February 5 event marked the introduction of newly appointed PCA leadership to representatives from major national groups in concrete production and construction, and one of the first industry gatherings following the PCA headquarters shift from north suburban Chicago to Washington, D.C.
Scott expressed confidence in the association’s ability to pursue a two-point mission on the hope that three years of “regulatory demands are behind us,” acknowledging a final cement plant emissions rule that the Environmental Protection Agency issued in late-2012. Entering the new year, Scott noted how PCA activities are driven by: 1) market development, encompassing the association’s traditional role of promotion and technical efforts supporting concrete and other cement user interests; and, 2) business continuity, with focus on regulatory and other forces affecting member company operating methods and costs. Much of the market development component will continue out of Skokie, Ill., where about 40 PCA staff will remain in a campus alongside lab facilities housing the association’s for-profit CTL Group subsidiary, which saw record billings last year.
By moving the headquarters, PCA and the industry are positioned for more visibility on the big stage of Washington, D.C., added Cohrs, who association board members elected last November to succeed Aris Papadopoulos. Cohrs noted that the emphasis on sustainability in construction challenges the industry to move beyond promoting the benefits of concrete and think in terms of a “position,” concluding, “We need to translate feature and product information into things people can use.” Among them, he cited concrete structures’ life-cycle cost and assessment attributes proved in ongoing research at the PCA- and RMC Research and Education Foundation-sponsored Concrete Sustainability Hub at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.