CSDA 2016 Convention

First-Time Attendees Up 36%

An enthusiastic crowd of industry professionals, including an impressive number of first-time attendees, gathered in Palm Desert, California to hear record-setting aviator Dick Rutan deliver his inspirational keynote at CSDA’s 2016 Convention & Tech Fair.

The association’s flagship event, held March 10-12 at the beautiful JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort, experienced a 36% increase in first-time convention attendees over the 2015 event.

This year’s convention program boasted 18 industry-specific sessions in addition to Rutan’s Around and Out of This World keynote presentation. Dick’s thrilling account of his nine-day non-stop, around-the-world flight in the Voyager aircraft kept attendees on the edge of their seats and emphasized the power of dreams, dedication, desire and determination.

“I thought Dick Rutan was a great choice. What a wonderful story with very real implications to our lives every day. Not only having the chance to meet a man like Mr. Rutan in real life, but truly get to understand his mindset and sense of purpose, was amazing,” said first-time attendee Tommy Clay of Ardor Solutions, LLC in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Other highly-valuable business sessions at the CSDA Convention covered a wide range of topics, including concrete slurry and dust control, dispatching procedures, roughness average in the polishing industry, utilization of social media and cooperation between concrete cutters and GPR contractors. New for 2016, the convention program also featured a series of quick-fire manufacturer presentations that gave representatives the chance to showcase their products and services to convention attendees. This new format proved popular and will appear on the 2017 CSDA Convention schedule.

Aside from all the business sessions, networking opportunities and social events available in Palm Desert, the ever-popular CSDA Tech Fair was again part of the convention agenda. Around 20 leading industry manufacturers and affiliates exhibited at the event, drawing a great crowd. Attendees took the opportunity to talk one-on-one with vendors in an intimate setting that often cannot be achieved at large trade shows. “The Tech Fair is an excellent event. As always, I learned a lot and made some great networking connections as I walked the floor,” said Richard Steltzer of Merlin Steltzer Services, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri.

Also in Palm Desert, CSDA announced its 2016 Board of Directors. Six Board members, whose terms expire in 2018, were elected. They are Peter Bigwood, Brokk, Inc., Monroe, Washington; Scott Brown, ICS Blount, Inc., Portland, Oregon; Matthew Dragon, GPRS, Inc., Toledo, Ohio; Bennett Jones, Advanced Concrete Sawing, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota; Kevin Schmitt, Husqvarna Construction Products, Olathe, Kansas and Kellie Vazquez, Holes Incorporated, Houston, Texas.

Continuing their roles as CSDA Officers are President Kevin Baron, Western Saw, Oxnard, California; Vice President Jack Sondergard, Central Concrete Cutting, Inc., Edgar, Wisconsin; Secretary/Treasurer Mike Orzechowski, DITEQ Corporation, Lenexa, Kansas; Past President Judith O’Day, Terra Diamond Industrial, Salt Lake City, Utah and Executive Director Patrick O’Brien, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Returning for the second year of their term are Board members Tim Beckman, Cutting Edge Services Corp., Batavia, Ohio; Matthew Finnigan, National Concrete Cutting Inc., Milton, Washington; Dan Foley, Cobra Concrete Cutting Services Co., Arlington Heights, Illinois; Greg Lipscomb, Diamond Products Limited, Elyria, Ohio; Mike Nelson, K2 Diamond, Torrance, California and Doug Walker, Douglas H. Walker, Mount Holly, New Jersey.

Back row (from left to right): Mike Orzechowski, Patrick O'Brien, Doug Walker, Greg Lipscomb, Tim Beckman, Peter Bigwood, Kevin Baron, Matthew Finnigan. Front Row: Bennett Jones, Scott Brown, Dan Foley, Judith O'Day, Kellie Vazquez, Jack Sondergard, Kevin Schmitt, Mike Nelson.

Back row (from left to right): Mike Orzechowski, Patrick O’Brien, Doug Walker, Greg Lipscomb, Tim Beckman, Peter Bigwood, Kevin Baron, Matthew Finnigan. Front Row: Bennett Jones, Scott Brown, Dan Foley, Judith O’Day, Kellie Vazquez, Jack Sondergard, Kevin Schmitt, Mike Nelson.

In 2017, the CSDA Convention & Tech Fair will once again be held outside the continental U.S. as the association travels to Puerto Rico. More details on this, and other events from CSDA, can be found at www.csda.org or by calling the CSDA office at 727-577-5004.

CSDA 2016 Board and Committee Meetings
The remainder of the CSDA 2016 Board and committee meetings schedule is as follows:

  • September 8-9 Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
  • December 1-2 Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, Dana Point, California

CSDA has a consistent open meeting policy and these meetings are open to all members as well as any prospective members. Local members and prospects are especially welcome to attend.

Author: Russell Hitchen

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