The PCI Foundation was busy during the PCI Convention both hosting faculty and students from its programs and raising funds to continue its work. Twenty professors and 22 students from eleven schools supported by the PCI Foundation attended the convention and took an active part in the program.
Eight schools included poster during the poster session and were able to interact with attendees. The students especially enjoyed the experience. Professors from all current PCI Foundation schools took part in an education session that focused on the many positive results of the PCI Education Projects.
The program gave a flavor of each of the schools programs, which are unique based on professor interest, curriculum needs, and local industry interests.
The factor that makes all the programs alike, however, is the partnership with the local industry. That partnership ranges from plant tours, to design critiques and at some schools even includes two-day workshops or manufacturing the precast for a “real world” project that students have designed. “It’s an exciting time for our industry,” says PCIF chairman Thomas D’Arcy. We are bringing together industry, academia and research partners to bring about all sorts of new discussions about our products. At the same time, we are educating our future customers to get the bast use from precast concrete.”
Fundraising was also on the radar during the PCI Convention. A new event called “After Dark” was a rousing success. The party, which took place immediately following the Celebration of Excellence raised about $5000 on the evening of the event, in addition to almost $50,000 of personal and corporate pledges that were made during the program. Event sponsors included Hamilton Form, BASF, and Thermomass.
PCI Chairman Dean Gwin of Gate Precast chaired the event. “We wanted to end the day with a celebration of all our industry has accomplished this year, and provide a fun atmosphere to learn more about the work of the PCI Foundation,” says Gwin. Several professors attended the event and were able to share information about their programs.
And, no PCI Convention would be complete with out the Silent Auction on the show floor during the opening reception. Auction chairman Nancy Peterson of Rocky Mountain Prestress and her team put together many awesome donors with great auction items which ranged from Lego Toys to a drone. To make the event lively, a balloon pop and wine pull were included. This year's auction brought in about $30,000. Other committee members included Marianne Methven of Hamilton Form, Elizabeth Burns from Gage Brothers, Todd Adams of JVI, Jim Voss of JVI, Glen Switzer of Durastress, Stacey Toscas, Deanna Mansell of Hamilton Form, Greg Winkler of MAPA, Pat Hynes of Knife River, and Rebecca Coleman and Megan Lanning of PCI.
Leadership PCI participants played a great role during the Silent Auction. Each year, members of the current class assist the PCI Foundation by watching tables, selling balloons, selling chances at wine, and with check out.