APCA Convention Reflects Continued Market Confidence

The recent American Pipe Line Contractors Association annual convention held recently at the scenic Grand Del Mar in San Diego, CA, drew another near-record attendance.

The association members have enjoyed several years of strong market growth. Guest speakers told the audience that while pipeline construction has slowed from its record pace, there is still reason to be encouraged about the industry’s future. While 2011 and 2012 are projected to be average years for pipeline construction, overall economic improvement and continued focus and growth for natural gas will most likely lead to stronger markets, possibly as early as 2013.

Speakers included Mike Morgan, El Paso Corp.; Keith Friede, Gallagher Benefit Services; Greg Guidry, Onebane Law Firm; and Robert Carpenter, Oildom Publishing.

Taking over as the 2011 APCA president was John Fluharty, Mears Group. Other officers include: Vice President Ricky Dyess, M.G. Dyess, Inc.; Secretary/Treasurer Bruce Gilliland; and Executive Director J.D. Lormand.

Regular member directors are: James Driver, Driver Pipeline Co.; Randy Farrar, Farrar Construction Inc.; Max Nichols, Jomax Construction Co.; Mark O’Roke, Sunland Construction; Alan Owens, Troy Construction; Bill Schettine, Meridien Energy; Pat Simpson, Sterling Construction; and Sean Sullivan, Elkhorn, Construction. Advisory board members include: Morris Farrar, Clovis Hester and John Maxwell.

Associate member officers are: President Scott Jeter, Pipeline Machinery International; Vice President Joe Trapani, Caterpillar; Secretary/Treasurer John Lucki, Cross Country Pipeline; Convention Chairpersons Carl & Sonnie Rafferty, Cross Country Pipeline; and Golf Chairperson Bobby Darby, Darby Equipment Company.

Dick Morris
The winning team members of the annual APCA golf tournament were: Eddie Weatherford, CRC-Evans Pipeline International; Brad Haines, Drill America; Shell Sanford, CRC-Evans Automatic Welding; and Johnny Peters, Shaw Pipeline Services. In a rare development, Troy Edge of Greene’s Energy Group won the men’s closet to the pin contest by virtue of a hole-in-one. That’s the second time a member of the association has made a hole-in-one during the annual convention. Past Executive Director Ed Kull accomplished the feat in the mid-90s at Orange Tree Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.

At the convention’s wrap-up banquet, the guest speaker was well-known political consultant/analyst Dick Morris. He worked with former President Bill Clinton for 20 years and is currently serving as an advisor to the Republican Party. He is a regular contributor to Fox News and has published eight best-selling books. Morris entertained the crowd with his perspective on the national political situation, recession, debt dilemma and leadership.

In differentiating between the political perspectives of Presidents Clinton and Obama, Morris said “Bill Clinton believed in the private enterprise system; Obama does not.” Another observation from Morris that drew a large ovation from the audience was “there is only one tax that doesn’t hurt the country – and that’s a tax cut.”

Morris also criticized the action of the National Labor Relations Board, declaring “we’ve got to stop the NLRB from industrial tyranny.”

The APCA Mid-Year Meeting will be held Sept. 8 – 10, at Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel Valley, CA. The 2012 annual convention has not yet been finalized but is tentatively scheduled for March in Southwest Florida.

American Pipeline Contractors Association, (337) 278-0056, www.americanpipeline.org

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