It was good to see long-time friend Jack Gibbons walk across the stage last Sunday night at the American Concrete Institute’s 2014 Spring Convention in Reno. Gibbons, a long-time World of Concrete Speaker and editorial contributor, received the honor as Fellow of ACI.  I was proud to see one of our own receive the recognition. Gibbons was one the few honorees who has concrete production experience.

It’s sad we don’t have more producers recognized as ACI Fellows. Concrete producers are really the unrecognized foundation supporters of ACI. Many are very active in their ACI chapters and local sponsoring groups. They give meeting presentations, serve as event hosts, and often become certification proctors. Producers also provide financial support for hundreds of certification programs.

So why aren’t there more producer honored as ACI fellows? The simple answer is producers rarely serve on ACI committees.

But now might be the time for producers to reconsider ACI committee membership. There’s a new feel to ACI and it’s more than the new colorful logo unveiled in the World of Concrete’s Gold Lot. Under president Ann Ellis’ leadership, this traditionally stoic association is tweaking one of the construction world’s most respected concrete brands. Along with the logo, the institute has adopted a new tagline, launched a robust customer-focused website, while conducting a dynamic institute-wide strategic review of activities.

ACI’s rebranding initiative is member-driven, feeding on the energy committee commitment to game-changing Industry trends. Committees are addressing aggregate testing for ASR, mix proportion theory, performance concrete mixtures, and design-build construction.

In practice, many producers are involved in these topics in their service areas. And since the guidelines developed by these ACI committees will affect production operations, it’s important to have our voices be heard. There are several committees that need producer involvement.

T. J. Harris, from Ascension Ready Mix, Prairieville, La., serves as secretary on the 304 Measuring/Mixing/Transportation/Placing committee. Harris has been active in ACI committee work for about five years, as he has been following his father's legacy of ACI involvement. Harris' business has benefited from his committeework. He welcomes the opportunity to be involve in making the rules fellow producers will use to improve concrete production. And for now, he enjoys his role as the young professional in the crowd. "I've found fellow committee members to very receptive of my suggestions," said Harris.

If you're considering joining an ACI committee, I’ve listed them along with the day they meet.

221 Aggregates (Sunday)

305 Hot Weather Concrete (Sunday)

237 Self-Consolidating Concrete (Monday)

304 Measuring/Mixing/Transportation/Placing (Monday)

555 Recycled Material (Monday)

522 Pervious Concrete (Tuesday)

306 Cold Weather (Tuesday)

211 Proportioning  (Wednesday)

If you are interested in joining an ACI committee, visit www.concrete.org/Committees/JoinACommittee.