“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority,” says Kenneth Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and other bestselling books on leadership and team building.

Blanchard's observation is uncannily accurate when describing THE CONCRETE PRODUCER's 2007 Influencer honorees. In a business environment lacking any centralized leadership, our five honorees have championed initiatives that have, and continue, to fundamentally transform the concrete industry.

To accomplish this, these influencers have adopted leadership styles that are marked by consensus building. A desire to improve the entire industry, not just a market segment, drives them. They believe that lasting change must be built on a foundation of education.

While our influencers share these important views, each has taken his own unique path.

Gene Martineau is a driving force for the Concrete Industry Management program's National Steering Committee. His efforts continue to urge industry improvement, as offered by the RMC 2000 movement.

Thor Becken represents leadership by example. A true disciple of the RMC 2000 initiative, he demonstrates and shares a marketing approach that draws contractor and producer together as a team, rather than competitors.

Sidney Freedman is stalwart in defining architectural precast. He demonstrates to engineers, architects, and owners that architectural precast is more than an art form.

Bill Holden brings refreshing change to how block makers are growing their market. At a time when many feel the block and paver market is poised for decline, Holden is a passionate voice for growth.

For 20 years, the instructors, engineers, and leaders of the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on National Concrete Canoe Competitions have challenged the best civil engineering students. By developing a fair, fun, and highly competitive event, students have learned that concrete is a versatile, important tool.

The editors of THE CONCRETE PRODUCER are proud to join the editors of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION in recognizing people who are greatly influencing the concrete industry. We will recognize them personally at a reception at World of Concrete, at which time they will receive a commemorative concrete plaque.

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