Success for NDA’s Demolition Rockies

Published: 17/6, 2019

The National Demolition Association’s Demolition Rockies opened Thursday, March 21, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Col. Nearly 1,100 demolition professionals from across the country were on hand, along with 90 exhibitors in the Expo. The Live DEMOlition event attracted more than 680 attendees.


Great Net Working Opportunity

An NDA event always has fantastic networking opportunities, and this year was no different. Attendees had the chance to visit four different Colorado food trucks at the Live DEMOlition event where they could test equipment from 23 companies including a baler, crushers, attachments, excavators, and skid steers. Live DEMOlition also featured robotics and a competition where attendees could test their skills. Additionally attendees could play Texas Hold’em and other casino games on Saturday night, and attend a craft beer reception and a carnival on Sunday night.

Sessions kicked off on Sunday shortly after Charlie Morecraft’s moving and thought-provoking keynote presentation on safety on the job. The first panel, “Utility Plant Decommissioning and Demolition,” was moderated by Jim Graham of Winter Environmental. He set the stage by sharing utility plant decommissioning and demolition as the single largest opportunity in the industry for demolition contractors. Panelists Ronnie Goodman of Duke Energy, Greg Tinin of ENTERGY, Dennis Dunning of Exelon, Jeff Loewe of NiSource, and Mark Schwartz of Southern Company answered a series of questions, such as “What is your company’s position concerning the amount of contractor oversight necessary and who provides that oversight: in house or third party?”

Later in the day, Denis McGarel of Brandenburg moderated “Managing Demolition Projects: Perspectives from the Owners’ Consultants Panel.” Tim Barker of AECOM, David Braungardt and Keith Kotinko of WOOD PLC, Bob Patulio of OBG/Ramboll, and Blake Svendsen of ERM discussed their companies’ risk metrics to screen and select demolition subcontractors, preferred contracting methods, and lessons learned. “Our focus is on taking the right samples and getting the owners to understand they need to spend some money on difficult areas [e.g., stacks on power plants and boilers],” Braungardt said. “We’re not going to be able to find every square foot of asbestos in the building, but we try.”

On Monday, Michelle L. Clark and Betina Johnson of the Army Corps of Engineers presented “Doing Business with the USACE.” They shared the breadth and depth of work the U.S. government is looking to hire out for per region as well as the criteria for winning those bids.

The last big presentation of the convention was led by Dr. Mahesh Bailakanavar of Thornton Tomasetti. He walked attendees through the amazing case study of the Georgia Dome implosion his company engineered.

This year’s Fast and Furious presentations were well-attended and lively, especially Demolition Jeopardy with Drew Lammers. Those who took a seat in the Education Station at Destination NDA received a scrap market update, information on what’s new at NDA, insight on job cost tracking, and details on different types of insurance companies should consider.

The 2019 event capped off with the Annual NDA Awards Banquet where Lifetime Achievement Award winner Leonard Cherry was honored, as were the 2019 scholarship award winners and Excellence in Demolition winners (see below). NDA also inducted the first six people into its Hall of Fame: John T. Adamo, Sr.; John T. Adamo, Jr.; Mike Casbon; Denise M. Danneels; Robert Klotzbach; and Jerry Myrick.


NDA Elects New President

Demolition Rockies also saw the election of Christopher Godek of New England Yankee Construction, LLC, in Milford, Conn., as NDA President for 2019-2021. Godek previously served as Vice President of the association.

In 2019, NDA finalized a strategic plan that will be influential in determining the direction of Godek’s presidency. The plan focuses on attracting the next generation of talent; promotion of demolition profession; proactive government advocacy for NDA members; and using data to inform NDA’s vision, mission, and goals.

“Strategic alliances will strengthen our industry and increase our ability to interact positively with these agencies,” Godek said. “We recently had the opportunity to meet in Washington, DC, with OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies have extended their hand to us, and are looking for feedback from the NDA, to promote a greater understanding of our respective positions, when it comes to the demolition process. I commend them for their forward thinking, and thank them for their help in further educating and promoting our membership”

Education will be another high priority as NDA expands the “Foundations of Demolition Training Series” and looks to add more safety resources for members. Offering courses in estimating, project management, job cost tracking, and risk management will help demolition companies prioritize education and deliver stronger demolition managers to the workforce.

Another focus will be communicating all demolition professionals do, how they are becoming more informed and using technology to transform their practices, how they are growing as a profession and differentiating themselves in the industry, and how NDA is supporting these efforts.

“Part of our strategic plan is a stronger, directed and aggressive marketing plan.” stated Godek. “This coincides with my belief that we need to make sure our customers know who we are, that they know NDA members are the best-in-class contractors. That our customers become informed and make the best decisions when selecting their next demolition contractor. Our focus on making sure our members are educated, and aware of governmental changes, as well as industry technology is paramount. The customers, associates, consultants, and stakeholders of our member contractors can sleep soundly at night, knowing they are contracting with the best.”

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