For the first time in nearly two decades, VAA traveled across two states and arrived in Lowcountry, Charleston, South Carolina, for its annual meeting. The 71st Annual Meeting was hosted at The Charleston Place in the historic district. Nearly 150 VAA members, significant others and guests enjoyed Chamber of Commerce weather over the three days.
The kickoff to the meeting was the annual golf tournament held at RiverTowne Country Club in Mt. Pleasant. A challenging course that included a fair number of alligators proved no problem for the winning team of Mike Purkey (Allan Myers), Mike Menkins (Allan Myers), David Houser (Blakemore Construction) and James Ross (Blacklidge Emulsions) in the shamble format. Not only did they win on the course, but the RJS Scholarship won since the team donated their winnings to the fund. VAA would like to thank Asphalt Emulsion Industries for sponsoring the boxed lunches and carts. As the cart attendant noted, “These guys were thirsty.” VAA appreciates AEI for its support.
The opening reception was held Wednesday evening. Sponsored by Bitumar, the reception featured drinks and appetizers served in the Market Street Circle of the hotel. The VAA Executive Committee hosted the Past Presidents/Chairs dinner at Church and Union following the reception. During the dinner, David Branscome Jr. announced he and his wife Shalia were expecting their first child.
Thursday was a full day for the VAA meeting. The morning started with a light breakfast followed by a welcome from VAA Chair David Horton and a State of the Association presentation by VAA President Trenton Clark. Later, NAPA Chair Jim Mitchell covered national happenings and how Virginia is impacted. He stressed the recent passage and funding of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the green initiatives. After a brief break, David White of Superior Paving hosted a Family Generations panel discussion. As the second generation at Superior Paving, David asked questions of family members from Chemung Contracting, S.L. Williamson and National Asphalt. Ed Dalrymple Jr., Ed Dalrymple III, and Matthew Ciuros are part of six generations in the construction industry. While Stirling Williamson could not attend, Blair Williamson is the third generation to run S.L. Williamson. Finally, Tim Boone and his son, Macklin, work for National Asphalt. While not owners, they are like many families in the asphalt industry, including multiple generations.
W.L. Construction and Paving sponsored Thursday’s lunch banquet. This was the first banquet lunch in recent memory and was a special event for VAA. First, the gavel was passed from David Horton (Virginia Paving Company) to Chris Blevins (W-L Construction and Paving) as the new VAA Chair. Second, the
dates for the 2023 VAA Annual Meeting and location were announced – Virginia Beach Hilton, June 21 to 23. Finally, VAA inducted three great gentlemen into the Virginia Asphalt Hall of Fame. Julius Branscome of Branscome Paving was nominated and honored by his grandson David Branscome Jr. and Ken Taylor of W.L. Construction and Paving was nominated and honored by Chris Blevins. Finally, Ron White of Superior Paving Corporation was nominated by David Helmick and honored by his son, David White. All three men were presented with a jacket to commemorate the induction.
Thursday afternoon was filled with organized events – golf, sailing the harbor and a plantation tour. Many took part in the events while others roamed the city and all it offered. That evening Astec Industries sponsored a reception at the Riviera Theater. Attendees were treated to drinks and appetizers in the ballroom of the historic theater.
Friday morning wrapped up the annual meeting, starting with a hot buffet breakfast sponsored by Associated Asphalt. At 8:30 am, Joseph Shacat, NAPA’s director of sustainability, spoke about the industry’s plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As part of the effort, producers’ development of environmental product declarations (EPDs) will be crucial. Presently, some states and federal agencies are requiring EPDs to bid work. On the heels of Shacat’s presentation was a joint discussion by Tim Boone, Environmental Committee chair and National Asphalt COO, and David Lee, VAA vice president. They reviewed the current environmental justice activities and regulations in Virginia. As a plant operator in the middle of Fairfax, Boone said his goal is “to be invisible and blend into the surrounding area.” Kara Alley of Spotts Fain Consulting gave the last presentation of the morning. She reviewed the outcomes of the 2021 elections and the status of the 2022 General Assembly session. She and Trenton Clark unveiled the strategic plan for VAA in the coming year related to legislative activities.
The last official events of the annual meeting were an all-members business meeting and the seating of the new board of directors and executive committee. Added to the board of directors was C.R. Langhorne of Lee Hy Paving. He will serve a 3-year term along with Kevin Jones, Branscome, Inc.; Ken Arthur, Boxley; Marshall Luck, Allan Myers and David Branscome Jr., Branscome Paving. In addition to the newly elected/re-elected board members, the board of directors elected the new Executive Committee for 2022-2023. Members are Chair Chris Blevins, Vice Chair David White, Secretary Bobby Hedrick (Branscome, Inc.), Treasurer Marshall Luck (Allan Myers), First Ex-Officio David Horton and Second Ex-Officio Scott Claud (Colony Construction).
VAA would like to thank everyone who attended and those companies who sponsored events. Mark your calendars for June 21-23, 2023, at the Virginia Beach Hilton. Bring your family, sunscreen and fellow members to the Party at the Beach.