The industry’s future leaders met in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., April 30-May 2, for the annual National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) Young Leaders Meeting. This year set a (non-reunion) year record with 175 attendees – 41 of which were first-timers.
The event was kicked off with an impressive tour of the Cemex Miami cement plant – a highlight for many, including Rock Products Associate Editor Josephine Smith who attended the annual meeting. The plant has continuously produced portland and masonry cements since 1958 when it was operated under Lehigh Portland Cement Co.
It was converted from a wet process to a modern, more efficient dry process design in 2000. The plant modernization increased the annual cement production from 800,000 tons to 1.2 million tons with a large reduction in energy consumption. Cemex purchased the plant in 2007.
This year Rock Products sponsored the Mark S. Walsh Award, which was awarded to Dennis Coker, vice president, aggregates, of Natural Resource Partners L.P. Cocker was honored for his efforts to grow the next generation of young leaders. Rock Products' National Sales Director Sean Carr presented the award during a rooftop ceremony at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Attendees obtained valuable insights from the General Sessions, which was broken up over two days. Speakers included NSSGA Chairman Charlie Luck, Paul Mellott of Mellott Co., Graham Hardwick of Aggregate Industries, Linda Talley, Ph.D. and a panel made up of three “generations” of mentors/mentees: Daniel Grant of Martin Marietta, Dennis Coker and incoming Young Leaders Chairman Brian Mahavier of U.S. Concrete.
The 2016 Young Leaders Annual Meeting will take place April 27-30, 2016, in Austin, Texas.