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  • 04/28/2022 4:09 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    ACI Southern California Chapter,

    We’d like to acknowledge Kenneth Sears II, who was recently honored as a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute at the Spring 2022 ACI Convention in Orlando, Florida. Ken has been an active member of our chapter for over 15 years, including serving as our chapter’s vice president and president in years past. This distinction as an ACI Fellow is a tremendous honor; a Fellow is an individual who has made “outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products, and structures in the areas of education, research, development, design, construction, or management.”

    This distinction was highlighted in the March 2022 edition of Concrete International, with the following recognition:

    “Ken is the Manager of Sales and Technical Innovation for Orca Aggregates, a Vulcan Materials Company, in Southern California. Prior to his current position, he served in technical and management roles with increasing responsibility in ready mixed concrete for 25 years, and supplementary cementitious materials for 8 years. Sears has held positions within his local ACI Chapter as President and Vice President, served on the Board of Directors, chaired the technical committee, and has assisted with student competitions during ACI Conventions. He previously chaired the local “Greenbook” Public Works Construction Concrete Ad-Hoc Committee for over 10 years. He has been a member of the ACI Southern California Chapter Certification Committee for over 15 years and has been assisting with the Concrete Field Testing Technician - Grade I certification classes as a Supplemental Examiner since 1989. He currently chairs the Concrete Flatwork Associate, Finisher, and Advanced Finisher Certification committee, as well as performs the Examiner duties for this program. In 2013, he received the highest honor the ACI Southern California Chapter can bestow upon a member, the Sam Hobbs Award, which recognizes outstanding service to both the Chapter and the concrete industry.”

    Please join us in congratulating Ken Sears for this outstanding achievement!

  • 04/07/2022 1:44 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    On behalf of the new chapter board, I wanted to take a few moments to update the recent news on chapter activities.  With the arrival of spring, it appears that the pandemic of the last two years may finally be subsiding, and we can get back to the “new normal”.  Those few years have been challenging but the SoCal ACI chapter has managed to function despite those difficulties.  Our thanks to all who have been a part of keeping ACI moving forward.  We hope you and your families are safe and healthy.

    In February the Annual Meeting and Sam Hobbs service award celebration was held.  The event was well attended by over 75 people and included dinner, installation of new chapter officers and presentation of the Annul Sam Hobbs Award.  This year Steve Toland was honored as the 2022 recipient.  Steve is a past president of the SoCal ACI chapter and has served in various chapter roles throughout his career.  Congratulations to Steve on an honor well-deserved.

    The Annual ACI Spring 2022 Convention was recently held in Orlando, Florida.  A few Southern California members attended the convention including roundtable discussions, committee meetings, “hot topic” discussions on current industry trends & ideas as well as social activities with other industry people throughout the country.  At this year’s convention, our very own Ken Sears was recognized by ACI as a Fellow and was acknowledged at the Annual ACI Spring 2022 Convention.  Congratulations to Ken for recognition of his continuous service to the chapter and the industry.

    The chapter recently purchased a new 7’ x 14’ trailer for the certification teams to assist in mobile certifications.  The new trailer will also be available for use at remote sites, for special classes or chapter-sponsored events.  As well, it will help keep equipment and material properly secured and be another tool to provide a higher quality of service to our chapter members.

    As we look forward to spring there are many exciting activities coming up including a student mixer to be held in downtown Los Angeles, a joint meeting with SEAOSC with a presentation of the new Intuit Dome (the new home of the Los Angeles Clippers) and the Annual SoCal ACI Golf Tournament on May 5th at Los Serranos in Chino Hills.  Please feel free to contact me, or any of the board members, for additional information or if you would like to be included in these events.

    In closing, we look forward to 2022.  There are many things to be excited about and plenty of opportunities to get involved, socialize or to be a part of ACI.  Please feel free to reach out to myself or any chapter officers or committee members and get involved.  Hoping to see all of you soon.

    Don Kahn,
    ACI President

  • 01/31/2022 5:24 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    ACI SoCal Board Election Ballot

    Members Click Here to Vote

    Click here to view Board of Director Nominee Bios.

    2022 Board of Directors:

    Past President: Chris Garcia - Pankow Builders

    President: Don Kahn - Largo Concrete

    Vice President: Nathan Forrest - California Nevada Cement Association

    Directors (to serve a 3-year term):

    Jesse Cook - DPR Construction

    Jonathan Layne - Solomon Colors

    Sydney Wilson – CalPortland Cement

    The Nominations Committee thanks all the slated nominees for their dedication to the Chapter as well as the continuing Board members.

    2022 Nominations Committee Slate:

    Amir Bonakar
    Ann Harrer
    Chris Forster
    Charles Kerzic
    Jacob Brennan
    Janeen Oliver
    Kirk Van Matre
    Kenneth Sears

    The Nominations Committee thanks all the slated nominees for their dedication to the Chapter as well as the continuing Board members.

  • 01/26/2022 8:33 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Greetings -

    I hope you and your families had a safe and special holiday season and I wish you a happy new year!  As we find ourselves experiencing another surge of covid cases, I am grateful for the in-person events we held last year. The 24th annual Southern California Concrete awards were held at at SoFi Stadium on November 6th, with 169 attendees.  I would like to thank Heather Todak and Co-Pilots staff who helped organize the event as well as the sponsors who donated generously to make the event possible.  A list of all Concrete Award winners as well as photos of the event are available on our website.

    We also held a mixer in September and were honored to have ACI President Cary Kopczynski in attendance along with 43 attendees from the concrete industry.  Thank you to Paul Heis for organizing the mixer and to the ACI Resource Center in San Bernardino for hosting this event.  See here for photos.

    I look forward to the upcoming Annual Meeting and Sam Hobbs service award celebration which will be held on February 24th at 5:30p at the Fullerton Marriott.  There will be dinner as well as a presentation by the 2021 Sam Hobbs recipient, Josh Cavender.  More information on the event and registration is forthcoming; the chapter leadership will monitor the status of the pandemic and follow local safety protocols accordingly. We look forward to recognizing Josh and the 2022 recipient for receiving this well-deserved award!

    Looking toward the spring, the student activities committee is planning a student mixer to be held in downtown Los Angeles. We will be extending invitations to local college students for an opportunity to gather, network and learn more about our organization.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any student or organizational contacts that you would like to be included in the event.

    Please be on the lookout for chapter officer election ballots, which will be sent to all members via email on February 1st ; ballots will be accepted through the Annual Meeting. On February 24th,we will welcome a new slate of officers and I will be passing the presidential gavel onto our next chapter president.    

    Chris Garcia

    Chapter President

  • 12/28/2021 7:56 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    The ACI So Cal Chapter is saddened by the news and regrets to having to inform our members of the passing of Ed “Griff” Sparks, former Technical Manager for CalPortland Concrete. Griff was very active in the industry and with ACI So Cal. He was President of the Chapter in 1996 and the Sam Hobbs Award recipient in 1999.

    Griff Sparks was a leader in the development of high performance concrete and he was responsible for the mix designs of many of Los Angeles’s iconic buildings including Our Lady of The Angels Cathedral with a 500 year design life. Please join us in remembering Griff Sparks.

  • 10/21/2021 3:37 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Kaihong (Kyle) Hu graduated from UCLA's civil engineering program and is currently interning with DCI Engineers at the San Francisco office. Recently, he designed his first reinforced concrete column using the ACI-318 code and was feeling incredibly thankful to have the code as a design guideline. Kyle appreciates the expertise and research that ACI committees have put into developing a standardized code and promoting the design of safer structures. Next year he will use the ACI scholarship funds to enroll in UCLA's Masters level program in Structural and Earthquake Engineering.  Ultimately, his career goal is to design resilient infrastructure and buildings for our communities, and believes that concrete is an indispensable material in achieving this goal.    

    “I am truly grateful for the scholarship support and will be using it to gain more educational opportunities. Thank you and the Southern California Chapter of ACI for supporting students' education”

  • 09/23/2021 9:56 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    We are excited to present the winners of the 2021 Student Scholarship competition over the next few weeks.  There were seven applicants in total, but three of them stood out as worth of award and recognition.  We look forward to following Matthew, Victoria and Kyle as they start their careers.  First up is Matthew Jacobson (EIT, ENV SP) who graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona on May 23, 2021. He served as the Attorney General for Associated Students Inc. (ASI), an ASCE National Student Ambassador, and Chaired the ASCE Student Presidential Group (SPG). During Junior year he served as the CPP ASCE Student Chapter President leading the student chapter to receive the 2021 ASCE Region 9 Distinguished Student Chapter. During his undergraduate journey he was named one of ten 2020 ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering - Collegiate Edition and one of six to receive the 2020 ASCE Student Leadership Award. Matthew’s current interests are in land development, transportation, planning, and public policy.  Starting in September 2021, he will begin working as a Civil Analyst for an engineering consulting firm, Kimley-Horn, in downtown Los Angeles working on transportation infrastructure and land development projects.

  • 09/07/2021 8:21 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)


    I hope you all are enjoying summer and doing your part to keep your families and community safe. Seeing the economy rebound and life slowly come back to normal has been encouraging and I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!

    As some of you have noticed, we have introduced a new logo. It colorfully captures the impressive built environment of our region and I would like to thank and acknowledge the designer, Josh Cavender. We have also completed the process of revising our chapter By-laws, which have been posted to the website. Thank you to Nathan Forrest for spearheading this effort. 

    Looking ahead, one of my goals for our Chapter in 2021 is to expand ACI’s impact and prominence among the thousands of local college students working towards careers in the concrete industry here in Southern California. I’m excited to announce that we have awarded three $2,500 scholarships to local students with the proceeds from our annual Howard Lux Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament in May. We will be publishing profiles next month to recognize the scholarship winners, Ms. Victoria Dam of USC, Mr. Matthew Jacobson of Cal Poly Pomona, and Mr. Kyle Hu of UCLA. I would like to congratulate them for their achievements and look forward to seeing them succeed in their professional careers.

    With COVID-19 vaccination rates rising, our chapter’s leadership has decided it is time to resume in-person events with appropriate health and safety protocols. In partnership with the ACI Resource Center in San Bernardino, we are hosting an Open House next week on Thursday, September 16. Feel free to join anytime between 3 and 7pm to network and enjoy appetizers and cocktails – use this link to register. Students are also invited at a reduced price. The ACI International President, Cary Kopczynski, John Nehasil, Managing Director of Certification and John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities will be in attendance. Come and meet with them and your industry colleagues!

    We are also currently working with ACI’s Engineering Director Matt Senecal, who is planning a technical presentation for the Chapter to be held in early October. We anticipate sending more information with details and registration information soon.

    The ACI Southern California Chapter Concrete Awards is currently open for entries! The deadline to submit projects is Monday, September 13. For the Concrete Awards event this year, we are organizing a special dinner celebration at the brand new SoFi Stadium, so mark your calendars for the evening of Thursday, November 4. Sponsorships for the event are currently being accepted - click here to sponsor. Thank you to Heather Todak and others on the committee who are working hard to organize this event which will include dinner, cocktails, and raffles! Registration for the event will open soon.

    Our programs committee is planning a few more events but is always open to suggestions from our members. If you would like to share ideas for 2022, please email

    Lastly, the ACI Convention will be held in-person from October 17th thru 21st in Atlanta, Georgia. The deadline for the lower-priced registration is coming up on September 12th.

    Chris Garcia
    2021 Chapter President

  • 06/18/2021 12:17 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    The Board and members of ACI SoCal Chapter are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Stefan Reder earlier this week. He was an energetic and active participant in our Chapter, served as the 2016 President, and was honored with the Sam Hobbs Award in 2019. His family extends the invite to celebrate the life of Stefan “Stef” Reder on Friday, July 9th at 11:00am at Holy Family Catholic Church, located at 9974 I Avenue in Hesperia. There has also been a Go Fund Me page set up to support his family through this devastating transition.

  • 05/12/2021 8:49 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)


    Like many others here in California, I recently received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and I’m feeling optimistic that this terrible disease will soon run its course.  It’s encouraging to see so many people embracing vaccination with close to 50 percent of Californians fully or partially vaccinated.  I would like to thank you all for helping stop the spread.

    As of March, California construction employment is only 0.8 percent lower than it was one year ago, which is a great indicator considering last year’s job losses.  As our workforce continues to grow, I wanted to highlight a resource many people may not know about – the ACI Career Center  (LINK), which compiles available job opportunities and great candidates for openings specifically within the concrete construction industry.   In order to increase usage in California, ACI has offered a 20 percent discount on Career Center products through the end of July.  To take advantage of this discount on your next job posting, use the coupon code ACISOCAL2021.

    As a reminder, we currently have an open ballot to vote on the revised by-laws, available for review here.  Current members can use this link  to cast their vote.  The ballot will remain open until Friday, June 18. 

    We will have our Join ACI/SEAOSC virtual meeting on May 19th at 12-2pm PST.  The meeting will start with an update on what is happening with ACI at the national and local level and then focuses on a discussion about concrete modulus of elasticity (MOE) and its importance to both designers and suppliers of concrete. Our two presenters will be the ACI national President, Cary Kopczynski, and MasterBuilders Solution’s Director of Sustainable Concrete Technology and Solutions, Andreas Tselebidis.  Click here to sign up.

    I am pleased to announce that for our next event, Don Davies with MKA Structural Engineers will present on Concrete Sustainability- which will address the exciting trend of lowering the carbon content of concrete.  This virtual event will be held on May 26 at 12PM and will include Los Angeles-specific case studies of successful implementation of lower carbon concrete solutions.  I look forward to learning more about this important topic and hope that you can join the discussion.  Click here to sign up.

    I would like to thank Clayton Garrison for volunteering to chair the Student Activities committee as well as acknowledge the outgoing chair, Tim Saenz for his year of service.  Please help spread the word for our chapter-sponsored $2,500 student scholarships! This opportunity is open to local University students pursuing a degree in Civil/Structural Engineering, Construction Management or Architecture.  Please visit our website to see the application requirements, selection criteria as well as an online submission form for applications due June 1.  One of the committee’s goals is to hit the ground running when students come back to school in the fall. If anyone has any connections with faculty or student leaders at local Universities, please reach out to us with an email to

    On May 3rd, ACI opened a new Resource Center in San Bernardino.  There has been an increasing demand for ACI knowledge and the ACI Resource Center will offer on-demand access for all ACI certifications and other educational and training offerings.  For more information, please visit this website.

    Lastly, the ACI Concrete 2020 Spring Convention was held virtually at the end of March and 74 people from our region participated.  Everyone is hopeful that the next convention in October will be in person in Atlanta, Georgia. 


    Chris Garcia

    2021 Chapter President

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