Membership has it's Privileges
Once the general public realized there could be more to concrete than broom finishes and exposed aggregate,they wanted it; contractors and suppliers hurried to meet the demand. Realizing the growing popularity of this segment of their industry, the board of directors of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), in July 1998, approved the formation of its first specialty group, the Decorative Concrete Council (DCC). The ASCC seems to have been right on target.
The man who brought the idea to the ASCC is Frank Piccolo, president of Artcrete, Inc. of Natchitoches, La. He had made several calls to industry leaders before he was referred to the ASCC, and they agreed to develop and promote such a group. Piccolo presently serves as Council director.
Obviously the ASCC was correct concerning the interest and the need for a group focused solely on decorative concrete. At the DCC's first organizational meeting over 100 people were on hand to demonstrate their support for the organization. Many others have followed. “The people in this group are the cream of the crop. They're who we hope to emulate,” said Mitch Leslie of Quality Concrete Co., Billings, Mont. Within weeks after the ASCC had formed the specialty council, membership had reached 110. (Those wishing to join the DCC must be members in good standing of the ASCC.)
In one of its first “public appearances,” the Council presented a seminar and a Mega Demo at the World of Concrete (WOC) 2000. The seminar, “Decorative Concrete Flatwork,” was the most well attended technical seminar in the show's history.
At the WOC 2001, the DCC organized and presented two seminars and six action exhibit demonstrations. Weeks before the show opened, both seminars were completely booked and had waiting lists. Show organizers repeated both seminars during the event. According to Susan Clancy, seminar program director/WOC, USA, it was the first time the WOC had been forced to repeat a seminar on such short notice.
The ASCC continuously monitors the industry pulse and what members want, and is constantly seeking worthwhile new services and benefits to offer members. Some of these services include a nationally-recognized safety manual that members use to develop their own safety programs; two, 24-hour hotlines where members call for expert opinions and a Troubleshooting Newsletter featuring questions from the hotlines; and management information exchange groups (MIX Groups) where non-competing contractors share valuable information about running their businesses. “When a problem comes up I go to the toll-free hotline for help, or I can call someone from my MIX group,” says Tommy Ruturra, president, Ruttura & Sons Const. Co., Inc., Farmingdale, N.Y.
Along with the member benefits of the ASCC, the DCC has its own web site — www.decorativeconcretecouncil.org — its own Troubleshooting Newsletter, and special meetings where DCC members can network and learn from each other.
In addition to improving their own companies, ASCC members work as a body to advance the use and quality of concrete construction. Presently the DCC is moving toward developing construction guidelines designed to improve quality installation techniques. Piccolo sees the DCC as “taking the lead to develop application and production guidelines for the decorative concrete industry.”
The DCC is one of a very few organized groups of contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and others related specifically to decorative concrete. Like the founders of the ASCC, those who conceived the idea of a decorative concrete group recognized the advantage of combining the efforts of many individual companies to benefit an entire industry.
The Decorative Concrete Council is a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC). Made up of concrete contractors that install decorative concrete, manufacturers and other interested parties, the mission of the DCC is to advance the quality and use of decorative concrete systems for both horizontal and vertical applications. Companies wishing to join the DCC must be members in good standing of the ASCC. For information on joining the ASCC call 1-800-877-2753 or visit the ASCC web site.