The 62nd Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa (APAI) Annual Convention held November 29th and November 30th at the West Des Moines Marriott broke the all-time attendance record for the event with over 400 attendees. That was not all, the APAI Scholarship Auction broke its previous fund-raising record with over $31,000 to go to engineering students at Iowa’s three major universities. The theme of the annual event in 2017 was “Asphalt Drive in Style” and featured a 50’s classic car, old-school speakers and enough fun to raise a pompadour. “This event was an over-the-top success,” said Bill Rosener, Executive Vice President of the APAI. “The décor was classy-cool, the speakers were informative and interesting, and the generosity of our members was unparalleled. I couldn’t be more proud of the membership of this great association.”

Wednesday, November 29th was the APAI Membership Day, full of committee meetings, important industry information and a great presentation by Steve Marso and Matt Jacobson on ethics in the construction industry. Wednesday evening was a fun-filled romp back to the 1950’s with a carnival fresh from “Grease”, along with Dance Contests, a Hula-Hoop Competition and a Best Costume Award. A special thanks to Jodi McGonigle and the Staff of Flagger Pros for their great work in bringing the era to life and Jeff Burroughs of Burroughs Consulting for spinning the wax and laying the tracks.

Thursday was an action packed day of speakers, including Directors Mark Lowe, Mitch Dillavou and Charlie Purcell of the Iowa DOT; Matt Cox from the City of Council Bluffs, Terry Smith of HGM Associates and Jeremy Delaney of Omni Engineering presenting on the West Broadway Perpetual Asphalt Street Project finished this fall; Dr. J. Richard Willis from NAPA on asphalt’s continuing leadership on the environment; and Wally Adamchik, a fiery Retired Marine Sergeant who gave a tremendous talk about leadership in all areas of life. The 2017 APAI  Awards Luncheon was a tremendous success and concluded with Brady Meldrem, President of Norris Asphalt being inducted into the Iowa Hot Mix Asphalt Hall of Fame. The Thursday afternoon presentations on Five Things You Need to Know in the Next Five Years was full of critical information on what contractors will be facing and tools they can use in the future.

Thursday night's Presidential Banquet saw the passing of the gavel from 2017 APAI President, Brad Henningsen of Henningsen Construction to 2018 President Ron Hall of Knife River Midwest. The 2017 APAI Member of the Year Award went to Dr. Joe McGuire of Old Castle Midwest for his tireless work and sacrifice on behalf of the industry. The APAI raises money each year for the APAI Scholarship fund through fundraising events at the two APAI golf outings and the Silent and Live Auctions at the Annual Convention. In 2016, the APAI was able to give out $31,500 to 21 students at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. Thanks to a very capable auctioneer in Mr. Clete Schultz and a very generous crowd of APAI Contractors, Suppliers and Associate Members, the 2017 auctions raised a record $31,000 to go-hand-in-hand with the $7000 raised at the APAI golf outings.

“The APAI Annual Convention is a time to celebrate a safe and successful season for our members, suppliers and our partners at the state and local agencies. The one thing that sets Iowa’s asphalt industry apart from others across the nation, is the rich camaraderie that flows through this group. We compete tooth and nail for work, but we respect the qualities that binds us together as part of a greater brotherhood and sisterhood of asphalt men and women,” said Rosener.

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