ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/297030
F E AT U R E by Craig A. Shutt Industry Honors John Dick Retiring executive editor of ASPIRE achieved many goals during long tenure in precast concrete structures industry 12 | ASPIRE , Summer 2012 As noted in last issue's Editorial, Executive Editor John S. Dick has retired from his duties with the magazine, as he earlier retired from his position as director of transportation systems at the Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). His long career in the precast concrete structures industry has had a big impact and left him with many colleagues who appreciate his contributions. " J o h n i s t h e c l o s e s t t h i n g t o a renaissance man that I've seen in my career," says James G. Toscas, president of PCI. "He truly knows how to do a tremendous variety of things and to do them very well. He also has a great work ethic. Who else would continue helping us for more than three years on ASPIRE™ after he had retired?" Indeed, John retired from PCI in 2008 and moved from PCI's home base in Chicago to Monument, Colo., with his wife Nancy. There, he has enjoyed a more relaxed pace and a chance to spend more time with his daughters, Stephanie and Jennifer. Even so, he c o n t i n u e d d i re c t i n g A S P I R E a f t e r conceptualizing the magazine in 2006. "John has been a stalwart for ASPIRE since its inception," says William Nickas, who succeeded John as director of Transportation Systems and is one of several PCI staffers to take on John's magazine duties. "He is extremely well organized, always on target, and loves concrete to the point that his blood must be gray. His quiet, calm demeanor invokes a fatherly, faithful man and always made me think he was a southern gentleman. Replacing John is a mission impossible, so we are going to take a team approach." Early Days A S P I R E i s b u t o n e o f m a n y accomplishments that will continue after his retirement from PCI. They are the product of a career that began in the precast concrete industry in 1970 f o l l o w i n g h i s graduation from the University of W y o m i n g w i t h a B . S . i n C i v i l Engineering. J o h n s p e n t 1 4 years in a variety o f p r e c a s t i n g c o m p a n i e s before becoming owner/president/ general manager a t A m e r i c a n E x p l o s i v e s I n c . , w h i c h p ro v i d e d custom blasting services. In 1986, h e j o i n e d P C I , a n d s p e n t t h e r e m a i n d e r o f h i s c a re e r w i t h a singular goal, championing the u s e o f p r e c a s t concrete products. H e b e g a n a s d i r e c t o r o f s t r u c t u r a l p r e s t r e s s e d concrete services and soon added t h e d u t i e s o f director of plant certification. "John was instrumental in making plant certification a qualification for PCI m e m b e r s h i p , " s a y s To m B a t t l e s , president of PCI as of 1987 and a predecessor to Toscas in the position. "It took an awful lot of effort by John, his committees, and staff to make it mandatory. Once it was, it really put the program on the map and gave PCI a significant marketing boost." He also was responsible for expanding the erection-certification program. "John was the driving force behind that expansion," Battles says. "He did it by building an excellent plant certification committee and riding herd over it. He All photos: PCI. ASPIREBook_Sum12_R02.indb 12 6/29/12 12:38 PM