Chapter History – Founded in 1993

In the Spring of 1993 Chuck Ernest, Willie Goncharow, Jim Lucas, George Arnold, Rob Kennerly and Robert Thaxton met in the office of Guaranteed Supply to talk about the possibility of starting a local chapter of The International Association of Concrete Repair Specialists. To gauge the interest of concrete repair professionals in North and South Carolina, these gentlemen organized meetings in Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte and Greenville, SC. Each of the meetings featured an industry speaker plus dinner and a cocktail hour. The meetings were very well attended, and as a result, the organizers decided to charter the Carolinas Chapter in the Fall of 1993.

Chuck Ernest agreed serve as the president of our startup chapter for the first two years to secure a solid foundation for continued growth. Several of the other founders also served terms as chapter president and Robert Thaxton even went on to serve as the president of the National ICRI Organization. The Carolina’s Chapter continued to grow and was eventually recognized by the National Organization as the leader in chapter programs and membership.


Past Chapter Presidents

Chuck Ernest

Robert Thaxton

Willie Goncharow

Ralph Thompson

George Arnold

Jim Lucas

Jed Daniel

Gary Cox

Mike Morse

Mike Parker

Russ Botos

Don Ford

Greg Tierney

Carlton Steinmetz

John Lambert

Jim Hadley

Keith Harrison

John McDougall

Jeff Molby

Doug Saunders

Tara Cavalline

Paul Farrell

Hayes Thompson

Robert McDowell

Bruce Stoerkel

Steve Moore

Courtney Green

Bill Brickey

John Ammons

Presidential Summaries

Chuck Ernest – 1993-1995
Starting from zero! What could be more fun than giving birth to an organization that we now value so much! I remember our first organizational meeting at Bel-Air Golf Course in Greensboro to gauge interest in forming a local Chapter of ICRI. With strong interest and a promise of support we held our official Planning Meeting #1 in October 1993. With the “Guide to Chapter Organization and Operation” from the International Association of Concrete Repair Specialists (as is was first known) as a guide we drafted our Carolinas Chapter By-Laws in November of 1993. We submitted our petition to establish The Carolinas Chapter of ICRI to the national Board on November 29, 1993. That petition was signed and submitted by George Arnold, Willie Goncharow, Robert Thaxton, Zeb Wells, Rob Kennerly, and me. Now the real work begins! The Steering Committee’s early goal was to set up meetings in early 1994 to stimulate interest in our chapter organization. We started right away with goals of having strong technical programs, quality speakers, and getting design professionals involved. We had a speaker present a short technical program at each of our organizational meetings to demonstrate our commitment to technical programs. Support for our efforts was overwhelming at our meetings in Charlotte in January and in Greensboro and Raleigh in February of 1994. The Steering Committee continued to meet throughout early 1994 and with the help of others who signed up as a result of our regional meetings, we held our first Spring Technical Meeting of the Carolinas Chapter of ICRI at Foxfire in Southern Pines on June 2 & 3, 1994. Thirty-six attendees were treated to presentations on “Concrete Repair Basics” by Peter Emmons, John Hanson, and Chuck Knight—three of the best in the industry. Our inaugural Board of Directors consisting of George Arnold, Ralph Thompson, Rob Kennerly, Bob Wiggins, Bob Speed, and Gerry Walters was elected at that meeting. The Board members turned their attention to South Carolina to augment our North Carolina membership. To that end local interest meetings were scheduled in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville/Spartanburg in August of 1994 featuring Lester Hensley as the speaker. Interest was strong and our first Fall Technical Meeting of the Carolinas Chapter of ICRI was held in Charleston, SC on October 21 & 22, 1994. Forty-one attendees were present for a program on Earthquake Related Repair. The program featured presentations by Mike Devlin of Law Engineering, Charles Lindbergh-Consulting Engineer, and Steve Barton of Prime Resins. The program was excellent, the golf was great and we were on a roll with two meetings under our belt! In the Fall of 1994 Bob Speed, chairman of the Education Committee, began to work on a very important aspect of our technical programs that we now take for granted. That is our providing PDH’s to engineers for attendance at our technical programs. The committee applied for and was granted a Sponsor’s Certificate by the North Carolina Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. We provided our first (5) PDH’s for attendance at our Spring meeting at Southern Pines on June 2 & 3, 1995, and have continued to do so for all programs since. Our membership at that time was 55 strong! I enjoyed my role in helping to start the Carolinas Chapter of ICRI and to see that it is a valued part of the concrete repair industry in the Carolinas. I have learned a lot from my friends in ICRI over these 13 years and I am proud of the educational contribution that the Carolinas Chapter makes in our profession and our industry. The Chapter continues to grow and prosper under talented and dedicated leadership. The efforts of the original steering committee have certainly been rewarded!

Robert Thaxton – 1995-1996
I had the honor of starting from “zero” both the National and Local level. The national started in Naperville, Illinois on May 21, 1988 with 66 Repair specialists. With the goal being to bring together the repair engineer/designer, the repair contractor and the manufacture of the repair materials as a “team” to provide quality concrete repairs to the owner. It did not take IACRS long to decide that one of the more important elements to this plan was to create a strong local presents thru the formation of chapters. Although our Carolinas Chapter was not the first, it was and still is one the most successful chapters today. I feel that our the success stems from our charter members, first slate of officers and our inaugural board of directors being an equal number of Engineers, contractors, and material manufactures and distributors
I know that this has nothing to do with what happened when I had the “helm”, but it does speak to how and why we” THE CAROLINAS CHAPTER” is the chapter that all others follow and look to for leadership As Chuck indicated in his history, we started in the fall of 1993. The plan was that we would re-elect officers in the fall and use that meeting for the installation of the new board…we were having so much fun we decided to move the election to our spring meeting. I took over in the spring of 1995. Again, we were having so much fun in the spring of 1996, that we decided to move the election of officers back to the fall meeting. I turned it over to Willie and team in the fall of 1996. I think the fall meeting in 1996 was our first meeting at Ocean Creek…if I am correct this will be our 10th anniversary at this location. This type of meeting was the first of its kind within the ICRI organization, and I know first hand that Milt Collins, ICRI executive director, used our meeting format as a guide to setting up the national meetings. We were also the first chapter to have an executive director, Derrick Ellington. He got the meeting notice printed and mailed along with other “stuff” that nobody else wanted to do. He claimed a web sit for our chapter guess who we gave that to??? This chapter is reached its goals not by the work of a few, but through the hard work of a team of the most dedicated professionals I ever had to privilege to know and work with.

Willie Goncharow – 1996-1997
My year 1996-1997 serving as President of the Carolina’s Chapter was a continuation of many of the start up ideas the Steering Committee and initial Board had in place. The involvement and level of commitment to expanding the educational aspect of the new association was one highlight I will always remember. Every one knew we had to hold informative and interesting meetings to retain and grow our membership. Chuck Ernest and Robert Thaxton had set the benchmark very high. The spring meeting in February 1997 held at the Holiday Inn in Greensboro, N.C. The topic was “Moisture Transmission through Concrete Slabs On Grade- Problems and Solutions.” Presentations were by Mr.Urs Hussey, Director of Product Management for Sika Corporation on “Osmotic Blistering” and by Mr. Robert Cain of KRC Associates, on Moisture Vapor Transmission and related materials Then we held another single day technical meeting in May at the Holiday Inn in Raleigh, N.C. The topic was “Overview of Expansion and joint Control Systems” and the presenters included: Anthony Chrest of Walker Parking Consultants, John Sobol of Harris Specialty Chemicals, Dan O’Hayer of Emseal, Tom Meachum Of Capital Services, Phil Sterner of Dow Corning and Bradley Kempthorne of Chemtron. The fall educational presentations included a program on “Combating Corrosion in Existing Structures.” Mr. David McDonald, PhD. PE, Wiss Jenney Elstner, Northbrook IL. presented the case for Corrosion Evaluation, and Mr. Ali Schwaghpurwals with Concorr, of Ashton Va. on Assessment of Corrosion Conditions. This was again held at the Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. We had Five Scholarship Attendees; all were very appreciative of the opportunity. One additional note of interest for the year we held our first ever “dry” Golf Tournament. The Board of directors included,
Ralph Thompson-Vice President
Bob Wiggins-Secretary
George Arnold-Treasurer
Robert Thaxton-Past President
Directors included,
1 year term – Bob Speed, Gerry Walters
2 year term – Roger Koehler, Jim Lucas
3 year term – Mike McCaughey, Jed Daniels

Ralph Thompson – 1997-1998

George Arnold – 1998-1999

Jim Lucas – 1999-2000
The year 2000 was highlighted by a series of three strong technical seminars that the chapter produced which led to the Carolinas Chapter receiving the Outstanding Chapter designation The first in the series was April 17 & 18, 2000. Approximately 100 attendees gathered at the National Guard Armory in Charlotte, NC. This was the first ever Mega-Demo which brought together eight teams of Repair Contractors and Product Manufacturers producing 8 one hour presentations and demonstrations. Each demo was brought in to the Armory on wheels and all eight demos were completed in 91/2 hours. Bob Kennerly of Sutton/Kennerly Engineers moderated the show. This was followed on July 16, 2000 by a Conference held at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC. This was headed by Michael R Pendergraft of Turner, Enochs and Lloyd, PA and discussed the many issues regarding warranties bonds and Insurance. We wrapped up the year with the Annual Conference October 6-7, 2000 in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was again the hit of the year at Ocean Creek Resort. Six Engineering firms were able to spotlight their companies and the highlight was the Repair Project of the Year. Our goal was to get Carolina engineering firms more involved with our chapter and this was a great success.

Jed Daniel – 2000-2001
We had a GREAT time during my year as President. The Board was as strong as ever. We collectively pursued the award which we all thought was long overdue – CHAPTER OF THE YEAR. We used National’s point system as a road map to SUCCESS! We had three meetings that year with the spring conference MEGA-DEMO II (Jim Lucas’ brain child) in Charlotte, NC; summer conference in Greensboro on legal issues; and the annual convention in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our office at Seager Waterproofing acted as the administrator for many years. Tanya Meredith in the office deserved a lot of credit for her efforts on behalf of the chapter. Membership was about 60; however, we targeted 10% growth by reviewing the master list and generating a hit list of those people we knew were in the industry but not members. It worked like a charm! We also continued to promote student sponsorships and I believe implemented the awards program. Jed Daniel, P.E.

Gary Cox – 2001-2002

Mike Morse – 2002-2003
I was extremely honored when my peers elected me to serve as presidentduring the 2003 term. The Carolinas Chapter received an Outstanding Chapter Award and this could not have been accomplished without the dedication of the officers and board members who I served with during my term as president. Our primary goal was to provide informative seminars and demonstrations that created an atmosphere that would encourage all members to meet and exceed expectations on their repair projects. We conducted three such seminars during that year. Our annual Mega Demo was held in Greensboro, NC in the early spring followed by an informative seminar held in Asheville, NC and concluded with our annual Fall Convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our membership remained steady throughout the year and we encouraged other members besides the officers and board members to participate in organizing our seminars. These were a great success and some of these members are now serving as officers and board members for the chapter. At our last board meeting we decided not to hold a Mega Demo the following year due to a low turnout and to only hold two seminars the following year. In summary the year went by extremely fast but the rewards that I gained personally by working with this wonderful group of professionals will last a lifetime.

Mike Parker – 2003-2004

Russ Botos – 2004-2005
2005 was a great year to be involved with the Carolinas Chapter of ICRI! We had so much going on, it’s almost too hard to recap. This was the first full year with our new Executive Director, Kelly Andrews onboard and man, what a difference! He & his lovely wife, Kit, hit the ground running! We decided to go back to having 3 meetings this year, a big gamble since attendance had been down and the Summer Conference had been eliminated altogether. And what happens? We break all the attendance records! The Spring Conference was held in Raleigh, NC. It was s simple one day event but we had over 50 people attend. The only downside is that we needed a bigger room to hold everybody. Standing room only! The Summer Conference was held in Charlotte at UNC-C and was an even bigger success. Over 60 attendees at an event that had been cancelled in prior years due to lack of interest. And for the first time, we had a great poolside cookout at the host hotel, provided at no cost by Summit Hospitality Group, the owners of the hotel….thanks to Kelly’s long list of contacts. Expectations were high for our 10th Annual Fall Convention and Awards Dinner at Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach. Another home run! 70 attended. We had some great fun fishing and golfing and celebrating our Project of the Year award winners at the Friday night dinner. 2005 saw the launching of our website, a new look for the Concrete Connection and even a new logo. This was probably the most energetic Board of Directors I had seen! Attendance was up, membership was up, and it was fun again to be involved!

Don Ford – 2005-2006

Greg Tierney – 2006-2007

Carlton Steinmetz – 2007-2008
First, thanks and congratulations to the Board of Directors and themembership for their support in making 2008 such an outstanding year. The year started with a bang accepting the award for Chapter of the Year from 2006/2007 at the ICRI National Convention in Daytona Beach, FL. A special thanks to Greg Tierney for his outstanding leadership in 2007 that led to our receiving Chapter of the Year; it was my honor to receive the award during my term in office, but the work was done on Greg’s watch. We held three conferences during the year: spring in Charleston, SC; summer at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the fall in Myrtle Beach and all we successful in terms of attendance and income. It was a special treat to preside over the 2009 Fall Convention at Beach Cove Resort in Myrtle Beach where we celebrated our 15th anniversary and honored the 14 other past presidents of the chapter and well as commemorating our second Chapter of the year award. And It was a memorable moment to recognize Willie Goncharow as the Distinguished Member of the Year on behalf of the Board . Willie has been more than just a boss, but a friend and an advisor and very deserving of this recognition. And to bolster our efforts in supporting education and our scholarship fund, we held the inaugural events of a joint sporting clay shoot and a golf tournament with the waterproofing Contractors Association. Hopefully the seeds planted by these two events and their respective committees will grow and flourish for years to come.