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MERIT SHOP M E S S A G E Spring 2021




Photo Credits: Eye Wander Photography

Executive Committee



WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS David Helveston Brian Hooks Macie Morgan Ashley Rodrigue Lindsey Russ Jerry Stovall John Walters Shawn Worsham


Chair Shawn Worsham Worley

Chair Elect Josh Rounds Performance Contractors Secretary Bryan Knost Wood Group Treasurer Ryan Girouard Hancock Whitney Bank Vice Chair Education Wes Mincin Triad Electric & Controls Vice Chair Membership Growth Scott Callaway Cajun Industries

Letter From the Chair 2 YP Update 5 Women in Construction 7 2021 Legislative Session 9 Vice Chair Member Letter from the President 14 Services Workplace Fatigue 15 Beau Leitner Doyle Electric Cover Story 17 2020 STEP Participants 20 Third Party Inspectors 22 Vice Chair Governmental Relations SW Crawfish Boil 24 John Cassagne COVID-19 Vaccinations 27 MMR Group Required in the Workplace New Members 28 Vice Chair Outlying Area 2021 Touch A Truck 34 Donnie Braud Sunshine in the Sunshine 36 L.S. Womack State 2021 LSU CM TEAM 37 Immediate Past Chair Carlos Guidry Turner Industries

Board of Directors Ben Brown Turner Industries

Tammy Corripio Primoris Services Corporation John Freeman Brown & Root Industrial Services Adam Landry PALA - Interstate Scott McKnight BXS Insurance Aaron Patrich ISC Constructors Matt Shoriak EXCEL Group Andrew Thompson ISC Constructors Seth Lemoine The Lemoine Company Alternate Board Members: Danny Campbell Triad Electric & Controls Ben Fromenthal Beard Construction Group Legal Counsel: Murphy J. Foster, III Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP



By: Shawn Worsham, Worley

Kevin Brown first told us a very personal story about two of his heroes. He discussed why his son, Josh, and wife, Lisa, were two of his heroes. His son was born with Autism and he told the story of how the doctors, counselors, and education professionals first spoke to he and his wife about all the things that their son would never be able to do. They told them that Josh would be relegated to special education classes and most likely live a subsidized life. He said his wife was sad for about a minute and then got mad. She looked at the lead counselor for the school and said, “We are going to rewrite that script”. Think about how powerful of a statement that is to not accept what you are given but to instead seek a way to do better. We all can choose our path and should never allow others to write our script. Lisa began researching Autism and alternate teaching methods. She also focused on nutrition as it is common for Autistic children to lean towards certain foods. She was fortunate to meet educators along the way willing to spend the extra time it took for Josh to understand the subject matter. Never underestimate the love of a committed parent. Josh eventually graduated high school and attends college in Orlando because he loves Disney and wanted to be close to his “Aunt” Bea. Aunt Bea was not his real Aunt but instead a Disney Chef who he had befriended after an encounter when he was young. Bea went out of her way to prepare a meal that met his requirements and gained a lifelong friend by creating that “special moment in time”. That encounter led Bea to perform research and build a special dietary menu that was adopted by Disney. It shows that you never know the influence that an action can have in your personal

or professional life. The story struck close to home as I have a child on the Autism spectrum. While he excelled at Academics and the Arts, his social skills and dietary habits were a challenge. Like Lisa, my wife devoted countless hours in helping our son learn to respond appropriately and understanding social cues. So, like Kevin, my wife is one of my heroes. Do you have everyday heroes? Thank them if you get the chance. Moving to his professional life, he spoke of the various mentors who influenced his life. He was told by one to look in a mirror until he no longer saw himself but instead saw the reflections of the people who made him who he is. He saw his father and mother, his grandparents, coaches, teachers, and professional mentors and realized that each had an impact on shaping his path. It made me think about some of the mentors who helped me along the way and influenced who I have become. As you read, think about who you would see in the mirror. I wish that I would have had more time with my paternal grandfather and father, but I think about the lessons of hard work that they instilled in me though they were very different individuals. My grandfather was a man of few words and was only educated through the fourth grade. He had apprenticed as a blacksmith and lost an eye when a mule kicked him. He eventually became an equipment operator and despite the lack of depth perception from only having one eye became a grader operator and did the finish grading for I-10 and other highways. I was the first-born grandchild and happened to be born on his 50th birthday. My parents promptly named me after him. He once taught me to hoe weeds in the garden using only seven words when I was very young. The first lesson was the 15 minutes it took to sharpen the hoe with a file. This was followed by a lesson on how to stop my fingers from bleeding.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

During the National and State ABC Conventions we have always been treated to excellent keynote speakers and presentations. The past National Convention in Grapevine, Texas was no different but one speaker, in my opinion stood out from the others. Kevin Brown spoke about heroes and how we define heroes. There are obvious heroes throughout the world in various capacities. It is easy to see heroes in our military, first responders, medical professionals and those that speak out for those who cannot. Some define a hero as “an ordinary person who does an extraordinary thing”. Kevin added to this “…and expects nothing in return”. During his speech he dropped a few nuggets that were worth remembering and spoke about heroes in his personal and professional life.


A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR CONTINUED When we got to the garden, he simply said “pay attention”, and with that he started skimming the surface of the ground with the hoe cutting any weeds and dropping them in the center of the row. When he got to a large clump of grass he said “watch”. He rammed the corner of the hoe under the grass and gave a quick upward thrust that unearthed the roots. He reached down and shook the excess dirt off the roots and threw the grass to the end of the row. When we reached the end of the row, he handed me the hoe and said, “do the next row”. Seven words was all it took. When we finished, he washed and dried the tools, rubbed them down with oil to prevent rust and then hung them in their dedicated space. Here ended the lesson. A two-word lesson was his record. My brother was appointed to a position in the local Masonic Lodge and was receiving some push back from older more experienced members. When he spoke to our grandfather he was simply told to “saw wood”. It took my brother a little while before he understood that he simply needed to do the work necessary and that other people’s opinions would either change or they would not. He progressed in the lodge and became a Shriner and Scottish Rite Mason. Eventually he received the highest award that could be granted for his years of service to the lodge and his community. Do you sometimes spend too much energy trying to satisfy the opinion of people who may have no influence on your success or happiness?

My father moved in with a local family who owned a dairy when he was 12. The family had no children of their own and needed help milking the 50 cows each day. My Father worked for room and board for the family until he joined the Army at 17. Each morning he milked the cows before going to school and then again in the evening after his other chores. His work ethic was second to none and I never knew him to miss a day’s work, no matter his health. When he left the military, he worked with my grandfather on the portion of I-10 between the Sabine River and Welsh, LA. It was there that he met my mother which led to me and my six siblings. We never had much, but wherever we were we had each other. My father continued working until two weeks ahead of his death, when the effects of colon cancer made it impossible. One of my sisters-in-law asked why he waited so long to stop working? My response was that he enjoyed working and it would have been easier to have turned the tide than for him to change his approach to work. To this day, I smile when my boss says that I need to improve my work-life balance. I think to myself how much better my balance is compared to my father. I also tell my employees not to use my balance as an example, but I am thankful to my father for the lessons. Hopefully I have made you think a little and would again ask you to think about who your heroes are and why? Are you living life by your script or by the opinions of others? Who is in your Reflection?

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Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

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Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

KICKING OFF THE YEAR with our YOUNG PROFESSIONALS MARCH 2021 By: Lindsey Russ, Member Services Director

What better way to kick-off the 2021 year with the ABC Pelican Young Professionals Committee than an informative and fun lunch in everyone’s favorite place in town?!

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Over 65 of our YP’s enjoyed lunch and catching up in LSU’s infamous Lawton Room surrounded by Tiger football memorabilia and national championship memories. Before our keynote speaker took the stage, the committee received updates on all things ABC Pelican for the year, plans for the YP committee for 2021, updates on events and membership for the chapter and national and local PAC.


Our special guest speaker, Adam Knapp, President & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, then shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise on the future of Baton Rouge businesses. Following one of the most difficult financial years, it was refreshing to hear all that Baton Rouge has up and coming; also learning where the capitol city stands in comparison to other cities with similar demographics. Knapp focused on how the ultimate goal as an industry and as business leaders is to tap into our very own student population at LSU and Southern to keep our talent local.

As Knapp wrapped up, we were lucky to have former LSU National Champion & NFL player, Justin Vincent, with the Tiger Athletic Foundation offer us a history on the Lawton Room, which recently underwent a large renovation for the team to enjoy. Vincent took the YPs on a tour of the locker rooms, showing us where the players go before the Saturday night football games, during halftime and after. Following the locker room tour, Vincent gave us the history of the purple & gold “win” bar. “Every single football player HAS to touch the bar for good luck before heading onto the field,” he told the committee. The committee then headed out to the field to get a closer look at Death Valley. While the stadium was mostly empty, the freshly cut and painted grass had us itching for the 2021 football season to begin! ABC Pelican would like to thank Turner Industries for their help in setting up this tour. It will surely be one our Young Professionals will remember forever. We can’t wait for Louisiana Saturday Nights this Fall!


Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021


“NEVER GET COMPLACENT, ALWAYS STRIVE FOR THE BEST.” - LAKEISHA MEYERS-JONES LAKEISHA MEYERS- JONES Maintenance Technician, EXCEL Group Lakeisha is a former student of the ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center who currently holds the position of Maintenance Technician at EXCEL Group. Before joining the EXCEL team she followed in her mother’s footsteps and joined the military where she operated equipment. After retiring from her career in the military Lakeisha decided to bring her knowledge to the construction industry, where she has now been for five years. “I love a challenge and believe the construction industry has made me a stronger woman,” Lakeisha says. Lakeisha believes “females can do whatever they want - there is no such thing as “male” and “female” jobs.” Outside of work Lakeisha enjoys spending time with her three sons and working at her dance studio.

SARAH VINNING Welder/Fabricator, Rotor Source Current Student at ABC Pelican

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Sarah is a current welding student at the ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center. She has been in the construction industry for two years and currently holds the job title of Welder/Fabricator at Rotor Source. She says “I was not originally interested in welding, but once I tried it I was hooked!” Her favorite part of her job is organizing her various tools and welding machines. If she could give any advice to women wanting to join the construction industry it would be to start out slow and wrap your head around all that is invovled and figure out where you want to go. Sarah is currently in the process of launching a website called Women Welders Nation for women who want to get involved in the industry but do not know where to start.


FAITH BAUDOIN Welding Student, ABC Pelican Faith is a current senior at Dutchtown High School and welding student at the ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center. She started attending ABC Pelican training when she was a junior in high school. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to get a headstart on my career,” Faith says. She feels, as a woman, empowered when she is in the welding booth.

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION CONTINUED STEPHANIE VALADEZ Analyzer Technician, ISC Constructors Stephanie graduated from the ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center in Electrical and is currently re-enrolled at the training center to complete the level 4 instrumentation class. She currently serves as an Analyzer Technician at ISC Constructors. In her three years in the industry, Stephanie has enjoyed making friends and being able to improve her leadership skills. Her favorite part of her job is troubleshooting and using analytical thinking to solve problems. The advice she would give to other women looking to join the industry; get a trade, go to school, always ask questions and learn as much as you can.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021





By: John Walters, ABC of Louisiana, Vice President, Governmental Relations The 2021 Louisiana Legislative session convened on April 12, 2021 and will adjourn no later than June 10, 2021. The session is considered a fiscal session with most legislative instruments dealing with appropriations, the state budget, and taxes. Legislators can file local and special bills through the 10th day of session. Bills not within the subject matter (fiscal, local or special) are allowed, but must be prefiled and are limited to 5 per legislator. You can rest assured that all bills that promote free enterprise, open competition, or free market determination will be supported. Likewise, you can expect any bills that seek to threaten our merit shop philosophy and our belief in free enterprise and open competition will be met with staunch opposition.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Louisiana’s legislative leadership is attempting to boldly reform and overhaul Louisiana’s tax structure this session. Bills relating to infrastructure spending, sales tax collection, inventory taxes and inventory tax credits, severance taxes, individual income taxes, corporate franchise taxes, and flat taxes have all been filed and are awaiting committee hearings. Stay tuned.


Save the Date: ABC Legislative Reception The 2021 ABC Legislative Reception begins at 4:00pm pm on Monday, May 10th at the Capitol Park Museum (660 N 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802). This is an ABC Louisiana event and is free to all ABC members. Our Legislative Reception will again be a dual reception with the Louisiana Mid-Continental Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA). Please save the date on your calendar and keep your eyes open for forthcoming registration information. The ABC Annual Legislative Reception gives you the chance to visit with legislators in a relaxed social environment. You can discuss issues and bills or simply give Legislators a thank you for committing the time and effort it takes to make Louisiana a better state. The reception gives you the opportunity to “Get into Politics” so you don’t have to “Get out of Business.” We typically have a large turnout of both ABC members and Louisiana Legislators, and hope to see you there.

Biden Infrastructure Plan Rife with ABC-Opposed Labor Policies On March 31, the Biden administration released a more than $2 trillion infrastructure outline titled the “American Jobs Plan.” While the plan calls for federal spending over the next eight years to improve the nation’s infrastructure, including for transportation, broadband, energy, and drinking water, it also includes funding for schools and child-care facilities, affordable housing, workforce development and manufacturing. Importantly, the Biden plan calls on Congress “to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and guarantee union and bargaining rights for public service workers.” The ABC-opposed PRO Act threatens the fundamental rights of workers and job creators while putting the recovery of our economy at risk. Biden’s plan also urges Congress to tie infrastructure investments funded under this plan to ABC-opposed government-mandated project labor agreements/community workforce agreements, prevailing wage regulations via the archaic Davis-Bacon Act and registered apprenticeship programs. All of these policies are likely to increase costs, reduce job creation, decrease the number of infrastructure projects and discourage ABC members and their skilled local workforce


Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



Transportation Infrastructure While the plan allocates $621 billion for “transportation infrastructure,” only a portion of this funding, $115 billion, is dedicated to the nation’s roads and bridges—a fraction of what is needed to truly modernize our nation’s most critical transportation infrastructure. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States has a $786 billion backlog of road and bridge capital needs, including $435 billion in repairing existing roads, $125 billion for bridge repair, $120 billion for targeted system expansion and $105 billion for safety enhancements, operational improvements and environmental projects. Additionally, the plan says nothing about reauthorizing the expiring surface transportation legislation or shoring up the Highway Trust Fund in the future. Additional Provisions in the Biden Plan • $111 billion for safer drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. • $100 billion for high-speed broadband. • $100 billion to upgrade the U.S. power infrastructure. • $213 billion to “produce, preserve and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.” • $137 billion for public schools, community colleges and childcare facilities. • $28 billion for veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings. • $400 billion for “expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities.” • $180 billion for research and development in new infrastructure technologies, climate science and innovation, and racial and gender inequalities in STEM and R&D. • $300 billion for strengthening manufacturing in the United States and creating new manufacturing jobs. • $100 billion for workforce development, which provides $40 billion for a new dislocated-workers program to help workers gain new skills for in-demand jobs, $12 billion for targeting workers in underserved communities and $48 billion to expand existing registered apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and community college partnership programs. Biden’s plan focuses heavily on federal investments supporting prevailing wage rates, project labor agreements, community workforce agreements and registered apprenticeship programs, and calls for Congress to enact the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which implements a slew of costly, anti-small-business policies.

Tax Increases While the plan calls for spending to complete these projects over the next eight years, that includes tax increases that would take 15 years to cover the cost of the $2 trillion plan, including: • Increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. • Increasing the minimum tax on U.S. multinational corporations to 21% and calculating it on a country-bycountry basis to target profits in tax havens. • Eliminating tax subsidies and tax credits for fossil fuel industries. • Beefed-up IRS enforcement on corporations. ABC Responds In a statement from ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman, ABC called for fair and open competition and bipartisan ideas in the infrastructure plan. “Our nation is in strong bipartisan agreement that America’s crumbling roads, bridges, schools and water, energy and transportation systems are in desperate need of modernization in order to accelerate our strong economic comeback and keep our country competitive in a global economy. ABC continues to advocate for any plan to modernize our nation’s infrastructure to include policies to reduce costly and ineffective regulations, ensure fair and open competition, address the construction industry’s skilled worker shortage, embrace new technology, and pursue value-adding, public-private partnerships that can help bring critical construction projects to market in a more economical and efficient manner. Unfortunately, much of the Biden plan ignores ABC’s infrastructure policy recommendations, while proposing tax increases on job-creating construction firms that are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “While policy details are still emerging and the infrastructure plan will need to go through Congress, it is disappointing to see the Biden administration support the use of divisive government-mandated project labor agreement schemes on taxpayer-funded construction projects. Governmentmandated PLAs exclude more than 87% of the U.S. construction workforce from rebuilding their communities and benefitting from well-paying middle-class jobs created by taxpayer investments in infrastructure. It also means taxpayers will spend 20% more per PLA project, which results in fewer infrastructure improvements and less job creation to help America rebound from the pandemic’s economic devastation.


“It is difficult to support an infrastructure plan that excludes the 87% of the workforce that chooses not to join a union and promotes the PRO Act, which eliminates workers’ freedom to choose how to pursue their career dreams, places their personal information security at risk and legalizes intimidation and secondary boycotting against a company’s supply chain and customers.

“We encourage President Biden to work with Congress and stakeholders to pursue a bipartisan path forward that would efficiently and effectively modernize our infrastructure, drive economic growth, welcome every construction professional and deliver value to all taxpayers. ABC will continue to work with Congress and the Biden administration to improve the infrastructure plan.”

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Coupled with a call for Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, it is clear the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan is designed to help powerful donors and special interests instead of all Americans.



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



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Analyzer installations and Maintenance Pneumatic and electronic Installations and maintenance DCS, PLC and wireless systems (SCADA) installation and Maintenance Instrument upgrades

Our experienced management team works directly with our clients coordinating planning, schedules, and cost controls to help ensure turnarounds are safely completed on time and on budget!


WHAT DOES THE PRO ACT MEAN FOR YOU? By: David Helveston, President/CEO

If passed and signed into law, the PRO Act will eliminate opportunities for millions of merit shop employees and non-union companies across America. Employees will be denied the freedom to earn a living on their own terms and pursue the American dream. The variety of employment opportunities as we know it today will no longer exist. The future of the merit shop is on the line, and ABC is fighting to put an end to this controversial legislation. If passed the PRO Act will: Eliminate Right to Work Protections The PRO Act will supersede state law and immediately overturn right-to-work laws in 27 states. Repealing rightto-work protections would strip millions of employees of the right to refrain from joining a union and would result in workers being forced to pay union dues to keep their job. Expose Employee Personal Information The PRO Act will expose workers’ personal privacy by mandating that businesses turn over workers’ personal information, such as cell phone numbers, home addresses and even assigned shifts to union organizers. Remove Free Choice The PRO ACT will strip away workers’ free choice in union elections by instituting a backdoor “card check,” which would, in many circumstances, replace union elections with a system that forces employees to sign union authorization cards in front of coworkers and union organizers.

Limit the Gig Economy The PRO Act will limit the ability of individuals to work in the “gig economy” where they have the freedom to set their own work schedule or otherwise pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. The provision would use the standard adopted in California’s disastrous AB 5, to forcibly reclassify many independent contractors as employees. End Secondary Boycott Protections The PRO Act will allow unions to protest and boycott companies that are not directly involved in a labor dispute by eliminating the NLRA’s 70-year ban on secondary boycott activity. If this provision is signed into law, unions could target not only the employer involved in a labor dispute but also any company that does business with that employer. Interfere with Attorney-Client Confidentiality The PRO Act will interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

As contractors struggle to rebound from the COVID shutdowns, the Biden administration offered a glimmer of hope with the announcement of a major infrastructure spending package. Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the massive spending would go towards roads and bridges. Even worse, the Biden plan calls for the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill that would threaten the existence of the merit shop construction industry.


Workplace Fatigue: Don’t Sleep on It Employee fatigue, a widespread major concern in the workplace, increases the risk of accidents and injuries, reduces productivity, and causes employee absenteeism. According to the National Safety Council, more than 43% of workers are sleep deprived. Predictably, this problem increases for workers who do shift work and/or take night shifts.

LWCC delivers best-in-class workers’ comp insurance, focused not just on life-long care of the injured worker, but providing improved safety, health, and wellness to workers across the state. We are Louisiana Loyal. Always.

Fatigue is more than just feeling tired. By definition, fatigue refers to mental or physical exhaustion that reduces one’s capacity to perform work safely and effectively. Signs of fatigue include tiredness or sleepiness, irritability, reduced alertness or memory, increased mistakes or lapses in judgement, and lack of motivation. Employees certainly play a role in preventing fatigue and some causes go beyond the workplace. However, there are still several ways employers can reduce fatigue at work. Here are some tips to successful fatigue risk management:


When shift scheduling, develop consistent schedules with frequent breaks, and schedule no more than four night shifts in a row


Balance workloads and proper staffing

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



Develop a report system for fatigue-related incidents


Train employees on fatigue and the management of sleep disorders


Train supervisors and managers on monitoring and identifying fatigue in workers

By identifying fatigue and taking proactive measures before it becomes an issue, you can ensure a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for your entire team.

LWCC remains dedicated to helping our state thrive, as we continue to better Louisiana one business and one worker at a time. Learn more about our commitment to Louisiana at



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

2020’S TOP PROJECTS finally RECOGNIZED COVER STORY | MARCH 2021 By: Macie Morgan, Membership & Communications Coordinator

In true 2020 fashion, we were unable to recognize the 2020 Excellence in Construction Award Winners in December of 2020, like usual, but were thrilled to recognize these incredible projects and companies on March 18, 2021. Of the 32 projects that were submitted last year, 25 were awarded Excellence and Merit awards. Thirteen projects from eight different companies received an Excellence award and 12 projects from 10 different companies received a Merit award. The night started with cocktail hour provided by pelican member, Catering Cajun, where the attendees were able to browse the project posters and mingle with fellow award winners.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

As the dinner began we were lead in pledge and prayer by Josh Rounds, ABC Pelican Chair Elect followed by a few words from 2020 Chairman, Carlos Guidry who recognized all of the incredible things ABC Pelican and its members did in a not so incredible 2020.


The 2020 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Award recipients were recognized by Pelican President David Helveston (see page 15). Helveston also recognized the 2020 ABC National EIC WInners. Eagle Award winners include Cajun Industries, LLC for their Entergy Churchill Substation Project and Performance Contractors, Inc for their Total Petrochemicals - Effluent Piping Replacement Project. Classic Industrial Services (Sofidel: Autumn II), Moore Industries, LLC (ExxonMobil Occupied Buildings BRCP CPMO and Lab Hardening) and Cajun Industries, LLC (Shintech SPP3 - Utilities Civil) all received Pyramid Awards. After the recognition of the STEP award recipients and National EIC award recipients, the 2020 ABC Pelican Excellence in Construction winners began taking the stage. Excellence winners included; Cajun Industries, LLC (4), GROUP Industries, LLC, The Lemoine Company (2), EXCEL Contractors, Inc., Barriere Construction Co., LLC, MMR Constructors, Inc. (2), Classic Industrial Services, and Moore Industries.

COVER STORY CONTINUED Merit winners included; MAPP (2), APC Construction, LLC, Beard Construction Group, Great River Industries, RES Contractors, LLC, Performance Contractors, Inc., Arkel Constructors (2), Westgate, LLC, MMR Constructors, Inc. Sealevel Construction, Inc. For two years now the Pelican Chapter has picked a project to present the ‘Pelican Award’ to. The Pelican Award goes to the member company that used the most ABC Pelican members as subcontractors or suppliers on their projects. This year, the Pelican Award was awarded to Cajun Industries, LLC for the Shintech - SPP3 Utilities Civil project. A ‘Project of the Year’ award is also chosen every year and this year it was awarded to Cajun Industries, LLC for the ExxonMobil BIOX Floating Sludge Mitigation Project. On belalf of the ABC Pelican Chapter, congratulations to all of the companies that were considered excellent in construction in 2020, it is an honor to have all of you as members.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

We would also like to thank our Excellence In Construction Awards Banquet Sponsors. Thank you to Performance Contractors for the video production, Eye Wander for the beautiful images, EXCEL Group for the centerpieces, Gulf Coast Occupational Medicine for the health screening, RES Contractors for sponsoring the program, Great River Industries for being an event sponsor and Turner Industries for sponsoring the delicious desserts.


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Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



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Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021




Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



If you’ve been in conversation with anyone in the construction industry over the past month, you have likely either overheard or been part of the chatter about the state of third-party inspectors. If this is the first time you’re hearing the phrase “thirdparty inspector,” here’s a quick catch-up. In the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council (LSUCCC) adopts and manages the standards and associated rules that you and your companies utilize to build structures, residential and commerical. The council is an arm of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM). And while the SFM conducts final inspections on just commercial construction relative to the fire code only, the certified building officials (CBOs) within the municipalities and/or parishes where any construction work is done are tasked with doing final inspections on the quality and integrity of the work you do in relation to the codes and standards put in place by the LSUCCC. However, many municipalities and/or parishes, known as “Authorities Having Jurisdiction” (AHJs), will also accept these final inspections from independent building inspectors that are not employed by them, known as third-party inspectors. All CBOs, their employees, and third-party inspectors are required to have certifications establishing their qualifications to conduct certain inspections. All three types of building inspectors are also required to register with the LSUCCC annually to confirm their certifications are still valid and to acknowledge they are working in the state under only the parameters allowed by their certifications. The concept of third-party building inspectors has, traditionally, been a win-win. These independent building inspectors can help fill in the gaps of staff-shortages within AHJs and the extra work can supplement the third-party inspector’s “day job” if they aren’t an independent building inspector full-time. Unfortunately, the recent chatter has been about a spotlight shining on the not-so-great aspects of the thirdparty inspector world. News reports in the New Orleans area have uncovered allegations of potential conflicts of interest

and fraudulent inspection operations and reports leading to questions, understandably, about the quality of construction work across the state. The conversation has included the lack of strong oversight over this portion of the industry, which currently only allows for the LSUCCC to do an investigation following formal complaints, which are rare. Those investigations can only result in the suspension and/or revocation of registration with the council, nothing more. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning has offered comment in these news reports expressing interest in not only more robust oversight capabilities and consequences, but even increasing the involvement of the agency in the overall management of the building inspection industry to become similar to the licensing system currently required for all life safety and property protection companies and individuals in Louisiana. The impact on the industry has been a double-edged sword. The already-limited building inspector pool is quickly dwindling amid fears that the risk of criticism and consequence far outweighs the reward. At the same time, many building inspectors, CBOs and third-party, are stepping up their game to ensure they and their workers are fully-versed on the state’s building laws, codes and rules and that quality assurances are not only followed but are improved to be better than required. Also, there is legislation filed in the current session considering prohibition of Remote Video Inspections. If you’d like to read more into this bill, you can visit the state legislature’s website and search for HB 437. We say all of that to say this, the quality of your work is about more than just pride; it’s about safety. There’s a standard for safety for a reason. If you didn’t do so before, make sure your work is not just to the standard, but above it. It’s important to your clients, your reputation, and more now than ever, the outcome of the inspections of that work.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

By: Ashley Rodrigue, State Fire Marshal Public Affairs Director



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021


By: Macie Morgan, Membership & Communications Coordinator After more than year, and what seemed like forever, our crew was finally able to head back over to Southwest, Louisiana for something fun! Thursday, April 8, 2021 we hosted our Southwest Crawfish Boil, the first event in Southwest, Louisiana in over a year. The drinks were good, the crawfish were spicy, the weather was perfect and the music was loud. It was a great afternoon enjoyed by over 300 ABC Pelican Members. We changed things up this year and tried a new venue, the Bayou Rum Distilery and it was a hit! The patio was perfect for mingling with members and the air conditioned indoor area was made for pinching tails and sucking heads. The crawfish were cooked to perfection and our dessert sponsor, 24HR Safety provided us with some delicious fried oreos... the best sweet dessert to enjoy after salty crawfish. Our beverage sponsor, APTIM, provided the signature drink for the afternoon, the “Gator Bite,” a refreshing and fruity drink that washed down crawfish, perfectly.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

We would also like to extend a THANK YOU to our other event sponsors, Bengal Crane & Rigging, FallTech and Braun Intertec, this event would not have been a success without their support.



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021





Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021





By: Jerry Stovall, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP

Right now, a surprising number of eligible workers are declining to be vaccinated, with a similar percentage indicating that they will refuse once they become eligible. Depending upon whose numbers you believe, approximately one-half of the health care workers and first responders eligible to receive the vaccine have indicated that they will not do so. This is leading many employers to consider whether or not they should require or incentivize their workers to take the vaccine when it becomes widely available. There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering doing so.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

ADA/Title VII right now, you CAN require your employees to get the vaccine, however, you must accommodate a disabled employee who is unable to take the vaccine (ADA) as well as an employee who objects to being vaccinated due to sincerely held religious beliefs (Title VII). If either the ADA or Title VII applies to your situation, you may not be able to force the employee to accept the vaccine. Rather, you might accommodate the employee by allowing her to work remotely or offer her an alternate schedule that does not require as much co-worker and client interaction.


The EEOC has already stated that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not a medical examination, but questions asked in the vaccination process may well seek medical information in violation of the ADA. This information should remain with the vaccine administrator and not be provided to the employer. FLSA you must consider if the time spent by your workers being vaccinated is compensable time under the FLSA. If you require that they be vaccinated, employees may have a legitimate claim to compensation for the time spent doing so. You can count on plaintiff’s lawyers challenging this in the form of FLSA class-actions. (Yet another reason to include an Alternate Dispute Resolution process disavowing any class or collective actions in your Handbook, but that is an issue for another article.) Workers Compensation/Civil Liability One of the primary

concerns of employers is that they may open themselves to workers compensation and civil liability claims if an employee suffers an adverse reaction due to the vaccine. We obviously do not have sufficient law at this point to say with certainty whether or not these types of claims will succeed, but you can rest assured that employees will attempt to make claims under one or both theories. “Voluntary wellness program” many employers are considering offering employees some sort of incentive to encourage them to be vaccinated. Employers should carefully consider the ramifications of each type of incentive. A cash reward could constitute a non-discretionary bonus that must be included in a non-exempt employee’s regular rate of pay for the period in which it was earned. In addition, employers must consider whether or not offering an incentive would constitute a “voluntary wellness program” that might be prohibited by the EEOC guidelines. (Keep in mind that last month the EEOC withdrew its proposed Rule that would have made it easier and safer to implement such a voluntary wellness program.) Bottom line: Employers should carefully consider the risks and benefits of requiring or incentivizing employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine before they do so.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS! Crawford Electric Supply Co. Location: Baton Rouge Category: Supplier Specialty: Site Electrical Distribution Sponsor: Glen Redd, Triad Electric & Controls Crawford Electric is a distributor and a solutions provider that supplies industry professionals with the tools and equipment needed to power the community. Established in 1990 and headquartered in Houston with branches across Texas and Louisiana, Crawford has grown to become a trusted business partner. United Scaffolding, Inc. Location: Houston, Texas Category: Supplier Specialty: Scaffolding Sponsor: Robert Ficklin, Brown & Root Industrial United Scaffolding provides scaffold rental for end users and contractors in the petrochemical, refining, offshore, manufacturing and power generation industries, as well as the commercial markets.With more than 25 years of experience in the industry and 16.5M piece of scaffold inventory, United Scaffolding has the capability to offer a material rental program specific to each project’s contractual requirements.

Louisiana Companies Location: Baton Rouge Category: Industry Professional Specialty: Insurance/Bonding Louisiana Companies’ unique business model is designed to help you manage your risk efficiently and effectively. Louisiana Companies analyzes the quality and breadth of your risk management program, including your insurance contracts, identifies practical opportunities to reduce risk and thereby help to control and reduce the associated costs. They deliver proactive services that include safety, claims, and risk management services specifically designed to help you reduce your operational costs associated with the exposures unique to your business.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Industrial Tent Systems, LLC Location: Houston, Texas Category: Supplier Specialty: Tent, Table & Chair Rentals Industrial Tent Systems is a leading commercial tent supplier with industrial and commercial tents for sale and rent. ITS provides large scale, commercial tent for temporary warehousing of inventory, base camp tents for military, oil industry use, or even a week-long outdoor market. Industrial Tent Systems can provide you with the best options for buying or renting tents for your specific set of needs.



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS CONTINUED TPS Gulf Southeast Location: Gonzales Category: Contractor Specialty: High Voltage Distribution Sponsor: Keith Gautreau, ISC Constructors TPS provides field service Engineers to perform commissioning and maintenance testing of high voltage electrical equipment for the Utilities and Petro/Chem industries. We have a full service breaker shop at our Gonzales location to repair, rebuild, and retrofit 480V to 34.5KV breakers. TPS also provide Engineering services for power system studies, arc flash analysis, and system upgrades for improved reliability. Ram Tool Construction Supply Location: Baton Rouge Category: Supplier Specialty: Building Materials/Tools Sponsor: Todd Grigsby, Cajun Industries Ram Tool Construction Supply Company is a service company for buyers of construction supplies who value getting the job done efficiently. We do whatever it takes to make sure crews have what they need, when they need it. We put customers in direct contact with well-equipped, wellinformed, ‘can-do’ people, who they can count on to respond to the chaos and unforeseeable challenges encountered on a job site throughout the lifecycle of the job.

Rocky Mountain Industrial (RMI) Location: Baton Rouge Category: Contractor Specialty: GC - Industrial Maintenance Sponsor: Shawn Worsham, Worley/Demp Suchanek, Performance Contractors RMI was founded in 2015 by industrial construction professionals, that each brought a unique talent to the company. RMI is a newer company, but certainly is not new to this industry. RMI is not a traditional business structure that creates a better way to conduct business. RMI provides services in Process Piping, Structural Concrete, Helical Pier Installation, Demolition, Industrial Construction and Maintenance, Refinery Projects, Mid-Stream Projects, Solar Projects, Boilers, Critical Excavation, and MSHA/Mining Projects.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Ahern Rentals Location: Baton Rouge Category: Supplier Specialty: Construction Equipment Rental Sponsor: Brett Dove, Dove Group Ahern Rentals is the largest independently owned equipment rental company in the United States, offering a selection of over 67,000 rental items including over 33,000 high reach units, such as fork lifts, boom lifts and scissor lifts. Its extensive rental fleet includes general rental units, such as backhoes, skid steers, skip loaders, trenchers, compressors, generators, light towers, welders, lawn and garden equipment, hand tools and much more.


WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS CONTINUED Pipe & Steel Industrial Location: Denham Springs Category: Contractor Specialty: GC - Industrial Process Piping Sponsor: Stephanie Chenier, Pelican Promotions Pipe & Steel Industrial is a full service, industrial pipe fabrication organization, fabricating carbon and alloy piping systems for the power, chemical process, refining and oilfield industries since 1998. Bofinger’s Tree Service Location: Baton Rouge Category: Contractor Specialty: Landscaping and Irrigation Sponsor: Josh Zumo, Cajun Industries Bofinger’s Tree Service believes in safe, superior service and strengthening client relationships through honesty, education, and awareness that trees play a vital part in our community, all while promoting a greener environment.Bofinger’s Tree Service is a tree service, tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, tree preservation, mulch, forestry mowing, and more.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Griffin Dewatering, LLC Location: Houston, Texas Category: Contractor Specialty: Dewatering Sponsor: Josh Rounds, Performance Contractors Griffin Dewatering manufactures quality equipment, provides effective construction dewatering services, field operations, hydrology and engineering teams that have done it all. Most importantly, they’ve earned a reputation for keeping construction projects safe and on-schedule, minimizing risk while maximizing peace of mind.


ParFab Location: Geismar Category: Contractor Specialty: GC - Industrial Sponsor: Kevin Alexander, MMR ParFab is a global leader in turnaround, general mechanical, fired heater, reformer and fabrication services. We have a strong driven safety focus. Our experience and attention to detail allows us to consistently serve the Syngas, Petrochemical, Refining, and Energy Industries with top of the line fabrication, construction, and turnaround services. Red Stick Crushed Concrete, LLC Location: Baton Rouge Category: Supplier Specialty: Aggregate Manufacturer Supplier Sponsor: Jeff Romig, Barriere


Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS CONTINUED E.H. Wachs Location: Lincolnshire, IL Category: Supplier Specialty: Equipment Sales/Rental/Service Sponsor: Robin Deloach, United Rentals E. H. Wachs supplies and manufactures precision weld prep and valve operation equipment for energy industries including natural gas, coal, oil and nuclear. Wachs’s machines are powerful, portable and support maintenance and repair in power plants, refineries and pipeline operations. You will find that the Wachs cold cutting equipment provides safe cutting technology for pipe cutting, beveling and flange facing. Infinity Energy Services Location: Bourg, LA Category: Supplier Specialty: Construction Equipment

Sponsor: Ben Fromenthal, Beard Construction/Wesley Littleton, 24HR Safety

Infinity Energy Services was created in 2013 and provides rental equipment to customers in the southern portion of Louisiana. Infinity Energy Services is a distributor for several manufacturers and also supplies parts and supplies to its customers. Infinity has aggressive plans for expansion that will increase our operational footprint. Their location in Bourg is currently constructing a State of the Art Facility which will house our main Headquarters.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Waste Pro of Louisiana Location: Baton Rouge Category: Supplier Specialty: Solid Waste Handling Equipment Sponsor: Lucas Dupree, All Crane Rental of LA Waste Pro of Louisiana was founded in 2001, one of the largest privately owned solid waste & recycling collection companies in the Southeast, operating in ten states.



By: Macie Morgan, Membership & Communications Coordinator

This year’s Drive Thru Touch A Truck was different than previous years but was still enjoyed by all! The ABC Construction Zone featured excavators, backhoes, front loaders, concrete mixers and huge 18-wheelers.

ABC Pelican has been the premier partner of Touch A Truck, presented by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, for the past five years. With the help of our members we have helped the Junior League of Baton Rouge grow this event into a well-recognized and much anticipated community event. While this year was different, we have no doubt that Touch A Truck 2022 will come back better and bigger than ever! Thanks again to our members for helping to put on 2021 Touch A Truck; Eustis Engineering, Primoris Services Corporation, Barriere, EXCEL, ACE Enterprises, Angelle Materials, Quality Concrete, Ahern, Doggett, Five-S Group, United Rentals and JPS Equipment Rental.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Despite the many obstacles, the week of rain, and the mud pit, Touch A Truck 2021 still rolled on Saturday, April 17. The skies were cloudy and gray but the looks on the faces of the attendees were quite the opposite. The attendees enjoyed demonstrations from plumbers, flying and landing police helicopters and learning all about the trucks and machines from our ABC Pelican members, such as, Eustis Engineering, Primoris Services Corporation, Barriere, EXCEL and more.



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



By: Macie Morgan, Membership & Communications Coordinator It was a beautiful morning for an update from our Lieutenant Governor, Billy Nungesser. Our members enjoyed coffee and a delicious breakfast provided by Catering Cajun, while hearing from our Industrial Contractors Council Vice-Chair, John Cassagne, Vice President of MMR Group, followed by an update about Louisiana and how we can recover from the effects of the COVID-19 shutdowns, from the Lieutenant Governor.

We want to thank the Lieutenant Governor and his staff for coming out to speak to our members and another thank you to all our members who joined us for breakfast. Thank you for your continued support of the Pelican Chapter!

Lt. Governor Nungesser has also made other plans to increase the travel to the Sunshine State, including but not limited to, staying in touch with agencies and associations that had to cancel their events in Louisiana in 2020 to hopefully get them to consider Louisiana again for their next events. Along with this, Nungesser has also offered free seafood and local musicians to those that choose to re-plan their canceled event in Louisiana. Nungesser says he is “committed to spending $4 million dollars in every part of the state to give businesses a boost that needed help after the shutdowns. During the breakfast, ABC Pelican President, David Helveston presented two members with Beam Club awards. Wesley Littleton, 24HR Safety, reached the Presidential Level of the Beam Club which is awarded to individuals who recruit and sponsor a cumulative of 25 new members. Jeremiah Johnson, Bottom Line Equipment was awarded the Merit Plus Level Beam Club award, which is awarded to ABC members who recruit and sponsor a cumulative of 15 new members. Johnson also won Beam Club Winner of the Year Award for 2020. He received this award for recruiting the most members in 2020.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

The Lieutenant Governor has put plans in place to bring tourists back to Louisiana after 2020 put a halt to our booming tourism industry. His plan, the ‘Sunshine Plan,’ is a four-part plan to increase spending at Louisiana businesses. His first step will be to encourage the “staycations” for Louisiana residents. In this first step, Louisiana residents will spend money at Louisiana businesses (hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc.) to increase the income of our local businesses. The second step would be regional trips (inviting people from neighboring states back into ours), Lt. Governor Nungesser has offered promotions to these tourists, such as, stay three nights and receive your fourth night free. The third step is to promote long haul trips, inviting residents of other states all around the country to come to Louisiana. The final step will consist of international travel, having tourists from other countries come explore Louisiana and all it has to offer. Lt. Governor Nungesser acknowledges that we are not quite ready for the last two steps, but is hopeful to make them happen soon.



By: Brian Hooks, Triad Electric & Controls

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Every Year ABC National hosts a Construction Management competition for college students to compete in across the country. The teams are issued a real-life bid package that is currently being built somewhere in the country, typically near the location of the ABC National Convention. Past projects have included a hospital in Texas, a hotel in Florida, and a school renovation in California. Step one of the competition includes the team working over a six-week period to create a company, estimate the project, create safety/quality/execution plans, and submit their completed proposal. Step two is typically held at the National Convention where the teams compete in an exercise where they are given an addendum and have six hours to submit their revised price. The teams submitted proposal package along with the addendum exercise are scored and the shortlisted teams are then given the opportunity to participate in the final step of the competition. In step threethe teams are given the opportunity to present


to the judges and complete a question and answer session with the judges. Six years ago, the ABC Pelican Young Professionals Committee partnered with the LSU Construction Management Department in an effort to act as mentors to the ABC Pelican Student Chapter Team. The joint effort between LSU Construction Management and the Young Professionals has strengthened through the years. The students are required to go through an interview process with YP’s to be chosen to join the team. During the six-week bid phase of the competition the students are required to complete at least 65 hours of participation, or 130 hours over a two-year period. This competition gives students the ability to learn and compete in a real-life setting. This has become a way for a group of devoted individuals to gain experience before they graduate and pursue their careers in the construction industry.


The Project scope contained deep excavation, structure, building envelope systems, finishes, specialties, MEPF systems, earthwork, significant site utilities work, hardscape, and various exterior improvements. This year’s team was highly dedicated and knowledgeable. They experienced many hurdles and kept a great attitude through it all. They were notified the first week of the competition that they would not be going to the National Convention in person but would be doing the competition virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this news they did not skip a beat. They met multiple times a week working late hours and even weekends to make sure they delivered a quality product. Once they submitted their proposal, they competed in an addendum exercise, which included, being given many sub-contractor proposals that the team had to

go through and determine the most suitable sub-contractors to use and to adjust their proposal accordingly. They were chosen to compete in the final round of the competition where they performed a 10-minute virtual presentation and a 15-minute question/answer session with the panel of judges. Regardless of the outcome of the competition these students showed their ability to go above and beyond expectations and will be great future leaders in the construction industry.

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

The Competition this year consisted around the construction of a new mixed-use office building in Dallas Texas. The team was responsible for compiling a proposal including demolition, construction, and site development.



Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021

Pelican Chapter, Associated Builders & Contractors

Uncommon LEADERSHIP 2021

Join the 23rd Uncommon Leadership Class in learning the disciplines and practices of leading others. Hosted by ABC Pelican and Human Dynamics, this seven-week leadership development course for ABC Pelican Members will strengthen your management and leadership skills in your career.



•Take greater personal accountability for achieving organizational results •Recognize and understand diverse behavioral styles •Constructively manage conflict and achieve breakthroughs in performance •Assist in the growth and development of people •Develop an audience centered approach to presenting •Strengthen listening and creative problem solving skills



$3,495/PERSON (Includes Lunch & Class Materials)


August 5 – Kick Off lunch September 2 – Foundations September 9 – Dealing with People September 16 – Crucial Conversation part 1 September 23 – Crucial Conversation part 2 September 30 – Presentation skills October 7 – Situational Leadership October 14 – Transformation and Graduation

Questions? Contact Lindsey at or 225.753.2497

Merit Shop Message | Spring 2021



Pelican Chapter, Associated Builders and Contractors 19251 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

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Spring 2021 Newsletter  

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