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Young Leaders Gather in The Big Easy


By Josephine Smith

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Young Leaders Annual Meeting took place May 14-18 in New Orleans. Rock Products Assistant Editor Josephine Smith was there.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Young Leaders Annual Meeting the past three years. First off, if you’ve never attended one, plan on coming to the 2014 event. It’s a great opportunity for those age 40 and younger to network with other industry professionals and to discuss and address a wide range of topics. And although it may sound cliché, NSSGA Young Leaders members are more than colleagues, they are family.

Events began on Tuesday, May 14 with a Steering Committee Meeting and Welcome Reception, and concluded with dinner and ceremonies held on Saturday, May 18 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

On Wednesday evening Chris Upp of Conco Quarries Inc. was awarded the Mark S. Walsh Leadership Award. Since Upp is a member of the Steering Committee that chooses the award recipient, measures were taken to lead him to believe that Matt Stoneburner of Emerson Industries was selected. To say the least, he was quite surprised to hear that he was the actual recipient.

The Steering Committee makes it a priority to conduct a community service project during the annual meeting. This year they teamed up with HandsOn New Orleans and the Backyard Gardeners Network. Early Thursday morning, attendees worked together on various projects that included weeding, staining benches and placing mulch/crushed limestone at Guerilla Garden in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Later that afternoon, in lieu of the usual plant tour, we toured the new levee system, guided by Stephen Nelson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University.

The General Session took place on Friday and Saturday. Speakers included Gus Edwards, NSSGA president and CEO; Ward Nye, NSSGA chairman and Martin Marietta Materials president and CEO; and Randy Lake, Oldcastle Materials CEO.