During its annual convention in April 2023 in St. Augustine, Florida, Geoff Kress, President of Gardner-Watson Decking, Oldsmar, Florida, and Bryan McClure, Partner in Trivent Safety Consulting, Westminster, Colorado, received two of the association’s most prestigious recognitions.
Kress received the William Davis Service award, and McClure was named Person of the Year. The William Davis Service Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a life-long commitment to service in the steel construction industry. The award is the association’s highest honor, and is not issued annually. Recipients of the Person of the Year award have dedicated many hours supporting the association and providing their expertise.
2023 William Davis Service Award
Kress joined SEAA just 23 years ago as a vendor representing G&G Distributors, a supplier of pneumatic tools for fastening deck. But within five years, he made the leap to open his own decking construction company in addition to the tool supply company. Seeking advice and knowledge from others, he started sitting in on board meetings, eventually being voted in as a Director and Officer. He served as Treasurer for seven years.
“Whenever you have a question about the industry, with this group, there is always an answer from within the ranks. Advice is given freely from people who care deeply and who often push the rest of us to do and be better,” said Kress.
“Twenty-some years in the industry is hardly a lifetime for a Lifetime Achievement Award, but Geoff has accomplished much during that time,” said Drew Heron, Awards Committee Chairman. For 16 of those years, he volunteered his time as a leader of the association. Other service includes work on the Canvass Committee, re-writing the SDI-QA/QC standard for installation of steel deck three times over a 10-year period.
2023 Person of the Year
One of the initiatives that the association had been kicking around for many years finally got legs under the tenure of Bryan McClure as Chairman of the Safety & Education Committee—completion of 80+ Ironworker Training Videos. The videos align with specific learning modules in the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Custom Curriculum, and can be used to prepare employees for achieving Ironworker Level 1, 2 or 3, Rigger, Signalperson, or Crane Operator certifications. Access to the videos are free to member companies through the newly launched SteelPros Training Portal.
“This project required someone with the subject matter expertise to manage it. From selecting locations for shooting, to overseeing scripting accuracy, and proofing videos—this was a huge endeavor,” said Pete Gum, Executive Director.
McClure a second-generation ironworker, says he owes his livelihood to his father teaching him a strong work ethic and introducing him to the trades at a young age. During his construction career, McClure has worn many hats, including Ironworker, Foreman, Crane Operator, Superintendent, Craft Instructor and Training Manager. “Teaching safety to others is really where he shines,” said Heron.
McClure has served as a SEAA Director since 2017 and led the Safety & Education Committee as Chairman from 2019 to 2022. He is currently serving as Secretary of the Board. “He’s one of those people who always has a smile on his face, and never makes you feel like he doesn’t have time for you. His safety knowledge has helped shape the bi-monthly Safety Flash newsletters and content for Connector magazine for many years. But this video project was a mammoth task and will impact members for years to come,” said Gum.
About Steel Erectors Association of America
Founded in 1972, SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, contractors, and related service providers. The association promotes safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, including its Ironworker Craft Training curriculum. The association works in partnership with other steel construction, design, and steel product organizations to protect the interests of those who construct steel structures. Learn more at www.seaa.net.