August 2008 – AggBeat
Mark Fernandes, president of Charles Luck, says the product lines at the new stone center span from a foundation line of more common stones to the legacy line, which include rare and exceptional stone products. “We travel the world to find stones from places like South America, Italy, and China to meet our customers’ needs,” Fernandes says.
Dan McKain – ‘He loved life’
Dan McKain, well known and well liked in the aggregates industry, passed away doing what he loved best – out in the field reporting and taking photos. He was 76 years old. Dan died on May 17 of an apparent heart attack while on a project site in Texas.
He had just finished interviewing several personnel on site, says his wife of 37 years, Gini. “I saw him taking pictures, and a few minutes later, I came to check on him,” she says. “He had just passed away, camera in hand, notes beside him.”
Dan and his wife traveled around the United States in their motor home taking photographs and writing stories on operations, construction sites, and a variety of other subjects. He and Gini were contributors to Aggregates Manager and its sister magazine, Better Roads, as well as several other industry publications. Even though Dan had been regularly using a motorized wheelchair the past few years, he still was always in the middle of the action. After Hurricane Katrina, he and Gini traveled to New Orleans, and because of all the time they spent out in the field, they knew the public officials who could get them into the storm-ravaged areas that many others in the media couldn’t get near.
“He was 76, and he still loved working the construction, boating, and law enforcement beat,” Gini says of her husband’s spunkiness. “He loved the Cajun country of Louisiana, and we did stories and photographed the people there. He loved life.”
Dan’s long list of accomplishments and experiences shows his love of life: he photographed the original seven astronauts and the future space program, as well as many presidents and politicians for the House of Representatives, fought an 80 pound-tarpon, dove for coins on the Spanish Plate fleet in Florida, and many other experiences too numerous to capture all of them, Gini says.
“The adventures go on and on,” she calls. “I was along for the ride and had fun on the way. How wonderful it is today to be able to do what you love until the end.”
Mergers & Acquisitions
A number of acquisitions occurred in the construction materials industry during the past month. On May 5, 2008, National Cement Co., through parent company Vicat SA (Vicat), acquired Walker Concrete Co. Inc. (Walker). Walker, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., produces and distributes ready-mixed concrete in the southeastern United States principally through 14 plant locations. The acquisition strengthens the cement company’s operations and distribution synergies in the southeast market via its cement facility in Alabama and existing concrete plants in that market. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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