24 E Blasts
About the YLDG Scoop

The YLDG Scoop Newsletter is moving to a annual format, with quarterly features in the PACA Conveyor. Read on to see what your YLDG group has been up to, what’s next, and a chance to provide your own feedback.

306348839 3067146796879370 986453409155392885 n
306360383 770245567459680 3546132442786059215 n
IMG 2795
IMG 2810
IMG 5567
YLDG Members & PELA Class of 2022 Come Together in Erie

Article by Paul McAndrew, Masters RMC, Inc. & YLDG Member

Driving rain and relentless wind could not stop the young and emerging leaders of PACA from attending this year’s combined YLDG and PELA Leadership and Team Building Conference held on the shore of beautiful, Lake Erie. Once again, the participation was amazing! The progressive thinking of our organizations sees the value in bringing us together to network, learn, and guide us toward reaching our full potential. The dedicated members of PACA enabled 54 of their current and future leader to take part in this conference, making it one of the highest attended events to date, only to be outdone by Bethlehem in 2021 by one attendee!

So, what happened?

The general session was kick started by the YLDG Chair Brianne Hastings of Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. and, via iPad, YLDG Vice Chair Dan Ridenour of Union Quarries, Inc. by explaining the significance of our group’s role within PACA and our industry, setting the tone for the upcoming days. We had a set schedule of events to follow with very impactful speakers, some good networking and service time set aside in between, and a plan for events in the coming months to end our year.

Above all else, WHY did we come together? As young and emerging leaders, we were there to learn, share, and devise ways to positively affect change in our industry. The unique sessions that followed provided laughter, cultural and personal reflection, and simple tools to better understand our own personalities as well as the personalities of those we interact with.

Tracy Daggert of Manufacturer & Business Association highlighted for us the power of communication in creating a better, more effective culture. Tracy described to us the four different communication “vehicles” that people exhibit with the benefits and blind spots that pertain to each. If you truly want to know why you drive the actual vehicle that you do, ask an attendee of the conference. You may be surprised by the accuracy of their answer.

Erica Wilson of Fisher & Phillips LLP shined a very bright light on the most basic actions we perform daily and how significant they really are. Posture, handshakes, body language, verbal language, active listening, and so many more actions most people overlook. I am going to predict that future emails sent by those in that session will be much shorter and direct. We will no longer apologize for doing our jobs thank you very much! (You need to ask an attendee to expound on that too)

Tesha Nesbit of Manufacturer & Business Association encouraged us to find a way to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, to bring challenges to the surface, and to learn empathy. Tesha challenged us to treat others how THEY wanted to be treated not how WE would want to be treated. That the issues society faces today with diversity and inclusion are not going to be solved by force, but by testing and strengthening our emotional intelligence.

Haydn Shaw elaborated on the ugly struggle we all face with time management. The emergency rooms we all have, maybe the ER’s we should have, the patients, and the doctors. Haydn proposed we find the hour of our day in which we operate at the highest level and place the highest priority item of each day into that time slot. If we can get out of the ER for that period, we can better situate ourselves to tame the beast!

As always, the group participated in a community service project. A part of the YLDG mission is to give back to the communities we serve in the best ways we can. We understand the power we have when we work together toward a common goal, and we want to use it! This conference led us to the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. What a show of energy and teamwork! As a team, we packaged 1,800 frozen chickens and approximately 500 lbs of peaches. All in two hours! With no injuries might I add. We had such a great turn out that we exceeded the maximum allowed registrants! Not wanting to turn away free help, the Second Harvest organizers found a way for us all to divide and conquer. Their appreciation was evident, as was their shock over our pace.

There are too many people and organizations to thank for this opportunity. The PACA staff, its members, each other. Opportunities like these are what we as professionals need to continue developing as individuals, as leaders, and as a society. For these occasions, we are all truly grateful. Thank you to all for making this event happen and the continued care you have our future. If you did not attend, ask an attendee about their experience. Listen firsthand what moments like these do for our businesses, our families, and ourselves. Keep planting seeds, you never know what may take root.

YLDG: PELA and Associated Developed Events

Article by Dan Ridenour, Union Quarries, Inc. - YLDG Vice Chair

The PACA Young Leader’s Development Group (YLDG) is not just a group of young professionals, but also a means of promoting and facilitating ingenuity and ideation for positive change in our industry. From the YLDG, many aspirations of upcoming leaders have taken form into events and resources that PACA now offers.

PACA’s Emerging Leadership Academy (PELA) stemmed from the interest of the YLDG. Working with board members, PACA Staff, Greg Coker, and a team of YLDG members, a committee was formed to create a program that would be a formal approach to teaching leadership, tailored to our industry. Ambition to learn and grow as leaders within our industry and respective companies passionately fueled interested and involvement and has led PELA through two successful years.

Other events that have grown from YLDG ideation include the first annual YLDG Golf Outing. This event will let young leaders golf with mentors and learn some of the ins and outs of business golf. Additionally, the YLDG has conducted mine tours, hikes, and other general networking events, both in-person and virtually.

With the support of the PACA membership and staff, the YLDG has become a vehicle of connecting, educating, and exposing our young industry leaders. From this investment, growth is fostered on all levels of leadership to fit the needs of our ever-growing industry.

What ideas do you have for the next YLDG event?

Time For Your Feedback!

YLDG has hosted a variety of events over the years. What kind of event would you like to see next year? Please participate in the 2-question survey below to help shape the future of the YLDG HERE.

Upcoming Transition

Article by Brianne Hastings, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. - YLDG Chair

As 2022 comes to a close, so do the current two-year terms of the YLDG chair and vice chair. I have been honored to be in a leadership role over the past four years. These positions have given me the opportunity to build relationships with individuals across the state and as a result, I have developed a deep appreciation for what each of you do for the industry. PACA has given me an opportunity to grow on both a personal and professional level. Thank you for entrusting me with this role. I am proud of how the group has grown since joining YLDG in 2016 and can’t wait to see where the group goes from here.

I will be passing the torch to your next YLDG chair, Dan Ridenour of Unions Quarries, Inc. at the Annual Meeting in November. Below are bio’s of individuals who are excited to join Dan in leading the group by becoming the next YLDG Vice Chair. Please take time to review them and then submit your vote at the link below. We will announce the results at the Annual Meeting in November.


Michael Beury, Kemper Equipment

Hi, my name is Michael Beury, and I am the Application and Systems Manager at Kemper Equipment, and I would like your support to fill the Open Position within YLDG for the Vice-Chair.

A little bit about myself, first and foremost I am a father/husband to my wonderful children Elijah (3y), Asher (6m) and wife Taira, the kids may keep me up at night, but they have also taught me a bit about patience! I am a Penn State graduate with a Degree in Physics specializing in Astrophysics and Sub-Atomic Particles – We Are Penn State, don’t get me talking about space or new rockets I may talk your ear off. In my free time I like to spend time either in the woods or on the water hunting and fishing or spending time in my basement wood workshop making excuses to buy new tools and build new furniture. In my past I spent 15 years in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services in multiple different leadership positions.

Professionally I started my career in Aggregates with Mellott Company for three years as a Detailer in the Engineering Department, from there I also took on Project Management Rolls. After Mellott Company I moved on to Kemper Equipment to be closer to Family. I have now been with Kemper for eight years starting as a Design Engineer and quickly moving into Estimating ® Design Engineer / Sales Engineer ® Technical Products and Systems Leader to where I am now as the Application and Systems Manager leading an exceptional team. I also sit on the National Sand, Stone and Gravel Association (NSSGA) Engineering and Technical Committee.

I work everyday to be a valued Partner with our Associate and Producer Members to grow their Businesses, with participation on the Board it will only advance my knowledge of the Political side of what the Association and their Members strive to achieve. I am committed to this industry with eleven years of experience in Plant Design, Consultation, Applications, Negotiations, Business Development and Building Partnerships between Kemper and Producer Members. YLDG has strengthened my understanding and breadth of the PACA Association and its Members.

I see YLDG expanding in the future to provide more content and expertise to its members. This can be challenge but I would like to see more involvement from the PACA members and the Young Leaders themselves. I envision monthly virtual talks and regional gatherings with existing PACA leaders, CEO’s, Production / Producers Managers etc. This would be to start the transfer of knowledge and leadership skills within our industry to the future generation. Office and field settings are completely different and getting those viewpoints is critical to our future leaders.

Kevin Claycomb - New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Inc.

My name is Kevin Claycomb, and I am a Mine Planner for New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co., Inc.

In my current position, I work out of our corporate office in New Enterprise, PA, but travel to all our sites spanning Pennsylvania and New York. I am currently in charge of creating reserve analysis and life of mine plans for all our facilities. This involves an understanding of all aspects of the aggregate industry from permitting and property acquisition, drilling and blasting, processing of the stone, what the finished products look like and what they are each specifically used for. I previously worked in the Environmental and Permitting department for New Enterprise for 3 years and have been in my current position for 6 months.

I have been involved in PACA from the first week I was hired at New Enterprise. I began by attending the Environmental Community meetings and have become more involved since. I have been involved with YLDG for nearly 4 years. I have also attended PA Politics, PACA Underground Mine Conference and joined in on numerous monthly webinars.

I am interested in the vice-chair position because I love being actively involved in PACA and would love the opportunity to serve and educate more people by helping them become more involved with what all PACA does for our industry. The biggest thing I would like to accomplish as a chair is getting the group together more often. I think we could do this virtually and in person. This has been something Brianne and Dan have done a great job with, and I would like to continue to push to get our group together.

Paul McAndrew - Masters RMC, Inc.

Who I am? What a defining question that truly is. It is more than simply my name, employer, and the position I hold. To answer that question, I need to explain my identity. My experiences, my relationships, and my values. All within an article short enough to prevent you from clicking away and explain why I believe I am a good choice to hold the Vice Chair role in the Young Leaders Development Group.

I was born and raised in a very small, rural community in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was active in sports, my church, a family construction business, and our small, family hobby farm. I remember numerous times being told that I was intelligent. Like a lot of kids however, I did not listen well. I remember many people saying to me “you are such a smart _“. What word was said after that I guess I just never cared to pay attention too. Moving on to college I studied environmental science, biology, and education. Not exactly the typical path into the concrete and aggregate fields. But what I had learned through extensive lab work, field studies, and presenting information to people of different learning styles, gave me the opportunity to start my career.

For the past 16 years I have been working in the ready-mix concrete and precast concrete industries. I held the positions of concrete technician, quality manager, batch operator, dispatcher, and operations manager. I am currently the General Manager for Masters Concrete Products, whom I have been with for 10 years. Over this time, I found myself in countless situations where I utilized my skills, recognized the skills that I did not possess, and pushed myself into growing not only in my profession but also as person.

Throughout my life experiences thus far, I have had the great satisfaction of developing relationships with people in seemingly endless fields and backgrounds. I have had the opportunity to work side by side with brilliant technical minds, individuals that I did and still rely on for business and leadership support, and people within our industry that are always willing to step up to share their knowledge and experiences to those who wish to listen. I dare to state that I have grown in my relationship with my extraordinary wife of 17 years. I can say I feel I’ve tried? I will end this topic with telling you I have a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. So many experiences and relationships that they bring out one can write a book.

The relationships and experiences I’ve had in the past and continue to grow and develop in the present are guided by my values. And my values have been shaped by them. I believe in honesty, I am rooted in hard work, and I highly regard dependability. All of which would greatly benefit the progress of the YLDG. My outlook for this group’s future is that of growth and development of our teams, our businesses, and our communities. Its that simple, and that profound. How I envision that happening lies within the resources that we already have as members of PACA. I want the young leaders to have a larger presence within this organization. It can be as simple as expanding our content on the PACA website, having a consistent appearance in the PACA Conveyor, and more involvement on our part in all of the great events PACA has throughout the year. I want to us to be engaged. I cannot say exactly what the specifics of that will be, that is up to us to collaborate on. From there, I believe I can help to see it through.

Seven years ago, I took part in my first Young Leaders conference. Seven years ago, a leader meant something different to me than it does now. This group, the conversations I’ve listened to, those I’ve been a part of, and the impact it has had on me have changed my understanding of that word. That change in perspective has been invaluable to me and I want to continue that growth and share that with this group moving forward. This is an industry that encourages growth. I want to advocate that our respective businesses want and need us to guide our teams through change, because it is inevitable that we must. They are looking at us to be the leaders in that arena. That’s why the YLDG was formed. We have the voice and are being given the opportunity to use it. We control our path, and we need each other’s individual talents for support in this endeavor.

The most important thing I can do as a leader is listen. That is a leader’s role. To listen to and to advocate for the thoughts and feelings that our personal experiences have to offer the greater good. Over the past seven years I have had the honor of being a part of something impactful. I have witnessed individuals form great relationships and make positive changes in our industry because of the seminars, networking, and service projects that the YLDG has held over the years. The development of this industry through each other, the future leaders of our companies. I believe that now it is my turn to share my experiences and offer my abilities. I know that everyone has a voice, and I know this group can offer the platform for those voices to make an impact. Someone heard that voice in all of us and I believe I have the ability hold the microphone for our voices to be heard again and again. We need to keep this platform that was created for us and make it even stronger. I promise I will listen, and I promise I will advocate. I will support my peers in the decisions we make as a cohesive team.

I am aware, now that I am 40 years old, my time with the YLDG is coming to and end in one respect. I would never elect to take away an opportunity for someone who would be better suited for such an important role. I do desire to have the opportunity to move our mission forward. I believe that I can. I fully expect to be a part of this group moving into the future, whatever that future may be. Whether as an alumnus or being elected to the position of Vice Chair. That decision is not mine; it is yours. I can only tell you how I feel regarding my belief that I am a good choice to take on the responsibilities of this seat. To take what I have learned, my experiences in life, and further grow with you, the heart and future of PACA. To help lead the young leaders toward achieving whatever goals we have before us.

If you were intrigued enough to read this entire article, I thank you. I will finish with this. We are more than just the YLDG, we are a collection of ideas and experiences ready to take on the next challenge.

Jenifer Spang - Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.

I am a graduate of Clarion University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology. My eyes were opened to the world of consulting through Ray Ewing, who 6 years later, would end up being one of my current managers. I made my way through a couple consulting firms and a seed company, before making it to my current position at Civil & Environmental Consultants. I am an assistant project manager in the Ecology group with a great batch of people that love the outdoors, hiking and finding wetlands.

After this year in the PACA Emerging Leaders Academy, I am able to be a better manager for my group. Not only has the experience helped me professionally, but also has had major benefits in my personal life. Starting the year in class, I was very reserved, sat far to one side of the room, and kept to myself. As I look forward to graduation coming up, I see how much I have opened up and grown as an individual. Stepping forward to be the Vice Chair for the Young Leaders Development Group is important to me. I want to be involved in the future growth of our leaders. I want to share the excitement I have for this program and bring in new ideas.

Being an individual who is split between the field and office, one idea I have is to work on bringing the office and field culture closer together. I know in bigger companies sometimes the line of communication gets blurred between the office and field employees. We need to work on bringing everyone together as a team and letting our field staff know they are respected and heard. Speaking to our young leaders about this issue can bring new culture and grow a better connection, therefore creating a stronger work group.

Bringing diversity and the conversation about diversity into the workplace is another topic I want to shed light on. We as a group need to do more in the form of community outreach so more people in diverse backgrounds can become educated on our responsibilities. The creation of volunteer events or bringing kids from the cities to our jobs would open their eyes to the world of construction materials and consulting. I think starting a group within our companies and/or PACA to promote the equality of opportunity between professionals and provide a positive environment to do so would yield significant benefit.

Additionally, an important topic I don’t think is discussed enough is mental health. When you get into your career and start moving up the ladder, I think a lot of us put our mental health to the side. I learned firsthand this is not a healthy decision. There are a couple books I would love to recommend to the group that have helped me work through my own mind and bring myself back to being present. This is also important when it comes to listening to the people around you. When you are not present the work you perform is going to suffer, the people you manage are going to feel your hardships and it is going to create an uncomfortable environment. Keeping your mental health regulated and stress low is crucial for professional development.

Being part of PELA has been one of the most valuable experiences I have had in my career. I wish I could put everyone from my group at CEC into the program. I met with many industry leaders, made a group of close friends from classes, and traveled across the state to places I’ve never visited. I have grown into a leader that I can say I’m proud of. The level of this program is unmatched and I hope to see it continue for many years.

Leaders Are Readers

Information submitted by Greg Coker, Greg Coker Development - PACA Emerging Leaders Academy Instructor

This section will be continued in the PACA Conveyor and includes a book recommendation that will give us a new perspective on business and/or leadership. Please reach out to Kallie Kline if you have any recommendations! (Podcast and blog recommendations are welcome as well)

Traction: Get A Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

Offers a structured approach to improve leadership productivity and operations. In Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses—and you can too.

© 2023 Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association