Don Rachel of Rachel Contracting, St. Michael, MN, Named President, National Demolition Association

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As the newest President of the National Demolition Association, Rachel will focus much of his energies on promoting the environmental stewardship and safety programs of the global demolition trade organization. He also wants members and prospective members to know the association is determined to produce deliverables to help each member run a more successful business.

We can’t control the national economy, but we can give our members the resources they need to control their own individual business economy.

Don Rachel, CEO of Rachel Contracting, St. Michael, MN, has been named President of the National Demolition Association (NDA), the leading trade organization for the global demolition industry.

Rachel has been actively involved with the NDA since 1990 and has served as chairperson of the Environmental and Safety committees, as well as Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the organization.

As President, Rachel expressed his determination to keep the Association focused on giving its member companies the tools they need to be successful in the demolition industry. “We can’t control the national economy, but we can give our members the resources they need to control their own individual business economy.” Rachel said. “Our goal is to add real value to membership in the NDA by producing deliverables that will positively impact the bottom line.”

One such deliverable is the Demolition Safety Manual, the bible of safe work practices for the demolition industry. “The NDA not only created the manual, but has also continually updated it, with the latest update due out this year,” he noted. “We work closely with OSHA and the U.S. EPA to make sure the manual reflects all that is new regarding demolition safety.”

Another deliverable is the launch in 2011 of the NDA’s first regional training program, a series of one-day training sessions conducted at sites across the country. “The goal is to offer the widest possible range of courses designed to meet the specific educational needs of members, which may differ according to which areas of the country they serve,” Rachel explained. Topics covered in these sessions could include fall protection, the demolition-specific OSHA 10-hour certification program, and disaster response.

Under the new President, the NDA Education Committee will continue its work of actively encouraging colleges offering degrees in construction management to incorporate a major course of study in demolition, following the successful example of Purdue University, which offers the nation’s first demolition and reconstruction specialization. The NDA and Purdue partnered on the development of the specialization.

Rachel also pointed out that a primary focus of the NDA’s Mission Statement is the industry’s dedication to environmental stewardship, which was recognized this year at the Annual NDA Convention with the inauguration of the Environmental Excellence Awards, presented to member companies which have performed projects with a significant and positive impact.

Throughout his tenure, Rachel also wants to continue the Association’s emphasis on the professionalism of the demolition industry, communicating it to other industries, the government, and the public at large. “We’re highly trained professionals with knowledge of engineering, safety, recycling, and environmental issues,” he said. “We need to continue to work on transforming the image of our profession.”

Rachel is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris, where he was a two-time All-American wrestler.

Other changes to the NDA Executive Committee are the election of Jeff Kroeker of Kroeker Inc., Fresno, CA, as Vice President; Peter Banks of CEI Boston LLC, Norfolk, MA, as Secretary; and Scott Knightly of EnviroVantage, Epping, NH, as Treasurer. Raymond Passeno, CIH, of Bierlein Companies Inc., Midland, MI, is Past President.

The Association has appointed a number of new members to its Board of Directors. They are John Adamo, Jr. of Adamo Demolition Company, Detroit, MI; Gary Bishop of Bromley Demolition, Bromley, Kent, UK; Mike Casbon of ERM Inc., Rolling Meadows, IL; Greg Gray of NASDI LLC, Waltham, MA, Ben Kates, Jr. of Midwest Wrecking Co., Oklahoma City, OK; and James Milburn, Kinsale Contracting Group, Inc., Westmont, IL.

The National Demolition Association is a non-profit trade organization representing approximately 1,000 U.S. and Canadian companies and many international firms that are involved in the demolition process. Membership includes demolition contractors, general contractors, civil engineering firms, and recycling, landfill, and salvage operations. The association’s efforts help members stay abreast of environmental, regulatory and safety matters, keep regulators informed about issues facing the industry, increase public and industry awareness, and provide members with networking opportunities and information on the latest technical advances in equipment and services.

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Elva Legere Clements
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