AISC Board elects new chair and vice chair

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Board of Directors elected a new Chair and Vice Chair this fall during its Annual Meeting of the Members of the Institute in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Jeffrey E. Dave, P.E., president and CEO of Dave Steel Company, Inc., Asheville, N.C., succeeds William B. Bourne III, president and CEO of Universal Steel, Inc., Lithonia, Ga., as chair of the 27-member board. James G. Thompson, CEO of Palmer Steel Supplies, Inc., McAllen, Texas, the board's new vice chair, takes over from David L. Harwell, president of Central Texas Iron Works, Inc., Waco, Texas. Both positions carry a two-year term.

"As past chair, I am very excited about the future of AISC," said Bourne. "The Board has chosen two exceptional people to lead our industry over the next four years. Our next chair, Jeff Dave, is a proven volunteer, an AISC board member since 2003, and a successful businessman. He has led his company, Dave Steel, for more than 20 years and is an important part of the Virginia Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association. Jeff will have great back-up with vice chair Jim Thompson. Jim has also successfully led his company, Palmer Steel Supplies, for more than 20 years and has served as a board member since 2007. Congratulations and thank you to both Jeff Dave and Jim Thompson."

Dave has worked in all areas of the steel fabrication business since 1985. During the past 20 years, he's played an instrumental role in the timing and implementation of significant process and technology changes at AISC-member fabricator Dave Steel Company, a structural steel fabricator since 1929 with AISC certified facilities in Asheville, N.C., and Chesnee, S.C., and an engineering office in Cincinnati. He was COO of the company from 1992 to 2004, and since then has served as president and CEO.

"Our industry will continue to experience quick advancements in the opportunities to use models throughout the design process, and use models throughout the fabrication process," commented Dave on his new position. "As we push the edge of this technology, and its use on steel construction projects, it will be very important for all to exercise due diligence in transitioning from research - to case studies - to normal use and implementation on projects. One of my goals during my tenure as Chair is to make sure this transition process occurs in a manner that assures we continue to achieve our mission of increasing the market share of steel by making structural steel the material of choice on construction projects."

Dave graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. In his early career he worked for several years at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. He also worked for a structural engineering firm on contract at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., and an engineering firm in Raleigh, N.C. He's remained very active with various industry boards and associations as well as several local community boards. Since 1989 he's served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association, including a term as president. He joined the AISC Board in 2003 and since has served three years as chair of the Certification Committee and a two-year term as vice chair. Dave's grandfather, Joseph Dave, served on the AISC Board from 1959-1965, as well as his uncle, Bernard Dave, from 1970-1976.

Thompson has more than 30 years of experience in steel fabrication and erection. His expertise includes sales, estimating, production management, operations management and administration management. He joined Palmer Steel Supplies, an AISC-member fabricator and AISC certified fabricator, as a management trainee and promptly ascended to general manager in 1975. That same year he was promoted to vice president and in 1984 he achieved the office of president. He currently serves as CEO after passing on the presidency of the company to his son, Palmer, who is now the third generation of family management.

He grew up in numerous locations in the U.S. and Europe and in 1969 he graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics. While at TCU he was enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and at graduation was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

He immediately entered pilot training and after 53 weeks earned his wings. He served on active duty for the next four years as an instructor pilot in Mississippi and Texas. Following his departure from the USAF, he moved to McAllen, Texas, and began his career at Palmer Steel Supplies.

Thompson joined the AISC Board in 2007 and has also been active on several local community boards.

About the American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.

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