The Arizona Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, along with several other USA and Canadian Chapters, helped to inaugurate the ACI Chapter in Ghana. Ghana is on the West Coast of Africa and is rich in mineral resources (gold and oil). As a developing country, they wanted to join the international concrete community and start an ACI Chapter. After a year of planning, fund raising in the USA and Canada, Luke Snell (then the Chair of the ACI International Committee and an Arizona Chapter Director) and Billie Snell (Arizona Chapter Member) went to help with the first meeting of the ACI Chapter.
Luke reports, "This ACI meeting was unlike any ACI meeting I have ever attended. The meeting started with several presentations. Luke brought greetings from ACI headquarters and gave a presentation on “What is ACI.” Several of the newly formed board members (including a Cabinet member from Ghana, and an Architect from their nation board) presented their vision of what the Ghana ACI Chapter should be. Billie gave a swearing in ceremony of the new board (Note: There is no official ceremony for board members – we had to make this up on the fly.). After the ceremony, a local sing and dance company entertained the audience. This was one of the highlights of the entire meeting and was enjoyed by all. While we were in Ghana, we met with several of the key concrete people and several of the building and highway government officials that deal with concrete".
Luke is currently working with the Ghana Chapter - they hope to do an all African ACI Conference in the future (ACI now has 4 ACI Chapters in Africa; Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, and Ghana).
Luke is going to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in June for the Mongolian Concrete Conference and to do a three-day seminar. The Mongolian ACI Chapter started in 2002, also with the help of the Arizona ACI Chapter. This past year the Mongolian ACI Chapter received the Outstanding Chapter Award. Its success is due to chapters like Arizona reaching out and helping them get started.
This year Luke has had the opportunity to work with people in Saudi Arabia and American Samoa on certification programs and with Ghana and Mongolia (in June) on seminars. It is exciting to know that ACI is more than “Concrete People” in Arizona - we as a chapter have had the opportunity to reach out to the world.
Luke M. Snell, P.E., FACI
Senior Materials Engineer - Western Technologies