This years CRMCA Summer Convention boasts 10 industry professionals that are highly knowledgable in business development, economics, sustainability and the political nature of the Concrete Industry. A special thank you to the 2024 Summer Convention Education Sponsors


Check out the full line up below:

Tara Cavalline, Ph.D, PE
Professor of Civil Engineering Technology & Construction Management, UNC Charlotte

Dr. Cavalline is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Cavalline’s research interests include materials and mixtures for durable and sustainable concrete, use of recycled and byproduct materials in concrete applications, quality assurance and control, and asset management.

She has worked on a number of projects for North Carolina Department of Transportation, FHWA (through the National Concrete pavement Technology Center at Iowa State University) the ACI Concrete Research Council, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and other entities.



Tom Fetzer
CRMCA NC Lobbyist

Tom Fetzer, President of Fetzer Strategic Partners is a former Mayor of Raleigh and past Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Fetzer Strategic Partners is a Raleigh based firm specializing in Government Relations, Public and Media Relations, Survey Research and Crisis Management.

In 2011, Fetzer was ranked as the 2nd most effective lobbyist in North Carolina, the highest ranking ever awarded to a first-year lobbyist. In the ensuing years, he has always ranked in the top three lobbyists in the state.

In 2010 as Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Tom Fetzer spearheaded the effort that led to the election of Republican majorities in both Chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time since 1870. No state in America had gone longer without Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.

Tom Fetzer has extensive experience in North Carolina state government, having served in key positions during the administration of Governor Jim Martin. He served as Chief Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation where he was responsible for a 1.5 billion dollar budget and 10,000 employees. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources.

Tom Fetzer has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, The Boys and Girls Club, The John Locke Foundation, the YMCA and Trinity Academy. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University. Fetzer currently serves on the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, the Wilmington Advisory Board of North State Bank and the UNC Board of Governors. Fetzer is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor a Governor can bestow upon a North Carolina citizen. He is an Eagle Scout.

A graduate of Wake Forest University, Fetzer and his wife reside in Wilmington, North Carolina with their 5 children.

Ben Homeyer
CRMCA SC Lobbyist

With over a decade of lobbying experience in South Carolina and 17 years working with and for the SC General Assembly and the state’s executive branch, Ben has worked with some of the biggest companies and most diverse associations in the state. Recent accomplishments include developing energy policy for a Fortune 500 company, taking on some of the largest corporations in the world on behalf of local businesses, and running the largest small business association in the state. His areas of expertise include business policy development, energy policy, healthcare policy, tax policy, workers comp and unemployment insurance reform, and information technology development and strategic planning.

Randy Kirchain, PH.D
Principal Research Scientist, MIT

Kirchain is a principal research scientist in the Materials Systems Laboratory, part of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division. As a member of the CSHub, he has conducted studies on the economics of different types of pavements in varied climate and traffic scenarios over decades of use, and on how to estimate the cost of damage from hazards such as hurricanes over the life cycle of a house or building. The CSHub is a research center established in 2009 in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with grants from the Portland Cement Association and Ready Mixed Concrete Research & Education Foundation. Its aim is to accelerate emerging breakthroughs in concrete-related research and swiftly transfer those advances into industry.

Myra Reece
Director of Environmental Affairs, SCDEC

Myra Reece serves as the director of Environmental Affairs for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), overseeing the bureaus of Air Quality; Environmental Health Services; Land and Waste Management; Water; and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.
A member of the DHEC team for more than 30 years, Myra has served in leadership roles with the regional office system and as the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Air Quality prior to becoming the director of Environmental Affairs. She works collaboratively with state and federal agencies, local governments, community leaders, businesses and industries.
In the summer of 2022, Myra was named President of the Environmental Council of States (ECOS). ECOS plays a critical role in facilitating a quality relationship among federal and state agencies across the country. She has previously served in leadership roles with ECOS since 2019 as Planning Committee Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Vice President. Myra is part of important national conversations about the successes and challenges of protecting human health and the environment in an ever-evolving and modernizing climate.
Myra received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Clemson University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. She’s also a graduate of the Management Academy for Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a graduate of the Southern Center of Excellence in Environmental Health at Emory University and has obtained professional certification as a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.

Jim Roman
Business Owners Institute®

Running a business is like climbing a mountain: You need the right tools, a great map and a strong support network. For the past 20 years, Jim Roman’s Business Owners Institute® has been outfitting small businesses with the equipment and guidance they need to reach the top.

Jim is a highly respected strategic business coach, and his results-oriented programs, talks and trainings inspire people and empower them to take action. His passion for this role is personal. He is the child of small business owners and has been one himself most of his adult life. He has worked with top-tier companies like Chick-fil-A, Handyman Matter, Mosquito Authority and Keller Williams. His clients see an average sustained growth rate of 30% a year and a return on investment of 700-1,600% over two years.

Brian Sheffler
VP of Technical Sales, Knight’s Companies

Brian Sheffler joined Knight’s Companies in 2018 as Vice President Technical Sales and quickly initiated the development of a Strategic Plan which has been the foundation of the Company’s growth over the past six years. Brian spent ten years as Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager for Master Builders as well as Director of Technical Services for Aggregate Industries, Concrete Supply Co., and Centre Concrete.  Brian is currently Chair of the CRMCA Technical Committee and past Chair for both the Maryland and Pennsylvania Technical committee’s 

Brian is married to his wife, Roxanne, and they have two daughters, two grandchildren, and a pair of granddaughters on the way!

Susan Vick
CRMCA NC Lobbyist

Susan is a licensed NC attorney and lobbyist, representing a number of corporate clients with important issues before the North Carolina General Assembly, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, RAI (Reynolds), Nationwide Insurance, Martin Marietta and the North Carolina Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. Most recently, Susan worked in-house with Duke Energy where she served as State Director of North Carolina Governmental Affairs. In her five years at Duke, Susan was awarded two James B. Duke Awards (highest employee contribution across the enterprise) for the passage of two important pieces of legislation: SB 720 which authorized a $1B generation asset purchase by Duke Energy from NCEMPA (2015); and HB 589, which greatly reduced the cost NC ratepayers would pay for solar put to the grid by solar developers (2017).

Susan graduated from Campbell University School of Law with honors, where she was also Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Previously a partner in the firm of Burns, Day & Presnell P.A., Susan concentrated her practice in the area of business law and represented clients at the local, state and federal levels. Susan obtained the highest peer rating (AV) available from Martindale Hubbell. She has taught a number of government and law classes at the college and graduate level. Susan is Past-President of the Junior League of Raleigh, where she was named Member of the Year in 2003.

Joey Von Nessen, PH.D
Research Economist, University of South Carolina

Dr. Joseph C. Von Nessen is a Research Economist in the Division of Research at the Darla Moore School of Business where he specializes in regional economics, regional economic forecasting, and housing economics. He regularly conducts a wide variety of economic impact analyses, feasibility studies, and independent market research projects for clients in both the private and public sector. In addition, he is responsible for the preparation and presentation of the University of South Carolina’s annual statewide economic forecast, serves on the advisory committee for the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors, and is regularly invited to brief the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond on economic conditions in South Carolina.

He is a frequent speaker for business and government leaders throughout the Southeast – providing information and consultation about business, markets, and local economies. He also makes frequent media appearances to discuss various local economic topics of interest. Dr. Von Nessen earned his B.A. at Furman University and his Ph.D. in economics at the University of South Carolina.

Jessica Wilson
Director of Education & Technical Services, CRMCA

Jessica Wilson, LEED Green Associate, TRUE Advisor, brings 10 years of sustainable construction and market development experience as the Director of Education and Technical Services for CRMCA.  Her primary focus and honor throughout her career in construction has been ensuring her partners’ sustainability stories are being crafted in a way that is unique to their company culture, while staying authentic to their values.  As CRMCA continues to expand its education and promotion efforts, Jessica will focus on the areas of design assistance, sustainability, and industry partnerships while growing concrete market share throughout the Carolinas. Moreover, Jessica hopes to elevate the story of the concrete community at-large, showcasing the positive impacts of our collective work and sharing our untold, upstanding culture – one rooted in legacy and loyalty.

Jessica’s passion for stewardship was cultivated at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she received her bachelor’s degree in English literature, focusing her studies on Environmental literature. Her commitment to low-impact design was forged when her daughter requested a “tree house.” Inspired to build her future home in the most responsible way possible, she received certifications in Sustainability Technologies and Construction Management from Cape Fear Community College. 

If you can’t find Jessica at work, you can safely bet she’s in the marsh or in the mountains – fishing, hunting, or farming. Brooklyn and Auggie are her two children, driving all of what she does.