Recognizing CIM Founding Father, Ward Poston
Ward Poston is considered one of three founding fathers of the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program. The story goes that back in 1994, three material salesmen in Tennessee saw a problem after being asked to guest lecture to a class about concrete: who was going to move into their roles in the future and be the next generation of salesmen, managers and leaders in the concrete industry? Students in college were very unaware of the importance of concrete on every project. They wanted to make an impact on the next generation. And so with this seed, through the RMC 2000 movement, CIM was born. The first seven students graduated at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in 2000 and the program expansion to other universities quickly followed.
Ward was not only part of that trio that planted the seed to grow CIM. He and others worked hand in hand with the industry and state of Tennessee to develop the curriculum and courses; visited Washington D.C. to discuss CIM with then-Secretary of Education Rod Paige; taught classes and met and mentored countless students. In the 20 years since, Ward has promoted the program wholeheartedly and has been a critical piece in the success of CIM as a program and within the university, community and industry. MTSU University President, Dr. Sidney McPhee never misses a chance to tell an audience about the group of CIM Patrons, Ward included, that visited him as his first appointment on his first day in his new role on campus. Ward has helped to guide the MTSU CIM Patron’s group, providing the history and perspective of a 30-year seasoned professional to many along the way. Ward is still intimately involved in the program and Patrons, attending meetings and events, and always present to interact with students.
This spring, MTSU CIM honored Ward as the legend that he is to the concrete industry and CIM, so we brought him to Las Vegas to recognize him along with the National Steering Committee. Chris Davenport, CIM class of 2000 and President of Southern Concrete Machinery, spoke with the group about the impact that Ward’s friendship and guidance has had on him, as a person and professional. MTSU and NSC give a special thanks to Ward for all he has done to promote and grow our program locally and nationally.