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Jim Shaffer, president of Driver Pipeline, Dallas, TX, has been asked by the company’s Board of Directors to assume the responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer in addition to his duties as president, effective immediately.
  In making the announcement, Founder and Chairman of the Board, James Driver said, “Jim has played a major role in the success of Driver Pipeline since joining the Company in 2002.
  In accepting his new duties as CEO, Shaffer gave much of the credit for the company’s success to his team. “I’m a lucky guy. I’m surrounded with smart, dedicated people with years of experience. We have put together a management team that is second to none and a pleasure to work with. I greatly appreciate James Driver’s confidence in me and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
  In other news, Driver Pipeline celebrated with friends, family and a barbeque to mark 15-years of success of the firm’s fabrication shop. Shaffer noted that with the support of technologically savvy customers such as Atmos, Crosstex and many others, the new fabrication shop continued to invest in technology such as plasma cutters, MIG and TIG machines. Today, the company regularly turns out everything from 36-inch launcher/receiver sets, to skid-mounted gas metering systems and everything in between.
  Shaffer said, “The high point of the celebration was the recognition of Steve Wallace, Brad Stringer and Alex Wensowitch, the three key players that provided the vision, know-how and persistence to build one of the most successful fabrication shops in the Southwest.
  “At the heart of our company’s success are our people and that was never more true than in our fabrication shop.”


Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc. (IMT), an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced the promotion of Laurie Johnson to customer support manager. Johnson has served as the company’s manager of global procurement and supply chain, and has worked at IMT for more than 13 years.


The Pigging Products & Services Association (PPSA) voted new director Mark Slaughter of Weatherford Pipeline & Specialty Services to the 2013 Board of Directors at its annual general meeting held in Houston. Slaughter replaces Alan Sweeney of Enermech Mechanical Services, Inc., who has served on the PPSA board for four years. The board is headed by President Terry Delasalle of Greene’s Energy Group.  PPSA has several developments under way including a nitrogen safety awareness initiative and plans to turn the PPSA book, An Introduction to Pigging, into an online basic pigging training course. For information, visit www.ppsa-online.com.


Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers held the world’s largest heavy equipment auction for 2013 in Orlando, FL in February, selling 9,400+ items for more than US$176 million. The six-day auction set a new company record for online sales as online buyers generated more than US$53 million in gross auction proceeds or 31% of total gross auction proceeds generated. Close to 8,300 bidders registered for the unreserved public auction from 80 countries, which featured equipment from more than 780 sellers. Every item in the auction was sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price—without minimum bids or reserve prices.
  Ritchie Bros. also sold more than US$44 million of equipment items and trucks at a two-day unreserved public auction held at its permanent auction site in Fort Worth, TX,  March 5 – 6. Over 3,900 people from more than 60 countries, including 48 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory, registered to bid in person or online in real time at the auction.
  There are more than 115 auctions listed in the upcoming Ritchie Bros. auction calendar at www.rbauction.com.


High Pressure Equipment Company (HiP), has announced plans to relocate to a larger plant in the Erie, PA area. The company’s new 43,000 sq-ft. manufacturing facility is located at 2955 W. 17th Street. HiP anticipates completing the move into its new plant during the first quarter of 2013.


Desert NDT LLC has acquired T&K Inspection Inc., of Williston, ND. Jerry Thompson and Ken Kain, co-owners of T&K Inspection since founding it in 1988, will continue to oversee operations in the local office. The expanded Williston location will provide both comprehensive non-destructive testing and integrity management services.


Straight 8 Logistics, a transportation service company based in Watford City, ND, is anxious to support continued growth in the pipeline industry. The company offers a range of quality services when work is needed to be done fast and efficiently. Erica Beard, who was raised in the construction industry, founded the company just a year ago. Nevertheless, she has seen her business grow along with North Dakota’s shale play.


Bill Phillips has joined WHC Inc. as vice president, Houston Division, and will be opening a Houston-area office for the company. WHC provides a full range of construction services for pipelines and pipeline facilities, and has been based in Lafayette, LA since 1957.


Obituary
Billie Joyce Pendarvis passed away February 25, 2013 in Houston, TX. Pendarvis was the wife of Ralph C. Pendarvis, retired president of Associated Pipe Line Contractors Inc. She is survived by her husband, Ralph Pendarvis; son Randall; daughter Lisa Kay Gonzales (Ray) and Jodi Elaine Pendarvis; five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Memorial gifts may be made to the Boys and Girls Country, 18806 Roberts Rd., Hockley TX 77447; St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or to Ronald McDonald House of Houston, 1907 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030.

Art Black
, former vice president of Engineering and Manufacturing at Compressor Engineering Corporation, died February13, 2013 in Kerrville, TX.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannette and sons, Christopher (Michelle) Daniel (Vitzah) and Douglas (Alesia). Black also leaves four grandsons, Austin, Christopher, Andrew and Corey; brothers, James (Beverly) and Miles (Lynn); brother-in-law, David Smith; and several nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Gilbert and Marion Black, brother, David Black and  sister, Isabelle Black Smith.
  Memorials in Black’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Ave., 7th Fl. New York, NY 10001.