Monthly Archives: October 2016

When November comes, there’s reason for nostalgia — and gratitude

NOVEMBER IS ALMOST HERE, and many of us at Tucker Paving are feeling a bit nostalgic. The 11th month of the year always reminds us about our company’s launch — on Nov. 21, 1994. We started out with two employees and borrowed equipment and have since grown to include more than 150 crew members and a large inventory of equipment and vehicles under title in our own name.

Looking back, it seems nice and fitting that the company got its official start the week Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day 22 years ago. We’re thankful for our humble beginnings and thankful for the growth and prosperity we’ve enjoyed since then. Certainly, the gratitude extends to the customers who took a chance on us in the early days of our operation and all the customers who have helped to fuel our growth since then.

So, who remembers what was life like in the United States and in Florida almost a generation ago, in 1994? When our memories fail us, we can always turn to the vast information on the World Wide Web to help fill in the blanks.

The president, of course, was Bill Clinton, No. 42 in the U.S. line of presidents and the fellow between two men named Bush. Florida’s governor was Lawton Chiles, who hailed from nearby Lakeland. Florida’s U.S. senators were Bob Graham and Connie Mack III, and our local congressman was Charles Canady, now a justice on the Florida Supreme Court.

At the movies, “Forrest Gump” was the top-grossing feature film at $330 million, followed closely by the animated “The Lion King” at 313 million. On television, “Friends” and “Touched by an Angel” made their debut in September 1994. “Seinfeld,” “ER,” and “Home Improvement” were the top three TV shows in the 1994-95 season. In music, “I Will Always Love You” (Whitney Houston) was Record of the Year at the Grammys, “The Bodyguard — Original Soundtrack Album” (Whitney Houston) was Album of the Year, and “A Whole New World” (the theme from “Aladdin”) was Song of the Year.

In other pop culture and news items from 1994 — we’ll stick to the more positive side of news column — “The Rachel” (Jennifer Aniston of “Friends) for gals and frosted tips for guys were the top hairstyles, the Nintendo Game Boy was popular, the Sony PlayStation was released, and Donkey Kong Country was among the top video games. Pagers were the best option for remote communication (61 million of those hip-hugging devices were in use), a first-class postage stamp went for 29 cents, a Web page was created for The White House, and best-selling books were “How Late It Was, How Late” (James Kelman) and “The Stone Diaries” (Carol Shields).

In sports, champions included the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), the Houston Rockets (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL Stanley Cup), Conchita Martinez and Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, Go For Gin at the Kentucky Derby, Nebraska in NCAA football, Arkansas in NCAA basketball, and Brazil in the World Cup. Notably, the World Series wasn’t held, and, before college football had an overtime system, Florida and Florida State had to settle for a 31-31 tie in a game that became known as — sorry, Gator fans — “The Choke at Doak.”

And finally, in business, 1994 was the year for two other significant company launches. You might have heard of them — Yahoo! and Amazon. They’ve each become nationally what we at Tucker Paving are working very hard to make our company locally — and that would be a household name.

Even as cooler weather arrives, Tucker Paving team thinking ‘water park’

WITH THE ARRIVAL of cooler weather and the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s unlikely that giant water slides, wave pools, and lazy-river rafting venues are top of mind for most people. They are, however, top of mind for several Tucker Paving team members. Among the many items on our current list of construction projects — it’s great to have lots to do — Tucker Paving is one of the subcontractors for the exciting Volcano Bay water theme park at Universal Orlando Resort.

Here are some things you might not know about the theme park — a quick list of Volcano Bay facts and figures:

• Volcano Bay is being built on approximately 28 acres of Universal Orlando Resort property, near the Cabana Beach Resort.

• The theme park will replace Wet ’n Wild, a Universal-owned Orlando water park that will close on Dec. 31 this year.

• The vision for Volcano Bay was shaped by visits Universal executives made to other water parks and tropical resorts all around the world — in Bali, in the Middle East, in Europe, and throughout the United States.

• The centerpiece of Volcano Bay will be 200-foot-tall volcano named Krakatau. The volcano will showcase cool and majestic waterfalls by day and fiery lava flows by night.

• Volcano Bay will have four themed areas featuring Polynesian influences gathered from Hawaii, Easter Island, New Zealand, and other locations. The themed areas will be The Volcano, Wave Village, River Village, and Rainforest Village.

• Key attractions will include the 70-degree-fall and 125-foot-long Ko’okiri body plunge; the Kala and Tai Nui serpentine body slides; Waturi Beach for swimming, splashing, and relaxing; Honu and Ika Moana, each a twisting and turning multi-passenger slide; the Kopiko Wai lazy winding river; the Ohyah and Ohno drop slides; the Maku (“saucer”) and Puihi (funnel) raft rides; the thrilling whitewater ride of TeAwa The Fearless River; and the four twisting water slides of the Taniwha Tubes.

• Specialty attractions for toddlers and young children will include Tot Tiki Reef, a play zone with spraying fountains, slides and a kid-size volcano; and the Punga Racers, a high-speed race that will take riders through four enclosed slides on manta ray-shaped mats.

After reading about all of this excitement, who wants to skip Christmas and go straight for summertime water park fun?

The Volcano Bay promotions have listed plans for an opening in June 2017. You can be sure that Tucker Paving employees on the Volcano Bay construction crew are doing everything on their part to make that happen.

On the Web: www.universalorlando.com/theme-parks/volcano-bay.aspx

Four Tucker Paving projects earn top Excellence in Construction Eagle Awards

Innovative and high-quality work by Tucker Paving, Inc., continues to get noticed — and recognized.

A group from Tucker Paving attended a special banquet of the Central Florida Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., (ABC) in Orlando on Oct. 8. When it came time to leave, our team members had four more coveted ABC Excellence in Construction (EIC) Eagle Awards to bring back for display in our Winter Haven office.

The panel of judges for the 2016 EIC Awards considered hundreds of outstanding Central Florida construction projects completed by dozens of companies between May 1, 2015, and May 15, 2016. The judges honored Tucker Paving with the Eagle Award, the ABC chapter’s highest recognition, for its showcase work on each of these four projects:

• Disney’s Hollywood Studios Sound Stage, Bay Lake — Tucker Paving, Inc., and team members Michael Chevalier, Daniel Bennett, Shane Keel, and Jose Lopez. For site work/landscape/hardscape. Site Work/Landscape/Hardscape, All Underground Utilities and Asphalt Paving, Entertainment Facilities, $500,000 to $1 million.

• Magic Kingdom Park HUB Enhancement, Bay Lake — Tucker Paving, Inc., and team members Michael Chevalier, Josh Smith, Shane Keel, Jose Lopez, and Nick Toschlog. Site Work/Landscape/Hardscape, Entertainment Facilities, $1 million to $5 million.

• Perry Harvey, Sr., Park, Tampa — Tucker Paving, Inc., and team members Amanda Dawley, William Wooster, Shane Keel, Jose Lopez, and Steve Dawson. Site Work/Landscape/Hardscape, Underground Utilities and Asphalt Paving, $1 million to $5 million.

• T1A04 State Road 17 and County Road 17B Roundabout, Lake Wales — Tucker Paving and team members Amanda Dawley, Steve Dawson, William Wooster, Shane Keel, and Jose Lopez. Site Work/Landscape/Hardscape, Underground Utilities and Asphalt Paving, Under $500,000.

Tucker Paving is very honored to have four more prestigious Eagle Awards, and management thanks the entire company team for the excellent body of planning, design, and construction work that led to them.

More on the Web: www.abccentralflorida.com/eic.html#.WBDaoSMrKuM

Special Olympics Florida has lots of friends at the WHPD

The leaders, officers and staffers of the Winter Haven Police Department aren’t seeking the spotlight of praise, but we’re going to shine a little light on them anyway. They deserve to be commended for their work in the community — volunteer work that goes well beyond their sworn and very important public-safety duties.

Through its personnel, the WHPD assists a variety of charitable and service organizations each year. In particular, the department is heavily involved with support for Special Olympics Florida. The WHPD held its Special Olympics Luncheon on Sept. 29 at the Chain O’ Lakes Complex, local officers participate each year in Florida’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, and planning is under way already for the department’s Fourth Annual 5K for Special Olympics Florida.

The 5K fundraiser for Special Olympics is set for the morning of Saturday, March 11, 2017, starting and finishing at Central Park in downtown Winter Haven. It’s actually four events in one — a five-kilometer race, a one-mile race, a walking competition, and a beginner’s race. You can get more information about the 5K and even register for it now (at a discount) at bit.ly/2e9gykS. The WHPD also has its own Facebook page — bit.ly/2eQSggZ — to promote its Special Olympics-related activities.

Tucker Paving, Inc., has been a business co-sponsor for previous WHPD 5Ks for Special Olympics Florida, and our team looks forward to helping out with the one coming up next March. If you — as an individual, business, or service organization — would like to help out, too, give the WHPD a call at 863-291-5858.

On the Web:

• Winter Haven Police Department: www.winterhavenpd.com
• Florida Special Olympics: specialolympicsflorida.org