Joe Nasvik is the Senior Editor of Concrete Construction Magazine and is considered a leading authoritative figure in the concrete industry.

In his role at the magazine, he not only researches and writes about significant concrete-related issues, but he also helps readers solve problems through the magazine's Problem Clinic service. If there isn't a simple solution to a Problem Clinic caller's question, Joe will offer to research the issue and get back in touch with the caller. He has a strong network of people who are experts in different areas from which to draw from. He can also draw from his own experience as a Bomanite contractor and co-founder of Chicagoland Concrete Specialists, started in 1974.

Problem Clinic calls and the ensuing research involved spur great ideas for articles in Concrete Construction Magazine. Joe keeps a running list of article ideas that may be as many as twenty or more at any one time.

Sometimes people are at a point of serious crisis by the time they contact the Problem Clinic he says. "One that brought tears to me came from several email exchanges with a woman from a small town. Her husband owned a third generation concrete construction company that was caught up in liability issues," said Joe. "Another company had recently bought out the ready mix company that had served these people so well for so long. For unknown reasons, the new owners added air entrainment to the concrete mixes that this company used for warehouse floor construction. When he and his crew used their finishing machines, the top of the slabs peeled and scaled and contractor couldn't figure out why. His wife helped Joe get a copy of their mix design and it was easy to see what had happened." Joe told her that her husband needed to have his own mix designs so that he would know what he was getting, rather than rely on what the ready mix company wanted to ship. She agreed, but her husband didn't. He was "old school" and didn't want to learn new technology. A month later she emailed Joe, thanked him for everything, and said they were going bankrupt as they were now deeply in debt. "It was sad to see a person come to the point where the problems could be understood, and then refuse to take the next step."

In the early 70's Joe was a professor in the Applied Behavioral Science Department at a small college. In addition to his experience as a professor, Joe holds a master's degree in both Group Dynamics and in Social Work. He has also worked as a psychotherapist. Joe views his role at Concrete Construction Magazine as "being paid to learn, and then being paid to pass it on to others." It might be the professor in him that still enjoys learning – now through his writing.

Joe feels privileged to meet so many people through his job, including many who are innovative leaders in the concrete industry. "Part of me gets very involved in the technical areas. But for me, relationships are the more important part." He went on to explain that even in a time when making money is what businesses focus on, it seems less important in the overall scheme of things.

If it seems Joe's focus is on people and relationships – it is. "I pick up on the human side of what motivates people," he says. Over the years of working in the decorative concrete business and talking to people, he's noticed a trend. "Larger companies are often more focused on completing jobs and performing in an organized, pre-planned manner, and then moving on to the next job. The ones who innovate new decorative techniques are often individuals with a creative, artistic nature--or smaller companies who are more fascinated by the process rather than the end result." These are people who want to be "hands on" and lie awake at night wondering about creative things to do with concrete."

When asked about major trends he sees in the concrete industry, Joe noted concrete performance and durability, the continued development of self consolidating admixtures, technology to monitor the condition of concrete during its lifetime, new developments in the decorative concrete segment, and the developing concrete home building industry. Concrete home building was the focus of the February 2002 issue of Concrete Construction Magazine. Joe notes, "concrete houses are more economical in the long run since they can save as much as 70% on the cost of heating and cooling as opposed to standard wood home construction. They are safe too, being able to withstand natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornado's—and for all practical purposes, are fireproof. Imagine the impact on our industry if 150 to 250 cubic yards of concrete were added to each home constructed in the U.S.!".

The concrete industry is fortunate to have Joe Nasvik. According to Jim Peterson, president of The Concrete Network, "Joe brings to the table a unique blend of people skills, compassion, technical knowledge, research ability, and interest in concrete quality. He uses these abilities to turn his first-hand experience in concrete contracting, front-line experience from the Problem Clinic, in-person visits, and research, into information that helps all of us in the industry be better."

Jennifer Hudson Taylor writes each month on a concrete industry leader for The Concrete Network ( The articles are meant to inform and inspire by shedding light on leaders in the industry who are "making things happen."

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