Weatherton Scholarship Awarded to Three Inspiring Students

The American Concrete Pumping Association is proud to present the 2023 recipients of the Bob Weatherton Scholarship: Leighton Landreth, Shelby Willy and Dustin Cook. These students embody the leadership and spirit that is integral to the legacy of the late “Big Bob” Weatherton of The Concrete Pump Store in California. Bob served on the ACPA board of directors for more than 40 years and was one of the industry’s most avid champions.

Open to eligible members and their employees and respective families, the Bob Weatherton Scholarship Fund was created for undergraduate, graduate and vocational students in fields related to concrete, concrete pumping, construction and engineering, construction management, and administration and vocational studies related to concrete pumps and trucks. The scholarship award is paid directly to the school to fund tuition, fees, books and/or room and board provided by the institution.

In its fifth year, the scholarship drew highly qualified and diverse candidates. Members of the ACPA Scholarship Committee served as judges, evaluating submissions separately and submitting scores individually to an independent accounting firm to tabulate the results. The three individuals receiving the greatest number of points were selected as the winners.

This year there was a tie for first place and both Leighton Landreth and Shelby Willy received a $4,000 award. Dustin Cook was awarded $2,000.

Leighton Landreth

Leighton LandrethI have always had a very business-oriented and entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s why I have decided to study business management while attending LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. I graduated from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas in 2021, where I also studied business. After graduating high school, I attended Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, where I played softball and took several business classes and other basics. I decided to transfer to LeTourneau University this past spring because of the prestigious education and the Christ-centered culture the school has to offer. I learned so much in my business classes last spring, and I am excited to continue in this field of study.

While at LeTourneau, I am also minoring in marketing and in biblical studies, as well as playing Division Ill softball. I’ve been playing softball since I was 10 years old now, and it has helped me grow into who I am today. Softball has taught me how to overcome many obstacles, face adversity head-on, and become a strong leader. Because of this sport, I have learned so many valuable lessons, and it has truly built me into the strong young woman I am. I believe that I possess great leadership skills both on and off the softball field. I always stand strong in my morals and values, and I do my best to have a positive impact on others around me, no matter the circumstances.

The biggest influence that drove me to study business in college is my family’s company. My parents built a flatwork and foundation company, Landreth Construction, from the ground up back in 2009. From that point on, all things construction-related intrigued me, and I wanted to be involved in the family business from a young age. Later, in 2019, my family started Bigfoot Concrete Pumping. This company and the growth it has endured is what drove me farther into wanting to learn everything I could about the construction industry, but especially the ins and outs of simply running a successful business.

I worked for Bigfoot Concrete Pumping my senior year of high school while I was doing online school because of the Covid-19 pandemic. During my time there, I learned so much about pump trucks, dispatching, creating reports, invoicing and much more. I ended up attending the World of Concrete convention in Las Vegas a couple years ago where I learned even more about the pump industry. It was such an awesome event, and I am ready to go back. Just last year, I went to the Betonstar headquarters in Wisconsin with my father, Paul Landreth, to purchase new pumps. We also stopped by the Putzmeister factory while we were up north. That experience taught me a lot about how my family does business, and I enjoyed being a part of that process.

I am anxious to learn more about how to manage a successful company, and I am confident that LeTourneau is just the right place to do so. I will be a junior this year, but I plan to continue my education and obtain my master’s in business administration so I may be an asset to Bigfoot Concrete Pumping in its future ventures. My parents have been the best role models, and I cannot wait to continue what they have started. I look forward to my future in the pumping industry. #PumpOn

Shelby Willy

Shelby WIllyI chose to pursue engineering because I enjoy learning new things, problem-solving and mission-based work where I can make a difference. I was always conflicted on what I wanted to do for a living because I always loved math and science but knew I had a purpose for helping others.

Because of this, I always leaned towards the medical or education fields, but then I discovered the power of engineering. I found organizations such as Engineers Without Borders and Engineering Ministries International. They do amazing work to utilize engineering principles as an avenue to serve others. I am hopeful that I will be a member of one of these organizations once I become a professional engineer.

I am about to enter my senior year of college at the University of Oklahoma in architectural engineering. As I write this, I am also currently wrapping up my summer internship at CEC Corporation in Oklahoma City as a structural engineering intern. I have loved every minute of it and have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I have recently been deciding whether I want to pursue a master’s degree. I am conflicted because I would love to continue my education, but I am limited by financial resources. If I decided to pursue a graduate degree, it would be a civil engineering master’s with an emphasis on structural engineering. After graduation, I hope to get a job with a caring company who is willing to guide me in obtaining my professional engineering license.

Within the past few years, I have been lucky to be involved in a handful of activities and leadership positions. I am the vice president of Sooners Without Borders, which is an organization within OU that promotes basic needs to those in lower income areas, both domestically and abroad. I am also the vice president of the Architectural Engineering Institute, which is a student-led national chapter that provides members technical information, professional advocacy and opportunities to network for future careers. I am the co-captain of Steel Bridge Team, where I coordinate with our fabrication lead, design lead and other members to educate students on applying their knowledge from class to a real design and fabrication process.

It would be a blessing to receive this scholarship because I am trying to pay for college on my own. I work every chance that I get, but during school I just don’t have time for a job. Being busy with homework and attending classes is usually stressful and time-consuming. If I were given this scholarship, it would take one more thing off my shoulders, allowing me to whole-heartedly accomplish my goals and academics.

Dustin Cook

Dustin CookA student at Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington, Dustin is also an ACPA certified concrete pump operator and began his pumping career in a unique way.

“Who wants to learn how to drive and operate a concrete pump?” This was a question asked to a room full of concrete foundation laborers during our weekly safety meeting. In a room full of quiet men, I raised my hand and said, “I like concrete.” I had no idea that my half-sarcastic remark would lead me down a path that would eventually turn into a flourishing career.

So here I am close to 10 years later and I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. When I began my training as a concrete pump operator, I was living on my parent’s couch with no driver’s license and less than a year of sobriety, working towards getting my life back in order. Today I have close to 10 years of sobriety and 10 years in the industry. I continually wake up and think, “l can’t believe I get paid to do this!” I say that because I love my job. Every day is a new job site, with a new crew and a new challenge that I get to tackle solo.

I started my career with a small mom-and-pop company called Yokes Construction. I owe a lot of my success to a chance they took on me. When I went for my first interview, they bluntly told me, “You have nothing to offer with no experience and we’re taking a chance in hiring you.” Needless to say, I was very intimidated. I worked there building foundations, pouring them and pumping concrete. They were even patient enough to teach me how to maintain and work on concrete pumps, which also started my fascination with them. I wanted to be the best, and to be the best, I felt that I needed to learn how they functioned and operated. During my seven years at Yokes Construction, I was blessed with meeting my wife, buying a house and starting a family.

My experience and time there eventually brought me to a bigger and better job at Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping. When I started there, I knew I was home.

We run some of the best equipment, with the best operators, on the biggest jobs. I wanted to stand out above the rest and continued my education through Putzmeister by attending service and maintenance classes. I wanted to learn it all.

My time at Brundage-Bone has shown me that there is more to pumping concrete than just pumping concrete and, so I decided to enroll in night school through Pierce College with the goal of getting a degree in construction management. With this grant, I will alleviate some of the financial burden of working full-time, going to school at nights and raising a family. In my heart I know I can do it. Just like with a stressful job pumping concrete — l don’t know how to fail.

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