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Info Expo

Client: North Texas Cement Company (Gifford Hill)
Summer 1990


Cement manufacturer located just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex seeks to explain its use of waste-derived fuel to its host community of Midlothian.

“Info Expo”was intended to introduce the general public to Gifford Hill’s practice of recovering select hazardous waste for use as a substitute fuel for manufacturing cement. The one day event, conceived and executed by Robert D. Kahn & Company, combined elements of an open house, science museum and town fair in an ambitious exercise of community outreach.

The Info Expo filled over 5,000 square feet of the local high school multi-purpose commons. A gallery with a photo of each of Gifford-Hill’s 129 employees served as a vertical “welcome mat” for the nearly 300 attendees.

Introductory exhibits were displayed just outside the entrance to the high school commons to explain critical measurements referred to in the main hall. For example, the fact that one in a billion is a equivalent to a single coffee table in the entire state of Texas was shown with the help of a 15' x 15' map of Texas with a standard coffee table in the foreground.

At the center of the commons was a 50' foot long, three dimensional display describing the steps required to manufacture cement. This exhibit emphasized the exorbitant amount of energy Gifford Hill, as a “wet process” plant requires to make cement, in contrast to its competitors.

Around the edge of the commons, we had the company position five booths each with their own visual aids and staffed with company personnel and consultants. The booths addressed different aspects of the company’s hazardous waste operations.

“Each booth is designed to answer specific questions under that particular field,” explained Plant
Manager Phil Lochbrunner, Jr. “If you wanted to find out who interprets the regulations to us and makes sure we reach our compliance [requirements],” Lochbrunner told the Midlothian Reporter newspaper, “then you would talk directly to the Environmental Compliance group, which is headed by our law firm, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.”

The Info Expo sent the tone for Gifford Hill’s ongoing community relations efforts. As the North Ellis Weekly Review editorialized, “We feel Gifford-Hill has expended every effort and then some to reach the people. Whether what the cement industries are doing is right or wrong, no company could have demonstrated more courtesy and accessibility than Gifford-Hill
has shown.”

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