A Q&A With David Berg
September 12, 2023
In recognition of NDA’s upcoming 50th anniversary in August, we are connecting with past leaders and other important figures in NDA’s history to hear their perspectives on the industry and association. For this issue, we caught up with David Berg, founder and principal of the Berg Corporation.
What has been your and your company’s involvement with NDA since its founding?
My father was the first paid member and a board member of the NADC. Our CEO, Zack Gilden, has been a member of the Safety Committee as well as my son, Austin. My son-in-law, Aron Mandelbaum, has been involved with the Government Affairs Committee.
Do you remember the first NDA convention you attended?
Yes, it was when the U.S. beat Russia in Olympic Hockey, the “Miracle on Ice,” in February 1980.
What are the biggest changes you have seen, both within the demolition industry and NDA as an organization, over the years?
I think purchasing our first excavator in 1984 was the biggest game-changer for how we carry out the work. Cranes and front-end loaders are almost nonexistent nowadays.
What are your fondest memories of NDA?
Talking with the original startup group of guys. They were special people.
Who are the people you’ve looked up to most in NDA over the years, and what made them such good role models?
My dad, Sol Gross, Louie Sarko — these guys were trailblazers, and I loved watching their operations.
What are you most proud of from your time as an NDA member?
I am demolition through and through. I would not be where I am in my life without it. NDA has given me the opportunity to meet great people and explore amazing equipment to make my life a complete joy.
What do you think the next five to 10 years have in store for NDA and the industry?
I am second generation and have the next generation already teed up to use their knowledge of demolition to develop a great lifestyle. I hope NDA can attract this next generation. It’s a dirty job but extremely fulfilling. I believe the industry will get more professional as regulations keep getting more stringent and the cost to entry continues to skyrocket.
The NADC Board of Directors at the second annual convention in 1975. This photo was taken when the National Demolition Association (NDA) was the National Association of Demolition Contractors (NADC).