I am privileged to attend several regional association events throughout the coming year in my term as president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, and I hope to take an opportunity to hit a few high notes in reflection on the events from time to time in my future messages here.
During AWCI Immediate Past President Scott Casabona’s reign, Scott and I attended the South Central Wall, Ceiling & Plaster Association’s convention where SCWCPA President Rick Blackburn of Blackburn Plastering introduced incoming president Todd Hunt of Trinity Drywall & Plastering Systems and his new board of directors. Held in June at the beautiful La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, the convention honored Wayne James, the retired long-time executive director of the Texas Lathing & Plastering Contractors Association (SCWCPA’s predecessor), with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mike Boyd, a Texas contractor and AWCI’s 1991–1992 president, did an excellent job presenting the award.
It is my opinion that the greatest benefit of AWCI membership is networking with contractors, suppliers and manufacturers at one central event like the SCWCPA convention. Social currency is the value of conversation and, if you are not there in the middle participating, you are losing money. It is there where the day’s hottest topics are discussed by people who have experience dealing with them. I have found that many of the issues on the East Coast mirror those on the West Coast. In fact, many contractors are dealing with similar problems all over the nation. Put yourself in the position to gather this valuable knowledge.
Information and education are the best ways to improve yourself and your team. If you are not actively putting yourself in a position to learn something, then someone (your competitor) will take your place. Do your team and your employees a favor. Step up and listen. Come and sit in the technology sessions. Help AWCI Cares get the word out about grants for employees experiencing hardships. And when you learn something from our industry, turn around and give something back.