A while back I attended the annual awards program of the Interior Finish Contractors Association in Philadelphia as part of my many chapter visits. Having found myself with a bit of free time, I took the opportunity to visit the Benjamin Franklin museum. Outside of being one of America’s Founding Fathers, Franklin is known for many other accomplishments; however, the significance and breadth of his undertakings really became apparent to me during my visit. Not only did I gain a greater appreciation of this man, I also came to a realization of many similarities between some of his achievements and those of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry.
Take, for instance, the fact that Franklin founded an insurance company and an educational academy—firsts for our nation. When AWCI started an insurance company for something no one could insure (at the time), it was a truly unique venture. The association’s extensive work on the educational front goes without saying. And AWCI’s Academy, a two-day education program featuring management and technical tracks, has been running for 27 years.
The forward-thinking Franklin was also a staunch advocate of improvements to technology. Sound familiar? Consider some of the other parallels he has with AWCI: publisher, librarian, educator, editor, organizer, delegate, printer, visionary, activist, innovator, author, diplomat.
So on this historical note, please consider the numerous remarkable accomplishments this association has had in its 90-plus years and the many opportunities we will continue to have to leave an indelible mark. Those achievements, however, can’t happen without your help and involvement in the association. If you are not actively participating, I hope you can find the opportunity to do so; there are plenty of possibilities at all levels in the association. For those of you who are engaged, many thanks for your efforts. And I would be remiss in not acknowledging the dedication of our AWCI staff who make all of these things happen every day.
In addition to being the 2010–2011 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Allen is vice president of Compass Construction in Columbus, Ohio.