Hi, everyone. I hope that this issue finds all of you in good health and good humor.
I have just returned from our AWCI Executive Committee meeting in Quebec City, Quebec. What a gorgeous, historic city. On the flight home I started taking mental inventory of the weekend’s activities and the inspiration for this month’s column hit me.
During some of our scheduled time off, your executive committee toured the old city of Quebec. Yes, we do get scheduled time off—all work and no play makes for very grumpy contractors. As we walked into one beautiful building after another, I watched my fellow contractors first look up at the ceilings and then the walls before making comments about what they saw. I had to chuckle to myself—we are all the same, no matter where we are from, how large or small our companies are, no matter if we are union or merit-shop, we are all drywall geeks. When we gather together in a bar without our significant others, we discuss general contractors’ contracts, capabilities and insurance requirements; we talk about field productivity and jobsite issues; and, yes, we do some whining and complaining as well—after all, we are drywall geeks.
This leads me to challenge each and every one of you to join us, your fellow drywall geeks, at this year’s AWCI Industry Executives’ Conference & Committee Meetings in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Sept. 13–16. The Executives’ Conference is typically a little more laid back with a less hectic schedule than AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo, so it is a great time for newcomers and INTEX veterans alike to get more involved, meet new colleagues and establish new relationships. There is even scheduled time off for those impromptu bar discussions that are just as beneficial as the actual meetings and seminars. I can honestly say that every time I get together with AWCI colleagues, I come away with some valuable information or new and creative ideas that I can implement in my company right away. This is definitely worth the cost of these trips.
So fellow drywall geeks, until next month, work hard, work safely, play hard and have fun.
In addition to being the 2011–2012 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Wies is president of T.J. Wies Contracting, Inc. in Lake St. Louis, Mo.