In mid March I attended the Northern California Drywall Contractors Association (AWCI Chapter) annual awards dinner in San Jose. One of our more active chapters, it is a great group of people that sees many of its member contractors participating on the national level. This chapter exemplifies my motto: Get Involved. The awards dinner was very well attended. Many members got involved, including some of the largest drywall contractors in the country (several in the ENR top 10) and suppliers plus contractors with 10 or fewer employees. Speaking of contractors with 10 or less, the overall best project award for any size contract was awarded to not one of the larger firms but to a smaller firm. So there is hope for the rest of us!
I followed that dinner with a trip across country to pick up our executive vice president and CEO Steve Etkin and we flew across the Atlantic to make a PowerPoint presentation about Steel—Doing It Right to our fellow German Drywall and Plastering Association Interessengemeinschaft Trockenbau e.V. (BIG) at their first International Dry Construction Congress. This was in Pottsdam and was well attended by the country’s largest drywall and plastering contractors. Our own international director on the AWCI board of directors, Alfons Knauf, served as our local host.
After a daylong construction sightseeing tour in Berlin we returned home, only to repack our bags the next week and head to Nashville for our annual AWCI Convention and INTEX Expo. Although the economy is in an ugly downturn, I believe our turnout was much better than the recent NAHB show and the World of Concrete—always two of the bigger shows of the year. Generally speaking, it seems that all our members are working but most of them are very worried about the lack of a backlog at the end of this year.
At the show, we shared time with EIMA which is now operating out of our Washington, DC, office in a new alliance with AWCI—a positive trend for the industry as a whole.
All in all it was a very busy period that certainly gave me opportunities to talk about our association throughout the United States and overseas—a great experience, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Plan now to visit our convention and INTEX Expo next April in Denver. See you next month.