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March 2014   

A Visit to HQ

By: Craig Daley

Very few members of AWCI actually get to visit the headquarters offices in Falls Church, Va., which is seven miles due west of the White House. Through my years of involvement with AWCI, I have met some of the staff at our conventions, but I was thinking I’d serve a president’s term and never even meet the rest of the crew. Well, the opportunity presented itself when Jackie and I flew east to attend the Drywall and Interior Systems Contractors Association Awards Banquet in New Jersey, just 210 snowy miles away from Falls Church.

Upon entering the AWCI offices you realize what a first-class operation it is. The layout, interior design and use of our industry’s materials are an elegant showcase that could have a shot at winning one of its own awards. AWCI actually purchased this 7,500 square foot office condo seven years ago, so is not captive to landlord whims; we’re here to stay and control our own cost.

The best part of the visit was seeing the staff in action, and meeting those who don’t attend conventions. There is so much more going on than I realized: a fully equipped publishing company for AWCI’s Construction Dimensions magazine including in-house writing, design and layout, advertising and technical research. Other staff members are working year-round on our Doing It Right programs, conventions and conferences years in advance. There is in-house accounting, and a full technical library to maintain. Everyone I met was fun and positive. It looks like a great place to work. While they fondly called me "boss,” it is good to know they don’t need me—a very smooth-running organization indeed.

Back to DISCA. Our New Jersey chapter packed in so much fun in an evening—hats off to them. An incredible cocktail reception was followed by a full awards presentation, a fun and enlightening entertainer and a bit of dancing to a cool band. No wonder the members ventured out into a snowstorm to attend. You guys are great hosts! All of us would do well to follow AWCI’s and DISCA’s examples of how to do it right.

In addition to being 2013–2014 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Daley is president of Daley’s Drywall & Taping, Inc., San Jose, Calif.

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