90 Years of Progress

Jim Keller

December 2008

Let’s see … since you last read my President’s Message we have elected a new president, had Thanksgiving, watched Major League Baseball’s 2008 World Series and witnessed many more gyrations in the world financial markets. Hopefully once the election hoopla has settled down, the stock market will follow suit.

We had a great time in Hawaii this past October at AWCI’s fall conference. Attendance was strong, once again showing the value our members place on this association and ultimately on "being involved”

This month I briefly want to discuss this organization’s past, present and future.

We are celebrating our 90th anniversary this year, with about 40 years as the AWCI and 50 years as such predecessor organizations as the Contracting Plasterers’ and Lathers’ International Association and the international association of Wall and Ceiling Contractors/Gypsum Drywall Contractors International.

The strength and breadth of our association is in its inclusivity: contractors, suppliers/distributors and manufacturers. A further refinement has been the inclusion of both union and non-union members, with affiliations being the only difference. All of us are the stalwarts of our industry and are the best in the business, regardless of business relationships. That has been the basis of our organization for 90 years—the best of the best.

Contractors, regardless of affiliation, have joined and become involved, forming committees, taking leadership roles and becoming friends. For the past 90 years, we have gone to dinner with each other and shared common goals: managing successful and profitable businesses. It has worked extremely well. We’ve identified problems and changed landscape issues such as GC/owner expectations, immigration, mold remediation, LEED®, accelerated schedules, computer automation and educating office staff and the next generation of owners.

The value of this organization to your business cannot be underestimated—or replaced. For the past 90 years we have been here in some form to help you and your business grow, prosper and help respond to market issues. And we’ve done it while raising dues only once in the last 17 years. It’s a best buy for the best of the best. So continue to support AWCI since you know that your membership dollars go a very long way.

In the meantime, have a happy holiday season, and I hope the New Year starts much better than the past one ended. Hang in there!