Time to Celebrate 100 Years

Ed Sellers / March 2018

It’s that time again, time for AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo, March 24–28, in Florida. This convention is really special because it is the association’s 100th anniversary—a time to celebrate all of the association’s successes during the last century.
    
Speaking of anniversaries, it was 50 years ago that OCP Contractors, the firm I now head, was opened for business. The company, then called Ohio Ceiling and Partition, was started by Barney Paskiet in 1968 in Toledo.
    
Listening to our clients’ needs—understanding what it is they are after is paramount. That sounds simple, but it is a key cog in the success of our company, which is now the largest interior contractor in Northern Ohio. Listening is what the AWCI does well and has been doing well for 100 years. Just look at some of the accomplishments over the decades.
    
In 1918 when it first set up office, the association was called the Contracting Plasterer’s International Association and it consisted of 26 lathing and contracting plasterers from a dozen cities. There have been a lot of highlights over the years. In 1933 the CPIA coordinated work on the Code of Fair Competition for the plastering and lathing industry and obtained average wage scales for workers in about 400 cities.
    
In 1957, at the association’s 40th Annual Convention, the name was changed to the Contracting Plasterers’ and Lathers’ International Association. In 1969, a year after our company was founded, the association again changed its name to the international association of Wall & Ceiling Contractors.
    
There have been many other significant achievements in our history: In 1985 the Asbestos Abatement Council of AWCI was formed, and in 1998 the AWCI presented its first Excellence in Construction Safety Award.
    
These achievements aren’t small, and they didn’t happen in isolation. The association takes prides in what it does, and its strength comes from its members. It’s an important time in our history. I think it is incumbent on all of us to look at what we have accomplished and see that there is more we can do.
    
Hope to see you at the convention.

In addition to being 2017–2018 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Sellers is president of OCP Contractors, which has offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio.