AWCI's Industry Executives' Conference and Committee Meetings

Education Sessions

In This Section:

Wednesday / Thursday

Take some time out of your busy schedule to significantly impact your business by attending AWCI’s Industry Executives’ Conference & Committee Meetings in San Antonio. The education sessions, “The Risks of Self-Perform,” “The Future Realities of Construction” and “The Employee Journey: Onboarding, SIEVE Analysis, uMapping and Raving Fans,” are musts for all senior level industry professionals.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
The Risks of Self-Perform

Speaker: Greg Eckstrom, California Drywall

Let’s be clear: There are definite risks associated with a general contractor self-performing metal framing, drywall and taping— work that, for good reason, is mainly done by specialty subcontractors. The GCs that have created framing and drywall divisions say that self-performing benefits their clients, but what are the real costs? Everything in the construction business is a trade-off, so what risks are you exposed to if a GC self-performs this specialized scope of work?

Greg Eckstrom

Greg Eckstrom

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Greg Eckstrom is vice president at California Drywall where he is responsible for the company’s marketing, business development, human resources and safety programs. He re-joined the family business in 2004 after spending 20 years in marketing where he was a member of the management team of numerous new media startups. A third generation family business, Eckstrom officially got his start at California Drywall at the age of 16 and spent every subsequent summer during high school and college working in the field.

8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The Future Realities of Construction

Speaker: Cody Nowak, DisruptAEC

The reality of design validation, 3D coordination and building of the built environment is in a state of disconnection. We live in a constant 1:1 human scale in real reality, and yet we design and coordinate in scaled 2D drawings and 3D BIM models. How does the aging AEC industry bridge the tribal knowledge gap with processes of construction that take years to learn?

Virtual and augmented reality are new technologies that are advancing at an incredible pace and have promise to improve workflow. In today’s construction economy there is higher demand for construction workforce but a supply of less skilled labor that cannot fulfill the demand. Virtual and augmented reality can bridge the tribal knowledge gap allowing experienced generations to easily transfer knowledge to younger generations, thus ramping up the skills of the workforce via technology. The reality is, construction needs a disruption.

Cody Nowak

Cody Nowak

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Cody Nowak has experience in the AEC industry coordinating projects with architects, MEP engineers, general contractors and a variety of subcontractors. As a technology evangelist, Nowak is bridging the gap between technology, BIM and AEC with the purpose of integrating virtual reality and augmented reality into a prominent role. He is working on progressing the AEC industry toward the integration of real-time 3D engines to be used for powering real-time collaboration and ultimately the use of real-time BIM in the field via emerging hardware technologies. His innovative efforts were recognized by ENR magazine, which honored him as an “ENR Award of Excellence Top 25 Newsmaker 2016” and at Bluebeam eXtreme 2016 with “The Trailblazer” award. This along with his experience, innovation and ingenuity are making Nowak’s vision of 3D technology integration into the tech and AEC industries a virtual reality.


Thursday, Sept. 27

8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The Employee Journey: Onboarding, SIEVE Analysis, uMapping and Raving Fans

Speakers: Michael D. Novakoski, LEED® AP, John Parker, Elzinga & Volkers Construction Services and The EV Group, and Rob Dwortz, Become Unmistakable LLC

Returning to speak after rave reviews from AWCI’s Industry Executives’ Conference in Vancouver in 2015, Elzinga & Volkers share the next step in their journey by providing their talent management approach, which has led to creating a “virtual employee waiting room” where highly skilled employees wait to join E&V as the company grows. You will learn unique strategies to attract, retain, develop and connect employees to the company’s purpose and plans in an unmistakable way. Session participants will receive a copy of their book, “Become Unmistakable – Start the Journey from Commodity to Oddity.”

Over the past several years as the job market has tightened, executives and hiring managers have struggled to attract and retain top talent in their industries. Companies have made serious efforts to understand the needs of the large and productive millennial generation in order to reduce turnover and harness their creative talents. But the reality is, we face a tightening labor pool nationally. Unemployment is extremely low, wages are rising, and labor forces are increasingly mobile. The battle for talent has never had higher stakes. BU focuses on a simple shift in your thinking that will position your business to win the war for talent once and for all, regardless of generation. It is as simple as choosing to do the right thing for your people. In the process, you will become more competitive, more profitable and introduce more joy to everyone you touch.

EV has developed a unique approach in operating its businesses that has caused many from both inside and outside the industry to take notice and seek their counsel. Along the way, their approach has helped them pick up several awards.

Mike Novakoski

Mike Novakoski

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Mike Novakoski is the president and CEO of national-awardwinning Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals and the EV Group, and is a founding partner of Become Unmistakable LLC. He has 30 years of construction industry experience and a special gift for innovative thinking, visioning, communication, and motivation in his organizational leadership roles. In addition to authoring two books, Novakoski is a nationally recognized speaker on the subjects of “six-pack abs” culture, the power of VisCom (visual communication), breaking out of the commodity mindset, innovation at all levels, and “right-brainjustified” leadership.

John Parker

John Parker

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John Parker has served alongside Mike Novakoski and two other partners at Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals since he completed an undergraduate degree and is currently a partner with Become Unmistakable LLC. Parker is an expert in the use of visual communication and narrative to improve the way leaders communicate with their teams. John also helps teams find and make the connections between right-brained leadership and left-brained performance excellence. John is passionate about team building and leading change in organizational management.

Rob Dwortz

Rob Dwortz

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As a founding partner of Become Unmistakable LLC, Rob Dwortz brings over 25 years of executive leadership, business ownership and consulting experience to the Become Unmistakable team. With a focus on improving culture, driving growth and increasing profitability, Dwortz has led and advised executive teams across several industries including manufacturing, distribution and business and financial services. Most recently, he served as president of the state’s largest public and investor relations firm before departing to dedicate his time solely to business and leadership consulting.


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