Let’s Have a Dialogue

Jerry Smith / July 2018

It is an extreme honor and privilege to be your president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry for the upcoming year. With a great deal of excitement, I look forward to working with and serving our members. I would like to thank AWCI Immediate Past President Ed Sellers for his leadership during the past year.
There are several key issues I would like to discuss with the membership in my time as president. The first is our industry’s chronic workforce shortages and how prefabrication and robotics may offer viable solutions to help ease the growing shortage of talented and experienced manpower. (See the article on page XX for more details.)
The second topic is about looking at ways that we as subcontractors can improve value and profitability to where we can operate successful businesses.
Third, I would like to put the topic of self-performing general contractors on the table. These GCs threaten our success as subcontractors.
I am sure that over my 12 months in the president’s chair there will be discussions about many other important issues in our industry. As I get out there to visit our AWCI chapters, I hope to share thoughts and ideas with members about the many things that impact day-to-day business in our industry.
Backing up for a moment, I would like to thank the AWCI staff for doing an incredible job putting together the 100th anniversary convention in Florida. The centennial convention was well attended—hopefully you were able to be there. I want to also mention the centennial publication, “Celebrating 100 Years of Industry Growth with the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry,” which is chock-full of information on this great association’s rich history. Well drafted and done in great fashion, this book is a powerful testament to how far our industry has come in 100 years. It includes many stories and faces of the AWCI and their contributions to our cause. If you have not received your copy, I highly recommend you get one before they are sold out (www.awci.org/awci/bookstore/awci-centennial-book).
Thanks again for your support and participation in AWCI. I look forward to meeting you and discussing the pertinent issues regarding our industry.

In addition to being 2018–2019 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Smith is president of Baker Drywall Austin, Ltd.