My Impressions

Laura M. Porinchak / July 2021

This month we introduce you to Shawn Burnum, AWCI’s new president. AWCI’s presidential terms began July 1, which is the start of our fiscal year, and Shawn was more than ready to go months ago. A vice president in a company that is one of our largest members, Performance Contracting, Inc., Shawn has plenty of knowledge about construction activity in various regions around the country thanks to PCI’s reach with more than 40 offices nationwide. His experience is enhanced by the various projects and services PCI provides.
I often use this page every July to tell you my personal impressions of AWCI’s incoming president—call it a peek behind-the-scenes. I have known our past presidents fairly well, but Shawn kind of sneaked up on me. He has been attending AWCI’s meetings for several years, but I until recently, I didn’t really know him. This is rare. I don’t know everyone, but I usually have some sort of relationship with the incoming executives, and that relationship usually begins well before that person is invited to serve on AWCI’s executive committee or board. Shawn was a standout from the start, but he doesn’t seek the spotlight.
My first impression was that this guy is smart—“smarter than the average bear.” (Yogi? Anyone?) Shawn is not an in-your-face kind of person. He attends all the big events but he blends in, in a good way. I think he is one to look around, examine his surroundings, soak it all in, process it, and then BOOM! Action! He is a take-charge person who is also introspective and purposeful. He has plans for well-thought-out initiatives, he sees the big picture, he is forward-thinking. Many qualities you want in a true leader. That’s my impression of Shawn. You can judge for yourself by reading his first President’s Message on page 5 and the feature article about him on page 36.
I hope you will consider joining us in October in New Orleans for AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo, and I really hope you have the opportunity there to meet our new president in person. If you want an introduction, let me know. I will make it happen.
And in case you’re wondering, I said earlier that I think it helps round out the picture when I give you my personal impressions of the people running our association and who have great influence in the wall and ceiling industry. If there ever was a case when I thought the incoming president was a jerk, I would tell you—in a most polite and encrypted way that wouldn’t get me fired. ;) But the fact is, I have been blessed in that all of AWCI’s presidents have impressed me in some way, and after 28 years, I don’t think I will ever have to write an encrypted message to you. AWCI members, whether or not they ever serve on the board or executive committee, are wonderful, smart, entertaining, generous and resilient people whom I admire and treasure; I am proud to call many of them my friends.
I’ve blabbed on long enough to fill this page, and I still haven’t gotten to what else is in this issue. So I am going to stop writing now and leave it in your capable hands to figure out what you want to read next. Go to our Table of Contents (page 3) to see what else we offer this month.