Reach Out!

Laura M. Porinchak / May 2022

As AWCI President Shawn Burnum said in his column this month, AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo was truly a great success. I went into it with the mindset that we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and my week ended with nothing but optimism for our association and the wall and ceiling industry. The whole event exceeded my expectations. The best part was seeing my old friends, but I made some new ones along the way.
    
One of my new friends is a new AWCI member who was attending our convention and trade show for the first time. They say that every person who speaks up is representing several other people who don’t, and when this new member/attendee reached out to me, another AWCI staffer and a board member to ask questions and voice his opinions (both good and bad), you can bet we all listened to him. I guarantee that all your voices will be heard and your opinions carefully evaluated. Your association evolves as our members evolve, and we are here to help and make you happy. But we can’t do that effectively without knowing what you want, so speak up! We are listening.
    
Another AWCI member who recently reached out to me is Chris Sliskovic of Life Drywall Systems. A recent AWCI members–only newsletter invited members to reach out to me to consider a possible “Member Spotlight” story in this magazine, and Chris jumped at the chance. That is why you will find the story about him and his company on page 34. Chris is located in Canada (near Toronto), but he is experiencing the same things we are here in the United States. His firm may be small, but he has lots of support from a local general contractor and union. It’s an interesting story that once again proves my point that reaching out means your voice is heard.
    
Also in this issue is an article with great advice from AWCI member contractors who usually get paid on time. We have had stories like this in the past (because getting paid is always a concerning issue), but this one feels different. Perhaps it’s the state of the world that is making some people think differently; let’s just say the “lighter side” of accounts receivable comes through. You will find this article on page 26.
    
Finally, the article on page 40 offers seven tips for creating a business continuity plan. Contractors are known for their resilience, but they can’t effectively prepare in advance for the unknown (think about the pandemic). Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and figure things out along the way. Anything from a natural disaster to a cyberattack can end up a cog in the best-greased wheel, and you need to be ready. And don’t think it can’t happen to you. This article will help guide you in creating and maintaining a plan that will help you prepare for the worst.
    
Enjoy!