The Raymond Group was founded in 1936, and for the past 37 years, we have been a member of AWCI. For us, AWCI has been a terrific resource for education, technical knowledge and organizational support. It has been an honor to serve AWCI in different capacities, and I am excited to serve as your 2023–2024 president.
I thank Immediate Past President Travis Vap for his leadership and service. Thank you as well to the whole team at AWCI and the AWCI members for making AWCI the outstanding organization that it is today.
As AWCI’s president I look forward to working toward making AWCI a more valued resource for its members, continuing the success of the Emerging Leaders Program and focusing on the safety and health of our member employees.
While no one can fully predict what the economy will do, we all know that we are facing challenges: ongoing shortages of materials and good labor, projects being put on hold or canceled, inflation and increased living expenses, interest rate hikes and more. With all these challenges, AWCI becomes even more important as a resource to its members through advice, employee development opportunities and technical knowledge.
AWCI’s Emerging Leaders Program develops young leaders to continue their advancement within their companies, furthering our industry, and taking their place as the next generation of AWCI. I welcome the next class of emerging leaders as they begin their program, and I am excited about the potential they hold.
Safety remains at the top of the agenda, with the goal to increase AWCI’s presence in the safety community. We are looking at guiding member companies in creating a stronger and lasting safety culture and improving their safety programs, as well as helping to educate members on regulatory changes within the industry.
With all these safety initiatives, the ultimate goal remains clear: sending our men and women home safely, without incident, every day.
As a continuation of our safety initiatives, we plan to focus attention on our member employees’ overall health and well-being, including physical, financial and mental. We want to ensure that they plan and prepare for taking care of their families when working, and in case of a catastrophic event.
Mental health, including suicide, is a difficult subject to talk about, but it is a critical one. Suicide is a leading cause of death among working age adults in the United States, and the rate of suicide for construction workers is four times higher than the general population. Throughout the year, we want to bring awareness to the increased risk of mental illness in the construction industry and help eliminate the barriers and stigma to getting help. AWCI belongs to a coalition formed by the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which was formed to raise awareness about suicide prevention and provide resources and tools to create a zero suicide industry. You can learn more at preventconstructionsuicide.com.
Together we have a full agenda: enhancing AWCI as a resource to its members, furthering the Emerging Leaders Program, and, most importantly, improving the safety and well-being of our employees.
I am proud of what our AWCI members do each day. I look forward to the future while serving AWCI, our industry partners and communities.
In addition to being 2023–2024 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Travis Winsor is president and CEO of The Raymond Group, which has offices in California and Nevada.