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A Grand Event in the Garden State!

AWCI Executive Vice President/CEO Steve Etkin and I had the privilege of attending the Drywall & Interior Systems Contractors Association’s 40th Anniversary Gala and annual awards program in Somerset, N.J. The cocktail reception, the dinner and awards presentations, the address by guest speaker baseball great Lou Piniella, and a fantastic band that got everyone (including myself) on the dance floor was first class on every count.

Congratulations to Rick Alampi, executive director of DISCA, and Tara Gonzales, DISCA’s meetings and member services director, for putting on such a fine event. Many thanks for their warm hospitality during my short visit in New Jersey. Also, I must thank Scott Casabona, DISCA’s president and AWCI’s treasurer, for allowing us to share a table with him, his family and now, our very good friend Lou Piniella.

By the time this message hits your desk, we will almost be midway into the first quarter of 2013. I trust that we are all seeing some improvement in our industry, economy and maybe even our backlog. Although we were still wrangling over “the fiscal cliff” issues at the time of this writing and the upcoming debt limit and sequestration discussions, the projections for growth remain positive, albeit smaller in some areas than others.

The end of a year is usually when I look back and measure what we have accomplished as a company and use this information to plan for the new year. This year I am not looking back, only forward. It is time to re-energize and concentrate on a positive outlook to my business for 2013. It is time to hit the refresh button and get “fired up” about our businesses and industry again.

A good step in that direction would be to attend the AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo in March in San Antonio. The convention always delivers a great opportunity to get updated with new technology via the trade show, informative educational sessions and networking with decision makers in our industry. It is an excellent jump-start to the new year, and I urge all of you to look into registering and making your reservations now as March is quickly approaching. Get all the details by visiting our website,

Warmest regards,


In addition to being the 2012–2013 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Burley is president of B&B Interior Systems, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

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