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An Honor to Be Your President

Howdy, AWCI family! I am truly humbled to serve as the new president of AWCI and look forward to the year ahead with great enthusiasm. It is an honor to lead such a remarkable group of individuals who continuously strive to improve and innovate within our industry. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries and elevate the standards of the wall and ceiling industry

I extend my gratitude to Travis Winsor for his exceptional leadership, guidance and friendship over the past year. His unwavering commitment to safety and his efforts to challenge us to improve daily have left a lasting impact on our industry. Additionally, I thank all AWCI staff members for an incredible Build24 convention. It takes a lot to put together an exceptional event, and you made it look easy.

With 40 years in this industry, I have had the honor of collaborating with some of the most talented individuals. My journey with AWCI has allowed me to forge a network of incredible support and friendship across the nation. Even though we are spread out, we face similar challenges—whether it’s dealing with material price hikes, supply shortages, manpower issues or talent development. These connections empower us to combine our knowledge and resources, making a lasting and meaningful impact on our industry.

One of my primary goals this year is to deepen our engagement with young people at all educational levels—from high schools to universities. While AWCI has made significant strides with young professionals, it’s imperative that we extend our reach to those who are still exploring their career paths. By investing in high school, college and university students, we can inspire them to consider roles in construction, particularly in the drywall industry.

Our magazine’s theme this month is successorship, and on that subject I want to commend AWCI for its Emerging Leaders Program, an important platform for inspiration and growth for our young professionals but also for those companies that have embraced the financial commitment to invest in their employees. The knowledge and mentorship gained through this program can be invaluable and will yield significant returns as our industry evolves.

In the coming year, I look forward to engaging with our members, visiting with you in your geographic locations, learning about your successes, discussing your concerns and brainstorming new ideas and solutions to strengthen our industry for years to come.

Thank you for your continued support of and participation in AWCI and until next time, I hope your employees are flourishing with rewarding projects as we move into summer. Let’s continue to prioritize safety and build a bright future for our industry.

In addition to being 2024–2025 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Johnny Barnes is principal at TriCoast Building Group, LLC in Gainesville, Florida.

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