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Stay Informed

Interesting times we’re living in, eh? This coronavirus situation feels like something out of a Michael Crichton novel or a sci-fi movie. People are hoarding supplies leaving grocery store shelves bare, schools are closed, events large and small have been canceled—it’s like a major snowstorm without the snow.


We here at AWCI are no stranger to major events being canceled; we were forced to cancel our annual convention and trade show last month. (See President Brinkerhoff’s comments about this on the previous page.) It was a difficult decision to make at the time, but as the virus spread and more places shut down, we know the decision we made was correct. My biggest regret, though, is that we now don’t have our annual networking and human interaction opportunities. I suppose that will make our September conference that much more meaningful.


As I write this in mid-March, I am seeing plenty of emails from industry manufacturers and suppliers who are taking all the right preventive measures to ensure their employees stay healthy, and businesses are remaining open. But by the time you receive this magazine, the current challenges could be vastly different. So far, Boston and San Francisco have shut down nonessential construction projects, and we are being told to expect things to get worse before they get better. Are you prepared for this? How do you even start to prepare for something like this? We’ll examine this subject in upcoming issues.


For now, though, there is a chance you are holding this magazine in your hands while confined to your home, doing your part to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Good for you! Perhaps this new stay-at-home environment will allow you to spend a little more time with our magazine. I highly recommend it!


We start with the feature article that begins on page 24, which asked some AWCI member contractors to tell us about their plans for passing the torch on to the next generation of leaders. Some have chosen family members while others have selected a key employee who is capable of taking the lead. The article examines ways to identify and then groom future leaders for success, and knowing when the timing is right for you to leave and for your successor to take over.


The article on page 45, which is by George Hedley of Hardhat Presentation fame, examines the process for making sure you’re compensated for your change-order work. You might have a legitimate claim, but if you want to get paid for extra work, documentation is a must. This article advises on how and when to get change orders signed. As the title of the article clearly states, “if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.” Read this article and you will be better able to protect your company by knowing how to handle the two different kinds of change orders.


Finally, our annual list of AWCI member contractors and their fields of service can be found on page 32. Our general-contractor readers will want to pay this section close attention, and keep it close by for future reference.


As I close, I wish you all the best. Stay informed, stay healthy, stay busy. We’ve endured major business disruptions in the past, and we will get through this one too.

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