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You Win!

I fondly remember winning an award for my writing when I was in the sixth grade. I was especially honored because the competition involved my classmates as well as those in the seventh and eighth grades. I had beaten the “big kids!” When I was a freshman in college, I was among the chosen few to have one of my short stories published in a book of student writings. During that time I was working as a writer/reporter for a local newspaper, but one of my greatest accomplishments was writing for the University of Maryland’s daily student newspaper. I was thrilled when my first assignment landed me the lead story—the big headline above the fold! I knew my destiny.

    

My career steered me toward magazines (the newspaper world was just too hectic), and my first job after graduation was with a forestry association. After that I became the managing editor of a banking association magazine. While I enjoyed my work, I always wanted to work on a magazine I would want to read. And here we are.

    

I have been the editor of this magazine for nearly three decades now, and I can’t imagine working for any other publication. I am proud of my work, both past and present, so I think I can understand how you feel when you look at your work. Trouble is, you have to read this magazine or search the internet to see my work, especially the older stuff. But you can just drive/walk through your city to see what you have achieved. You win!

    

Not only do I admire the work you do, I am often amazed by what it takes to be a construction company leader. Whether owner, estimator or project manager, I see talent, resiliency and strength in all of you. I could never do what you do, but I am proud to be able to get an insider’s view thanks to my chosen career and my work with this publication.

    

I have seen you survive during recessions. I have watched you rebuild cities after natural disasters. Most recently, I see you weathering the pandemic storm. Now, in this issue, AWCI member contractors, many of whom work in the commercial market, are figuring out what to do next after companies like Amazon quelled the thrill of shopping malls and COVID-19 sent office dwellers home to work. What is going to become of the commercial construction market? It certainly seems to be in jeopardy, but as you will see in the article that starts on page 24, AWCI contractors are optimistic, and they have plans. Read the article to learn about our members’ short- and long-term solutions for continuing to work in uncertain times, and their thoughts on the future of the commercial market. It may look different in the future, but it’s not going away. It’s not dying, just changing, and our members are changing with it.

    

Another change that took place in just the last year is the loss of in-person events; many went virtual. Among them was AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo in 2020. But now it’s 2021, and AWCI has moved its convention and trade show from April to October. Hopefully by then, most of us will have received the vaccine and we can resume with our “regular” way of doing business. In the meantime, we want to remind you about the supportive exhibitors who plan or planned to attend our trade show, so turn to page 37 to learn about these folks and get an update on our convention plans.

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