The ECA’s Board of Directors will be meeting on January 21 from 12-2pm at our annual Strategic Planning Retreat from 12-2pm. New President Dave Weller and his Exec Team for 2020 (Josh Cleaver-Vice President, Walt Turner-Treasurer, Erik Fowler-Secretary, and Kevin Ghilotti -Past President) will lead our New Board in discussions of our Founding Principles as well as what we have learned in our 44 year history. Emphasis will be on reviewing our events and committees which need some serious review. Our ECA Leadership is not satisfied with the effectiveness of some of our Committees in supporting the Founding Principles of the ECA. How those committees are meeting, or not meeting the needs of the current membership will be honestly and critically discussed. I would be surprised if we do not see some major modifications to our Spec Committee, our Workforce Development Committee, and our Government Affairs Committee as a result of this strategy session. If you have some thoughts on what these Committees should be doing to support your firm, please call me to discuss before our meeting on January 21.
Our new Board of Directors are: Mike Gulley, Northwest General Engineering; Antonio Mencarini, Ghilotti Construction; Dominic Nuccio, Ghilotti Bros., Inc.; John Serres Jr., Serres Corporation; Marc Winters, Argonaut Constructors; Tom Boylan, Boylan Point Agency; Alex Caton, InterWest Insurance; Kimberlina Carpenter; Kadon Trucking; Art Deicke, Environmental Pollution Solutions; Jay Jaehnig, R&S Trucking; Laura McArthur, Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers; Trisha McComas, Moss Adams LLP; Jeff Okrepkie, George Petersen Insurance; Ron Palmieri, Syar Industries; Daniel Powers, Don Ramatici Insurance; Jonathan Trappe, Canyon Rock Co.; Brett Wilmes, Soiland Inc.
The Directors will also be reviewing our major events and how to move forward with those events. I don’t think anybody believes we should not continue to have the Installation Dinner, the Public Officials Night, the Show and Shine Car Show, our July Golf Tournament, and some sort of annual Fundraising Dinner event like our Days of Wine and Dozers Dinner and auction. However, we have to keep up with the times and make certain those events are the best that they can be. I personally feel our Golf Tournament needs some work to enable more women to participate as well as make certain ALL Players have something to play for that gives them a chance to compete. I certainly want our Days of Wine and Dozers to see a major “overhaul” and we have already had one productive meeting to share ideas with our Board at the Retreat to do just that. Again, if you would like to let me know that you like the events we have just as they are, or if you have some thoughts as to how to make them better, please contact me before the Jan 21 Retreat so I can share your thoughts with our Board.
Finally, our Board led by President Dave Weller will discuss a long needed 5-year Strategic Plan to enable the ECA to continue to remain a strong and relevant Association that represents the Engineering Contracting Industry into the future. It is no secret that many of the original Founders of the ECA have retired or passed on, and the ECA continues to operate and serve the company heirs and management and ownership teams that have taken over from their founders. That process will continue, and we must ensure we are “delivering the goods” for the new management teams that are now in place, or will be in place in the next five years. The ECA must be able to count on Member Firms to provide some key management commitment to the ECA for Board Leadership in the future. Not only do the member firms need to simply write a check to support the local advocacy the ECA will need to provide in the next five years, but we will need to develop and maintain the close relationships with the management teams and ownership that will be in charge.
We have had some success with establishing close relationships with new owners and new management in the past few years and that must continue to be worked on and committed to by both the ECA and the member firms in the future. The ECA will be facing its own transition of sorts over the next five years as several long-time paid workers face the inevitable-we are getting older. How the ECA handles the transition from myself, Mary and Cheryl over the next five years will depend greatly on feedback we receive from the ownership and management of our ECA member firms. In order for us to set up plans for transitioning to a new group of employees, we need to know what you need from those employees in the next decade. If we do not pursue the very important five-year strategic planning that will start on January 21, we will be reacting rather than leading our group in action. I applaud Dave Weller for seeing the need for this important and critical step in the ECA’s future development and I hope we can count on you to help us when I call you for a personal exchange of thoughts and ideas as to our ECA future.
Together, we will choose a path that is best for your firm and for the industry. The ECA has enabled a change in public perception of our industry in the last decade and we are now seen as vital to our environment, our businesses, and our local economy. The ECA has established itself as a “Voice” that needs to be heard when local plans for transportation, housing, and management of our natural resources and beauty of our region are tested. Elected officials and their staff realize how intertwined their objectives have become with our own ECA Member objectives and a spirit of working together has been developed and enhanced in the last decade. We need to make certain we do not allow that accomplishment to simply fade away. Setting a five-year plan of action into place is of utmost importance to all of us.
I have already reached out to several key owners for ideas on what shape the ECA could and should develop to maintain and be even more relevant moving forward. If you would like to help guide this process, please contact me to discuss. I promise I will be not be “tricking” you into more of a role in our management than using you as a resource for information. Without you providing me with that information, I cannot adequately advise the Board what steps to put into place for our “Looking Ahead” future.
From a timing perspective, I have a contract with the ECA that extends my commitment until December of 2022. As I have discussed with the Board, we will look at future commitments on a year by year basis from that point forward. I love what I do, I am passionate as to the need for the ECA in our industry, and as long as I can help and my help is needed and wanted, I will continue to do all I can to advocate for all of our members. I have no plans to slow down or be less effective than I have been. Quite the contrary. I will be working harder than ever to reach out and do the advocacy work that is so central to what we do to represent your interests. Mary and Cheryl have no immediate plans to leave, but that day is coming, and we need to plan for it as well. With your help, we will!
That’s All Folks!
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new California labor law (AB5) from impacting more than 70,000 independent truckers. Click here for more information.
The Sonoma County Environmental Health Department, Transportation and Public Works, and James Gore’s office are utilizing the ECA as a resource for debris testing, and debris cleanup for fire victims from the Kincade Fire. Please review the list that has been provided to the fire victims and the County, of ECA Firms that are interested and listed in various categories as being helpful in the fire aftermath. This is another benefit for ECA members and if you want to be included on the list, and are not, please contact me. There is no charge for this. You can access the list by clicking here