By Lee Kilcup CEO and Chairman of GLY Construction and AGC President
2009 may not have been the year to be a contractor but it was a great year to be an association that provides real value in a time of need. From the very beginning of the year our focus was on creating real help to our members. This help took many forms:
Politically we were able to work through a legislative session in which the legislature was not made up of pro-business advocates. We were able to defeat many proposed law changes that would have adversely affected our members. We have developed good tools (such as legislative alerts) that facilitated over 7100 direct contacts from members to legislators in the session last year. AGC’s Government Affairs Council (GAC) also worked hard to avoid changes to AGC Group Retro our workers’ comp retrospective rating program that would have reduced member refunds and helped avoid diversion of funds from workers comp retro or public works to other budget shortfalls. GAC advocated financing mechanisms and funding resources to address critical infrastructure needs. Our negative dues check off program made our political action committee BUILD PAC more sufficient by raising almost $40000 to promote AGC causes.
Educational offerings included many technology classes such as BIM paperless technology getting work in difficult market conditions how to manage your way through a recession dealing with government contracting Corps of Engineers CQC training and many other programs. Also a distance learning class was added to the AGC Education Foundation’s offerings. Our contractors were taught how to speak and write better lead more effectively and how to be more sustainable and more efficient. We added valuable educational programs to our Annual Meeting that dealt with marketing public works and economics.
David D’ Hondt guided a very good effort to promote construction as a viable career alternative to young people by taking a leadership role in Construction Career Day at Magnusson Park. I have also appreciated David’s positive attitude and his can-do approach in his first full year as your Executive Vice President. Staff turnover was virtually non-existent and everyone seems very positive about the future. We were able to manage the budget to a slight positive result even though our retro refund was less than anticipated. AGC is in great financial shape with significant reserves for special projects building capital projects and general operating reserve.
The decision to take the property management in house has resulted in significant savings to the operating budget and an increase in the quality of the tenant experience in the AGC Building. In spite of the tough economic times we continue to experience very low vacancy rates. We are in the midst of several key renewals for the building and have been very successful retaining tenants. Dick Bristow Director of Properties and Membership also successfully completed the elevator renovation and the rebuilding of the west parking drive through at Starbucks. We will continue to make capital improvements to make sure the AGC property stays in first class shape. In addition we are closing on a building for the Southern District next week that should provide a great meeting place for our Tacoma area contractors.
One of the ways that we wanted to add membership value was by getting out and talking to you and finding out what you need. As of this writing we have visited 95% of our general contractor members and have reported back on what you said. We were able to keep the vast majority of our general contractor members in spite of the worst economy in over 50 years.
We had a little fun too. The board meetings were engaging the golf tourneys continue to be well attended and entertaining the district meetings featured great speakers and plenty of fellowship and the Future Leadership Forum had a very good second year with significantly increased attendance and membership.
Last but not least we were able to develop a fairly succinct strategic plan that will help the organization deal with key political property membership and educational issues in the next few years.
The last few years as a chapter officer have been very educational for me; I met some great people learned lots and thoroughly enjoyed the experience I would encourage you to get involved in the AGC you will make a difference and it will make a difference in you. Thank you for the opportunity to be your president.