So, a year has rapidly passed but what a great year it was! One year ago, I remember courageously taking over as Executive Vice President of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont. As most Executive Vice Presidents or Executive Directors ensure, I knew I immediately needed to approach you and issue a challenge. We needed to emphasize what a prodigious job we planned to do over the next year; highlighting all the transformations we confidently believed needed to occur. We were going to recruit a great deal of new members and start engaging on a new level. I can proudly say on behalf of all my staff, the Association came through! Presently we’ve gained 8 new members to our total membership, engaging over 1000 times with members assisting them with their Vermont regulatory concerns, compliance concerns, and other matters. Our goal has and will always remain true, striving to make doing business in Vermont easier for Vermont contractors.
A year ago, I said, “we were going to make memories” and memories were making! The organization has stepped up to reimagine, rebuild, and reinvigorate itself not only as an organization but helping reframe the industry. While reframing the industry, we’ve also affected the overall State economy, effecting more favorable Legislation for Vermont contractors, working with both the Agency of Transportation and combined with Building in General Services creating a better understanding of the market needs and the construction needs of Vermont. We didn’t stop there, we have worked with private developers to understand their needs and partnered with them to better produce a product that was usable into the future. We have worked to better engage our members, as previously mentioned, to effectively build the “three-legged stool” that holds this organization up today and will hold it up into the future. We have greatly expanded our Government Affairs and Government Operations to the point that other Associations from across the state confide in AGC for leadership and help in establishing their goals and strategic plans. We have extended our training opportunities and will continue to extend them in the coming months to include: Supervisor Leadership Training, Blueprint Training, and generate courses that every Contractor will want to take advantage of.
Aside from expanding our AGC operations, our annual events have stepped up to a new plateau. We held a Legislative Day this year that was filled with members ready to have their voice heard on the hill. Weeks approaching the event, Matt Musgrave, inhouse Government Affairs Director, mentioned that he “didn’t like the Storm the Statehouse” theme used in the past. With full staff engagement we came back from the drawing board with an adjusted theme for this year and I hope for next year branded, “Building Bridges”. We are builders, we work alongside each other in a competitive process, across the state, in adverse conditions and each of us come out on top! AGC believes we should be able to do the same thing with the Legislative process and we proved that this year.
Our Legislative team has surpassed our goals. The march Legislative meeting was phenomenal and it’s my hope that we participate in the coming year just as strong. Our summer regional meetings, held over a two-week period, presented an impressive turn out. We met in various locations to include Rutland, St. Johnsbury, Williston, and Montpelier. We heard loud and clear member concerns, listening with eager ears to what members need and we listened to those problems that are encountered. The team went to the drawing board eager to work on a plan to address all concerns for the upcoming session.
The annual AGC Lake Morey golf tournament proved to be one of the best golf tournaments & clambakes that we’ve had the opportunity to produce and the turnout was tremendous! From the whole AGC Staff we “thank you”; because it’s your engagement and opportunity to come with us, come to us, and for us to understand what is needed. As previously mentioned, we work competitively with each other however it’s always nice to have that time for the “industry family” to get together and to enjoy networking and conversation.
I will say that one of the biggest moves that came to light this year, and I previously mentioned the word “family” and I’ll mention it again, is one of our family suffered a unexpected loss. However, from that loss this family has risen above and is working towards establishing a Resource Center for those suffering from Substance Abuse Disorder, named Jenna’s House and Jenna’s Promise. It was announced at the clambake as we handed out envelopes asking for member support and donations. Our “family” stepped up, our contractors said, “yes, it’s time!” They expressed the greatness of this cause and willingness to help our family get through this in every way possible. You will continue to hear more of Jenna’s Promise in the future, but it remains on top of our list to help in every way, combating Vermont’s opiate crisis.
As we near our 2019 Annual Meeting, to be held December 3, 2019, we have tremendous work to be accomplished as we plan to heighten that event to the next level as well. We will be showcasing a Safety Plus Construction Expo with vendors already lined up, we’re changing the format of the professional meetings and panel discussions. It is our belief this event will be one of the better annual meetings that we’ve seen in years. I ask you to take some time to put the date in your calendar and prepare, because it will be something you won’t want to miss!
I want to remind you the power of this organization comes from members like you. Members who are involved, who care about the industry, and are committed to making memories that remind us where the Association came from, where it is today, and where it’s going tomorrow. I declared we would move forward and it would be a great ride, and needless to say the last year has proven to be just that. My name is Richard J. Wobby, I am the Executive Vice President of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, yes Eric it still makes me smile.
I thank each and every one of you who keep this organization alive,