Together We Can Turn the Tide
Together We Can Turn the Tide
Let me start by thanking our outgoing president for all he has done to lead our association through another tough year. Joe Hikel’s strong leadership and guidance has helped SBCA get through one of the most challenging years in our industry’s history. In spite of the relentless downward trend in the economy, our association has weathered the storm and made significant progress in several areas. Great job, Joe!
I started out in the building industry 25 years ago and have spent the last 18 years working in structural building components. The positions I’ve held range from GM of a single manufacturing facility where you do everything from sales, building, designing, shipping and managing to having responsibility for multiple plants nationwide. Over the last several years, working my way up through the ranks, I have done just about every job there is within a component manufacturing facility. I have been active in SBCA since 1993 and for the past eight years I have served as an SBCA board member. I believe these experiences have prepared me for the task of leading this association, and I am looking forward to making great strides together with our SBCA officers and staff in 2012.
This association has come a long way over the years. What started as just a few members in 1962 as TPI’s Component Manufacturing Council transformed into WTCA (now SBCA) in 1983 and grew to our peak in 2007 with 827 component manufacturers and 313 associate members. While membership grew, we developed several best practice programs to help members run their companies as safe, productive and risk-free as possible. In 2006, we launched the SCORE program, which ties all of SBCA’s best practice programs into a certification program that can be used to promote our individual companies and raise the bar for the entire industry. In 2007, we completed the Structural Building Component Research Institute (SBCRI). This facility allows us to perform systems testing, help our members develop new and innovative products, and conduct research that will propel our industry into the future.
With the downturn in the economy, our membership has declined over the last few years. This economy has taken its toll on us all, but I believe we are in a pivotal time in our industry’s history.
Currently, OSHA is keenly enforcing more stringent procedures both in the plant and on the jobsite with fall protection measures, dust control and many other safety issues. We see much stronger enforcement of building codes, and building officials are more interested in learning about our products and how they should be used. The DOE is mandating more energy efficient homes and “green” is the word everywhere we look. I see these as great opportunities for our industry to leap ahead of our competition and expand our market share.
As president of SBCA, I have three main objectives for 2012:
- Encourage the implementation of SCORE.
- Leverage the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit that SBCRI can facilitate.
- Support safe work environments.
The SCORE certification program and the subprograms within it can help to set our industry apart by collectively promoting certified programs to our customers and building officials. This united front provides credibility to our industry and encourages our customers and building officials to require this level of performance in the products they use.
SBCRI is an unparalleled resource that will provide assistance in testing new, innovative products and bringing them to market. As a trade association, we can help to evolve the industry through leading edge research and development.
One of the most important things we can do as an organization is to lead the industry in safety. Enhancing and promoting fall protection policies and procedures to create safe work environments for all is a perfect example of how we can provide leadership. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will support our leadership position and highlight the advantages of using trusses as opposed to stick framing.
These objectives, coupled with our continued efforts toward engaging the supply chain, will guide us through 2012. We’ve already made progress through our ongoing efforts and relationship building with customer organizations like the Leading Builders of America (LBA) and we will continue to grow that relationship as well as others.
This is a crucial time in our industry’s history. The economy will turn around. If we collectively embrace the tools we have today, the industry will be positioned for exponential growth as market conditions improve.
Lastly, I would like to thank the SBCA Board of Directors and our membership for having confidence in me to lead our association through the next 12 months. I will do my best to serve you well.