CM Perspective: SBCA Engagement Enhances Leadership Development


CM Perspective: SBCA Engagement Enhances Leadership Development

Josh Dermer began his career at 15, working for the family truss business during the summers. With 17 years of experience in the plant, he has spent time performing every job from catching the saw to running the floor and roof line. He now leads the design and QC department for American Truss LLC in Houston, Texas.

This past year, the Emerging Leaders Committee held two leadership training sessions in conjunction with SBCA’s Open Quarterly Meetings (OQM). While the sessions were coordinated by the committee, they were open to all attendees, offering everyone the opportunity to learn and develop their leadership skills to take back to their companies. 

I was fortunate enough to attend these sessions to learn from my industry peers, both the presenters and other attendees. As we reacted and talked about the material during and after the sessions were over, the following days at the OQM reassured me how important these meetings are to help the component industry move forward. At the Fort Worth OQM in June, I learned about “Leading from the Middle”, presented by Carlin Mueller from Trussway and Jason Ward from California TrusFrame. Carlin reminded us that leadership is about influence and is not just a top-down function exclusively for the president or CEO of a company. Rather, it is the responsibility of everyone within an organization to lead up, across, and down from their position of reference. Jason took us through a group activity and discussion about the important role of good communication in leadership. We also heard from a panel of industry leaders that explored what leadership looks like within our industry and association.

At the August OQM, in Savannah, Mike Kozolowski of Apex, presented on how to build and lead great teams. We went through a Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment that is an easy measurement of people’s personalities and helps people better understand how they approach challenges and respond to criticism or praise. While I did not take the test, those around me who did said the test was scary accurate and helped them understand various traits about themselves they knew but had never really articulated. Many companies are using assessment tests like this one to better understand the character of new hires and are even building job descriptions around the ideal trait types for various positions like sales, design, and management. 

It is opportunities like these that have me excited about participating in OQMs and other SBCA events like BCMC and committees. As a result, I recently became a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee, so I can participate in planning events like these while also building my own skillsets. Participating in this way will help me be a better leader within my own organization and ensure our continued success. 

I encourage you to invest in yourself and your company by engaging with SBCA and the various opportunities your trade association provides throughout the year, whether it’s traveling to an OQM, attending a weekly webinar, or listening to the new podcast series. If you or someone in your company is young in the industry and looking to get more involved, consider the SBCA Scholarship Fund, designed to help defray the cost of attending an OQM.