As I'm sure most of you will agree, 2020 has been a strange one, and definitely not what I expected. But each day was filled with opportunities to overcome adversity—especially for our industry. With everything we’ve been through this year, I’m proud to say the AGC of Texas remains the strong and vibrant organization it has always been, and its members continue to lead the way in the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges across our great state.
Recognized as essential businesses by our local, state and federal governments, our member firms have not “missed a lick” during some of the most trying times we’ve ever experienced. We’ve continued to preserve the pathways for all the goods and services the people of Texas need, in conjunction with providing meaningful employment to thousands upon thousands of families. Thank you to our general and associate members for what you do so very well, and for your commitment to making life better for so many people.
We should also all take pride in our Chapter and satellite offices that, even when forced to work from home, continued to keep us engaged. Through the leadership of Executive Vice President Jennifer Woodard, AGC staff kept us informed, organized ways for us to meet “virtually” and made sure the value of membership in the AGC of Texas remained high. Thank you to all staff for your professionalism and the expertise you continue to provide to the AGC of Texas.
“While there are some events we did not get to attend this year because of social gathering restrictions, that does not mean we stopped supporting them. Even without our annual Scholarship Gala, the Scholarship Committee called our membership to action. They responded with donations of over $300,000 to the Scholarship Fund this year, once again proving our never-ending commitment to improving the lives of our member families.”
While there are some events we did not get to attend this year because of social gathering restrictions, that does not mean we stopped supporting them. Even without our annual Scholarship Gala, the Scholarship Committee called our membership to action. They responded with donations of over $300,000 to the Scholarship Fund this year, once again proving our never-ending commitment to improving the lives of our member families.
Despite this time of social separation, our Workforce Development Committee recently finalized arrangements with Tarrant County College to begin a Heavy Equipment Operator training program and authorized full scholarship funding for the inaugural class of eight students.
With the upcoming Texas legislative session, our Legislative Drafting and Review Committee is already hard at it and ready to tackle everything that comes our way-- virtually or socially separated in masks, whatever it takes.
And when things began to really shut down last March, our AGC Board of Directors continued to meet monthly. While we met virtually for several months (which required many of us “road hands” to learn more about using a computer than we ever wanted), attendance did not suffer. The business of the Chapter continued, and we even worked in a few guest speakers.
Beginning with the October Board Meeting, we returned to meeting in person with grateful hearts--and let me tell you I think we all felt like kids at Christmas when we got to see one another again. I must admit it’s quite different meeting in the ballroom spaced so far apart as opposed to meeting in our board room with our chairs bumping against each other, but it’s in person and you can’t beat that.
Thank you to our Board of Directors for your commitment to meet this year, no matter how we had to do it. I would also mention it was no small undertaking to figure out how to make the return to in person meetings possible, so thanks again to our AGC staff for making this happen.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you to the AGC Board of Directors for having the confidence in me to elect me to be President of the AGC of Texas and thank you to all of the membership who have encouraged and supported me leading up to and during this past year. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the 2020 President and it has truly been the highlight of my career. As I mentioned earlier, this has not been the year I expected, but then again, I didn’t know what to expect and as my wife always tells me “You don’t do typical!” Thank you to Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd. for 23 years of employment, for the opportunity to be part of the AGC of Texas, and for the confidence in me to assume this leadership role. And thank you to my wife Cheryl: we’ve traveled many roads over the past thirty-seven years, but it’s always been together. Thank you.
May all stay safe and in good health and I look forward to the time when we can once again gather and enjoy each other’s company with a handshake and a hug.