The Legislature’s top transportation expert thanked AGC of Texas members Oct. 2 for a strong partnership and reminded them of the lasting mark they leave on the state. “You actually create something. You build something that was not there before,” Senate Transportation Chair Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said during a reception at the Chapter offices. “You create jobs. You build something that’s an investment in the future that makes things happen. It’s been a lot of fun.” Nichols has served in the Texas Senate since his 2006 election and sat on the Texas Transportation Commission for eight years before moving to the Capitol. His expertise on transportation issues made him the Senate’s go-to-leader when the Legislature struggled to increase highway spending without raising taxes or borrowing additional money.

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, YOU can always count on Texans to step up and help one another. This rang especially true during and after Hurricane Harvey, when flood waters devastated homes and businesses across much of coastal Texas. People throughout the state immediately organized relief efforts to help affected communities, and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) asked, “What can we do?” By working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other stakeholders, we are pleased to have a clear path forward to assist affected communities through enhanced financial assistance.

AS MANY MEMBERS OF THE AGC OF AMERICA community contemplate making end-of-year charitable gifts, I hope you will consider the association’s two charitable institutions: AGC Charities Inc. and the AGC Education & Research Foundation. Both groups have built impressive track records investing in our communities and the future of our industry. And with the approach of our Centennial year, and the all-too-busy hurricane season we have had, there is ample opportunity, and reason, to give to these two groups this holiday season.

THE NATIONAL AGC SAFETY AWARDS (NASA) Program was launched in 1926 to offer members an opportunity to evaluate their safety records against other members according to size and construction type. Contractors who have participated in the program for three consecutive years have an opportunity to be recognized for their achievements. Twenty-one companies from AGC of Texas were recognized this year, either for an incident rate 25 percent below their division’s average or for a zero incident rate. President Seth Schulgen and Safety Co-Chairman Pete Flores presented the awards at the July Membership Luncheon.

THE TEXAS PROJECT AWARD Program began 30 years ago when Raymond Stotzer, Engineer-Director of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, asked Tom Johnson to partner with him to recognize department and contractor project employees who work together to bring high-quality projects through difficult circumstances. Still today, the Texas Project Awards are a source of great pride for those who are recognized. And well they should be--these are the frontline employees who work in dangerous conditions to build beautiful and enduring highways in the state.

16 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 • ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS of TEXAS CREATING TOMORROW TODAY AS SUMMER CAME TO A CLOSE THIS year, Hurricane Harvey meandered over the Gulf Coast and dropped historic rainfall totals over the state. According to the Weather Channel, some parts of Texas saw 60 inches of rain over a nine-day period. Harvey was the first Category 4 storm to make landfall in the United States since 2004. After coming ashore near Rockport, it pounded the Texas coast and dumped rain from Houston to the Louisiana state line.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY AGC MEMBERS have come up with a good way to raise money for their PAC: Come to South Padre Island and let’s go fishing. Bring the family. The 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Classic fishing tournament (Aug. 10-11) netted the Pharr Area PAC more than $28,000. Participation increased with 22 boats this year compared to the 14 boats that attended the first event. “It’s perfect. We have the island and most of these guys don’t have to come too far to participate,” AGC Pharr Area Chair Ben Salinas (Valley Infrastructure) said. “This is a good way to support the industry.”

I AM INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL AND EXCITED to serve as the executive vice president for the AGC of Texas – an organization I truly admire and love. Many of you know me, some of you do not yet, but I look forward to working for each of you as we work together in the future. I am a native Austinite, born and raised in the “little offbeat” college town that has now grown into a major metropolitan area that embraces full-blown “weirdness,” and is struggling with big urban problems like crippling congestion.

I BEGAN THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENT’S message columns discussing the defining moments in my professional life that carved the course of my career. I have another to add to that very precious list: Serving as AGC of Texas President in 2017. While all years are unique and have their own signature moments, I am beyond fortunate to have lead this Chapter in 2017, with some of the most talented contractors I know. My grandfather’s guidance all those years ago have served me well. The work we have put into this Chapter not only lifts us up professionally, but makes us one family. My children and my bride Hillary are just as much a part of this family as I am, and they know it.

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