How do you spell relief? I’d say some cool weather would help, but then again that’s just me. After record-setting temperatures during July and August, a few degrees less in September come as a welcome relief. But before we talk about September, I must first say that the joint AGC/TxDOT Executive Safety Seminar that was held on August 9 was simply outstanding. President Bob Lanham and Amadeo Saenz kicked off the first ever Executive Safety Seminar between AGC and TxDOT, beginning with a luncheon and then following with exceptional speakers throughout the afternoon.
Nationally recognized speaker Ronn Lehmann of Cool Learning Stuff started the afternoon with a session on “Leading a True Safety Culture.” The remainder of the afternoon focused on various aspects of leadership in creating and maintaining a safety culture within a contracting organization. The panel included Jerral Wyer, TxDOT Director of Occupational Safety, Jean Abiassi of Zachry Construction, Jon Abrams of J.D. Abrams, Jim Bradley of Capital Excavation, Larry Hurley of Webber, Doug Pitcock of Williams Brothers, and Johnny Weisman of Hunter Industries. This distinguished panel provided informative and timely comments on safety within their organizations and safety methods that work.
Expected to become a tradition, the Executive Safety Seminar was truly an outstanding success. Based on the successes of the AGC/TxDOT Safety Task Force, this partnering effort is sure to make a tremendous impact on safety throughout the state in the years to come. If you didn’t attend this year’s conference, make plans now to attend next year.
Members in North Texas didn’t let the heat stop what they do best. Allowing for the heat and providing safe working conditions for employees, work continues to progress at a rapid pace. While driving through several work zones, one couldn’t help but notice shade zones that were erected to help employees take breaks where they could replenish fluids and cool off for a bit. Heat related precautions and safety measures have been high on member’s lists.
During August, quarterly meetings were held in Wichita Falls, Dallas, and Amarillo, and Childress Districts held their annual joint forecast meeting, fish fry, and charity golf tournament benefitting Cal Farley’s. In September, the Lubbock District held its annual forecast meeting and charity golf tournament that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. Thanks to Ron Baker, TxDOT’s Director of Construction in Lubbock, we had one of the best events in a long time. Participation was high and a good time had by all.
There was not a membership luncheon in the DFW Area in August, but members did get together in September to visit with our guest for the day, TxDOT Interim Deputy Executive Director John Barton. John reported on changes taking place in TxDOT and provided a glimpse of TxDOT in the months to come while a search for a new Executive Director is being conducted.
October was much cooler in the North Texas Region and somewhat quieter. The Metroplex held its annual PAC Sporting Clay event and was extremely successful. Quite a few people participated in the event in which only the sporting clays were used as targets. Not shooting anyone is a major criterion for success, followed closely by members having a great deal of fun. All in all, it was a truly successful event.
With the Legislative session behind us and the prospect of increased lettings during the next two years, members were able to breathe just long enough to begin asking the hard question of what comes next. Most everyone knows that the real work is still yet before us, and that there is a great deal to do to insure funding in the years to come.
Discussions have already started about what we need to do beyond the next biennium, and we need everyone to participate in local meetings and in PAC events. We need your input and your contributions, both physically and fiscally, to provide the necessary resources to get our message to our elected officials. It is crucial that everyone participates and that we do it together.
Time and time again, we prove that by working together, we can affect change. We can turn our economy around. We can make our work environments safer places, and yes, we can make a difference. But we need your help. Your participation is crucial to helping resolve the issues of the industry, and only you can make that commitment.