People who know me understand that even though I run a busy company, I find time for a lot of things important to me — family, friends, playing guitar, my guitar shop, hiking, the slopes and NUCA. Yes, NUCA ranks pretty high on my priority list. I do all these things because they all matter to me, and if I don’t consciously make the time, I know they won’t happen. When I was asked to attend my first NUCA convention, the event wasn’t even on my radar. I simply had too much going on. However, once I decided to attend the convention in 2004, it opened many doors for me, both professionally and personally.
Our 2017 convention is coming up March 4-6 in Las Vegas. Please check out our convention brochure in this issue and see what the event has to offer. I’m sure you think you don’t have time to get away, but let’s face it, if we all waited until we thought we had time to do things, they would never happen. We have to make the time, and trust me, NUCA’s convention will be well worth it!
When I attended my first convention, I had no idea what I would be walking into, but it didn’t take long to figure out that NUCA people are a ton of fun (and definitely know how to bring a happy hour to life). But, more importantly, I knew immediately that I was in my element, surrounded by smart, successful people, many who have built successful businesses from the ground up. We all know that running a successful business is difficult. So, when you can talk to people who understand and deal with the same issues as you, the information you pick up is invaluable. My only regret leaving my first convention is that I had not made the time to get there sooner.
A lot of you are probably going to CONEXPO-CON/AGG March 7-11, so this is a great chance to come experience a NUCA convention without a lot of extra expense. Come to Vegas early for our convention, then head to CONEXPO after. The contrast between the two shows is obvious and both are well worth your time. Please take 15 minutes to get online and register for the NUCA convention now, take advantage of the CONEXPO discount and get yourself to Vegas. You won’t regret it.
Your attendance matters and will give you the opportunity to affect the outcome of many issues you face — safety, regulations, damage prevention, federal policy, trenchless technology or other important industry needs. We have committees that deal with all of them, and we need your knowledge and expertise to advance our industry. Don’t underestimate your value to NUCA. Whether you are a contractor or supplier, you can help shape association policy to protect the future of our industry. We are facing a barrage of external issues that need attention, and we need you to step up and get involved. If you come as a new attendee or come back after several years of being gone, I will personally buy you a drink and thank you for joining the team.
Switching gears, please turn to our Inside Washington column on page 42 to read about the great year we had on the advocacy front. I hope you all took the time to vote, as the outcome will undoubtedly affect our businesses. As I write this, the election is 10 days away, so I don’t know the outcome, but I hope it mattered enough that you got out and voted.
Finally, as we approach the holidays, please enjoy and appreciate the people that make a difference in your life. Not just family and friends, but the people who show up to work every day, work hard and are loyal to your company. It doesn’t matter how you show your appreciation (bonuses, holiday parties, a day off or genuine words of appreciation), it’s just important to show it — because it really does matter.
Have a great holiday season everyone. We’ll talk again in January.
NUCA Chairman of the Board
Underground Infrastructure Technologies