NUCA’s Fall Leadership Conference, held last month in beautiful Newport, R.I., had a little something for everyone, reminding everyone of the importance of coming together to learn, share, benchmark and advocate for their industry.
The first day in Newport consisted of committee meetings to discuss current NUCA business and activities. Six NUCA committees met, and the day concluded with the Board of Directors reviewing committee reports, discussing bylaw changes and other association business.
Several local Rhode Island members took advantage of Conference Day Passes to attend some or all of the three educational modules from NUCA’s Institute for Leadership Development. Charles Vander Kooi, a knowledgeable and entertaining instructor, taught “Estimating and Bidding I and II.” George Kennedy, CSP, and NUCA’s Vice President of Safety, taught “Safety Management Fundamentals” based on his nearly 25 years of developing NUCA safety training programs, members consulting and providing other member safety services. Three prominent industry attorneys, Charles Surasky, Thomas Olson and Kevin McKeon, teamed up to present the third and final Institute module “Construction Law, Bring It On.” Discussions in this session were lively, candid and informative. Also on the busy agenda was a session on “Succession Planning,” presented by FMI’s Tim Tokarczyk, who discussed the importance of having a leadership pipeline in place.
Peer networking and new business relationships are second-to-none at NUCA events because nearly all, if not all, attendees are C-level owners and managers, and the number of attendees is conducive to an abundance of networking. Networking opportunities were offered during happy hour, Profit Pipeline Executive Rountables and a NUCA first — Dine Arounds — where attendees could sign up for one of several reservations NUCA had made throughout Newport and share a meal in an informal setting with fellow contractor and associate members.
The Conference concluded with a Keynote Breakfast with a powerful presentation by Former Commander Kirk Lippold of the USS Cole, in which he spoke about the suicide bombing of the USS Cole, just four days shy of its 14th anniversary. The Commander went through his heroic story of leadership, strength and humility. His speech, entitled “Leadership and Accountability When It Matters,” reminded attendees that no matter where you are, what situation you are in or what field your occupation may be in, you must learn to trust those that you have trained.
Click here to download the 2015 NUCA Fall Leadership Conference preview (PDF).