NUCA Chairman’s Message: What’s in a Name?

Terry Forsberg
Terry Forsberg

2015 has passed and with it, a great man whom I have admired since I was a child, Terry “T.A.” Forsberg. He passed away on Dec. 23 and left a remarkable legacy. In the early 1960s, T.A. Forsberg Inc. became pre-qualified with Michigan DOT and began general construction work for the State of Michigan. Over time, the company specialized and expanded into site work and building roads and municipal sewer and water systems.

During this time, T.A. became aware of and was troubled by the many trench-related deaths and injuries occurring throughout the United States and Canada. These fatalities and injuries were, in many cases, due to the lack of effective trench shoring systems, particularly in deeper excavations. T.A.’s concern prompted him to engineer a trench shoring system that would both keep workers safe and could be used effectively in a wide variety of utility installations. With his newly engineered modular trench shoring system, T.A. founded Efficiency Production in 1971, the first company to manufacture and market a full line of engineered trench shielding products for the United States and Canada.

Without a doubt, T.A.’s innovation had a tremendous impact on worker safety in the underground utility industry. He was a savvy, knowledgeable businessman who put the safety of his employees first and none of us at Forsberg Construction will ever forget this. As you know, the name of my company is Forsberg Construction (f.k.a. T.A. Forsberg Inc. of Florida). The company name was changed in 1992 to Forsberg Construction, but even 23 years later, we are still known to many as T.A. Forsberg. Our business name is important because T.A. Forsberg founded the business and grew it with a lot of sweat equity, determination and hard work — all along instilling in his employees his strong work ethic, integrity and commitment to keeping workers safe. This is the legacy he left for Forsberg Construction. I will always be proud to use the name Forsberg Construction, and I owe it to T.A. to carry on the company’s legacy to ensure he will forever be remembered. He will be missed by many.

As you go about your daily lives, I urge you to reflect on the name your company bears and the reason it was chosen. Is there a fascinating or peculiar story behind the name of your company? Are you maintaining the standards and expectations your company’s founder set? Maybe it’s time to change the name. After all, the name should represent the founder’s vision, in terms of people, principles, ethics, values and quality of work.

When the public and your customers see your equipment, trucks and workers coming their way, it should invoke a positive feeling, knowing that your company has done or will be doing good work. Getting a reputation is easy, but getting a good one and keeping it takes perpetual work. Let 2016 be a year that you focus on what your company name means, not only to you but to everyone in your sphere of influence. Let’s honor those who have paved the way and provided the opportunities with which we have been blessed.

Think about the perception your company has among your employees, the general public and your peers, and then ask yourself “Would I put my name on that?”

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

Bruce Wendorf, NUCA Chairman
President, Forsberg Construction Inc.
Proud NUCA Member

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