School is out, summer is in full bloom, and I hope all your crews are rolling ahead at full steam. This is a good time to take a mid-year check-in on the goals we have set for ourselves personally, our businesses, and our association.
Unfortunately, my personal goals of exercising more, losing weight, etc., lack the progress I was hoping for, and I will have to reset and refocus on these goals. As for my top three NUCA goals—participate in the PAC, recruit a new member, and join a committee or take a leadership role with your chapter—my progress has been good but not perfect.
I can report that I have accomplished my first goal and participated in PAC this year. I’m also going to claim the last goal (participate or take a leadership role) as complete. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be punished having to write this message! However, when it comes to the second goal of recruiting a member, which is possibly the most important NUCA-related action for every NUCA member, I am somewhat ashamed to admit I have failed to even start.
The good news is we are only half way through the year, and I have plenty of time to achieve this goal. I’ve started a list of contractors that I need to visit and promote the benefits and importance of NUCA. I’m also setting August 31 as my deadline to achieve this goal, and I hope some of you will join me in this. I will let you know how I do. I will look forward to seeing the new member companies that you recruit on the NUCA Twitter and weekly email leadership blasts.
We had a good Washington Summit in May. Everyone I spoke to at the Summit was encouraged by the responsiveness of their legislators. The majority of those we met with were in agreement with our issues. As a matter of fact, since the Summit both the House and Senate have moved forward on their respective versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)—an issue at the top of our talking points. The House passed its version of the bill on June 6 by a vote of 408 to 2! The Senate has passed its bill out of committee by a unanimous vote but it now awaits approval by the full Senate. The Senate bill includes provisions that will provide greater access to financing for water utility projects. Please try to meet with your Reps and Senators in their home offices while they are home. Invite them to your jobsite, show them the condition of the pipe you are pulling out of the ground, explain some of the challenges and frustrations with regulations or other federal issues, but also thank them for taking time to visit your projects and for supporting this needed funding.
One bright star at the Summit was our new Director of Government Relations Bryce Mongeon. Bryce did a stellar job informing us on all the issues and preparing us to meet with our Members of Congress. He pulled this off with just over a week on the job. Be sure to read more about Bryce in this month’s Groundbreaking News section. Reach out to Bryce with any concerns or help you need. He looks forward to helping our membership.
In the breaking news category, we are planning to go to Italy for our annual convention! At least that’s what I thought the decision was made to go to Naples. The leadership quickly pulled me back down and reminded me Naples is also in Florida. I guess growing up in Montana and living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m a little ignorant of the East Coast. The NUCA staff scoured most of Florida and other areas for the convention location and found this gem. They had great assistance and input from the chapter executive directors, national partners, as well as many Florida members.
Thus, lets plan to meet at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, Florida, (not Italy) on March 14 – 16, 2019. Let your fellow NUCA members know they won’t want to miss going to Naples and not needing a passport!
Lastly, with the Independence Day holiday fresh on our minds, give thanks for being blessed for living in this country. Even with its multitude of problems and dysfunction, there is still no other place in the world with the freedom and opportunities that this country provides.
Have an enjoyable and safe summer and remember to check on the progress of your goals.
Mark Fuglevand, NUCA Chairman of the Board, KBA Inc.