It’s hard to believe it has been a year since I moved into the role of NUCA’s Chairman. The past twelve months have seemed like a whirlwind at times, wrought throughout with incredible challenges and seemingly rapid-fire changes.
Back in January of 2020, Doug Carlson was hired as NUCA’s new CEO and very quickly began to institute proactive and beneficial changes. But during his efforts the elephant in the room quickly became COVID-19 and it was apparent that the pandemic’s effects for both the country and our industry would be formidable. If that wasn’t enough, we also had an intense election cycle to contend with, combined with the inherent challenges to hold our elected officials to task to ensure that our industry can continue to execute its vital mission rebuilding the aging infrastructure of our great nation.
But I am proud to say that the NUCA membership and staff really stepped up during these unprecedented times. Early in the pandemic, we worked diligently with the federal government to ensure that our industry was declared essential, allowing our member’s important work to continue. Changes were made to the NUCA national staff to make certain that the right people were in the right place, and looking back, I can see that those changes were beneficial. Additionally, some of NUCA’s internal processes in how the organization fulfils the work for its membership were streamlined and improved. Looking at the results, I can see that these changes not only led to the association’s growth in 2020 but paved the way for continued growth into the future.
While this last year has by no means been a normal year to be Chairman, I am very happy with the work that was done and the direction we are going. Two new chapters were inducted in 2020 and another chapter is poised to be charted at the 2021 Convention in Naples, Florida, which I encourage you to attend. NUCA achieved a healthy 5% membership growth in a year that has been notoriously difficult for associations throughout the country. In a way, I feel lucky to have served my term as Chairman during these challenging times. Whatever happens next, I am grateful that NUCA is poised to do great things in 2021 and beyond.
I leave this fine organization in good hands and hope Lauren Atwell’s year ahead as Chairman will be even more rewarding than my own, if perhaps a bit less challenging. I would like to thank you, my fellow NUCA members, our volunteer leadership, and the NUCA staff for all the hard work over the past year, despite these trying times.
Thank you for the opportunity and honor to serve as the Chairman and I wish each of you much personal and professional success in the years ahead. Remember, if each of you attempt to add one new member throughout 2021 our impressive growth will continue–and our association will flourish.
Fred Chesney, NUCA Chairman of the Board / Centerline Utilities Inc.