What’s Your NUCA Legacy?

Holly, Ryan, Dud and Charlene Kinning at the 2018 NUCA Convention

In recognition of Father’s Day, I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to Bud Kinning.
Bud is my dad and I learned everything I know about utility construction from him. While I could spend this entire column sharing those lessons with you, I want to focus on one thing in particular that he taught me.

Dad worked in the field his whole career. He started our company with other investors in 1971. He had bought them out within 15 years and even though he could have easily transitioned into the office he chose to be the one running the lead excavator digging in the pipe. He was known around our area as “Backhoe Bud” because of his skills running his Drott excavators.

Dad was very proud to be a member of NUCA. He and Mom attended several National Conventions over the years. While Dad didn’t have the time to take a leadership position in NUCA, he supported it in every way he could. He told us that he liked knowing that NUCA had his back, and he stressed the importance of being involved in an association.

When I was given the opportunity to help start a NUCA chapter in Nebraska in 2009 Dad encouraged it. He said that was his only regret with NUCA was that they weren’t able to make a chapter work when they tried in the 1980s. He gave me advice and support that helped me during that process.

I’m guessing if you had asked Dad what his biggest contribution to NUCA was, he would have probably said the dues he paid or the conventions he attended. If you asked me, I’d tell you that his biggest contribution was passing his passion for NUCA to his sons. His support made it easy to step up when the time came to do my part. I would have never joined an association if I hadn’t been taught the importance of one from the person I looked up to the most.

I know that many of our members don’t have the time or means to take a leadership role in NUCA. But for every business owner that can’t do it there is one or two good candidates in their business. Most of our chapters struggle to fill their Boards and committees with volunteers. Having someone from your company serve your local chapter is an honor. There is no better tool for professional or personal development than leading your peers.

If you can’t serve, please find someone within your company that can. You never know, they might end up serving as Chairman of NUCA someday.

Sincerely yours,
Ryan Kinning, NUCA Chairman of the Board / Penro Construction Company

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