Through its Associate of the Year Award, NUCA honors an associate member who has made a significant contribution to the association, as well as the underground utility construction and excavation industry. This past March, the association presented the award to Yvonne Bland, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HD Supply Waterworks Ltd., a leader in water, wastewater, storm and fire protection industries.
“It was quite a surprise and honor to receive the award on behalf of our company, HD Supply Waterworks Ltd.,” says Bland. “We have been involved with NUCA for many years and participate in support of local chapters across the country. The award is very special to all of us at HD Supply Waterworks in that it recognizes that our advocacy is of great value to the organization and to the membership in which we wish to support.”
Bland started out in the utility construction industry nearly 29 years ago, and today is a strong fixture at HD Supply Waterworks where she and the company’s Market Development Team work to create value by connecting people, ideas and solutions. HD Supply Waterworks, a NUCA Gold National Partner, distributes a complete line of water, sewer, fire protection, treatment plant, storm drain products and technology solutions that are integral to building, repairing and maintaining water, storm and wastewater systems. In 2007, Bland became involved with NUCA and has been a great asset to the association ever since.
“I’ve learned many things in my involvement with NUCA,” says Bland. “First, the organization is comprised of a wonderful family of individual contractor and associate members that truly help each other in this industry. While all typically compete from one day to another for business, this organization brings us all together for the best interests of the industry. It’s quite refreshing to see everyone join together to drive and impact similar interests in safety, education and the legislative issues affecting our businesses and industry overall.
These three areas in particular are so important to the future of our industry.”
When she’s not working, Bland always makes sure to put her family first. She has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 31 years, and the couple has a son named Jarrit, a daughter-in-law, Lisa, and three grandchildren — Jeffrey, Payton Rose and Jaxon. Bland is always up for an adventure (and scratching items off her bucket list, like sky diving) and enjoys sand duning, boating, hunting, as well as traveling.
To help others in the industry, Bland shares some advice that has helped her throughout her lengthy career.
“Always be open to learn something new each and every day,” she says. “You don’t have to be the expert in everything, but be willing to understand other concepts or perspectives that might allow you to grow in your knowledge and understanding of the industry. Raise your hand to opportunities to branch out of your comfort zone. Align with mentors and sponsors that will advocate on your behalf. Lastly, share knowledge and empower your team; the transformation is an extraordinary experience to watch.”
Pam Kleineke is Managing Editor of Utility Contractor.