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There are many reasons why a foundation contracting company might look to the CFA for potential interest. On the surface, the Association has been providing access to some of the highest quality equipment and products for thirty years. However, time and time again, it is the individuals that make the commitment to get to an event that will express just how influential CFA meetings are to their business.

This year’s spring meeting has come and gone and certainly did not disappoint those making the trip. Since implementing an expanded regional meeting scope last year in Minneapolis, attendees taking a smaller block out of their schedule to attend have found an increasingly comprehensive approach to two important characteristics of today’s contracting company…the need for improved safety and the need to find ways of improving their bottom line. We were more than a little disappointed that area builders and building inspectors did not find an interest in seminars planned for Friday afternoon in Indy but when Saturday’s events opened, the outcome more than made up for it.

The CFA was fortunate to be on the doorstep of Custom Concrete who volunteered many from their company to bolster the new direction of CFA education which is “Building Better Businesses”.

Beginning bright and early Saturday morning, nearly 50 attendees that decided to attend the management tracks began to trek through concepts of “Managing Growth through Process and Technology”, “Optimizing Growth through Effective Delegation”, “Evaluating Your Business’ Facility Needs” and “Building an Invaluable Workforce”. The information at the root of these presentations demonstrated the significant lengths that we will now go to deliver a message that each can take away to potentially change their company strategies and decisions. Realizing the importance of effective processes and evaluations, quality facilities and ultimately educating and advancing employees is the target we have for these meetings. The efforts that Terry Blake, Jason Ellis, Jason Brown, Lee Truax and Ruthie Casner, all of Custom Concrete put forth to share ideas and generate discussion were nothing short of exemplary.

[Kathy, please contact Kevin Wernimont of Tri-State Concrete Construction, Inc. at 563-583-2307 and see if he can give you a quote to use on the impact this meeting had on him and then work it in here. They are a brand new member and committed to attending in Indy and The Dells right off the bat. I think this is a very important message, especially the distance they traveled.]

Management tracks or business concepts is a strong direction that will now be explored in many ways by the CFA as we continue to provide better opportunities for companies to grow through membership. The Board of Directors met during Friday morning of this event for their annual spring board meeting. Combined with a focus on ways to implement quality assurance in the CFA (see next issues’s survey summary on Certification) focusing on topics of how to help companies consider changes and implement business strategies has become a major direction the Board has given to your Association.

But let’s not forget about safety. Quality and effective safety strategies must be employed by foundation contractors no differently than any other business that involves such hazardous conditions as heavy equipment, open excavations and chemical exposure. However, through messages such as those delivered at this meeting to the nearly 40 in attendance, the atmosphere for safe work practices can be substantially improved clearing way for better education and company-wide commitments to change. The message seemed repetitive but coming from so many different angles including pumps, mixing trucks, truck cranes and excavation to name a few, “What Can You Do to Make Sure You Go Home Tonight” was certainly delivered with sound results. Once again, the commitment of speakers like Walt Tharp (IMI), Dan McGivern (V&H Trucks), Jerry Eisle (Cranes & Equipment), Dan Bromley (ABI Corp) and Gary Brown (R.L. McRary) to deliver a concise and convincing message of the importance of safety in and around foundation construction was beyond compare.

Though the opportunity to attend this level of education in a single day is something still relatively new around the CFA, it must be noted that this would not be possible without the incredible support of the many sponsors contributing time and money to make a difference in your businesses. Our commitment to education was echoed through the attendance of this spring’s sponsors:

• BigFoot Construction Equipment
• Debco Crane & Machinery
• Fine Line Footing Forms
• HIAB Inc.
• Irving Equipment
• Irving Materials Inc. (IMI)
• Monarch Foundations
• Putzmeister
• Schwing America, Inc.
• The Bilco Company
• V&H Inc. Trucks

So we close the books on the CFA Spring Regional Meeting 2006. The number of companies represented and the quantity of attendees was a great statement made by this section of the Midwest.

We begin to look forward with an extreme amount of interest to the Summer Meeting in The Dells where we will continue our commitment to concepts of “Building Better Businesses” while maintaining our level of quality minded education on the product produced. After that, it is on to Hartford, Connecticut for our next chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of pulling together companies on a regional level to network and expand the potential to improve the business of foundation contracting.

Thanks Indy, thanks Custom, thank you sponsors and thank you attendees.

Jim Baty, Technical Director

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us