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Wintergreen, Virginia — Summer 2011

Our goal is to make certain you come away with at least one tip, idea, or contact that will pay for the entire trip – hopefully several times over.

In the last “From the Director” I expounded on the beauty of the area and the very reasonable rate for rooms this year ($119 for a single room). We are still working on the budget but we hope to be able to be able to lower the price of attendance, even with fewer exhibitors and sponsorships.

The program, however, is taking shape. We have a wide variety of presenters and presentations this year. If you don’t take home useful information this year, then you simply weren’t paying attention.

The speed networking session introduced last summer received rave reviews and will be repeated with additional time. For those of you who missed last summer, speed networking is a lot like speed dating. We organize everyone in two opposing lines so that you are opposite someone who you may never have met. You then have 5 minutes to introduce yourself, exchange information (business cards speed that process), explain your business, and discuss whatever is on your mind. ! e purpose is to establish new relationships and bring new attendees, or ones you have never spoken to, into the concept of networking.

David Whitlock, an attorney from Atlanta who enlightened us in past years on immigration law is returning. His presentation this year will be LUZERS (Lazy, Uninspired Zero-interest Irresponsible Rude Slackers). Hopefully you have gotten rid of the losers in your organization by now but if haven’t, his presentations will focus on how to evaluate and move LUZERS along and how to discipline and fire them. His down-to-earth and entertaining presentation style will keep you interested.

Doug Staebler, CFO for Custom Concrete and a staple at our summer meetings (except last year) will return to the podium. He will present on developing risk management practices as a culture within your company. RM is a buzzword in industry and it is a concept that can be applied to all aspects of business.

A project profile will presented by Sean and Scott Smith. They recently completed a riverside project that was a basement of the year winner with some unique challenges.

A new presenter this year, Doug Herbert, will share his marketing tips and successes with attendees. He titled his presentation, “How To Reduce Your Advertising Costs and Increase Your Sales With Effective Marketing.” I’ll work with him to develop a shorter, more catchy title.

We are currently planning a panel discussion with several short presentations and a large group discussion on the new OSHA regulations and boom truck safety. This will be an opportunity to find how others are dealing with the regulations and provide the basis for a new Tech Sheet. We are also trying to work in a presentation by Mike Hancock on Lower Level Living plus a possible live demonstration.

Your executive director will make a presentation on the CFA self-insurance captive. Every conference call and presentation I hear on this concept makes me believe this is the most valuable benefit we will ever provide for our members. Once you truly understand the concept, it will become apparent. This is not an insurance program – it is an insurance company, owned by its members, providing real-time accident loss and risk management information, better insurance coverage, better claims investigation, and more – all at a savings.

There will be several extra cost social and networking events but we are working to keep them reasonably priced. We are looking at a local brewery, a local winery, a possible group tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and finally, a relaxing closing reception on the patio of the resort with its great vista of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I hope to see you there. It will be worth your while.

Ed Sauter, Executive Director, CFA
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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