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Another CFA Summer Convention is in the Books

The venue was great, the food good and plentiful, and the views were tremendous. A special thank you is extended to all of you who took the time (and spent the money) to attend this year’s event. Feedback from those in attendance was that this was one of the best values and events we have ever held. Several presentations gave you information that could return to you the cost of attending several times over. Evening events were held on-site and included family and network oriented events (see photos in this issue). Listed below are some of the highlights.

Speed networking was repeated this year and will be expanded next year with a little more order and structure. Many new relationships and opportunities were created during the brief 2-3 minute intervals where you met new faces in your industry.

Doug Staebler returned this year and led a lively discussion that ranged from big developers to profit margins and many topics in between. There was good audience participation which demonstrated that we are all on the same page in terms of learning how to deal with the “big builders” and others who seek go make it nearly impossible to make a profit in our business. Several strategies were discussed.

David Whitlock gave another entertaining and informative presentation entitled “LUZIRS” (Lazy Uninspired Zero-Interest Rude Slackers) – How to spot them; How to avoid them; and, How to rid your company of them. David is a contributor to content in several industry publications and this was his third presentation at one of our summer meetings (the others being “Immigration Law” and “Employees as Subcontractors”). I know that he has saved several of our members thousands of dollars in fines and non-compliance issues with information from his presentations.

We included small group round table discussions this year with a twist. Several tables included our exhibitors as moderators allowing them to make more in-depth presentations about topics in which they had expertise. We also moved the session leader instead of the participants to keep them running smoothly and effciently.

A panel discussion covered the topic of fall protection. If you haven’t been party to this discussion and its implications you had better bring yourself up-to-speed in a hurry. OSHA has rescinded the exemption we enjoyed as an industry that allowed our workers to work on top of walls and without scaffolding. All of that is about to change (you have until September 15 for final implementation). Our only recourse appears to be a job speci# c alternate fall protection plan. CFA and several of its members are working on a prototype for members to adapt. Contact Jim Baty ( for more information.

Doug Herbert of Herbert Construction gave a great marketing presentation. It focused on low-cost alternatives and options to increase the visibility and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. As you might expect, the Internet plays a big part in getting your message out but there are simple and effective techniques that you may be overlooking. Doug will be back next year sharing more of his ideas and tips. He even got the endorsement from a Hollywood movie star. You can hear it by going to www. nps.

We added several more participants in the CFA Insurance Captive. Our consultants, Jay Odice and Tom Hall were present to host one of the round tables and answer detailed questions from prospective participants. I have said this before, but you owe it to you and your company to find out about this opportunity. It is the most important bene# t we have ever put before the members and it will return you many times the cost of membership in the CFA in dollars and productivity. Even if you haven’t had an accident in the past ten years and your insurance company is writing you big checks at the end of the year, you are still paying far too much for far too little coverage. Check it out. Tom and Jay will be making several trips in the next few months to explain the concept to potential participants. Call me if you have interest or would like to schedule a meeting.

Next year we will be at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City Michigan. The dates are July 26-28. It will be the best event ever. See you there.

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