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The CFA Summer Meeting has always been my favorite association event and our recent gathering inWintergreen VA was no exception. The pleasant temperatures and inviting surroundings were a perfect setting for hearing a great lineup of speakers and renewing friendships with fellow contractors and suppliers. Thanks to all of you who made this a great event to attend.

My mind drifts back to my first Summer Meeting; 1989 in St Louis, Mo. In business for just a year, I first heard of the meeting from the folks at Wall Ties and Forms and decided to attend. I recall being encouraged to bring along and share our advertising ideas. At the time, I was placing an 8” square block of limestone, engraved with the year and our company name, in every basement wall to serve as a cornerstone. It was one of the ways we promoted our work and so I toted a 15-pound sample stone to the meeting. It was kind of a crazy thing to do but I felt the other attendees welcomed me into their midst nonetheless. I even ended up being interviewed for an article in the Association’s magazine. In a number of ways it was a risky thing to do but I’m glad I did.

We all know up close and personal what difficult times we are in. It was hard to hear a few fellow members wonder aloud if they would still be in business a year from now. Past president Terry Lavy, in attendance to be presented with the CFA’s highest honor, the Bob Sawyer award, is no longer in the concrete foundation business. He and his family ran a cutting edge company but it just could not survive. These are tough realities that we have to grapple with. We are taught that to be successful we must believe that failure is not an option. But as author John Busacker says in his book, ‘Fully Engaged,’

“ This may be true in successfully landing a space shuttle, or I suppose in skydiving, but it is perfectly wrong in leading a fully engaged life. In fact, failure is not only an option- it’s a prerequisite….So we might as well fail faster in order to engage sooner. In other words, step out. Risk falling flat. Take a leap of faith.” 

Terry has done just that. He has courageously dealt with his situation and has started another business in the conservation field, an area he was already passionate about. Let us all follow his example as we wrestle with the tough decisions it will take to pull our businesses through these times we are in.

Tim Parrish, CFA President

Cornerstone Foundations

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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