Invest in the Future
By: Tim Wies
Holy cow, time does fly. It is hard to believe that a year has passed and this will be my last column. I have always strived to maintain consistency in my actions and in life, and this column will be no exception—I will finish the same as I started.
At AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo, the outgoing president (yours truly) has the honor of speaking to the membership at the AWCI Opening Session and Awards Presentation Brunch. There I talked about changes in our industry, which I wrote on in last month’s column. But I also addressed participation, involvement and investing in our futures—themes in this month’s column as well as my first column one year ago.
During my speech, I asked all of the contractors and employees of contractors to stand, and I made a rough head count of 200. I then asked everyone 40 years old or older to sit, and the head count dropped to about 10. Finally, I asked everyone aged 35 or over to sit down; that left only a handful standing.
As the first group sat down, there was an audible gasp from the audience at how much our industry has aged. During the course of the week several people told me that they knew our industry was aging, but seeing it in person really hit home. In the past a number of us got into the AWCI in our late 20s and 30s, but we have not done a very good job of getting our young people involved today.
A message to seasoned veterans of the industry: By investing in young people, you are investing in our companies, the industry and the association. We must get them involved in all facets of our industry.
A message to the industry’s "young guns”: Get involved; participate in your companies, the industry and the association. It is an investment in yourselves and your future. I can honestly say from experience, the more you give of yourself, the more you receive.
I want to acknowledge the entire AWCI staff for what a great group of professionals they are and what a great organization they comprise. If you get a chance, get to know them; you will be impressed.
To everyone at TJ Wies Contracting, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your hard work and dedication made this past year possible. You are the greatest team that anyone could ever hope for.
To my lovely wife, Barb, thanks are not enough—you are my rock! Thank you for believing in me, putting up with me and laughing with me. We make a pretty good team, eh?
I would like to thank everyone for allowing me the privilege to represent you this past year. I had a great time, met a lot of wonderful people, and hopefully I might have inspired some of you in a positive way.
Remember: Work hard, work safely, play hard and have fun!
In addition to being the 2011–2012 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Wies is president of T.J. Wies Contracting, Inc. in Lake St. Louis, Mo.