“Don’t let a good crisis go to waste!”
If you have been paying any kind of attention to politics for the past decade or so, you have probably heard this statement. Many times, and not necessarily as a positive one. As the representative organization of the commercial construction industry in the Greater Houston region, for AGC Houston it was more about there being “no time to waste during a (COVID-19) crisis”.
Having taken a leading role in ensuring our industry was deemed “essential” in the early days of the pandemic by publishing a “COVID-19 Recommended Practices for Construction Jobsites”, the focus of the AGC staff shifted to ways of modifying Chapter operations. Modifications necessitated by the new normal of social distancing, but still fulfilling the Chapter mission of ”bringing people together to advance the issues important to the commercial construction industry”.
Using various technological platforms, the Chapter – in seamless fashion – transitioned to using virtual means to deliver its products and services. Within 15 days of the initial “stay at home” order, the Chapter hosted a virtual Town Hall Meeting to update members of how our industry got to where we were, and where we believed we were headed.
In retrospect, we were just getting started. Under the cloud of COVID-19, the Chapter has been able to deliver the following events to our members and industry partners through virtual technology:
- Ceremony recognizing the recipients of a 2020 Patrick J. Kiley Scholarship.
- Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Golf Tournament awards celebration.
- Zoom meet and greets with State Representatives Sarah Davis and Jim Murphy
- AGC/Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Annual Meeting via webinar.
- Livestream (AGC Live!) broadcast of our Annual Midyear Safety Meeting (this hybrid event was held at the Briar Club).
- APEX judging – for the first time in the 28-year history of the APEX awards, in-person visits were not allowed.
- Moved entire professional development program portfolio to online presentations, including collaborative programs with the Washington, D.C. and Florida East Coast chapters of AGC.
Without the support and expertise of so many of our members, it is hard to imagine these events even happening, much less as successfully as they did. I know I may miss someone, but many thanks to the following folks:
- The entire CLC board – John Morvant, Tellepsen; David Maniha, Hoar Construction; Calvin Silva, McCarthy Building Cos; JP Martinez, Pieper-Houston Electric, LP; Jay Lee, Marek Brothers Systems, Inc. – for their work on the scholarship and golf events
- Members of the Professional Development Committee
- Members of the Safety Leadership Committee
- Our instructors: Kenton Andrews, Andrew Meyers PC; John Brock, Tellepsen; Lana Coble, Tellepsen; Billy Davis, Andrews Meyers PC; Denis Ducran, Peckar & Abramson PC; Ed Durham, Anslow Bryant Construction, LTD; Miguel Garcia, Rogers-O’Brien Construction; Brian Gaudet, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP; Mason Hester, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC; Sam Moore, Tellepsen; Kendall Pouland, Tellepsen; Sean Sachtleben, Austin Commercial; Russell Smith, Cokinos/Young; Zeke Smith, Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.
- My AGC colleagues, Cherie Pleasant, AGC of Metropolitan Washington DC and Michelle Anaya Depotter, AGC Florida East Coast Chapter
It has now been six months since the first “stay at home” order. And while there has been a loosening of social restrictions, there is still no consensus when things will get back to “normal”. However, due to the efforts of a supportive membership and a dedicated staff, the fast-paced change that this pandemic demanded, has created the vision of a very exciting future normal.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of creating that vision and not letting this time of crisis go to waste!