For those of you who attended SMACNA’s Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii, you know how good it was to be back together, networking and enjoy the educational and thought-provoking sessions offered by SMACNA. The transition to in-person meetings was a pleasant one.
Transitions are a part of life, and we are all experiencing more than our fair share now whether its economic, personal or professional. But it is our adaptability that has made our industry thrive during the pandemic and during this emergence back to a “new normal.” If I have learned anything, it’s to trust transitions and look to them as opportunities.
The pending retirement of Vince Sandusky, CEO of SMACNA, is an opportunity for his successor, Aaron Hilger (who will assume the CEO responsibilities on Jan. 1, 2022) to bring a fresh perspective to SMACNA’s industry stewardship and service. I look forward to working with Aaron on a variety of issues, none more important to me than engaging, educating and preparing the next generation of contractor owners, presidents and CEOs.
These future leaders will take the reins in an environment that is more competitive than ever, and they must have the knowledge and skills necessary to run a technologically advanced and highly efficient business. SMACNA should play an instrumental role in preparing the next generation to run our industry.
My transition to SMACNA President after two amazing years with Angie Simon serving in this role is my opportunity to help our industry grow more competitive. My deepest gratitude goes to Angie for her leadership, knowledge and guidance — past, present and in the future. Her commitment to improving our industry and making us all more competitive is pure selflessness that we all should recognize and applaud.
The year ahead will be an opportunity for me to challenge all our members with the question one of my mentors used to ask to challenge me, “Did you get better today?” This question has motivated me most of my life. I make every attempt possible to answer that question each day with, “Yes, I did.”
My advice to every SMACNA member is to challenge yourself to get better each day. At the end of each day, ask yourself, “Did I get better today?” Learn something new and useful that will make some aspect of your business more competitive. Sharpen a management or business skill you know needs some work. At the end of the day, it’s you and that person staring back at you in the mirror, so make the most of each day by challenging yourself to improve.
Al LaBella, SMACNA President