Business Intelligence: January 2023
2023 marks the 135th anniversary of the Building Congress & Exchange — a milestone we are extremely proud of. The success through the years can only be attributed to our members, some of which have been part of the organization since before World War II. These companies are the backbone of the organization and their loyalty keeps BC&E thriving.
We caught up with a few of them to find out why their company remained a member of BC&E all these years.
Senior Vice President
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Whiting-Turner has been around for 114 years and we have been a member of the BC&E for the last 77 years. Our former senior executive vice president and COO, Charles Irish, was a poster boy for the Building Congress, which supported his philosophy of staying grounded and growing relationships. He encouraged people at Whiting-Turner to get involved in the organization. Consequently, four Whiting-Turner employees have served as president of BC&E: Charles Irish (1993), Barry Klingenberg (2005), Ed Joffe (2017) and myself (2013).
As the big contractor on the block, it would be easy for us to lose the personal touch. The beauty of BC&E is it puts faces to companies. It helps people connect individuals and personalities to the big, orange-and-black Whiting-Turner name. Construction is still a relationship business and we can’t build anything without our subcontractor partners. BC&E gives us extremely important opportunities to build relationships with the trades. I tell my people that you can’t excel in this industry by only e-mailing or texting people. You have to make personal connections. BC&E has upped its game on networking events to attract company presidents and decision-makers, provide effective networking and attract our younger people who come back to the office and jobsites saying they had a really good time.
EBL Engineers was founded in 1972 and has been a member of the Building Congress & Exchange since then. Obviously, we cannot speak to the original motivations for joining, however, the founding principals certainly believed in getting involved in professional organizations. One of those partners, “Bucky” Bukowitz, encouraged my personal participation in the Building Congress as he thought the wide variety of the disciplines and expertise of the BC&E membership best fit my personality and diverse interests.
Over the years, we have made many acquaintances, developed several life-long friends and acquired hundreds of business contacts. While some of our projects have been completed directly for other members, many more projects were contracted as a result of having another member recommend EBL to the client to perform the project engineering. The Building Congress & Exchange has been a great source of business contacts, educational seminars and social activities.
HMS Insurance Associates
We are fortunate that many of our insurance and surety clients are also members of the BC&E. This membership has given us the opportunity to spend time with these clients and other business associates at various events and continue to keep abreast of the dynamics of the construction industry that are impacting all the members. The more we know about the industry, the better we will be able to serve our clients that are a part of it. The long-term traditions, quality of the membership and the passionate leadership of the Building Congress & Exchange will keep us as members for many more years to come.
Providing a platform for local construction business leaders and their teams to connect, share best practices, or just simply enjoy some time together has helped foster a cooperative local construction industry that cares about one another and the community as a whole. This is one of the fundamental reasons that the firm is involved in BC&E and have been able to weather the volatile storms in our economy and industry for decades.
In addition, the work BC&E does behind the scenes advocating on behalf of the contractor helps defend us, enable our industry to be proactive and ultimately keep us top-of-mind with many different stakeholders who make decisions that affect our ability to do business.
President of Operations
Quandel – J. Vinton Schafer Construction
We are a family of companies built for service. Service to our customers, our trade partners, our communities and our coworkers. We are committed to building long-lasting relationships by empowering our people with a sense of ownership and purpose in everything we do. Being members of BC&E has helped us continue those strong relationships as well as make new ones to provide the strongest team for our clients’ needs. Thanks to BC&E we listen, we lead and we adapt.