By: Tim Wies

July 2011


Hello, everyone. It is a great honor for me to be able to represent AWCI and you, its members, as president for the upcoming year.

Before I get started on my thoughts, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fantastic performance of Steve Etkin and our AWCI staff this past year, as well as the incredible job that Brent Allen did serving as our president. A job well done by all!

As I write this column, we are just a day or two removed from devastating tornados that have wreaked havoc on communities in my home state of Missouri. These tornados have followed massive flooding along the Mississippi River, which followed the fatal tsunami that destroyed parts of Japan and reached to our western shores. I think back upon all of the devastation caused by Mother Nature and all of the lives across the globe affected, and as I watch the news reports documenting the aftermath, I marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit. People who have lost family, friends, their worldly possessions, all come together to help one another out, they slowly pick up the pieces and start to rebuild their lives.

I see a slight parallel between these natural disasters and the state of our construction industry the past couple of years. Our industry has suffered its own versions of "casualties” and we all have had "industry family members” adversely affected by the construction economy. But remember the resiliency of the human spirit; we humans are a tough bunch. We too will help each other out, pick up the pieces, and rebuild our lives and companies.

Now, more than ever, we need each other. We need a conduit for education, information, ideas and, yes, sometimes a sympathetic ear to bend. This is where your association, AWCI, fills the need. The information, education, ideas and, yes, the sympathetic ear are all available to you, the member. All that you need to do is get involved. I challenge everyone to invest in yourselves, invest in your young people, and invest in your future by actively participating in your association. Together we can be better. 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.