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Here we are at the beginning of a new year and I can’t believe how quickly 2019 flew by. I truly hope that 2019 was a prosperous one for each and every one of you. And as we look forward to the new year, I’d like to take a few minutes to review the success we’ve seen as an association and the milestones we reached this past year.

Attendance at our VRMCA-sponsored events – Plant & Fleet Maintenance Seminar, Mixer Truck Roadeo and the Fall Convention – broke all previous attendance records in 2019. In fact, the number of drivers that participated in the 2019 Roadeo increased by 30%! It’s always great to see you and your employees at the events, sharing information and having a bit of fun at the same time.

We saw the passage of two keys pieces of legislation that have the potential to benefit our industry. The first addresses coal ash, mandating that 25% of the ash Dominion excavates be used in concrete and other construction products. The second focuses on funding mechanisms expected to raise $150 million per year in sustained revenue for the I-81 Corridor, which are tagged for various road improvements.

The 2019-2021 Class of the VRMCA Concrete Leadership Program kicked things off in August with the first of five sessions. The new class includes Charles Laverty (Boxley), David Novitizki (Titan Virginia), Nate Powers (Vulcan Materials), Matt Slocum (Capital Concrete, Inc.), and Kevin Smith (Chandler Concrete). So much more to come in the next year from this group.

Our promotional efforts have ramped up over the course of the year. Connections have been made and conversations started. I say “started” because we all know that those conversations need to continue on an ongoing basis to build and maintain relationships. We’ve taken advantage of the NRMCA Concrete Design Center, submitting more than 10 projects. And we hosted what I believe is our first VRMCA Hard Hat Tour in the Blue Ridge region late in November. The event – which was held at the new Slavic Christian Church in Rockingham County – offered the opportunity to learn more about insulated concrete forms construction. We look forward to scheduling more of these events next year!

We continue to make inroads with our marketing efforts, through social media, branding and public relations. However, the one item I want to touch on specifically is the “I Build Virginia Strong!” campaign. It’s fair to say that the folks that work in the field day in and day out are a critical part of our industry. This campaign celebrates all those people from across Virginia. If you haven’t seen the posts, I encourage you to head to the VRMCA Facebook page and check them out. At the same time, take a few minutes and send information for a few of your employees (including a quick snapshot) to our Marketing Director so they can be featured, too!

Lastly, we closed the year with a meeting at the NRMCA headquarters in Alexandria, VA with the goal of strengthening our partnership in the years to come. You can read more about that meeting here.

A lot of positives throughout the course of the year, and several successes we can continue to build upon in 2020!

Together, let’s Build Virginia Strong!