Casey Schwager

CAGC is entering the year of our 100th Anniversary!  While reflecting on my thoughts and direction for this organization, I can’t help but to express how fortunate I am to be not only a member of this organization but also serve as Chairman of the Board during such a pivotal and historic time for us. 

The organization has committed to the lofty yet achievable goal of 100+ meetings in our 100th Year. It is important to note that over the past few years we have seen a progression and diversification in these meetings. The local meetings across North and South Carolina now range in diversity from social hours in the evening to lunch meetings with important guest speakers like NC House Speaker Tim Moore, Leland Colvin, South Carolina Deputy Secretary for Engineering, North Carolina House Member Representative Dean Arp, North Carolina Senator Jim Perry, South Carolina Senator Thomas Alexander, Gary Cannon, The Executive Director of Workers Compensation Commission and Amy Hill with the South Carolina Department Employment and Workforce. The Annual Convention will take place in beautiful Aruba this year and I look forward to seeing many of you there. Our Summer Summit returns to Hilton Head Island this year, and to top it off we will have our Centennial Celebration in Charlotte in November! 

As you all know, the skilled workforce shortage is a constant concern for our industry. A few years ago, CAGC began the Build Your Career program that is now led by Tammy Ford. I am very pleased with the progress made in this arena and ask you to reach out to Tammy and get involved. We currently are targeting both Middle and High Schools and need your help to cover your local communities.

I was very excited to be able to attend the Young Leaders Conference in Wilmington this past October which drew 170 young men and women. This program continues to grow and be a success for our organization. As they are the future of both your organizations and CAGC, I challenge the Young Leaders to continue their involvement and help grow our industry by contributing to the Build Your Career program. These younger leaders can have the greatest impact on the youth around the Carolinas. They are by far our industry’s best ambassadors!

The Membership Committee continues to be extremely active and their dedication has led to one of the strongest retention rates in years. This not only points to the strong economy but the hard work of the committee and staff.

CAGC enters its 100th anniversary in 2020 on the strongest financial footing we have had in years. The men and women that we must thank for this position are too many to attempt to list, so I will simply say thank you to all that have served this association.  The three financial pillars that were developed by Dave Simpson at the request of former Chairman of the Board Paul Mashburn have all been instituted with great success and have a lot to do with our current position.

Recent Board Chairs have all referenced songs for their themes of past and future years for their tenure as Board Chair. There was the “Long and Winding Road”, “Into the Great Wide Open” and “Ain’t no Stopping Us Now.” Reflecting on this organization and the progress that has been made, in addition to where we are heading, I can’t help but think of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. Believe it or not, this is not a reference to Clemson University but rather a reference to CAGC and our current staff. There is one line in this song that goes “hanging tough, staying hungry.”  As contractors, we can all relate. Every job is new, every year is new, and continued success relies on innovation, drive, and determination.

Your current CAGC staff has been reduced by almost half in the past five years and the level of service has increased. The staff is doing more with less. I guarantee that everyone currently working for CAGC is “hanging tough, and staying hungry,” just like us! 

Additionally, with a fantastic lobbying team and new affinity programs coming on line, including but not limited to the 401(k) Multiple Employer Plan, CAGC continues to drive forward to provide additional value for our membership as well as continued relevancy to the industry with our combined voice as we move into our next 100 years!

It is no wonder that in September, out of eighty-nine chapters, CAGC was honored with the AGC Chapter of the Year Award! Congratulations to you all! Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and for the industry in 2020.  It’s going to be another great year for CAGC.