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2014 - 2018 STRATEGIC PLAN

OUR VISION Lead and sustain a healthy, profitable, innovative construction industry in Arizona, which operates within our Code of Conduct.

OUR M The Arizona Builders’ Alliance exists for the purpose of advancing the



PROFITABILITY of our members and the industry. It accomplishes this purpose by helping and


a more productive workforce and

management, and by proactively and



PROTECTING free enterprise and merit shop

principles of the freedom to choose. As an advocate for its members, the Alliance provides a



will result in a more cohesive, productive and profitable industry. 1



Lobbying Government Relations Finance Labor Membership Recruitment & Retention

• Staff Management • Safety Committee • Legislative Committee

TOM DUNN - DIRECTOR FOR SOUTHERN ARIZONA • Government Advocacy Federal, State & Local • Community Relations • Media Relations • Workforce Outreach • Membership Recruitment &

• • • • •

Retention Event Speaker Recruitment Volunteer Day Efforts Explorer Post 811 Management Fundraising

• • • •

Advisory Board Safety Committee ABA Sponsorships Government & Policy Committee

ERICA LANGE - ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR • Membership Recruitment & Retention • Education Programs • Member Events

• Marketing & Public Relations • Member Communications • Convention & President’s Party

• Education Committee • Events Committee • Community Service Board

GARY TOWNSLEY - APPRENTICESHIP DIRECTOR • ABA AGC Education Apprenticeship Programs: Electrical, Mechanical, Carpentry, Heavy Equipment, Mechanical, and Sheet Metal

• Vocational Workforce Development: Arizona Construction Career Days, Future Builders Academy, High Schools

• ABA AGC Education Fund Committee

JENNIFER SWANSON - MANAGEMENT EDUCATION DIRECTOR • Senior Executive Program (SEP) • Leadership Development Forum (LDF) • Convention


• Programs Recruitment • Workforce • Membership Development Networking Events • Marketing & PR • Data Entry • Finance • Design & Layout of • Database Maintenance Annual Southern • Membership Arizona Directory

• Design of Marketing Materials • Website Updates • Apprenticeship

DANA JONES - APPRENTICESHIP COORDINATOR • AGC Education Fund Bookkeeper • Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable • On The Job Training Records

• • • •

Indenturement NCCCER Contact Website Maintenance ABA AGC Education Fund Golf Tournament Committee


Dues Accounts Receivable Accounts Payable National Reports Financial Report Human Resources


Database Management Event Registration & Coordination Design of Event & Program Flyers Office Administration Membership Packets Statewide Membership Directory

CAROL MCMULLEN - CONSULTANT • Guidance for LDF & SEP Programs • Mentoring Assistant Executive Director





EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CURRENT SITUATION At the Arizona Builders’ Alliance we work each day for our members with our vision in mind. We are the largest organization committed to serving the needs of contractors in Arizona. Through the efforts of our staff and board members, we dedicate ourselves to improving the education, resources, public policies and profitability of our member companies. And there is much work to be done. The construction industry in Arizona has faced particularly challenging times in recent years. Contractors have had to make adjustments in staffing, find work through expanding their services and market sectors they serve, and they have had to make critical business decisions that they might not have previously faced. The ABA has also faced challenges and transitions and has tried to adapt to the changes in a proactive manner. With Carol McMullen’s retirement, we have been left with one of the best leadership education programs in the country and many years of fond memories for the membership she had a direct hand in growing. As we fill this void, the shift has given way to new opportunities that come with bringing on staff with different perspectives and new ideas. In 2013, the ABA staff and board recognized and anticipated the industry and association changes, which necessitated the need for a comprehensive strategic planning process. This detailed process began at a Board Retreat Strategic Session and some of the key initiatives were to survey the membership and make changes that directly related to the feedback received. Additionally, the Board recognized the emerging and future leaders of the association and wanted to create a platform to hear from them and implement their suggestions to best serve their needs as well. Through a SWOT process from the Board, a full membership survey and a focus group session designed for LDF graduates, the ABA got a significant amount of feedback to develop the vision and strategic direction of the association. After gathering the feedback of more than 100 members, the ABA developed Key Result Areas and created objectives and a vision for the organization for the next 5 years. In addition, we recognized it was time to get specific, measured and time-oriented in this vision, resulting in a one-year tactical plan. We believe the wheels of change are already in motion. We encourage you to pay attention to shifts in seminars, communication, resources and the overall brand of the association, as we heard your concerns, needs and reasons for being an ABA member and are actively responding. The 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan is presented on the following pages, anchored by these five key result areas.

KEY RESULT AREAS: 1. Education And Training 2. Branding 3. Having A Stronger Influence In Our Industry 4. Retooling The ABA To Improve Retention and Growth 5. Board Responsibilities 5











• • • • • • • • •

Diversity of membership Educational opportunities Quality of membership Right people/key players Institutional knowledge of staff and Board Experienced and knowledgeable staff Family-feel of the association Membership working to improve industry Commitment of members



• Technology (website, video conferencing) • Communications (1 – Legislative committee to meet and handle current issue. 2 – Younger people within companies should be getting involved.) • Need to utilize committees • Empower staff. Ask questions and trust. Listen and not scrutinize • Apprenticeship program • There are wedge issues b/w generals and subs • Distribution and quality of information; ABA branding needed • Brand. Image. Who are we? What are our expectations? • Lack of a voice (legislative). Not a leader • No firm Board development structure • Unclear vision for committees • Continuity with Tucson • Carol leaving; with her departure we are losing history

OPPORTUNITIES • • • • • • • • • • •

Location/Market = Capture it Strengthen our voice (lobbyist, sales tax, influence) Evolution of business/way of doing business Diverse membership can strengthen voice Engage levels of companies to increase membership involvement Branding to build awareness, professionalism and to bring young leaders Use more member companies to help us with technology efforts. No committee or budget for technology Social Media Bring in younger members to plan/report to Board to engage more people Training and education

THREATS • • • •

Apprenticeship represents future workforce Diversity of membership Economy Market consolidation; fewer contractors doing larger percentage of the work • Legislation and regulation • Healthcare












2013 Membership Survey During the ABA Board Strategic Planning session in May of this year it was decided to conduct a survey of the entire membership relative to a variety of issues and concerns. The Board formed five task forces to develop questions in various areas. Those questions were amalgamated into a single document. While the survey was being developed the service of a professional survey firm, Advanced Strategy Center, was engaged. The survey took place from July 19th to August 8th, 2013. Staff initiated the survey with an email to approximately 900 contacts at member firms. Response rate was approximately 10%.

Demographic Results The first series of questions dealt with demographics. Responses to these questions would seem to indicate that the individual respondents are a very representative mix of the ABA’s membership. 87% of the respondents have been members for 5 years or longer. General contractors slightly outnumbered subcontractors but, not to an aberrant level. The mix of Phoenix to Tucson is roughly proportional to the membership mix. Responses to the question on annual volume indicate that ABA represents larger businesses with 43% having annual volume great than $50 million per year. Another 21% had volume between $10 million and $50 million. Relative to the number of employees the largest group, 26%, reported 10 to 50 employees. The rough median response was 50 to 100 employees by 16 firms. 80% of the firms responding indicated they are headquartered in Arizona. 63% of the individuals who completed the survey strongly tilted toward upper managers and owners of the business. 38% of the respondents stated they engaged with ABA more than 20 hours in the last year.

Program Involvement Respondents were asked about the level of involvement in 15 different activities or programs. The responses indicate a very strong support for the current mix of activities. The top three events in terms of participation are member mixers (71%), President’s Dinner (60%) and the convention (49%).


39% of the respondents have completed the Leadership Development Forum (LDF) program.

Ranking of Program Topic Offerings

Ranking of ABA Committees Effectiveness on a 1-10 Scale (1 not being important and 10 being extremely important)


Committee’s respondents have participated with in the last 3 years.

Question #41 asked respondents to indicate the extent of their agreement with a series of statements by ranking 1-5.

Feedback on ABA Strategic Direction ABA has a clear vision of the future that is well communicated and understood by our members.

ABA has the leadership it needs in place to address its future.

ABA has a clear value proposition in terms of programs, support and development.

ABA membership has contributed to relationship with clients.


Has membership to the ABA directly contributed to getting new business?

Respondents evaluated a series of topic areas and rank those from 1-5.

Interest in participation in future webinars.


Should ABA have a stronger presence at the Arizona Legislature?

Should ABA partner or collaborate more with other industry related groups?

What do you see as ABA greatest strength today, what do we do best?

Question #81 – What do you see as ABA’s greatest weakness today?


Recommended Action Items from Survey Results: • The current mix of programs and services is





membership. • ABA needs to begin to deliver educational programs through webinars in addition to traditional methods. • Reformat the convention. Either commit fewer staff resources to the convention or enhance the educational content. • Commit additional resources to lobbying. • Continue partnering efforts with other industry allies. • Focus recruiting efforts on architects, engineers and owners. • Update the association’s image, brand and marketing approach to attract new members and better engage existing members.




Education and Training Our subcommittee was tasked with reviewing current ABA Management Education & Craft Training Programs. Information available to the Task Force was provided in part by the ABA Survey, the Focus Groups conducted by the Branding Task Force, as well as our Committees current knowledge of the programs. The “Education & Training” member champions were Mark Fleming (Group Chair), Tom Dunn (Tucson Director), Rob Lafferty (Board Member), Mike Epstein (Education Trust Chair), Carol McMullen (Assistant Executive Director), Gary Townsley (Apprenticeship Director), and Erica Lange (Asst. Exec. Dir. in Training). The stated “Goal” from the May 2013 Strategic Planning Session was to identify potential improvements to existing programs (if required) and identify areas for additional management education programs that the association should offer. As a result of the financial condition of the ABA-AGC Education Fund, we felt it was important to put an emphasis on the ABA’s craft training programs, as well. This document provides recommendations and in some instances may provide a potential implementation plan. KEY FINDINGS: After conducting a full-member survey through a third-party firm, Advanced Strategy Center, resulting in 88 responses as well as a focus group of 26 LDF graduates, several important areas were explored and discovered. Specific to branding, our committee believed findings included: 1. The results of the both the Focus Groups and the Survey, indicated that while members appreciate the current programs offered by the ABA, they’d like to see a more diverse mix of topics, as well as a greater variety of speakers. 2. The LDF program continues to provide profitability for the ABA and participation continues to grow. 3. There appears to be a need for alternate methods to deliver educational programs through the ABA. 4. The ABA-AGC Education Fund is experiencing financial solvency issues. The factors negatively affecting the craft training program appear to be a combination of the economy, adequate apprentice participation, and current marketing practices (outreach) of apprentices to the member and non-member contractors. 5. The current Apprenticeship Program does not have sufficient participation in craft training to sustain profitability of the Education Fund.

RECOMMENDATIONS: • TACTIC ONE: Re-establish (Reorganize) the Education Committee. • Background. The ABA has an Education Committee, but it has not been fully engaged in the last couple of years, The committee has not met in the last few years. It has not typically been used as a source for Topic/ Speaker suggestions. Presently survey results collected at past seminars have been used as the main source of new educational topics, as well as individual member input. • Survey Results. The recent survey asked respondents to rank the importance of the various ABA committees on a 1-10 scale with 1 not being important and 10 being extremely important. The Education Committee was ranked as the MOST important committee with a rating a 9.3. The next closest committee was Safety with an 8.8. This would indicate our member perception as to the importance for an engaged active Education Committee. • Basis for Recommendation. The goal of the strategic plan is to identify potential improvements to existing programs and identify areas for additional education programs, as well as placing an emphasis on the Apprenticeship program. To implement that goal, the subcommittee suggests using the Education Committee for the following: 1.) Develop new topics/seminars, as well as speakers, 2.) Work with task forces on craft recruiting/retention issues, 3.) Monitor LDF and SEP Programs and suggest areas for improvement, 4.) Work with colleges and high schools to assist with Outreach programs, 5.) Work with the Education Fund to create ideas for Apprenticeship Fundraisers, 6.) Develop Webinar topics/speakers. • Issues to Be Addressed. A need for the committee to include at least one Board Member and/or members


Education and Training

who would be committed to the educational programs within the ABA, who can serve as a Chairperson and help drive the committee, along with staff. • Action Items. The following need to be accomplished to meet this goal: 1.) A request for committee members sent to members; 2.) Meeting dates confirmed, 3.) A Chair person identified and committed to take lead role 4.) Agenda/needs created, 5.) Meetings held and acted upon.

• TACTIC TWO: Provide a more diverse offering of educational programs/seminars with a wider variety of speakers. Develop, create, and deliver webinars of various educational topics to our membership. • Background. The ABA currently offers several different types of educational programs, including: The Leadership Development Forum (annual program), Senior Executive Forum, Legal Seminars, Finance Seminars, Project Supervision, Fundamentals of Crew Leadership, and Project Management Seminars. In addition, there are various educational opportunities offered at Convention annually. Developed by Carol McMullen 20 years ago, LDF appears to be the program that ABA is most known for and is considered the Flagship Program of the ABA. The ABA does not currently offer any alternative educational programs to in-class learning. We are currently promoting free webinars offered by ABC and AGC. • Survey Results. The recent survey asked “What do you see as ABA’s greatest strength today?” Education was the #1 answer, Apprenticeship was the #2 answer and LDF (specifically) was the #3 answer. Clearly, Education is a member priority. However, there appears to still be room for improvement, as the Survey & Focus Groups revealed, citing that they would like to see a wider range of topics, including: safety, training, risk management, economic forecasts, opinions from owners, business strategies for success, business development, marketing, and healthcare. The recent survey asked, “Would you participate in an educational webinar?” The response was an overwhelming 80% of members wanted this option. The Focus Groups delivered a similar response. • Basis for Recommendation. The goal of the strategic plan is to identify potential improvements to existing programs and identify areas for additional education programs. To implement that goal, the subcommittee suggests 1.) Using the Education Committee to consider additional topics and speakers, 2.) Using the Focus Groups suggestions, as well as Survey Results to identify the key topics of interest to the members, 3.) Tasking Assistant Executive Director in Training, Erica Lange, with implementation of additional educational programs in Phoenix and Tom Dunn, Executive Director of Southern Arizona, with implementation of additional educational programs in Tucson. Because of the survey results, the subcommittee feels that offering classes in a Webinar format is essential to our future success. According to the survey, the top 5 topics of interest for educational webinars were: Business Development, Current Events, Legal Issues, Risk Management, and Safety Training. • Issues to Be Addressed. Currently, speakers have been utilized with few changes in the lineup on a volunteer basis. ABA should consider the additional cost to an event to provide the highest quality speaker for a particular topic. The programs need to be marketed effectively to both members and non-members through a wide range of mediums, including: e-mails, press releases, social media, word-of-mouth. The keys to creating local webinars is figuring out the technical side of them, finding the most appropriate topics, and learning how the association can offer these without competing with our own current educational offerings. • Action Items. The subcommittee believes that the ABA should conduct Education Committee meetings to establish, develop, and confirm the most relevant topics and speakers for future events. Erica Lange & Tom Dunn should start implementing new Educational programs asap. The programs should be marketed effectively through member e-mails, non-member e-mails, social media, press releases with outside media, and word-of-mouth. The subcommittee also believes that the ABA should offer educational webinars. Tom Dunn and Erica Lange will begin to investigate how educational webinars can best be formatted, leveraged, and made available to our members.

• TACTIC THREE: Conduct member orientations to introduce new members, current members, and new employees of current member companies to the ABA’s offerings, programs, etc. every 6 months in an effort to re-engage the existing members and orientate the new members. Visit with new members that cannot attend the structured orientation on a one-on-one basis. • Background. Formal member orientations were offered for new and existing members to promote the products, programs, services being offered by the ABA and encouraging more involvement in the Association. The last structured orientation was conducted approximately 18 months ago. Currently, new


Education and Training • • • •

members are visited on a one-on-one basis by Mark Minter, Erica Lange, Carol McMullen or a combination of the three. Survey Results. The recent survey asked, “What do you see as the ABA’s greatest weakness today?” The #1 answer was communication. Basis for Recommendation. Because of the survey results, the subcommittee feels the membership needs to be re-engaged through a series of events, beginning with member orientations. Issues to Be Addressed. The key to this tactic is getting the agenda, presentations by staff members, scheduling, and marketing of event perfected. Action Items. The subcommittee believes that the ABA should conduct orientations with the goal of educating members, new members, and new member employees on the wide array of offerings being provided by the ABA. A formal agenda needs to be prepared for each event. Assistant Executive Director, Erica Lange, would be responsible in Phoenix for scheduling and conducting the orientations, which would include presentations by Mark Minter, Erica Lange, and Gary Townsley on what the ABA offers. Tom Dunn would be responsible for scheduling and conducting member orientations in Tucson with presentations by Tom Dunn and Debbie Carlson. Debbie & Erica would market the orientations. Mark, Erica, Tom, and Debbie will schedule one-on-one meetings with new members who cannot attend a formal orientation.

• TACTIC FOUR: The Apprenticeship program is rebounding. In order to continue improving, better communication and outreach programs need to be established. Creation of additional fundraising for the Apprenticeship Program, as well as scholarships for students who do not have a supporting employer also is needed.


• Background. We enjoyed tremendous industry support during the robust construction years of 2000 – 2008, including enrollment as high as 100 new students coming in the Fall Semesters. Traditional relationships between the program and participating employers had assured vigorous support of the program. These relationships were supported by visits by the Apprenticeship Director and Executive Director, as well as Principal participation in the Trust. The ABA and its Contractors have been involved in the Future Builder’s Academy, Construction Career Days, and SkillsUSA over the past 10+ years as part of the outreach efforts. The Fund is in need of additional funding in order to remain financially viable. In the past, a golf tournament has been the sole fundraiser for supplementing the Fund. The Fund has also historically received employer contributions from certain public works projects as donations. • Survey Results. The ABA’s Apprenticeship Program was seen as the #2 Greatest Strength of the ABA, behind Educational Programs. When asked about the Apprenticeship Program in the Focus Groups, respondents either didn’t know a program existed or severely underestimated the success of the full enrollment of the current program, by guessing total enrollment was less than 100, which it is not. • Basis for Recommendation. Because enrollment is improving, but still requires some effort to reach the levels of success the program saw in 2007, the subcommittee is recommending additional communication and outreach efforts. In addition, the fund is supported by such a narrow group a Contractors. A broader source of funding is necessary. The subcommittee suggested a membership dinner, a drawing for a vehicle, or a dues “donation to the Apprenticeship Program” check-off on the annual membership renewal to raise additional funds for the program. In addition, creating a scholarship could be created to help those students without a supporting employer. • Issues to Be Addressed. The ongoing financial stability of the fund will need to be monitored to insure that outreach and enrollment efforts produce continued growth. A champion needs to be identified for any additional fundraisers or a scholarship fund, in order to insure its success. • Action Items. Our recommendations for additional outreach include: 1.) Direct Contractor participation with high school construction trade programs, 2.) Continued involvement promoting member participation with Arizona Construction Career Days, Future Builder’s Academy, and SkillsUSA, 3.) Involvement in High School Career Days across the state. Our recommendations for additional communication efforts include: 1.) Night with the Contractors at Gateway to expose participating employer’s, as well as prospective employer’s, to the classrooms, instructors, lab, and administration, 2.) Individual outreach by Gary Townsley and Mark Minter to participating employers to encourage enrollment in the program, 3.) Marketing exposure through the e-newsletter, social media, press releases to the local media, e-mails to members and non-members. The Subcommittee believes that the Education Committee should work with the Education Fund to create additional fundraising opportunities.




Branding Our subcommittee was tasked with developing goals and tactics for the “Branding” Key Result Area. The board member champions were Justin Kelton and Danielle Feroleto and subcommittee members were Randy Eskelson, Casey Cartier, Brett Helgeson, Erica Lange and Ken Kellaney. The stated “Goal” from the May 2013 Strategic Planning Session was to improve and strengthen the association’s brand. Prior to making recommendations or developing an implementation plan, we took the following steps to ensure we have a comprehensive plan for the current and future branding needs of the association. KEY FINDINGS: After conducting a full-member survey through a third-party firm, Advanced Strategy Center, resulting in 88 responses as well as a focus group of 26 LDF graduates, several important areas were explored and discovered. Specific to branding, our committee believed findings included: 1. The ABA’s identity is found as the only organization to bring subcontractors and contractors together for the purpose of advocating for the best interest of the construction industry. 2. The ABA differentiates itself as an association, with education, networking and events for owners/presidents and emerging leaders in the construction industry. 3. Much of the identity of the association has been built through Carol McMullen over the last 30 years through the educational and membership services the organization provides. A key distinction was identified as the “personal investment” and “mothering” Carol gave to members. 4. The identity, mission and vision of the association is largely unclear and under-communicated. 5. The visual image (Brand) is outdated, not useful and does not work—from the logo to the emails, website, and ABA office.

RECOMMENDATIONS: • TACTIC ONE: Rebrand the ABA Image. • Basis for Recommendation. The ABA’s logo, website, marketing material representation is outdated and needs to be refreshed. The look needs to be paired with key messaging to accomplish the future needs of the membership. By creating a new look and feel of the association, the current members will feel a change taking place and recognize the other initiatives going on concurrently as a result. It is a common practice for associations to go through leadership and staff transitions, and as such, the current timing is ideal to bring confidence in the direction and future of the association. • Issues to Be Addressed. The overall message and key offerings the association offers to members and prospective members; the look of the ABA related to logo and visual brand; the website; communication tools (ie, tools, social media, analytics, emails). • Action Items. The subcommittee believes that ABA should conduct a branding session to articulate the key strengths, mission and offerings. From that session the ABA can envision a clear image to build on. Another item would be to redesign the ABA logo based on the identity of the association. The new logo and the marketing materials will be developed out of this.

• TACTIC TWO: Develop a clear message, purpose and value proposition offering to members and prospective members.


• Background. The ABA historically has built its reputation as a leader in the construction industry, serving subcontractor and contractors for more than 30 years. As such, the association has served many long-tern members and offered training and education to many of their employees. • Survey Results. Almost 90% of the survey respondents believed that ABA held a strength in education, specifically such programs as the LDF. It was discovered through the focus group that the majority of the focus group participants did not have exposure or knowledge of the additional training, programs, events


and legislative programs the association provides. • Basis for Recommendation. The subcommittee concluded that the members need to be re-engaged and prospective members need to see a clear purpose for membership in the association. By creating a strong value proposition and message identity, the association can better serve its members and attract new members. • Issues to Be Addressed. In order to be a strong association the committee believes the members need to have a strong sense of the investment they are making in the association, both financially and with their time. To this end, the committee findings support that the members feel the association is stagnate, lacks direction and is generally in a rut. Having said that, the ones who have been involved understand the value the association has provided and continue to be involved. These assets need to be brought forward and the story of what the association is doing legislatively, for members, for education needs to articulated and promoted. • Action Items. The subcommittee believes the ABA needs to define the purpose, value proposition, differentiators and core message. Once done, they paths to communicate these to member prospects, reinforce them to existing members deeper into their organizations need to be identified.

• TACTIC THREE: Website Design. • Background. The ABA website is outdated and currently misses the opportunity to serve as a resource or a brand reinforcement. • Basis for Recommendation. Every participant in the survey/focus group agreed that the website is not a useful tool, out dated and as a result the majority say they do not even visit the site. • Action Items. To create a highly functioning website for the ABA, the website needs a comprehensive sitemap developed, new features, current functionality with a blog, video links and social media outlets/ connections, as well as analytics to track relevant areas for members to engage.



Having A Stronger Influence In Our Industry 23

Having A Stronger Influence In Our Industry Our subcommittee was tasked with developing goals and tactics for the “Having a Stronger Influence in Our Industry” Key Result Area. The subcommittee members were Wink Ames, Eric Pach, Ken Kortman and Mike Holden. The stated “Goal” from the May 2013 Strategic Planning Session was to increase ABA’s influence at the Arizona Legislature. We recommend the following tactics to implement that goal. KEY FINDINGS: After conducting a full-member survey through a third-party firm, Advanced Strategy Center, resulting in 88 responses as well as a focus group of 26 LDF graduates, several important areas were explored and discovered. Specific to branding, our committee believed findings included: 1. Over half of respondents felt that ABA should have a greater influence in the legislative process. 2. 80% of respondents felt that ABA should have a more collaborative approach with other sectors of the construction industry in areas of public policy and education, such as A.C.E. 3. Greater involvement and success of the organization will only be possible with greater involvement at the individual level such as financial support, candidate vetting and getting members to create personal relationship with individuals important in the setting of public policy. There are astute members who could be used to help educate the rest of the membership.

RECOMMENDATIONS: • TACTIC ONE: Retain an Outside Lobbyist to Represent ABA on a Continuous Basis. • Background. Mark Minter has represented ABA at the Arizona Legislature for the past 30 years. Mark has consistently identified critical legislative issues and worked effectively with elected officials, lobbyists and other associations in advocating successfully for the construction industry. Therefore, our subcommittee believes that Mark has ably served ABA in that capacity and that he should continue his lobbying efforts on ABA’s behalf. • Survey Results. The recent survey asked whether “ABA should have a stronger presence at the Arizona Legislature in the future.” A majority (56%) of the respondents answered yes, 33% were “not sure,” and only 9% responded negatively. • Basis for Recommendation. The goal of the Strategic Plan is to increase ABA’s ability to influence and guide legislation at the Arizona Legislature. To implement that goal, the subcommittee believes that ABA must increase its presence at the Arizona Legislature. One possible approach would be to change Mark’s job responsibilities to allow him to spend more time on lobbying and legislative tasks. But because the presence and influence of professional lobbyists at the Arizona Legislature has increased significantly in the past 25 years, the subcommittee believes that ABA needs to retain an outside lobbying firm to represent ABA. The hiring of a lobbying firm to represent ABA on a regular and ongoing basis should increase ABA’s visibility and presence at the Legislature. Moreover, by establishing a relationship with a leading firm, ABA’s credibility as a “legislative player” will be enhanced. The subcommittee considered recommending the retention of a lobbyist on an ad hoc basis to handle particular issues as they arise. However, we believe that there is a strong benefit to establishing an ongoing relationship with a top drawer lobbying firm.


Having A Stronger Influence In Our Industry • Issues to Be Addressed. The primary hurdle to implement this recommendation is cost. To retain a lobbyist to represent ABA on a regular basis, the estimated cost will likely range from $45,000 to $75,000 annually. Based on the subcommittee’s research, similarly situated associations use three common methods to pay for outside lobbying firms: (1) a dues increase; (2) a “lobbying surcharge” that is assessed as part of the dues structure; or (3) the “sugar daddy” approach (individual members pay for the lobbying costs). The subcommittee believes the ABA needs to explore the advantages (and disadvantages) of the dues increase versus the surcharge approach. • Action Items. The subcommittee believes that ABA should schedule interviews with several top lobbying firms as soon as possible. Four firms that the subcommittee believes merit consideration are as follows: Triadvocates, Veritas, Fennemore Craig, and Lewis Roca Rothgerber. (We obviously will want Mark Minter’s “short list” to guide the interview process.)

• TACTIC TWO: Work with the Alliance for Construction Excellence to Organize a Coalition of Arizona Construction Industry Groups to Partner on Legislative, Educational and Other Issues. • Background. ABA historically has worked informally with the Arizona chapters of AGC, ASA and other similar associations on legislative issues and education programs. In addition, ABA traditionally has participated in joint lunches and mixers with other industry groups. The subcommittee believes those informal efforts are successful and they should be continued and expanded in the future. However, past initiatives to form more formal coalitions or partnerships have been unsuccessful, at least in part due to competition and conflicts between competing associations and groups. • Survey Results. Almost 80% of the survey respondents believed that ABA should partner with or collaborate with other construction-industry associations or industry groups. • Basis for Recommendation. The subcommittee concluded that we need to find an independent “broker” to serve as the catalyst for organizing a more formal coalition of construction-industry groups. We believe that ACE is well situated to serve this role. The subcommittee believes that when this coalition is successfully up and running that it could have a positive effect on increasing the legislative influence of ABA and the construction industry. As one survey participant aptly stated: “United we stand, divided we fall.” • Issues to Be Addressed. The key to this tactic is getting the right ABA members to spearhead the effort. Although our goal is for ACE to serve as the organizing body, ABA should be in the driver’s seat to assure that the form and structure of the coalition works for ABA. • Action Items. The subcommittee believes the Board should appoint a special committee to interface with ACE and to start the planning/organizing process for the Coalition.

• TACTIC THREE: Educate Individual ABA Members on How to Increase Their Political Influence and Encourage Them to Support “Business Friendly” Candidates. • Background. ABA members historically have not contributed to industry-supported PACs or been heavily involved in political campaigns. The subcommittee is aware that Tucson regularly vets and endorses political candidates. • Basis for Recommendation. The voices (and contributions) of individual constituents have a significant impact on Arizona legislators. For ABA to have more influence as a group, individual members have to be more involved. • Action Items. If we retain a lobbying firm (per Tactic One above), one of the first orders of business should be for that firm to meet with the Board and our membership to discuss how to increase ABA’s political footprint in Arizona. The subcommittee also believes that we need to identify “politically astute” ABA members to help


develop better practices and procedures for association-wide political involvement. Finally, we need to consider the utility of endorsing particular candidates (especially in primary elections).


Retooling The ABA To Improve Retention and Growth 26

Retooling The ABA To Improve Retention and Growth Our subcommittee was tasked with developing goals and tactics for “Retooling the ABA”. The subcommittee members were Lorraine Bergman, Rob Caylor, Wes McClure, Russ Korcuska, John Krecek, and Joe Duvall. Erica Lange from ABA joined the committee on October 14th. The stated “Goals” from the May 2013 Strategic Planning Session was to: • Grow Membership 15% by the End of 2015 • Achieve Member Retention rate of 90% • Increase Member Involvement The recommended Tactics included the following: • Rebranding the organization • Jr. Board • ABA involvement at all levels within member companies • Re-purpose committees and structures KEY FINDINGS: A Member Survey conducted by Advanced Strategy Center in August of 2013 resulted in 88 respondents. A few comments repeated in the survey and comments shared from Focus Groups validated the tactics identified at the Board Strategic Planning Meeting held in May, 2013. • Looking for a program that is dynamic • Same speakers over and over. Nothing new and inspiring. • Challenge status quo! • Innovate, change the routine • Revamp the convention. Sense of obligation to attend versus a need to go. Does not look like a learning experience, but just a lot of fun. Hard to sell to a boss to attend. Appears to be marketed towards senior management versus everyday members. • Lack of communication Committee members discussed strategies to achieve goals including: • Improve Communications/Tools • Evaluate Board Members/Life Directors which the Board Responsibility Committee would be addressing • To increase the Membership Retention and Growth, we will need to re-engage members. • Evaluate the way the organization identifies members. A higher number will be more influential on many levels in the industry and with legislative issues. How do we get our numbers to reflect, not just a company as member; but their employees as members.

RECOMMENDATIONS: • TACTIC ONE: Grow Membership 15 % by the end of 2015. • Background. The current number of statewide member companies is 255. The ABA boasts a membership of over 300, although the numbers do not reflect this. • Basis for Recommendation. In order to increase the health of the Association, as well as the perceived success of it publicly, the subcommittee concluded that there needs to be an increase in member companies. • Action Items. The subcommittee believes the ABA needs to grow the number of Member Companies by 15% by the end of 2015, which would represent a total membership of 293 companies. It is the belief of the subcommittee that the following action items, which are currently being developed by the other Task Forces will help grow membership, including: A) Creating more compelling programs with new dynamic speakers who offer motivation, as well as education. (Education Task Force), B) Creating a strong value


Retooling The ABA To Improve Retention and Growth proposition and message identity, so the association can attract new members (Branding Committee). In addition, the subcommittee believes the following should be developed to attract new members: 1. Have Board Members be responsible for providing leads to staff for new members. Measure the number of new members brought in by board members. Develop some form of accountability “measuring stick” for the number of new members recruited. Incorporate responsibility into Board Member responsibility at Board Orientation. Let potential new Board Members know that this is a requirement. 2. Create a New Member Campaign in Phoenix and Tucson by incorporating this mindset in all activities. Example – At each networking event, encourage existing members to bring a potential new member free of charge to experience the ABA membership benefits; As the new webpage is developed create inviting messages to encourage potential new members to ask questions about the ABA via a general inquiry, thus providing a new lead for staff to follow; Offer existing members due discount for recruiting new members. These are just a few initial thoughts on how a campaign could be developed. This would be a staff driven effort. 3. Power of Multiplicity – Get information that is pertinent to the industry out to the “employee” so that we can leverage the power of not just the members but the “employees” of the members. We become more powerful as “15000” strong versus 310 members.

• TACTIC TWO: Achieve Annual Member Retention rate of 90%. • Background. The 2012 retention rate was 84%. The 2013 (YTD) retention rate is 90%. • Basis for Recommendation. In order to be a strong association, the committee believes that new and existing members need to have a strong sense of the investment they are making in the association, both financially and with their time. In order to grow the Association, a high retention rate needs to be achieved. It is the subcommittee’s belief that maintaining a retention rate of 90% or better will strengthen the Association. • Action Items. 1. Create New Member Orientations that shows new member companies how they can best benefit from the ABA. This New Member Orientation could be offered to existing members for their new employees. 2. Develop New Member Mentorship Program. This would start by Assigning Board Members and or staff to each new member to mentor them throughout their first year as a member. 3. Continue with New Member newsletter. 4. Spotlight a different Existing Member monthly on Webpage and in Newsletters. 5. Appoint a recruitment and retention committee. Find people who are able to get people engaged and make them feel that because they are participating they make a difference. Touch base early to see how ABA is meeting their needs versus waiting until it is time for them to renew.



Board Responsibilities


Board Responsibilities Our subcommittee was tasked with developing goals and tactics for the “Board Responsibilities” Area. The board subcommittee members were Ed White, Tom Dunn, Mike Epstein, David Elrod, Gretchen Frietsche. KEY FINDINGS: Current State of the Board. 1. Stagnant feeling with members with minimal action as a result of meetings 2. Dysfunction from lack of existing committees not active 3. Disorganized on how ?? 4. Poor Orientation (on boarding) of new board members 5. Nominating Committee is not active 6. Lack of Mentoring from board historians 7. Poor Attendance 8. Lack of Confidentiality from board to members

CLARITY OF BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES: • TACTIC ONE: Industry & Membership Representatives • Strategic Planning • Fiduciary Responsibility • Pursue/Promote the objectives of the By Laws.

• TACTIC TWO: Personal Commitment of all Board Members • Required to be educated as a Board Member • Recruiting new members • Board members active in committees • Mentoring/Coaching

• TACTIC THREE: Board Operations • Junior Board (Leadership Council) • On Boarding • Coaching – Set standards and expectations • Succession Planning • Life Directors / Historical Perspective • Active Board Committees / Connection to board meeting • Tucson Advisory Board Connection • Oversight

ACTION ITEMS: 1. Activate committees that are not meeting regularly 2. Start “leadership Council” for a feeder board that will consist mostly of past LDF graduates and the board member that will chair the LC will be the incoming president.







Staff Champion: Erica Lange

GOAL 1 – Re-establish and Reorganize the Education Committee • 1.1 Develop more diverse programs of new topics, seminars and speakers. Ongoing • 1.2 Work with task forces on craft recruiting/retention issues. Ongoing

• 1.3 Monitor LDF and SEP programs and suggest improvement. At end of every year


• 1.4 Work with colleges and high schools to assist with outreach programs. Every Fall • 1.5 Work with ABA AGC Education Fund to create ideas for apprenticeship fundraising. 12/31/14 • 1.6 Develop webinar topics/speakers. Ongoing • 1.7 Committee should include at least one ABA board member to drive committee. 03/31/14 GOAL 2 – Develop and deliver webinars of various educational topics. • 2.1 Recognize that webinars are essential to your future success. Ongoing

• 2.2 Survey indicates topics should include business development, current events, legal issues, risk management and safety training. Ongoing

• 2.3 Consider adding additional cost to provide the highest quality speakers. Ongoing • 2.4 Market programs through emails, press releases, social media and word-of-mouth. Ongoing GOAL 3 – Conduct member orientations for new and current members at least every 6 months. The purpose of the meetings is to educate members on the wide array of offerings provided by the ABA. • 3.1 Orientations should be directed broadly at new members, existing members and new employees of existing members. 09/30/14

• 3.2 A formal agenda should be prepared for each event. 12/31/14 • 3.3 One-on-one meetings should be held with new members who are unable to attend. 12/31/14 GOAL 4 – Improving the Apprenticeship program for communication and outreach. • 4.1 Create additional communication efforts. 12/13/14 • 4.1.1 “Contractors’ Night” at GateWay to tour classes, lab, meet instructors and administrators. • 4.1.2 Outreach to selected companies by Minter and Townsley. • 4.1.3 Marketing exposure through e-newsletter, social media, press releases.


• 4.2 Create additional outreach efforts for workforce development. Ongoing • 4.2.1 Direct contractor participation with high school vocational programs. • 4.2.2 Continue efforts in AZ Construction Career Days, Future Builders Academy and SkillsUSA. • 4.3 Improve funding through a membership dinner, vehicle drawing, dues check-off. 03/30/15

• 4.4 Create a scholarship fund to help students without a supporting employer. 03/30/15

• 4.5 Monitor the financial stability of the fund. Ongoing • 4.6 Identify a “champion” to promote fundraising and scholarship effort. 05/31/14 • 4.7 Promote closer cooperation between the Education Committee and the ABA AGC Education Fund. Ongoing






GOAL 5 – Improve and Strengthen the Association’s brand. • 5.1 Rebrand the ABA image. 06/31/14 • 5.1.1 Update and refresh the ABA’s logo, website and marketing material. • 5.1.2 Create a new look and feel of the association to bring confidence in its future. • 5.1.3 Conduct a branding session to articulate strengths, mission and offerings. • 5.2 Develop a clear message, purpose and value proposition to members and prospective members. 06/31/14 • 5.3 Update website design. 03/31/14 • 5.3.1 Create a highly functional website. • 5.3.2 Develop a comprehensive sitemap. • 5.3.3 Create current functionality with a blog, video links and social media outlets. • 5.3.4 Create analytics to track relevant areas that members engage.

BOARD CHAMPION • MIKE HOLDEN Staff Champion: Mark Minter

GOAL 6 – Increase ABA’s influence at the Arizona Legislature. • 6.1 Establish an ongoing relationship with a top drawer lobbying firm. Pay for increased cost through a dues increase, lobbying surcharge or “sugar daddy” approach. 12/31/13 • 6.2 Interview several top lobbying firms and make selection ASAP. 12/31/13 GOAL 7 – Work with the Alliance for Construction Excellence to organize a coalition of Arizona construction industry groups to partner on legislative, educational and other issues. ACE is well placed to be an independent broker for this function. • 7.1 ABA should appoint a special committee to work with ACE to start the planning/organizing process for the coalition. 04/01/14


GOAL 8 – Increase ABA’s “political footprint” in Arizona. • 8.1 Identify politically astute ABA members to help develop better practices and

procedures for industry-wide political involvement. 04/01/14 • 8.2 Work with new lobbying firm to improve our visibility and influence. Ongoing • 8.3 Consider endorsing particular candidates (especially in primary elections). Ongoing



GOAL 9 – Grow membership by 15% by the end of 2015. • 9.1 Create compelling programs with dynamic, motivational and educational speakers. Ongoing • 9.2 Branding Committee should create strong value proposition and identity to attract new members. 06/30/14 • 9.2.1 Have board members provide leads to staff. • 9.2.2 Advise new board members of recruitment responsibility at orientation. • 9.2.3 Create new member campaign in Phoenix and Tucson. • 9.2.4 Have members bring potential recruits to any networking event. • 9.2.5 Offer members an incentive for recruiting new members. • 9.3 Penetrate deeper into companies with pertinent information about industry issues. Do this to multiply ABA’s influence. Ongoing



GOAL 10 – Clarity of Board Responsibilities. • 10.1 Industry & Membership Representatives. 05/31/14 • 10.1.1 Strategic. • 10.1.2 Fiduciary responsibility. • 10.1.3 Pursue/promote the objectives of the Bylaws. • 10.2 Personal commitment of all board members. 05/31/14 • 10.2.1 Required to be educated as a board Member. • 10.2.2 Recruiting new members. • 10.2.3 Board members active in committees. • 10.2.4 Mentoring/coaching of new members. • 10.3 Board Operations. 05/31/14 • 10.3.1 Junior Board (Leadership Council). • Past LDF graduates. • Chaired by ABA incoming president. • 10.3.2 On Boarding, coaching, setting standards and expectations. • 10.3.3 Succession planning. • 10.3.4 Life directors / historical perspective. • 10.3.5 Active board committees – connection to board meeting. • 10.3.6 Tucson Advisory Board connection. • 10.3.7 Oversight. • 10.3.8 Activate committees that are not meeting regularly.


ABA 2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Lorraine Bergman – Caliente Construction – President Rob Caylor – Caylor Construction – 1st Vice President Rob Lafferty – RML Electric – 2nd Vice President Ken Kellaney – National Bank of AZ – Treasurer Preston Achilles – Achilles AC Ruth Brown – Hensel Phelps Joe Duvall – Kitchell Dave Elrod – DPR Construction Mike Epstein – Epstein Construction Danielle Feroleto – Small Giants Mark Fleming – Corbins Electric Jim Kazal – Kazal Fire Protection Justin Kelton – McCarthy Building Companies Russ Korcuska – Sundt Construction Ken Kortman – Kortman Electric Wes McClure – Wilson Electric Chris Watts – Sunstate Equipment Ed White – TDIndustries Angie Ziegler – General Air Control

Prepared by: An Alliance of the ABC and AGC Building Chapters Phoenix: 602.274.8222 | Tucson: 520.881.7930

ABA 2014 - 2018 STRATEGIC PLAN  

The Arizona Builders’ Alliance exists for the purpose of advancing the PRODUCTIVITY and PROFITABILITY of our members and the industry. It...

ABA 2014 - 2018 STRATEGIC PLAN  

The Arizona Builders’ Alliance exists for the purpose of advancing the PRODUCTIVITY and PROFITABILITY of our members and the industry. It...