Changing Of The Guard At DCA

Dennis Kennedy Retires As Executive Director After 20 Years Of Leadership
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2010 Vol. 65 No. 1
Retiring executive vice president Dennis Kennedy.

Every year is busy and eventful for the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), one of the most visible and active trade associations representing the interests of its contractor members in the underground construction industry.

During 2009, DCA staff and members not only conducted business in the midst of a worldwide recession, but also made a significant transition in leadership with the retirement of longtime Executive Vice President Dennis Kennedy. Robert (Rob) Darden replaced Kennedy on December 31, 2009.

New executive vice president Rob Darden

"Rob Darden was selected new executive vice president in mid-July," said Kennedy. "The original plan was for me to remain active until my retirement, but because of Rob's experience and enthusiasm, the executive committee of the board of directors, suggested I let Rob have more control of the day to day matters and since Nov. 1, he has been actively in charge. I continued to go into the office occasionally, but Rob has been handling most administrative matters and has been involved in planning and implementing the 49th DCA Annual Convention in February 2010."

Darden brings to DCA more than 25 years of international meeting management and association experience, most recently as executive director of QuESt Forum, an international organization dedicated to telecommunications quality.

"I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to succeed Dennis Kennedy as executive vice president of such a great organization," says Darden. "The DCA members and staff have been very welcoming to me as we transitioned to new leadership. Dennis has been a great leader for the past 20 years and has built DCA into the vibrant and healthy organization that it is. I have big shoes to fill, but feel confident with the help of the great staff and the member leadership that operations will continue to go very smoothly."

Kennedy says he will maintain semi active involvement with DCA as a consultant with plans to attend several industry events in 2010. He and his wife, Regan, have purchased a home in Hot Springs Village, AR, where they plan to make their permanent residence.

Legacy
Kennedy has guided DCA through economic cycles and a period of rapid technological changes since he took over its leadership on Jan. 1, 1990. At the time, DCA was struggling financially and member involvement was marginal.

Reflecting on his time with the association, Kennedy said it is difficult to itemize the most satisfying achievements over a 20-year span.