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.

"I am proud that the DCA is a much stronger organization now than when I started," he said. "And I would expect it to continue to grow and prosper."

Kennedy points to several key elements contributing to the association's growth and success.

"Certainly getting the membership more enthused about their association and convincing a number of industry leaders to accept positions of responsibility in the DCA was a first step," said Kennedy. "I would be remiss in not mentioning the early-on hard work and cooperation of Jack Gabrielse, InterCon Construction; Bob Meschi and Tom Poole, The Hallen Construction Co.; Royce Heebner, Henkels & McCoy; Joe Purpura, Midwestern Contractors; and Stewart Kniff, Sub Surface Construction for setting new standards and elevating the professionalism of our meetings and leadership."

Kennedy said the DCA’s financial situation changed quickly due to the cooperation of the United Association, Laborers’ International Union of NA and the DCA Labor Committee, led by Dale Miller, Miller Pipeline Corp., that established Labor Management Cooperation Trusts as part of the association’s national distribution agreements. The International Union of Operating Engineers also contributed funds several years later to the national agreement.

"This funding has been critical to our growth," said Kennedy.

Kennedy credits a 1991 idea of past president Rolland "Bob" Lyons of Michigan Trenching to hold a live auction as part of the annual convention. The auction proved to be vital to association finances and morale during critical early years. Ultimately the auctions have raised more than $1 million for the DCA.

"Other milestones over the years," Kennedy said, "were major improvements in communications with the membership including a newsletter, updates to the newsletter, annual report, membership directory and improved communication with the board of directors. Taking advantage of new technologies such as the internet has enhanced our ability to be more helpful to our members, communicate our mission and to keep up to date with industry matters."

Supportive members
Essential to the success of any association is involvement and commitment of members and associate members.

Kennedy said that in spite of the industry swings, including mergers during the 1990s, membership of contractors and supporting manufacturers has remained constant and, in fact, members now represent a much larger segment of the market.