DCA Hosts Big Turnout In Miami, Raises $538,000 in Annual Auction

By Oliver Klinger, Publisher | April 2013, Vol. 68 No. 4
Rob Lyons, Mears Group; Kevin Michels, DCA president; Tim Bell, Midwestern Contractors; and Ben Nelson, Pilchuck Contractors.

Attendance was up by almost 100 people as the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) attracted 415 delegates to its 52nd annual convention at the Lowes Hotel in Miami Beach, FL. One in four of those delegates were attending their first ever DCA convention. Fourteen past presidents also attended – a record – and Dave Nelson of Pilchuck Contractors was inducted as an Honorary Member.

Presiding over the convention was outgoing president Kevin Michels of Michels Corporation, Brownsville, WI. His convention chairman this year was Frank Patterson of Patterson & Wilder Construction Co. Inc.

Executive Vice President Rob Darden pointed out the association’s explosive growth over the past several months. The annual equipment survey of DCA regular members shows them buying and leasing over $720 million in equipment in 2012 which was an increase of $150 million from the previous year. Reported man-hours worked were also up 15 percent.

Since 2009, DCA membership has increased 35 percent with two-thirds of that growth occurring within the past 14 months. Darden attributes a significant portion of that growth to the DCA’s active membership committee. This is all at a time of slow economic growth across much of the nation, when many associations are experiencing declining membership. DCA has added 15 new regular contractor members and 38 associate members.

Darden also noted that attendance last year set records at the Safety Congress, mid-year and fall meetings. This year’s Miami convention was the highest since the 2000 convention. The 415 registrants represented 44 regular member contractors and 67 associate member companies. The Professional Development Congress in November had an increase in attendance as well, and he noted that the Government Relations Committee has given DCA a voice in Washington.

The DCA has joined several active coalitions including Common Ground Alliance and is working with PHMSA and other federal agencies. Through their advocacy and new publication DCA Insights, they plan to keep members informed and get them involved in tracking new legislation and regulations affecting the industry. Financially, DCA is in excellent shape with an operating budget of over $2 million and member equity of over $1 million.