Letter from the President

Well, it is hard for me to believe it but August is almost over with, seems like yesterday but it was long ago, that we were congratulating Jim Dinan of Bel Aire Mechanical as Construction Executive of the Year and celebrating the career of Pioneer Winner Ken Nessler of Sun Valley Masonry. In a blink of an eye the year is nearly half over. I have to admit while I am writing this newsletter, I have been in a bit of a funk, you see I just had my birthday, the last one before I receive my AARP card, : (  Oh well, as my 9 year old daughter Ruby would say, “You’re not old Daddy, you’re just …. Ah, um, well, … tall”.

Our goal during drafting our strategic plan for the year was to ensure that the activities we planned incorporated 1) providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, 2) a source of educational programs, and 3) an investment in our community through industry related issues and charitable endeavors. The other evening we had an event at Chase Field where chapter members witnessed the Diamondbacks act of charity by giving the game away to the stupid Dodgers. We had quite an exchange of ideas, including at the umpires, and Dodger fans. We had a nice group from our membership attend the game, it was nice to socialize even if the Diamondbacks didn’t win.  The most interesting thing during the game took place in our all you can eat suite, when we had an impromptu hot dog eating contest. My money was on Jim Bracy, but I was surprised when Eric Pach took the grand prize.  

The main theme of our strategic plan has been to focus on engaging our members and encouraging participation. We had a good attendance at our education seminar in May where along with other interesting topics, an important upcoming legislative tax update was discussed in a panel discussion format. The program was very informative, and the participants rated the speakers with high marks. Besides the Diamondbacks game, we held our Spring community involvement service program this past May where over 30 members donated their time and energy to prepare food packages for “Feed My Starving Children”. We also have upcoming charity event September 27th, with a walk for UMOM, an organization that provides support and shelter to homeless families. VOS will match member’s pledges up to $1,500. VOS participated in this event last year and was the 3rd highest fund raising team with over $3,000. I encourage you to sign up, volunteer and participate. The walk will be held again at the Phoenix Zoo. We are also planning a volunteer event at St. Mary’s food bank latter in the year, November 7, I hope to see you there.  

We have had really good participation at our monthly lunch programs, it is great to see everyone there. This past August we were looking for a topic because the previous year in August was not well attended, around 70 members. When trying to come up with a topic to draw a big crowd, of course the program committee decided to put on an insurance panel discussion, nothing better than an insurance discussion to pack the house, we had over 110 attend the lunch. 

In June, VOS members traveled to Vegas to attend the annual conference. Once again, VOS Chapter had the largest group in attendance. The conference was fantastic with some very good educational seminars and some entertainment after the sessions, with the closing party at the Tropicana. Highlights of the conference for me were listening to Sundt Construction former CEO, Doug Pruitt, present the Sundt turnaround success story, the CFO roundtables, definitely worth getting up for the 7 am start time, and catching a Meatloaf concert one evening. Next year’s annual conference is scheduled for Chicago. VOS is committed to participate along with Orange County Chapter, Vegas Chapter, and Albuquerque Chapter in 2015 in a regional conference in the Orange County area scheduled for September 2015, so if Chicago is too far to travel, the regional conference maybe another option.  

As discussed during our Education Forum, Covering Your Assets, the State Legislature has passed House Bill 2389, which changes the Transaction Privilege Tax treatment on construction projects depending on the circumstances of the project. VOS has concerns about these upcoming changes and has been in contact with Arizona Department of Revenue in a joint effort with the ABA and AGC, to gain clarification with issues with the new law and to lobby for changes. VOS has expressed its concerns with a statement of position, the letter is posted on the VOS website. Our TPT task force will continue to press clarification of the law, and is committed to advocate along with ABA and AGC for the best interests of its combined members.  

Our annual golf tournament is slated for October 22nd. If you haven’t signed up, I encourage you to do so, some sponsorship opportunities are still available as well. Our golf tournament is our biggest fund raising event. This year VOS will provide $12,000 in scholarships to students as well as $5,000 in scholarships for first time annual conference attendees and additional funds for the CCIFP overview and exam. 

We have a busy rest of the year with events planned, something for everyone whether it is a social event, educational event, or community outreach. We have added several new members, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all. I encourage all of our members to welcome our new members and encourage our new members to get involved with a committee.  

All that we accomplished this past year and all we hope to accomplish this upcoming year is due to the tireless efforts of our members. Thanks to our Past President, Anne Devine Thul, our officers, our committee chairs, and our board members for your time, dedication, and leadership. I remind you to visit our chapter website, http://cafe.cfma.org/valleyofthesun/Home for a current list of upcoming events.
David Miller
Chapter President (2014 – 2015)