Annual Meeting ~ July 11-14, 2013
COMMUNICATION THEME ENTWINED THROUGH ANNUAL MEETING
Communication was the theme of the CAWV’s 2013 Annual Meeting, held July 11 – 14 at The Greenbrier. Increasing interpersonal communication by understanding generational differences, enhanced communication efforts from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a 2013-2014 CAWV presidential pledge to increase members’ use of technology to communicate and a variety of networking and educational opportunities, rounded out the annual event.
Watergate, Woodstock, Vietnam, the Challenger disaster and the Berlin Wall were cited by Patrick Kelly, keynote speaker at the General Business Session, as events which have shaped a generation. “Events influence how each generation thinks and acts,” he said. “Those who have lived through the experiences “get it.” Hurricane Katrina, the AIDS epidemic and Columbine shooting had a much different impact on Generation X than they did on the Baby Boomers.” Kelly, who wrote Rainmaking 101, outlined the motivating characteristics of three generations: The Matures – over 65, Baby Boomers – 46 to 64, Generation X – 30 to 45, and the Millennials – 20 to 29.
“We have all grown up in our own skin and we assume that people see things the way we do, but that is not true,” said Kelly, who is the executive director of the Health Care Association. “Understanding the motivating factors that are behind each generation will improve sales, marketing, employee recruitment and retention.” Before accepting his current position, Kelly was the managing member at law firm Steptoe and Johnson. In this position he was charged with recruiting talent and experienced first-hand the impact that each generation has on how people make decisions and perceive others. “I was the youngest member of the executive committee at the law firm, and the only one on Governor Underwood’s team that wasn’t alive during his first term in office,” said Kelly who was general council for Gov. Cecil Underwood from 1997 to 1999. “Points of view are totally different between each generation because of the events which shape and impact people during adolescence.”
Kelly showed audience members a series of images representing events that influenced each generation. “People in their 20s have no frame of reference for what President John F. Kennedy meant to the Baby Boomers and Matures. Likewise, Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11 had a much different impact on Generation X that it did on the Matures,” he said.
Matures, who grew up during the depression, lived through World War II, ration cards, the Korean War and Vietnam War, are – according to Kelly - famous for their teamwork. “If you want to compliment a Mature, pat them on the back and tell them they are an Average Joe,” Kelly said. “But if you tell that to a Baby Boomer or a Generation X’er, they will be crushed. Matures function well in the workplace and like to fit in, not stand out.” He contrasted that with Baby Boomers who enjoy symbols of success and recognition. “Baby Boomers are motivated by symbols of success such as plaques, trophies and certificates. The Baby Boomer generation includes a lot of people and they are characterized by their fight for recognition. These people grew up in a generation where a “letter on their jacket” really meant something. They work long hours and their identities are closely tied to their career.”
Contrasting with Generation X, which is known for their attitude of entitlement, Kelly said that the children raised by the Baby Boomers saw the aftermath of corporate downsizing. “Generation X’ers and Millennials don’t work for a company,” he said, “they work for a person. These groups saw their parents get laid off after working for the same company for 30 years. They are likely to have 7 to 14 different jobs in their careers.” Because of the fallout from corporate downsizing, Generation X’ers don’t expect to have the same employer forever. They are, instead, focused on family and free time and will demand balance between the two. “Training is a big motivator for Generation X’ers. They will stick with a company that will provide them with marketable skills,” Kelly said. “Their critical issue, however, is family and free time. If you want to reward a Generation X’er or Millennial, give them something they can share with their family, such as tickets or time off.”
Kelly told members that if they have an area with a particularly high turnover rate, to evaluate the direct supervisor. “Direct working relationships have a big impact on Millennials, and to some extent Generation X’ers. Millennials are high maintenance,” he said. “They have been raised in a community where everyone wins and where they were given input into many of their parent’s decisions. Handing down edicts will run these people off. They expect to have input and need constant feedback. They are looking for mentors,” he said, noting that they are also “optimistic and not afraid to take risks.”
Kelly showed the audience car commercials which demonstrated the motivating factors for each generation and noted that marketing and sales efforts are successfully tapping into each generation, stating “as an employer you can and should be too.”
Business relationships illustrate the generational shift, Kelly said. “Business is a series of relationships. The construction industry, in particular, is very relationship oriented,” Kelly stated. “From a sales perspective, if you try to take a Generation X’er or Millennial out to dinner to show them your product, they are going to cringe because you are cutting into their family time. Take them to lunch instead, but know that the product has to be proven before the relationship building begins,” he said. “The opposite holds true for Baby Boomers and Matures. Those groups are loyal to relationships first and products second.”
Kelly was followed by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who was elected in November and brought members a message of increased communication, additional interaction and transformation of support services. “The Attorney General’s office has a unique opportunity to help position the state of West Virginia for economic revival,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The campaign is focused on critical topics such as ethics, the Environmental Protection Agency’s over reach, healthcare and government waste. We are starting at scratch, hiring terrific lawyers and making progress on these issues.”
Attorney General Morrisey said his office will be “the best law firm in the state,” an edict they are undertaking by starting from within. Prior to his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, the new West Virginia Attorney General was employed in private practice, owned and operated his own law firm, and worked for several public officials. Since taking office, the Attorney General has added a Chief Financial Officer, transformed the office’s information technology to modernize services, and collaborated with the legislature for new appropriations. “There are some storm clouds on the horizon,” he said. “Federal money makes up 36 percent of the state budget. As Washington D.C. tightens its belt, West Virginia will be in a bind. Because of this, we must position ourselves for revival. West Virginia is ranked last in many areas. We can change this and make the state more attractive in terms of capital investment.”
Attorney General Morrisey stated that West Virginia has a lot of potential in its geographic location in relation to many major metropolitan areas, its energy sources, ample workforce and competitive wages. “West Virginia has the highest tax rate and most burdensome regulations for businesses,” he noted. “The Attorney General can do a lot to generate economic growth. In the past, the office focused solely on consumer protection, but we have the ability to be involved in all policies, write opinions, clarify laws and assist state agencies. Law permeates everything we do.”
As an example, he told members how his office was advocating West Virginia’s position with the federal government as they explore regulating Natural Gas. “We got involved in the process early, starting with the comment period,” he said. “We are working with attorney generals in other states, meeting with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Department of Environmental Protection officials to assert one unified voice. We will not let the feds run over us and issue arbitrary rules.”
“The Affordable Care Act is evolving,” the new AG said. “The implementation is falling very far behind because the act is so massive in its scope. West Virginia is initiating the process with a hybrid exchange, but we are just starting to understand the regulations. There are a lot of flaws.” He noted that the exchange structure will require hiring a lot of staff, many of whom don’t have expertise in health care or insurance. “The employer mandate delay will have a direct impact on the individual mandate because without a large quantity of people enrolled in the program, premiums will he sky high. With no mandate, only those who are sick will enroll and that will push the premiums up even further,” he said, noting that his office is doing their best to make it work. “There are going to be gaps in coverage and the state will have to function as a backstop. This will have a big impact on the how the public perceives the program.”
Attorney General Morrisey invited CAWV members to bring issues with regulations or law interpretation to his office, stating, “We are here to listen and are open and willing work with you to come up with better processes.” CAWV members thanked Attorney General Morrisey and his staff for their professionalism and response to outstanding purchasing contract approval, noting that the office was quick to respond and provided open communication throughout the issue.
Nearly 350 members, guests and children attended this year’s meeting, which began with a reception at Howards Creek Lodge on Thursday. The CAWV Board of Directors met on Friday and discussed a number of industry issues. See this week’s Bulletins for meeting recaps.
Outgoing CAWV President Lee Snyder, Snyder Environmental Services, thanked the members for their hard work throughout the year. “It’s been my pleasure to serve as your president.” 2013-2104 President Phil Weser, March-Westin Company, thanked the outgoing president for his leadership and praised him for service to the association. One of the goals of the incoming president is to increase members’ use of technology to enhance their companies and their employees’ skills.
A full recap of the meeting will be available in the July/August issue of West Virginia Construction News.
A very special thanks to our sponsors:
Early Bird Reception
General Business Session Sponsor
Welcome Night Reception Sponsors
Alpha Associates, Inc.
BB&T Carson Insurance
Bert Wolfe Ford Toyota, Inc.
Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP
Chapman Printing Company
Daniels Law Firm, PLLC
Guttman Oil Company
Hendrickson & Long, PLLC
Johnstone & Gabhart
Lanham, O’Dell & Company, Inc.
Martin Engineering, PLLC
Martin Marietta Aggregates
Mary K. Prim, PLLC
Mead & Hunt
Mountain State Insurance Agency, Inc.
Potesta & Associates, Inc.
Rish Equipment Company
Rudd Equipment Company
Rumble Ready Mix, Inc.
Shamblin Stone, Inc.
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
The C. I. Thornburg Company, Inc.
Triad Engineering, Inc.
Walker Machinery Company
Wells Fargo Insurance Services
For additional information contact Wendy Long at (304) 342-1166 or email@example.com.