BeLit leaders spanning three generations continued a valuable tradition of involvement with the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) as they attended the organization’s first Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) in January. Apex President Mike Kozlowski, BeLit Business Development Manager Parker Dixon, and True House Vice President of Operations Jim Finkenhoefer joined more than 100 of their peers from across the country to discuss industry trends, challenges, best practices, and more.
“The industry is on fire right now and there is a lot of good stuff going on,” says Mike, who has been involved with SBCA for more than 20 years and is currently serving as co-chair of the BCMC Committee, which plans SBCA’s annual tradeshow. “This is a healthy, active association with a lot of member engagement. Our 2022 BCMC theme is ‘No Slowing Down,’ and that really says it all – everyone is growing and making investments in the future. It’s great to be part of those conversations.”
The New Orleans OQM was Parker’s first experience with SBCA at the board and committee level, and he says it was a huge opportunity to network with others from around the nation. “The people who attend these meetings are so passionate about the industry,” he explains. “Everyone seems interested in the best ways to solve today’s problems, while looking toward tomorrow at the same time. I’m a forward thinker, so it was great to be around others who are constantly spit balling about how to make the industry better. I sat back and did a lot of listening.”
Parker was also part of a new cohort of young members inducted into SBCA’s Emerging Leaders Committee. This group was created to give the next generation of industry leaders an opportunity learn from each other, build lasting relationships, and gain greater knowledge of the industry and its trade association.
As Jim begins what will be his last year on the SBCA board, he says his main goal at this OQM was to serve as a mentor for Parker by making introductions and answering questions along the way. “Parker took to it very quickly, learning what others do and how they think about things,” he says. “In general, the Emerging Leaders are going strong. I’d say they used to be about ten percent of the involvement and now they represent at least fifty percent of the voices you hear during discussions.”
Jim believes there has never been a more important time to be actively involved in an organization committed to the industry’s future at the national level. “Challenges today, post-COVID, are totally different than those before the pandemic,” he explains. “Whether it’s supply chain issues, labor issues, etc., the lesson is this: Abnormal is the new normal. Expect the unexpected. You can’t get too comfortable thinking you know how things are going to be. And being involved in SBCA gives you resources to react more quickly as things change than you could if you were just going it alone.”
Parker is looking forward to future events and the opportunity to share BeLit’s expertise with others in the industry. “I really felt like I was welcomed with open arms,” he says. “I know the road has been well paved for me – Jim and Barry both served terms as SBCA president, and Mike has been active with BCMC and the Emerging Leaders for years – but I realize that the people I’m connecting with through my involvement with SBCA will become my resources for the rest of my career. That’s a big deal.”