Who I am? What a defining question that truly is. It is more than simply my name, employer, and the position I hold. To answer that question, I need to explain my identity. My experiences, my relationships, and my values. All within an article short enough to prevent you from clicking away and explain why I believe I am a good choice to hold the Vice Chair role in the Young Leaders Development Group.
I was born and raised in a very small, rural community in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was active in sports, my church, a family construction business, and our small, family hobby farm. I remember numerous times being told that I was intelligent. Like a lot of kids however, I did not listen well. I remember many people saying to me “you are such a smart _“. What word was said after that I guess I just never cared to pay attention too. Moving on to college I studied environmental science, biology, and education. Not exactly the typical path into the concrete and aggregate fields. But what I had learned through extensive lab work, field studies, and presenting information to people of different learning styles, gave me the opportunity to start my career.
For the past 16 years I have been working in the ready-mix concrete and precast concrete industries. I held the positions of concrete technician, quality manager, batch operator, dispatcher, and operations manager. I am currently the General Manager for Masters Concrete Products, whom I have been with for 10 years. Over this time, I found myself in countless situations where I utilized my skills, recognized the skills that I did not possess, and pushed myself into growing not only in my profession but also as person.
Throughout my life experiences thus far, I have had the great satisfaction of developing relationships with people in seemingly endless fields and backgrounds. I have had the opportunity to work side by side with brilliant technical minds, individuals that I did and still rely on for business and leadership support, and people within our industry that are always willing to step up to share their knowledge and experiences to those who wish to listen. I dare to state that I have grown in my relationship with my extraordinary wife of 17 years. I can say I feel I’ve tried? I will end this topic with telling you I have a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. So many experiences and relationships that they bring out one can write a book.
The relationships and experiences I’ve had in the past and continue to grow and develop in the present are guided by my values. And my values have been shaped by them. I believe in honesty, I am rooted in hard work, and I highly regard dependability. All of which would greatly benefit the progress of the YLDG. My outlook for this group’s future is that of growth and development of our teams, our businesses, and our communities. Its that simple, and that profound. How I envision that happening lies within the resources that we already have as members of PACA. I want the young leaders to have a larger presence within this organization. It can be as simple as expanding our content on the PACA website, having a consistent appearance in the PACA Conveyor, and more involvement on our part in all of the great events PACA has throughout the year. I want to us to be engaged. I cannot say exactly what the specifics of that will be, that is up to us to collaborate on. From there, I believe I can help to see it through.
Seven years ago, I took part in my first Young Leaders conference. Seven years ago, a leader meant something different to me than it does now. This group, the conversations I’ve listened to, those I’ve been a part of, and the impact it has had on me have changed my understanding of that word. That change in perspective has been invaluable to me and I want to continue that growth and share that with this group moving forward. This is an industry that encourages growth. I want to advocate that our respective businesses want and need us to guide our teams through change, because it is inevitable that we must. They are looking at us to be the leaders in that arena. That’s why the YLDG was formed. We have the voice and are being given the opportunity to use it. We control our path, and we need each other’s individual talents for support in this endeavor.
The most important thing I can do as a leader is listen. That is a leader’s role. To listen to and to advocate for the thoughts and feelings that our personal experiences have to offer the greater good. Over the past seven years I have had the honor of being a part of something impactful. I have witnessed individuals form great relationships and make positive changes in our industry because of the seminars, networking, and service projects that the YLDG has held over the years. The development of this industry through each other, the future leaders of our companies. I believe that now it is my turn to share my experiences and offer my abilities. I know that everyone has a voice, and I know this group can offer the platform for those voices to make an impact. Someone heard that voice in all of us and I believe I have the ability hold the microphone for our voices to be heard again and again. We need to keep this platform that was created for us and make it even stronger. I promise I will listen, and I promise I will advocate. I will support my peers in the decisions we make as a cohesive team.
I am aware, now that I am 40 years old, my time with the YLDG is coming to and end in one respect. I would never elect to take away an opportunity for someone who would be better suited for such an important role. I do desire to have the opportunity to move our mission forward. I believe that I can. I fully expect to be a part of this group moving into the future, whatever that future may be. Whether as an alumnus or being elected to the position of Vice Chair. That decision is not mine; it is yours. I can only tell you how I feel regarding my belief that I am a good choice to take on the responsibilities of this seat. To take what I have learned, my experiences in life, and further grow with you, the heart and future of PACA. To help lead the young leaders toward achieving whatever goals we have before us.
If you were intrigued enough to read this entire article, I thank you. I will finish with this. We are more than just the YLDG, we are a collection of ideas and experiences ready to take on the next challenge.