This week’s blog is more of a “Where’s Waldo” for what has been happening behind the scenes at AWC this summer. A “Where’s Barb” if you will. Often Summer is my slow season – when you all are busy, I have less to do. This year that isn’t necessarily the case, but I am still finding time to enjoy the sunshine. 

What I have been busy with is growing membership. In addition to our July Newcomer luncheon, I had half a dozen one of one in person meetings and as many on the phone meetings with potential members. There are some incredible business owners out there that have joined or are considering it. I love that women ownership of businesses continues to grow and we find folks every week to assist.

I have had several member strategy meetings where I meet one on one with members and look at companies they want to meet, areas they need help in and ideas for how to increase their brand. These give me an opportunity to really dive into where our members are and how we can assist them with their growth. I appreciate the trust of my feedback. 

We have been busy at many partner organization events this summer including AGC’s golf event last week, MAICC’s golf event, MCA’s Saints game, Meda’s Annual event, and attending Finance and Commerce’s Top projects and Sunrise Bank’s customer appreciation event. 

I have also had the regular oversight committee meetings for the SWLRT (Southwest Light Rail) project and as you all know the final public owner’s meeting on price escalation options. I have worked with a couple of members to track the status of change orders for public projects and push for prompt payments.  

Last week I met one on one with Representative Dean Phillips’s office on how the federal government can assist with the price escalation and supply chain issues we are experiencing. I am trying to educate anyone that might hear the issues and help find a solution. I left the meeting grateful for their time and commitment to look at a few ideas further. 

Lastly, I am working with the board and staff on new initiatives that we shared with you all at the Annual Recognition event in February. We are developing a new educational component to assist new business owned members with navigating construction and will be rolling something out in January. We will also be implanting an ambassador program to engage deeper with new members, and we are looking at engagement of outstate construction firms and what would benefit them as members. 

I hope you are finding a bit of time to enjoy the Minnesota summer. I know how hard it is to find time away as an entrepreneur and wish you all moments to enjoy here and there.

— B