The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013 - (Page 7)

president’s message Moving On By Craig Fleming ARBA President W hen I got the call from Billy Norrell on Thursday afternoon, May 30, I was expecting a conversation concerning planning for an off-site summer ARBA board meeting and retreat. Instead, Billy informed me of his decision to resign from the Alabama Road Builders Association to move over to Executive Director of the Associated General Contractors Association of Alabama. This was certainly an emotional and difficult decision for Billy and Stephanie, and it presented the leadership of ARBA with the challenge of fi nding a capable replacement. After two months of hard work, our ARBA Board of Directors met Monday, July 29 and voted to hire Tom Layfield as our new Executive Director. Reflecting on these past few weeks and months, I am reminded of four lessons learned through this process. First and foremost, we were very fortunate to have Billy as our Executive Director for more than 15 years. Billy has road building in his blood, and he has been a passionate advocate for the road building industry his entire life. His grandfather, George W. Norrell started G.W. Norrell Contracting Company in February 1946, which is still building bridges in Alabama today. George’s son and Billy’s father Grady Norrell joined the company in 1949 and it is still run by Billy’s siblings. The Alabama Roadbuilder • Fall 2013 Billy didn’t just grow up in the industry; he grew up in the association. His grandfather George W. Norrell served as ARBA President in 1958 and Grady Norrell served as President in 1968, the same year Billy was born. Shirley Banks who served ARBA for 46 years during both Billy’s and his father’s service even sent out his birth announcement to the membership, and years later helped Billy learn his new job as Executive Director! Billy’s mother Mary Charles (Charlie) continues to lead the Norrell legacy in the Alabama road building industry, and his sister Pam Norrell Kearley, who serves as Vice President of G.W. Norrell Contracting Company, is also currently ARBA’s Secretary and will serve as our president in two years. So one can understand the emotional difficulty Billy had in accepting the challenge of running the AGC of Alabama. He has been a wonderful leader for our association for many years, and I’m sure will be just as committed and effective in his new role. I know you join me in wishing the best for Billy, Stephanie and the boys. The second lesson learned is the dedication and commitment of our Association’s membership and in particular its Board of Directors. Upon Billy’s resignation, my fi rst task was putting together a search committee, which included Chris Newell, Greg Abramson, David Reed, Terry Bunn, Lee Gross, and Kacy Mims. These six men spent many hours considering the direction of the association, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. They certainly deserve a sincere thanks from all of us. In addition, many of you called to volunteer your time as well, and I saw an intent concern from our membership throughout the search. Truly ARBA is only as strong as its membership, and we are an effective association because of the dedication and commitment of our members. Third, our association is well-respected and the ARBA Executive Director position is highly sought after. As word spread of Billy’s departure, we received much input from both the political as well as business community concerning the search for a replacement, and we ended up with four or five highly capable and impressive candidates. The search committee and I were convinced that several of those candidates could have been an effective leader for us, so the challenge was deciding which one more closely met the present needs of the association. I thank all for their interest in the direction and leadership of our association as it represents the road building industry in Alabama. The fi nal lesson learned is that change in itself is not a bad thing, but it represents an opportunity for growth and improvement. Billy will have the opportunity to grow in his new role representing the AGC, and will have challenges that he would not have experienced with us. And we at ARBA have the opportunity to grow through the leadership of our new Executive Director Tom Layfield. Tom most recently served as Vice President of the Alabama Bankers Association. He has nearly 15 years of experience in association management and governmental affairs. He and his wife Lauren live in Montgomery and I am convinced that he will be a tremendous asset to ARBA. I know you all join me in welcoming Tom to our association. On a side note, this is my last column for The Alabama Roadbuilder as your president. Please know I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve this outstanding organization, and to work with such dedicated people and our wonderful staff. I thank you and the leadership team at Dunn Construction Company for their patience and support over the past year. I am proud to be passing the gavel over to Chris Newell of Newell Roadbuilders, Inc. We are in great hands with Chris and Tom’s leadership as we move forward to meet the challenges ahead! ❏ 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013


The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013