CONNstruction - Summer 2017 - 7
Making a Difference
CCIA just celebrated its fifth successful Joint Forces
CCIA President Luncheon, hosted by the Connecticut Ready Mixed
Concrete, Road Builders and Environmental and Utilities
This event started five years ago when the Directors
of three divisions decided it would be better to host a
joint luncheon to raise money for worthwhile veterans
programs instead of holding the typical separate spring
meetings. For the associations, this has evolved into an
A commonality throughout the construction industry is
a strong sense of community. Whether it is supporting an
Eagle Scout project, volunteering or donating materials
for a local project, giving seems like a natural extension
of that unique enjoyment inherent in our industry.
Industry participants also underIt is a rewarding feeling stand the benefits that come only
from collective action. It is a funto work together and
damental in this business that by
make contributions to
working together, we can accomsuch worthy causes.
plish more than any individual can
do alone. These two concepts
blend nicely to create what have grown to become very
special annual events, our Joint Forces Luncheon.
The first year transformed the paradigm for industry
initiatives. That year, former Army Staff Sergeant Dale
Beatty, a double-amputee who remodels and builds
homes for other disabled veterans, volunteered to be our
guest speaker. To our good fortune, Dale was joined by
Jim Earl of HEART 9-11, who was in Connecticut to frame
a house for Dale. The house, located in Manchester, was
being renovated for former Army Staff Sergeant Sandra
Lee. All three individuals shared their life experiences
with us and left a room full of industry professionals
By Don Shubert
changed for the better. The contribution by the associations covered all of the building materials that had not
already been donated to the project.
The objective for the second Joint Forces Luncheon
was to make a contribution to the State Veterans Memorial
Project at Patriots Park in Hartford. Former Army Captain
Paul "Buddy" Bucha, a recipient of the Congressional
Medal of Honor, volunteered to be the guest speaker. A
table of representatives from the Connecticut Department
of Veterans Affairs graciously joined him. The donation
matched the previous year's amount and solidified a
trend for contributions.
The target for the third luncheon was Fisher House of
Connecticut, which is currently being built on the grounds
of the Veterans Hospital in North Haven. Fisher Houses
provide free lodging for families and veterans while veterans are undergoing treatment at VA hospitals. Former
USMC Master Sergeant William "Spanky" Gibson, the
first amputee to return to active duty in a combat zone,
volunteered to be the guest speaker. Again, the industry's
contribution met the anticipated mark.
The fourth annual luncheon was dedicated to making a contribution to the U.S. Coast Guard Museum.
The museum is being planned to be built in Groton,
Connecticut. Retired Master Chief Jeff Creighton volunteered to be the guest speaker. The contribution level
continued to match the level of prior years.
This year, the associations aimed to make a contribution to the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with
Disabilities, located at the UConn School of Business.
Larry Dapo, a disabled veteran, a graduate of the program
and principal of his own construction company, volunteered to be the guest speaker. The fifth year contribution
It is a rewarding feeling to work together and make
contributions to such worthy causes. However, one of
the very special aspects of these events is what every
attendee learns from the veterans, themselves. All of
the veterans, who present at the events, unselfishly volunteer their time and go out of their way to share their
They teach our industry what giving back truly means.
These veterans are equally motivated and driven; loyal
and passionate. They are not afraid to meet and overcome challenges. They hold extremely high values, and
are honest about facing the difficulties of daily life. They
are modest, but there is a certain majesty to them that
quietly encourages us to be better people.
Our industry can be very proud of the contributions
that we have made, however, we always leave the events
feeling that we would like to do more and look forward
to continuing this tradition for another year.
CONNstruction / SUMMER 2017 / 7