Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 29

much to Irv, and with his recent passing
I continue to mourn my dear friend.
I turned a corner then, thanks to Irv,
and got more involved in NASSCO. In
2011 I was elected to NASSCO's Board
of Directors. At this time NASSCO was
being led by Ted Deboda, who served
as executive director from 2010-2018.
Ted's vision included strategic planning
to develop a solid path for NASSCO's future.
My first year on the board, we had a
strategic planning session in Los Angeles
that lasted three days, and it was brutal.
It was, however, another turning point
for me and for the organization. Having
a solid strategy made the board a more
cohesive unit, brought us together with
common goals, and gave us purpose.
Natural growth
One of the unique things about NASSCO
is that it is very organic, by design. The
organization, as a whole, accomplishes so
very much, but rarely, if ever, can credit
be given to a single individual. I believe
that is because its members are truly in
it for the right reasons. Truly awesome
ideas that came up in Board meetings
were grown organically over a period
of time and often they evolved into
committee goals. This allows NASSCO
members from very diverse backgrounds
- contractors, system owners, engineers
and suppliers - to weigh in and develop
ideas into training, technical resources or
advocacy that benefit the entire industry.
A great example of this was when, in
2015, Mark Metcalfe served as president
of the board, and brought up the idea of
yearly financial audits. He had experience
running a reputable corporation and saw
how NASSCO was growing into a major
industry player, and the need for us to get
a handle on that growth. The audit was
Mark's idea, but the entire board accepted,
acted upon it, and made it happen.
Regular financial audits or reviews are
now written in the NASSCO Bylaws and
Mark's idea has become a foundational
requirement to ensure NASSCO's continuing
financial integrity and growth.
During my last year as president, it
was important to me to make sure one
very important NASSCO initiative was
ushered in, and that was government
relations. There had been talk over the
years regarding what NASSCO's role
should or should not be. But as a 501 c
(6) organization, it is our responsibility
to be the industry voice and advocate for
our members in Washington, D.C.
In 2017 Ted introduced us to Steve
Dye, who had been serving as a government
relations consultant for WEF.
With his deep understanding of the industry,
Steve brought to NASSCO the
knowledge of legislature, logistics and
communications to help our members
express NASSCO's key policy recommendations
to increase funding for underground
infrastructure. I consider this
an extremely important and effective
way for NASSCO to serve its members
and the entire industry.
While I may have missed out on my
last two semesters of college, serving on
NASSCO's Board was an education perhaps
even more valuable to my career. At
times I almost felt guilty because, while
I did put a lot of time and effort into my
role, I personally gained so much more
from the experience than I feel I gave.
My time on the NASSCO Board felt
like graduate school - I came away from
the experience feeling as though I had
a competitive edge. The relationships
you develop within NASSCO are also
a true gift. As a member of NASSCO's
board, and even being highly involved in
NASSCO committees, you get to know
some really good people from every
sector of the industry. My experience at
NASSCO truly changed me.
After my service to NASSCO as president,
I decided to take a break from leadership.
I believe that effectiveness only
lasts so long, and since I truly care about
the future of NASSCO, it was important
to me that new, fresh ideas be cultivated
among the board and committees. When
I look at NASSCO's membership roster
today, I don't know most of the names,
and that is fantastic.
New directions
I am excited about the future of
NASSCO. Going back to leadership of
our executive directors, Irv brought exactly
what NASSCO needed in the early
2000s, as he was instrumental in getting
PACP, launched in 2002, off the ground.
Not only did Irv get it off the ground, but
he also helped make it the national standard,
giving NASSCO the reputation
it enjoys today as the leading industry
association. As mentioned before, Ted
stepped in next to manage that growth
by ensuring there was organization and
a solid plan to handle the explosion of
PACP and NASSCO's other training
programs, including ITCP.
When Ted left in 2018, I was serving
as NASSCO's president and was very
much involved in the search for a new
executive director. It became clear that
we needed someone to lead our organization
who knew how to run a small
business, understood the nuances of a
501 c (6) trade association, and had a
good understanding of all trenchless
technologies. Sheila Joy fit that bill and
her transition into this role was seamless.
Much of that credit can be given, in part,
to Mark Metcalfe and his willingness to
serve as interim executive director as we
searched for the right executive director
to take us into the next few years.
Since Sheila took the role as executive
director in 2018, NASSCO's entire business
model has changed. All NASSCO
training programs including PACP,
LACP, MACP and ITCP, are managed
on the NASSCO website, with students
finding sessions, registering for classes,
paying
fees, downloading certificates,
and even taking the classes and exams
virtually or in-person. This model and the
technology used to deliver courses, opens
doors for other NASSCO training programs,
including the recently launched
NASSCO Grout Safety Training
Program and a NASSCO Certification
Program for Drain Cleaning, which will
be launched in 2024, with other training
programs in development.
NASSCO committees are also making
major headway through advocacy in
Washington D.C., in the development of
workforce development initiatives, curriculum
to help close the skilled trades gap,
and by supporting young professionals
through our scholarship programs - not
to mention the many, exciting advancements
in technology and standards being
developed by our member companies.
As we look to the future, we also look
to the past. Over the last couple of years,
NASSCO has worked hard to engage
our past presidents, and I am honored to
be part of the group. The advancements
made in recent years by NASSCO would
not be possible without the sparks of
ideas and ingenuity that came from our
board and other NASSCO members in
years past. To remember and acknowledge
their contributions honors them
and our industry. UI
UndergroundInfrastructure.com | JANUARY 2023 29
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Underground Infrastructure - January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Infrastructure - January 2023

Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - Intro
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 2
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - Cover1
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - Cover2
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 3
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 4
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 5
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 6
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 7
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 8
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 9
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 10
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 11
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 12
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 13
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 14
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 15
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 16
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 17
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 18
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 19
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 20
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 21
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 22
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 23
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 24
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 25
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 26
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 27
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 28
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 29
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 30
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 31
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 32
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 33
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - 34
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - Cover3
Underground Infrastructure - January 2023 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-august-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-july-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-may-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/underground-infrastructure-february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/gulfenergyinfo/gulfpub/january-2023
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