Building Excellence, April 2017
Darrell Gossett is the Chairman of ERMCO and the President of the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation.
You might imagine that financially supporting CFA would be a given. But if you did, you do not know ERMCO, Darrell, or his brother Greg Gossett who serves as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
They tend to be professional and thorough and they used those traits as they analyzed the nature of ERMCO’s prospective support for CFA.
Darrell was serving on the board but waited before asking ERMCO to pony up. “I didn’t bring it to ERMCO immediately,” he said. “I waited until I firmly believed in the organization and ha a firm understanding of what we were accomplishing. Once I knew that it was worthy of our support and felt very comfortable that it would ring true with our mission and what we typically do in the community, then I brought it to Greg and David (Peterson, ERMCO’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing).”
Greg is an easy mark for charities (“I have a hard time finding a charity that doesn’t deserve support.”) but acknowledged limitations, saying, “The fact of the matter is there is only so much you can do as an organization.”
But it was quickly apparent to the Executive Team at ERMCO that the CFA, an organization that provides support to those in the industry affected by a serious injury or fatality, was one that warranted strong support.
“We looked at it as an opportunity to not only give back and support the community but to support an organization that directly benefits the construction industry which is extremely important to ERMCO,” said Greg. “As we looked at what this Foundation did, it fits very good with our core culture and what we are about.”
Greg also noted ERMCO’s strong support of the former Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety (MICCS, now the Coalition for Construction Safety) and recalled that the Foundation was once a committee in MICCS. Indeed, according to many, it was difficult to find a MICCS committee or activity that was not supported directly by ERMCO and its employees. Both Gossetts have served on the MICCS Board of Directors and Greg served for many years on the MICCS Executive Committee.
Through Darrell’s involvement with the Foundation, he has seen first-hand how it helps families in need during a difficult time. Often the Foundation gives assistance needed for everyday life expenses during a time when a significant income stream has stopped and before insurance and other benefits provide some additional assistance.
“I have been able to meet the families and to see the difference that the Foundation is making in their lives. I have had people that have said that the family would have lost their car if we had not helped them with their payment and a family so moved that we bought a headstone for a gentleman’s grave. Those are the kind of things that touch home,” said Darrell.
Both men believe that the Foundation’s ability to unite the industry behind a cause that everyone supports is of critical importance.
“Everyone wants to be a part of helping these families,” said Darrell. “The Foundation has done a great job of pulling our industry together. We have highway and building construction involved as well as union, merit shops, owners, general contractors, insurance and bonding all of these entities sitting around one table trying to make things better for one individual and not caring what part of the industry came from. That is very rewarding.”
Summing up what is perhaps the best reason they so strongly support the Foundation, Greg said, “I really do believe that involvement in the Foundation changes you. It makes you a better person.”