Building Excellence September 2017
The Indiana/Kentucky Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a strong supporter of the Construction Family Assistance Foundation (CFA) having become a Patron Level Supporter that represents a commitment for a substantial annual donation to the CFA having become a Patron Level Supporter that represents a commitment for a substantial annual donation to the CFA.
Executive Assistant Catrona Lanctot recounts first learning of CFA when Traci Hardin, Meyer Najem’s Vice President for Safety & Compliance and a member of the CFA Board of Directors, contracted her about putting a display table at ABC’s Annual Awards Gala. Every year the gala attracts over 400 ABC members so it was a great audience to receive information on CFA. Lanctot readily agreed to Hardin’s request.
ABC made the commitment to CFA that night.
Lanctot then attended CFA’s annual kickoff breakfast in January and left the meeting having agreed to serve on the Foundation Development Committee.
Why did Lanctot and ABC agree so quickly to offer major assistance?
“It’s really important to ABC to support our members and other industry professionals,” said Lanctot. “We preach ‘safety first’ but understand that accidents happen. All of us have experienced first-hand how traumatic and challenging a workforce injury can be so we feel it is important to have a resource like the CFA to send families to, where they can get help in those trying first days after an accident occurs.”
“Personally,” she said, “I think it is a great way for me to give back to the construction industry. It is a really good cause and a unique resource that we have in our area.”
ABC serves merit shop companies but Lanctot said any divisions in the industry disappear when an accident occurs. “When someone is injured on a jobsite, it’s a great chance for the construction industry to come together in support of that worker. While we strive to promote workplace safety, accidents can still happen. The CFA is a great example of unity in the construction industry to support our own people.”
ABC stresses safety as a priority for its members and offers a full-time staff person that helps put on in-house safety training courses and who also helps members create safety programs that are tailored to their individual needs. They also offer their STEP program (Safety Training Evaluation Process).
John Voigt, Chief Operations Officer for Brownsburg Community School Corporation, has become the newest member of the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation Board of Directors.
Board President Darrell Gossett of ERMCO welcome Voigt to the board. “It is important that our owners have a passion for the safety of our workers on their projects and equally care about the families of workers who are injured or killed while working on construction projects. John has that passion and will be a valuable addition in helping move the Foundation forward.”
Voigt, when asked why he believes it is important to support the Foundation said, “At a basic level, the well-being of our students, staff, and visitors is paramount to our purpose. If individuals are not healthy, or safe, we will not be successful in meeting our primary mission of educating students to their highest ability. This applies to not only to our students and staff, but also to those individuals providing services on our property.
“As a public school district, there are practical limits to the processes and programs we can implement to foster and support a safe construction work environment. CFA provides an outlet to ensure we are able to support those individuals, and their families when we have failed to ensure a safe work environment. It is the right thing to do.
The 8th Annual Golf Outing set a new fundraising record as over $30,000 was raised for the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation. The event, held August 24 at Eagle Creek Golf Club, saw nearly 200 golfers compete on two courses under sunny skies for a day of fun, food and networking.
Safety Management Group took first place honors on the Sycamore course with CTI Construction finishing second. Fox Contractors were the big winners on the Pines course with Irving Materials, Inc. coming in second.
During the dinner, Mark Bentley of Rieth-Riley and a member of the CFA Foundation Board of Directors spoke about the importance of the mission of the Foundation. He then presented a check for $1,500 to CFA Foundation President Darrell Gossett.
The CFA Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, whose sole mission is to provide financial assistance to individuals and families affected by a construction or facilities maintenance related incident or loss of life beyond that of workers’ compensation, other insurance or settlements.
Thanks to all of the sponsors, volunteers and participants for making the CFA Foundation Golf Outing a smashing success!
Building Excellence August 2017
As Richard Hedgecock, President of the Indiana Constructors, Inc. (ICI) tells it, the organization, which serves Indiana’s road construction industry, recently made a very easy decision to become a sustaining contributor to the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation.
“Last year at our annual meeting we had Darrell Gossett (the President of CFA) make a presentation regarding the Foundation to our members. Darrell gave a very good talk and as soon as it was over I had no fewer than five or six members immediately come up to me and say that they couldn’t believe we were not yet supporters. We quickly remedied that.”
Hedgecock said he was particularly struck by the need for the road construction industry to support the Foundation when he reviewed the work that it had already been doing. “When you see the numbers not only of the injuries and fatalities that occur in our ‘horizontal world,’ but also of the numbers of families that the Foundation had already been serving from our universe, well, the light bulb went off. We absolutely needed to be doing this,” he said.
Hedgecock emphasized that safety is one of the most important issues to him and his members. “Safety is a fundamental part of what we do in this industry. There are always two or three things that are a normal part of our agenda at board meetings. Sometimes, were I to put safety at the top of our agenda at our meetings, we wouldn’t have time to talk about anything else, it is that important to us as an organization and industry.”
While there are many very large companies that work in the road construction industry in Indiana, Hedgecock said that many of them, as well as hundreds of other smaller companies, are family owned and that just increases their commitment to helping families of those who are hurt or killed in a construction accident.
“You have to protect and help your family,” he said.
The Indiana General Assembly recently passed a large funding package that will increase the level of construction on our roads and highways for the foreseeable future, making it even more important to keep a steady eye on safety and on the increasing need to help those who might be affected by accidents.
ICI is redoubling their efforts to help the industry cope with the increased risk of accidents occurring due to the greatly increased work that is occurring.
“We have been working closely with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in examining how, what, when and why we do certain safety procedures and how we can create a safer work zoned for the worker and the traveling public,” Hedgecock said.
Hedgecock encouraged companies in the road construction business to support the Foundation, too.
“I think it is incumbent for everyone to support CFA as a way to give back and to honor and serve our workers that don’t go home at the end of the day,” he said.
Building Excellence, May 2017
There is normal busy. And then there is Greg Fuller busy.
Fuller is the President and owner of North Mechanical Contracting & Service, one of Indiana’s largest mechanical contracting companies. This year he is also the President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) that counts more than 2,600 member companies in its ranks.
Just in the last six weeks, Fuller has travelled to two associations in California, has attended the group’s national convention in San Diego, California, has been to a committee meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, met with a contractor in Salt Lake City, Utah, and taught a class at the Institute of Project Management in Austin, Texas.
Yet when asked to talk about his company’s support for the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation, Fuller make time for it within minutes, emailing while in the air that the plane would be landing shortly and he would call at the airport.
When asked why North became a sustaining donor of CFA, committing to a three-year significant contribution, Fuller said that the company has always tried to be very involved in the community and in philanthropic activities and when he learned last year more details about the group, he jumped at the opportunity to help.
“I’m still learning about some of the families CFA has been able to hep and what the Foundation has been able to do for them, he said. “You know that when there is a job-related injury or fatality that there will be, for example, help for the family from insurance coverage. We all know that. But we don’t normally think of some of the things that the affected family is going to need immediately and might not be able to cover due to an accident. Things like the next house payment, childcare or just getting food on the table.
“These things are immediate needs and they are already going through a very traumatic experience. Receiving a contribution from CFA can help a family and lift just a little of the tremendous burden that they are experiencing and that is why I feel so strongly about CFA.”
Fuller is thankful that North Mechanical has never experienced being touched by a fatal or serious accident but acknowledges such circumstances can occur for any contractor any day.
In addition to making a financial contribution, Fuller is sharing the organization of the Foundation and its work during his travels across the country.
“People are very intrigued by the CFA and the process that the Foundation employs to carefully consider whether and what kind of support a family needs and then make sure that appropriate support is given quickly.”
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.”
Building Excellence, February 2017
The 8th Annual CFA Foundation Golf Outing will be held Thursday, August 24 at the Eagle Creek Golf Club.
Marcy Watson, Association Coordinator for CFA said, “Mark your calendars now and plan to enjoy an afternoon of golf, networking and fun while helping the families those seriously injured on a construction jobsite.”
The annual golf outing is the largest fundraiser each year for the organization with all proceeds going to the CFA Foundation.
Sponsorship packages are available. Visit www.cfa-foundation.org for more information.
Building Excellence, February 2017
The Construction Family Assistance Foundation (CFA) ended 2016 with its most successful year in its history in the rearview mirror and with realistic goals of having an even better year ahead.
The purpose of the CFA Foundation is to financially assist families that have been affected by a life-changing workplace injury. It is the new name of the MICCS Foundation and is now a stand-alone organization.
CFA recently held its annual breakfast that will be covered in greater depth in the March issue of this magazine.
The organization celebrated a number of new donors as the year began. The new funds total about $25,000 for 2017 with over $50,000 in new commitments that flow into the next few years.
Donors so far in 2017 include:
- Building Excellence Media
- Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS)
- F.A. Wilhelm
- Safety Management Group
- ERMCO, Inc.
- Indiana Constructors, Inc.
- Meyer Najem
- North Mechanical Contracting & Service
- Turner Construction Company Foundation
- ABC of Indiana/Kentucky
- ASSE – Central Indiana Chapter
- Buckingham Construction
- Buckingham Foundation
- Central Paving
- Circle B Construction Systems
- Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing
- Mechanical Contractors Association
- CFMA of Central Indiana
- Darrell Gossett
- RL Turner
- Tiffiny Summers
- Mike Thibideau
- Robert & Krista Wilson
Building Excellence, January 2017
Randy Gieseking knows exactly when a decision to become a major donor to the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation occurred.
Gieseking, the President of Safety Management Group (SMG), was attending the annual CCS Awards Banquet and watched with hundreds of others as a video played of a young and recent widow expressing heartfelt gratitude to the Foundation for the assistance it provided to her family soon after her husband suffered a fatal injury. Gieseking was greatly affected by the plight of the young woman and her family and pleased to hear that an organization like CFA existed to help her quickly after the family’s loss and before other needed assistance could arrive.
He turned to Jesse Brazzell, SMG’s Safety Services Manager and said simply, “we should be an angel donor.” Brazzell, who with Gieseking and others at SMG have provided ongoing financial and volunteer services to safety organizations and causes in Indiana and throughout the country, agreed wholeheartedly.
An Angel Donor makes an annual $10,000 donation to the CFA Foundation and Brazzell is a member of the CFA Foundation’s Board of Directors, currently serving as Vice President.
“One of our core values is a commitment to serve our clients, our associates and our community,” said Gieseking. “We are a professional safety company, and our number one goal is to help our clients make sure that their team members get home safely every night, it’s what we do for a living. If we can participate at this level in the Foundation and it helps a family I need then it aligns with our key core values as a company.”
SMG now has 160 safety professionals in the field, working on projects and in companies throughout the United States. They have grown by about one third in the last two years alone.
One reason for the strong growth is that SMG has added three new services to assist their clients.
They now provide direct hire replacement services that allow them to begin providing recruiting services for environmental health and safety professionals for their clients on a fee basis. Gieseking said that the service will parallel their existing in house recruiting efforts and allow them to broaden their client base to many additional industries. “These services will take the burden off of a company’s human resources department and allow us to provide pre-screened, qualified candidates using the same due diligence we use when hiring our safety and environmental professionals,” he said.
Another new service is to provide environmental auditing and training services. The training deals with protecting environmental aspects such as land, water, air, animals, archaeological and hazardous materials. There are multiple federal and local regulatory agencies that monitor environmental compliance and SMG now has the expertise to assist companies with auditing, program development and training related to the environment.
Finally, the addition of safety leadership training allows companies to improve their safety performance by increasing effective safety leadership skills with SMG’s assistance.
Building Excellence, December 2016
The Sheet Metal Contractors Associations of Central Indiana, the Lafayette Are Sheet Metal Contractors and the Fort Wayne Area Sheet Metal Contractors (SMACNA) have expressed their support of the goals and mission of the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation by making a significant contribution.
The support followed a presentation to the organizations by Darrell Gossett of ERMCO who is President of the Foundation.
Tracy Wilson, the Executive Director of SMACNA of Central Indiana said that Gossett’s presentation was persuasive.
“He told a sheet metal worker in Fort Wayne that had been injured on the job and ultimately died of those injuries whose family had been provided early assistance by CFA and that kind of hit home with us and we want everyone to be able to come home safely whether they are union or non-union,͟ she said.”
“We didn’t know that CFA had been formed that it was now separate from CCS. We always thought that CCS (formerly MICCS) took care of the Foundation financially through their events and so forth and we have believed ever since the Foundation was created that it was important to support. When we discovered that the Foundation needed financial support, our board thought it was important to step up.”
The separation from CCS occurred in 2015 when both organizations rebranded with MICCS becoming CCS and the MICCS Foundation which became its own 501 (c)(3) charitable organization in 2012 became the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation.
Wilson said that CFA has a particular and important niche to fill.
“One thing that we found interesting was that before other benefits might arrive, families have an immediate financial need that very likely adds to their considerable stress. Things like light bills and mortgages don’t stop coming when tragedy strikes. I don’t think anyone else is honing in on the many early needs that a family has. This Foundation plays an important role in keeping families together by providing very early assistance.”