Jeff Hooper has been appointed the director of apprenticeship and training for the Arizona Builders’ Alliance, according to ABA Executive Director Mark Minter. Hooper will oversee the day-to-day operations of the ABA, AGC Education Fund and its programs in Phoenix, Tucson and Casa Grande.
Hooper comes to the ABA from Seattle Wash., by way of San Diego, Calif., where he has spent more than 15 years in the education industry serving as an administrator, classroom teacher and consultant. Hooper has worked extensively in online curriculum development, course design, staff development and instructional design. He also owned and operated ReignMaker LLC, a real estate development company specializing in home relocation, remodel, and new home construction. His passion is to show contractors how they can increase their bottom-line through employee training.
Hooper also has an extensive background in construction employee safety and is looking forward to helping construction become a safer and more profitable industry. In addition to helping ABA expand its safety training, he has creative new approaches to the types of training available for workers on remote sites and in other states.
By Mark Minter
Carol McMullen became part of the construction industry in February 1983 when she was hired by the Building Chapter of AGC, the predecessor of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance. She has announced her retirement from ABA at year’s end.
The association was looking for a new staff person to assist with existing services and to expand the area of management education in the early 1980’s. Management education was a new concept 30 years ago for a trade association that had previously focused on collective bargaining, safety and lobbying. Carol’s background in education appeared to be a great fit.
Today, Carol’s imprint is on every aspect of the ABA’s education efforts. There are hundreds of employees whose careers have been advanced and companies served by the educational programs that Carol has fostered. The most notable of these efforts has been the Leadership Development Forum (LDF) begun more than 20 years ago.
The LDF was created to help operations and technical personnel advance into management and executive positions. The construction industry attracts and produces technically proficient people. Producing great managers is a challenge.
Contractors were recognizing that the old mentor-protégé approach to advancing careers wouldn’t produce enough new leaders. LDF was created to produce a stream of new leaders proficient in the areas of financial management, strategic planning, understanding human resources, business development and public speaking.
Over the years Carol has developed, nurtured and improved the program. Enrollment demand is so great that companies are limited to one employee per year. Both the AGC and the Associated Builders and Contractors have recognized LDF as the country’s outstanding management education program.
Wink Ames (Minard Ames INSURICA) has been involved with ABA for more than 30 years.
“The LDF program is the best management training program that the ABA has,” he says. “We have been doing this for 20 years and, as a result of Carol’s efforts and leadership, many of today’s construction industry leaders came though her program.”
Carol’s personal touch has been evident in other aspects of the ABA’s programs as well. Conventions used to be a rather dull series of reports and updates on internal aspects of the association. Carol and the ABA’s convention committee converted the convention to an educational event with outstanding speakers, spouse involvement and interactive challenges for participants.
As ABA Executive Director, I have witnessed Carol’s impact.
It goes beyond just the quality of the programs. Carol has brought a personal touch to everything she does and all the people with whom she deals. She genuinely enjoys the folks in ABA and they can tell that she does. Our membership is going to miss her, but not nearly as much as I will.
Barry Chasse of Chasse Building Team has known Carol since the early 1990’s.
“I don’t know how or why, but because she is so passionate about the ABA, Carol convinced me to dress as Marilyn Monroe and sing ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ to incoming president Eric Hedlund.”
The search continues for photographs of that event.
“Many people in the construction industry, me included, can attribute our personal success to programs we’ve taken at ABA,” says Randy Eskelson of Schuff Steel Southwest. “Those programs were developed, refined and promoted by Carol. I don’t remember a time she hasn’t been part of our industry. What will we do without her?”
Carol has never been content to rest on previous successes. In the past two years she helped the industry implement a test preparation program for individuals seeking to pass the Certified Professional Constructor exam given by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC). As a result of those efforts Arizona had more than 100 individuals taking and passing that exam; more than any other state in the country. She was awarded the inaugural Stephen B. Byrne Industry Achievement Award recognizing her contributions to that success.
Carol’s retirement won’t be all leisure and relaxation. There are lots of friends, family, church and community events that will need her attention. She and her husband, Bob, have two grown daughters and six grandchildren living close by. The six grand kids, ages 2-8, are all looking forward to seeing more of grandma.
The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) honored Carol McMullen of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance for her work in supporting the advancement of education in the construction industry.
McMullen, the inaugural award winner of the Stephen P. Byrne Industry Achievement Award, received the award at the National AIC Annual Forum in Scottsdale.
In addition to McMullen’s 30 years of service to the ABA and the local community, she has been instrumental in increasing the number of constructors who have completed the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) exam, a national comprehensive exam testing all areas of construction expertise.
Under McMullen’s leadership, more than 100 Arizona constructors have successfully earned their CPC designation in the past three years. This professional designation is a testimony to the knowledge and professionalism of the individual.
“The leaders of the Arizona construction industry are committed to ongoing professional development and education,” McMullen said. “It’s my honor to provide growth opportunities and to work with our talented constructors.”
The Stephen P. Byrne Industry Achievement award is a new recognition honoring past AIC National President Byrne, who passed away Feb. 11, 2013, at the age of 59. This award will be presented yearly to an individual who has supported the advancement of Constructor Certification at a high level.
There has been quite a bit of good news coming out the Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA) office this summer.
The ABA was recently awarded the AGC in the Community Award by Associated General Contractors of America. The award was given to the ABA for its outstanding community service projects in Tucson and Phoenix in 2011.
The ABA also earned the Excellence in Education Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors for its Leadership Development Forum (LDF) program.
On the community front, the ABA smashed its own record for the number of cell phones collected in the annual Cell Phone Drive for the Troops.
Last year’s record was 800 cell phones. This year ABA members collected 955 phones, which will give 28,650 minutes of free calling time to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Additionally, the ABA is also in the middle of its Backpack Drive to collect school supplies for the upcoming year. The ABA will accept donations through July 20 and will donate the supplies to the schools in the most need.
The Arizona Builders’ Alliance is one of 95 chapters across the country that is aimed at productivity of contractors, suppliers and professional service firms.
For more information on Arizona Builders’ Alliance, visit Arizona Builders’ website at azbuilders.org.