The Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) hired Tom Dunn, vice president of Southern Arizona, to replace Mark Minter, who is retiring after serving the statewide association for 41 years, including the last 25 years as president. In the new role, Dunn will represent ABA members from more than 300 companies of contractors and construction professionals from across Arizona.
Dunn was unanimously selected on Friday, May 11 by ABA’s Board of Directors following a comprehensive, nationwide search that began last December and produced nearly 60 applicants. The succession process included evaluations based on how the candidates fit with the job description, predictive personality testing and in-person interviews with the ABA’s Succession Planning Committee.
As president of the ABA, Dunn will be responsible for leading the overall operations of the organization including lobbying, government relations, craft training, workforce development, management education programs and membership recruitment.
“What impressed the committee about Tom was not only his knowledge of the industry, our mission and membership, but more importantly, his clear understanding of the fact that we truly put our members and their needs first,” says ABA Chairman Marty Hedlund of Sundt Construction. “Tom clearly understands the ABA’s goal to help our members be more successful by learning their challenges and understanding how our organization can help them achieve their goals.”
“I chose this position because I believe in the mission of the ABA to serve the membership and how every decision that we make needs to be best for our members,” explains Dunn. In order to do so effectively, he adds, “The best way to do business is to educate and inform those who may not have the same perspectives.”
Minter describes Dunn’s leadership style as high-energy, enthusiastic and actively engaged with ABA members across the state. “He is also great at explaining construction issues to people outside our industry such as government officials and elected leaders,” says Minter. “Dunn will be effective in both the internal and external engagement necessary to communicate our positions.”
As the previous director of ABA’s Southern Arizona office for the last seven years, Dunn frequently worked with Minter on federal and state legislative advocacy efforts. “I’ve learned a lot about how to serve the membership through his actions and leadership,” explains Dunn. “We want to put our member first every time. We want to provide offerings and resources that they want and need so they can improve how they do business.”
For instance, in response to the skilled labor shortage’s impact on members, Dunn established and led the ABA Explorer program in 2012 with high school JTED programs throughout Southern Arizona to create more awareness around viable and in-demand career pathways in the construction trades.
Looking ahead, ABA remains steadfast in its commitment to effectively implement the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan to grow its membership, increase participation in education and training programs as well as advocate for responsible legislative policies on behalf the construction industry under the new leadership of ABA President Tom Dunn.
He will continue to work side-by-side with Minter until his official retirement on July 1. In June, Dunn will begin coordinating interviews for ABA’s vice president of Southern Arizona with plans to hire his replacement by July.
Outside of the ABA, Dunn previously served as a board member for Marana Health Center, Tucson Regional Water Coalition, Pima County Bond Advisory Committee as well as Operative Plasterers and Cement Mason Funds. Before that, he was the campaign manager and treasurer for Marana Mayor Ed Honea, a self-employed mortgage banker for 17 years and press secretary for Tim Bee’s congressional campaign in 2008. Dunn earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from Oregon State University.