Now in his 40th year of service, Mark Minter, president of the Arizona Builders Alliance, is preparing to start the next chapter in his career – retirement.
In the meantime, ABA, a trade association of commercial and industrial builders including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service companies, is beginning the search and interview processes for a new president to replace him before his tenure ends in April 2019.
Prior to the 1994 merger of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC), Minter was with the AGC since 1977, serving in multiple positions such as Tucson branch manager, assistant director and executive director.
Before he passes the torch, Minter shared some thoughts about his time with ABA and what it means as a resource for unifying the many of the different builders and companies in the construction industry.
AZRE: How do you describe your career with the ABA?
Mark Minter: I have been fortunate to represent a growth industry in a growth state. My tenure coincided with a huge boom in population, employment and opportunities. I am blessed to represent a great group of people who do work that is so important to society.
AZRE: What memories still resonate with you the most?
MM: Early in my career, I spent more time on jobsites. The superintendents that I met in those years were fantastic people to be around. A superintendent is a person who can look at a set of plans and a vacant lot and envision a completed building. They are the people who make it happen.
AZRE: What’s one example of ABA’s impact on the industry?
MM: In the 1980s, we made a significant shift to providing management education. That effort has not only helped make our members more profitable, it has helped many people have successful careers in construction.
AZRE: During your 40-year tenure with ABA, how has the industry changed?
MM: Technology was just starting to impact construction. Bids were put together using 10-key adding machines and scheduling was done on butcher paper with grease pencils. In the 1970s, computer-based scheduling was starting to sweep the industry. When the first computers were being adopted by big contractors those were massive mainframes being accessed by a handful of people. Today, everybody has more computing power on the tablet that they carry to meetings.
AZRE: What’s the biggest impact of these innovations?
MM: The widespread use of technology allows even small projects to be done ‘better, faster, smarter.’ Small contractors and their clients are utilizing technology that big projects did not have 50 years ago.
AZRE: Looking ahead, what are ABA’s most important priorities/goals?
MM: Getting the next generation of leaders prepared to take the helm. With the right leaders in place, we can handle the legal, economic and social challenges that will surely arise.
AZRE: What value does ABA bring to the industry?
MM: Construction trade associations have always been valuable because even big contractors tend to be small businesses. Unlike other industries, we don’t have firms with 30 and 40 percent market share. Fewer resources in the hands of smaller firms means we need to come together to get anything done. It is truly a more democratic industry in that way.
AZRE: What will be next for you after ABA?
MM: I’m hoping for continued good health, a few adventures, some travel and more time for family. There are lots of places in this beautiful world I haven’t seen yet; so, maybe I can fix that.
Message to members: “Thank you for the opportunity to be part of your great industry. I stumbled into this industry, but have never regretted it for one second.”