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NAPLES, FL – Tom Felton, President of MC Industrial and President of TAUC from 2012-2016, was honored for his outstanding service at the 2016 TAUC Leadership Conference, held May 3-6 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida.
Incoming TAUC President Jake Locklear, President and CEO of APM (Atlantic Plant Maintenance, Inc.), thanked Mr. Felton for his service. “He has led our association with a poised, wise hand these past few years,” Mr. Locklear said. He added that Mr. Felton was “very approachable and always available.”
TAUC CEO Steve Lindauer presented Mr. Felton with a plaque commemorating his service. Mr. Lindauer thanked Mr. Felton for serving as president for an additional year after his initial three-year term expired.
In his farewell comments, Mr. Felton thanked TAUC for the opportunity to serve. He also pointed out the progres that has been made over the past several years, particularly in the area of tripartite cooperation and the push for more open communication between owners, contractors and unions.
In the Spring 2016 issue of TAUC’s official magazine, The Construction User, Mr. Felton wrote an article reflecting on his four years as TAUC President. The article is reprinted in full below.
TAUC thanks Mr. Felton for his “above and beyond” service to our organization and wishes him the very best in the future!
The Power of Communication
by Tom Felton
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. — George Bernard Shaw
Since my fourth and final year as president of TAUC comes to a close in May at our annual Leadership Conference, this will be my last column. It is hard to believe that four years have gone by so quickly. As I reflect back on the many challenges and s uccesses, a s w ell a s t he n ew relationships and friendships that have been forged, the above quote from George Shaw rings true throughout just about every aspect of what we do. When I look back at the challenges I faced in my career of 30-plus years, in almost every case, lack of communication was at the heart of the problem. Likewise, open and honest communication was what allowed us to eventually overcome each challenge.
Too many times we assume that the other party knows what we are thinking or knows what we mean. At the same time, we form our own perception of why others behave the way they do or what their real intentions are. The shame of it is that many times we react or make decisions without asking some simple questions or listening to the other party. At the end of the day, when you strip away titles and organizations that we represent, we are all just people trying to do a good job at what we have been hired or elected to do.
That’s what has been so great to see over the last four years in my role with TAUC. Just about everything we do is structured around facilitating that open and honest communication between contractors, owners and labor — giving everybody an equal voice at the table to state their opinions and listen to each other’s challenges and goals. It has been amazing to watch what we can accomplish as an industry when all three parties actively and honestly participate in this process.
Our industry and the environment that we work within is more challenging today than ever before. Economic volatility, advancing technology, changing demographics in our workforce and the impact of global events on our industry have created huge challenges. As soon as you think you have it figured out, things change. Ironically, this in turn creates the need for change in all of our organizations, too. History teaches us that to manage change successfully, especially at the rate we are seeing today, you must have strong communication skills and networks throughout your organization. For our industry to not only survive, but expand and grow, we must continue to keep the lines of communication open; meet and openly discuss our challenges; and jointly develop solutions.
While I will miss serving as your president, I am extremely excited and optimistic about the future of our organization under the leadership of Jake Locklear, our new President. Jake is an extremely bright, energetic and knowledgeable individual very capable of guiding us through the many challenges facing our industry. Along with Jake, we have an outstanding board of directors and committee chairs supporting Jake and helping to improve and grow our industry. Our organization is in very good hands.
I would like to recognize Steve Lindauer and all of the TAUC staff for the help they have given me during my tenure as president. They are all such professionals at what they do and our organization is extremely fortunate to have them. The countless hours that they spend behind the scenes preparing for our events and m aking s ure e verything i s p erfect when you get there is amazing. Not only do they all do a great job, but they have also become great friends.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you for the support you have given me during my tenure as president and for the many friendships I have made that will continue for many years into the future. I would also ask that if you are not currently involved as a Governing Member and participating on one of our committees, please give the idea some strong consideration. While we have made great strides and great progress, we cannot continue this progress without the active involvement of as many of our members as possible. As in most organizations like TAUC, you get out of it what you put into it. I can tell you from my personal experience, the benefits – both professionally and personally – greatly outweigh the time and effort you will put in.
Thanks again and be safe,