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NDA Helps Develop the Next Generation of Demolition Leaders

As younger professionals take leadership posts, the association is providing training and networking opportunities for tomorrow's senior executives.

By: Scott Homrich

I think it's fair to say I represent the new generation of demolition industry executives, those who are taking over leadership positions within companies our fathers or grandfathers founded decades ago.  As such, we've literally grown up in the industry and have had the privilege to work alongside men and women who have been true pioneers in the modern demolition industry. 

In my case, my grandfather founded HOMRICH 50 years ago and in that 50 years the company has grown into a global demolition, remediation and environmental contractor headquartered in Carleton, MI.  Currently Roger I. Homrich is the President of HOMRICH.  He is proud to have previously held the position of President of the National Demolition Association (NDA).  I've accompanied him to NDA conventions, Board meetings and every other NDA event for nearly my entire adult life.  Today, I continue to be very active in the NDA myself, as not only a member of the Board of Directors but also as chair of the Education Committee, a member of the Awards Committee, serving on the Succession Committee, as well as being the past Convention Chair. 

As in most things in life, I've found you get out of NDA membership what you put into it.  What I think of as one of the biggest values of membership is the networking we are able to do with fellow demolition contractors.  Recently, I was working with Michigan State on a study on the topic of “deconstruction.”  When they asked if I knew this or that contractor, I could honestly say I pretty much know of every contractor east of the Mississippi and west of Washington, DC. Not only do I know these people through my work in the industry, but I've been able to get to know a lot of them on a personal level through my affiliation with the NDA.

I enjoy my NDA membership for the way it lets me be around other like-minded, successful individuals. Membership is good for getting the feel for what's going on in the industry. It's great to share problems and find solutions from people who are dealing with the same issues we are, whether it be dealing with staff absenteeism or finding qualified people for operator positions.

Along with the other executives at HOMRICH, including my brother Tim who serves as Vice President of Operations, I like knowing what's coming down the pipeline in terms of environmental and regulatory changes.  Because of the close relationship the NDA has developed with OSHA and the EPA, I'll hear about regulatory changes that are on the horizon in what seems like years ahead of time versus when I would if I wasn't a member of the NDA. 

I see real value in the mid-level management training that the NDA is now offering at the annual conventions.  As past chairman of the Convention Committee, this was a very important initiative to me.  As many mature owners start to retire, more second-tier management is moving up into leadership posts.  On their way into senior management, these people need on-going professional development and training.  By bringing them to our conventions and meeting other demolition professionals, we're actually grooming the leaders of tomorrow. 

Looking ahead, the challenge for the demolition industry will be to continually reach out to younger people to encourage them to consider entering our profession.  The NDA is working with Purdue University on its demolition specialization and is reaching out to other universities to encourage similar programs.  We look at this effort as one of the most effective ways we can reach out to tomorrow's potential business owners, executives and potential customers to show them the value of what we do.  In my opinion, this is the best route to the long-term success of the demolition industry and the association that represents us, the NDA.

About the author: Scott Homrich is Vice President of Estimating for HOMRICH, a global demolition, remediation and environmental contractor headquartered in Carleton, MI.  Their website is www.homrich.com.

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