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Sunday, 07 July 2013 17:00

Doherty to step down from ABC

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Longtime ABC President John Doherty, left, is retiring later this month. Stepping into the position is Norm Brady, a long-time executive at Triangle Associates. The two have been discussing how best to position the organization to serve members amid changes in the industry. Longtime ABC President John Doherty, left, is retiring later this month. Stepping into the position is Norm Brady, a long-time executive at Triangle Associates. The two have been discussing how best to position the organization to serve members amid changes in the industry. PHOTO: ELIJAH BRUMBACK

After starting his career at the Associated Builders and Contractors from the age of 24, President John Doherty plans to retire later this month.

Taking the helm of the organization on July 15 is Norm Brady, formerly the vice president of human resources at Triangle Associates and a member of ABC for the last 15 years.

With the transition plan in place, Brady said both he and Doherty continue to hash out what the future looks like for ABC and its membership.

One issue that plagued Doherty throughout his tenure and should remain top-of-mind for Brady is the chapter’s ability to maintain relevance to a marketplace of contractors and subcontractors with a widening scope of capabilities and specialties.

“I’m always fishing in my mind about what is the next big thing we should be moving into,” Doherty said. “What services or benefits can we provide that would bring more people to us and keep them in the membership?”

Early on, the organization was the partner that helped circle the wagons, gather companies and start down a mutually beneficial path. But now that there is so much variety in the level of professionalism, success and technological savvy among the member contractors, Doherty said it’s increasingly difficult to decide where to spend efforts and resources.

“It’s hard to offer top programs when you’re averaging things out,” he said. “Do we cater to the best and try to pull the other ones up, or do we focus on the ones that need the help the most at the expense of losing the connection with the most dynamic outfits?”

Over time, Doherty said that the organization focused primarily on the smaller companies.

Brady said he has enough history with the organization to understand its opportunities and challenges. He’s also participated in a recent strategic planning session with the organization’s board of directors that he said will help him step into the role with confidence.

“The education piece is probably the biggest going forward,” he said. “With the fact that the industry has been down and a lot folks moved away and out of the industry and now we’re coming back, we’re seeing that gap in the number of people available in skill sets we need.”

Championing programming improvements and other initiatives that include better communication and outreach along with greater collaboration among industry groups should increase the value of membership with ABC, he said.

Coming out of the recession, many nonprofits’ attitudes toward working together changed, mostly because many organizations didn’t know if they were going to make it, Doherty said.

“We used to look at trying to have the market all to ourselves, but now it’s bigger than any one group can support,” he said. “We’re looking to share and collaborate to better serve the industry.”

Read 3116 times Last modified on Friday, 19 July 2013 11:54

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