We have a Thanksgiving tradition at our house of always setting another place at the table. Years ago, when we had young kids and a small family, we would invite friends or neighbors to join us, and Miss Barbara would always say, “We’d love for you to join us. It’s not a problem at all, we’ll just set another place at the table.”
As our children grew, married and had their own kids, we added a card table, then another table. But the message to family, extended family and friends has always been the same: “You’re more than welcome to join us – we’ll just set another place at the table.”
During this time of year, I can’t help but count my blessings. For a wonderful family, of course. And the great fortune to have the best job in the best industry with a chance to work with the best members and best staff that anyone could imagine. To say that I have been blessed is the understatement of the year.
This year, while doing my usual reflecting, I’ve also been thinking about NPCA and the passing of the years. Last month we celebrated NPCA’s 50th anniversary with a gala event that paid tribute to the association’s founders. We marveled at the visionary men and women who created this trade association, established a rich culture, created lasting friendships and moved an industry forward. While we were honoring the past, we were also peering into the future. For the past six months we have been conducting focus groups with emerging leaders to learn what they think as we plan for the next 50 years.
We’ve learned this: the entrepreneurial spirit that forged NPCA in the past is still alive for the future. The vision is there. The open, sharing culture is there. The relationships – forged by grandparents and parents over 50 years – will continue to grow. So we are now setting another place at the table for the next generation. They are happy to join us and we are grateful to welcome them.
At the end of the day, Thanksgiving isn’t about food or football, though I am certainly happy to overindulge in both. It’s about being thankful for people. Our families. Our co-workers. Our industry. The richness they add to our lives, not just on one special day, but every day. Happy Thanksgiving.
President, National Precast Concrete Association