2016 Manager Meeting
Last week, our management staff gathered to experience one of the most anticipated events of the year: Eldeco’s annual training meeting. For three busy and exciting days, our group of 190 participants heard inspiring seminars, networked with vendors, recognized award winners, enjoyed fun, offsite activities and got to know each other better.
The event kicked off on Thursday with the third annual Eldeco Apprenticeship Contest. This year, twenty-nine apprentices from Eldeco’s four branches competed at varying levels of experience based on the Levels 1-4 identified by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. The contest consisted of a written test as well as a timed installation of electrical components based on the competitor’s status level in the program. It was inspiring to witness the dedication that has been demonstrated by these apprentices and see the results of their hard work.
After the final results were tallied, we recognized the first place winners for each level:
- Level One: Lance Weed
- Level Two: Jorge Lotero
- Level Three: Jerry Canty Jr.
- Level Four: Mike Busby
On Thursday afternoon, the weekend began for the other management staff with a talk by Allen McKinney, Eldeco’s president. He began by asking each manager to tell his peers what he did and how long he’d been with the company. As each manager took a moment to tell the others about himself, it was inspiring to witness the breadth of experience and wide-ranging talent that makes Eldeco what it is. Allen then shared some insights on leadership, reminding us that no one becomes valuable by living for themselves, but by investing in others and working with integrity. A key takeaway from Allen’s talk was that if we want to deserve more, we must become more valuable.
Allen was followed by Steve Reynolds, CFO, who introduced the corporate team and gave them each a few minutes to share more about the specific areas of the company they lead. Later in the afternoon, we heard from Randy Nemchin, senior consultant with FMI. Randy spoke to us about unemployment demographics, retention, generational gaps and employee engagement. Randy was followed by Allen McKinney, who closed and sent us off to mingle with our sponsors before the Awards Ceremony.
Thursday night marked one of the most inspirational events of the weekend, the Awards Recognition Ceremony. This year, the coveted McKinney Cup was awarded to the Birmingham Branch for winning the over-all Apprenticeship Competiton. Congratulations on a well-deserved recognition! We also had the privilege of recognizing one professional engineer license, two contractor licenses, a CAGC Foundation Scholarship award winner, two graduating apprentices, a Master Electrician license and sixteen STSC certifications.
On Friday, we heard from Admiral Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, a retired four-star admiral in the Navy who flew over 280 missions in Vietnam. He shared some stories and examples on how to lead, and encouraged us to ask ourselves, “Who are you going to Train?” He explained the three “C’s” of leadership, Compassion, Courage, and Communication, and a tip that will always help one lead: never say, “I don’t know,” but rather, “I’ll find out.” We also heard from Tony Berenyi from Berenyi, Inc. who shared some great insights on leadership as well. The “R” factor- Referability was a great take away from Tony’s talk.
After our morning sessions, we went offsite for some fun activities. Attendees were given the choice to participate in go-karting at LeMan’s Karting or golf at Links at Verdae. It was the perfect opportunity to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.
Corey Arledge, Eldeco’s Safety Director, started us off on the right foot Saturday by outlining recent successes in Eldeco’s quest to Live Safe, Work Safe. He highlighted where we’ve come and where we’re going in our Safety Department. We also heard from Tony Crow at INJAM (It’s Not Just About Me). Using humorous, real-life experiences, Tony shared a message on safety, leadership and motivation, inspiring us all to achieve safety excellence.
We wrapped things up with breakout discussions on How to Achieve Safety Excellence and Setting Smart Goals- six months, followed by personal and group action planning and a concluding talk by Allen.
From inspirational messages to small group discussions to fun events, the 2016 Training Meeting will not be quickly forgotten. We’re grateful for the opportunity we had to step away from the daily grind and learn from each other, and we left motivated to reach for continued excellence. Here’s to another great year!