Since our last general membership meeting earlier this month, the words of a popular song have been going round and round in my head. As legendary musician Billy Joel so eloquently stated, “Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again.” Well, my time as your board president has come to an end, and now I must say goodbye and thank you for an amazing three year journey. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as president of the STA, and I thank all of you for your confidence in me. One thing is certain, serving the STA has been a passion in my family. My grandfather, Paul, was one of the original members of the group, and my father, Larry, also served as president in the late 1980’s. The Weiss family has always recognized that the STA is the only real voice of the subcontractor community, and I am thrilled that my sister, Elizabeth, has now joined the board of directors of the STA, continuing a dedication to this vital organization.
Reflecting on my goals when I first took office, I looked back at my first President’s Message from August of 2017. Back then, I commented, “This is an exciting time at the STA, and I am extremely proud to be taking over the helm of this storied organization as it sets sail in a bold new direction… For one, we have a renewed focus on member enrichment. In the coming months, you will see us roll out a series of ambitious programs that will get you face to face with the key players on New York’s most prestigious projects.” I think we truly succeeded on this front by offering unique “speed dating” meetings with major CM’s and GC’s that were an instant hit, as well as forging new partnerships with the architect and engineer community. We raised the bar on our meeting and seminar offerings, and our events became not to be missed affairs.
In that first message, I also promised that STA would launch an in-depth education program to help subcontractors better understand the pitfalls of upstream contractual language. As I mentioned, “There are a number of potentially detrimental clauses buried in the boiler plate of most contracts, and it is imperative that our members are fully aware of their impact.” I am so pleased that our contact clause event came to fruition in such a positive way and that the meeting led to the publication of the organization’s first White Paper in over a decade. This was truly a highlight of my term, and I urge anyone who has not read the White Paper to contact the STA and get a copy; the lessons learned will be invaluable.
It is no exaggeration to say that Covid-19 has thrown our industry for a loop and that there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty moving forward. Rest assured, however, that the STA will always be here as a resource to help guide our members through these challenging times. It has been truly rewarding to see how the STA, through the hard work and dedication of Executive Director Hank Kita, has kept the subcontractor’s voice relevant over the last few months through countless conference calls and Zoom meetings with industry and government leaders. Now more than ever, it is so important to have a strong and dynamic organization in our corner.
In closing, I want to thank you all again for your support over the last three years. I look forward to serving the Subcontractors Trade Association for many years to come.