ROCKVILLE, MD. — The incoming Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) President Greg L. Fuller is certainly ready for the challenge. Fuller joined MCAA’s Board of Directors in 2010 and recently became president of the MCAA at this year’s annual convention.
Fuller is the president and owner of North Mechanical Contracting, Inc. and North Mechanical Services, Inc., a mechanical construction and service contractor based in Indianapolis. Greg joined North Mechanical in 1991 as a project manager, and ultimately purchased the company in 1997, becoming president and owner.
CONTRACTOR magazine recently caught up with Fuller about his new role with the MCAA.
CONTRACTOR: How has your career helped you prepare for a position such as MCAA president?
Greg Fuller: I received my journeyman plumber status in 1985, began my career as a superintendent and joined North Mechanical in 1991 as a project manager. I transitioned into the company’s leadership as vice president and purchased the company in 1997, becoming president and owner.
Seeking ways to ensure my company's success, I got involved in the MCA of Indiana and the group’s Indianapolis Chapter. I've served on the Boards of both organizations, as well as their Labor Management and Finance committees. I've also served on the MCA of Indiana’s Membership & By-Laws and Legislative committees. And, I'm Chairman of the UA Local 440 Health and Welfare Trust.
My introduction to MCAA came in the form of attending the national association’s many educational programs. I now chair MCAA's Project Managers Education Committee, and I am an instructor at MCAA's highly popular Institute for Project Management. I joined MCAA’s Board of Directors in 2010 and joined the Executive Committee four years later.
My background and association involvement have prepared me to lead MCAA and I look forward to building on the fine work of those who came before me.
C: What would be some of your top initiatives as president?
GF: I can trace my company’s success — directly and indirectly — to my involvement in MCAA. That is why involvement in MCAA will be my top initiative as president. I will tell our members that if they already participate, that’s great, but I will urge them to consider upping their game.
And I will say that if they've been on the sidelines, wondering how to get involved, please just ask. We will find a way to use their talents. I will tell them the industry will benefit from what they can add, and they and their company will benefit from their involvement as well.
C: What are some of the biggest issues facing contractors today?
GF: We are living in an incredible time. Our long-held beliefs are challenged every day. Things once unimaginable are now daily reality and the pace of discovery is unprecedented. This has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses.
In a business still very much about people, technology has impacted the way we communicate, the way we decide, and the way we serve. As business people, we must learn to open our minds to the unpredictable; as leaders we must learn to anticipate the unforeseeable; and, as contractors we must learn to apply all that once seemed impossible.
MCAA's job is to explore and share with our members the boundless opportunities that are at their fingertips. Then they will be able to experience game-changing technology, explore business innovation and learn to embrace the incredibly fast pace of change.
C: Without getting too political, does the new administration bring any new challenges/opportunities?
GF: Every administration brings new challenges and opportunities. This one is certainly no exception. We are hopeful that badly-needed investments in infrastructure will be forthcoming, as will a reduction in burdensome regulations and meaningful tax reform. In addition, we will continue our now-several-years-long campaign to bring about much-needed multiemployer pension reform.
C: MCAA has always been a leader in contractor training and education. What are some key programs offered?
GF: MCAA provides its members with countless other opportunities to learn throughout their careers, from the Institute for Project Management for relative newcomers to the Advanced Leadership Institute for senior executives, and at every stage in between.
Our Sales Institute for service professionals, our Fabrication Conference, our Technology Conference and our Safety Directors’ Conference are yet more examples of MCAA's educational opportunities. We don’t stop there. Our website mcaa.org has close to six hundred resources available for download, all of them free to our members as a benefit of membership.
We welcome to our annual convention and many other conferences, the best and brightest college students around, the members of our close-to-60 student chapters. MCAA and its foundation, MCERF, provide grants and scholarships to enhance the educational experience of the next generation and to help them find internship opportunities and great jobs for their great futures.
C: Describe the importance of having well-trained employees?
GF: That's easy; without well-trained and well-treated employees, no company can be successful. MCAA contractors are lucky because no trade is training its members more professionally and extensively than the United Association. Our members' employees, the men and women of the United Association, are simply the best-trained tradespeople in the construction industry.
C: What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do when you are away from the office?
GF: Spending time with my wife, Lynne, golfing and traveling — in that order!
C: The last time you said, “Today is a great day,” you were doing what?
GF: Looking down at the flowers, and not up.