Local Building Industry Association Falls Victim to Anti-Growth Movement and Sells to Placer County
Editorial: In a notice sent to all members of the El Dorado Builders Exchange (EDBX) on June 16, 2014, the El Dora-do Builders Exchange Board of Directors announced the acquisition of El Dorado County's construction industry association, effective July 1, 2014.
The EDBX has been acquired by the Placer County Contractors' Association (PCCA). Although it remains a local presence (the EDBX owns the building that has served as its office for years) to serve the needs of this county's construction industry, it is now under PCC leadership. Only time will tell if the EDBX looks out solely for the local interests or becomes mired in the dysfunctional politics that have poisoned so many here for years. For more information contact: Jeff Henry, Placer County Builders' Exchange (PCCA) at (916) 771-7229.
The local Builders Exchange was established in 1959 and has been operating continuously since that time. The fact that this closure went unnoticed by the community as a whole is bittersweet, with more bitter than sweet.
This writer proudly served the industry for 12 years as the Executive Director. Few days pass that I don't think of lessons learned and feel a fond connection still to those I worked with, and from whom I learned so much.
It's hard to forget the years when healthy and vibrant local construction industries and timber/logging firms were the major local employers, as well as key contributors to every charitable event held locally.
Somehow, even as the way of doing business changed to being more "on line" than "in person", and to embracing environmentalism over resource production, it's hard not to recognize that something important has been lost.
A sea of faces, battles, celebrations, meetings and events race though my mind as I recall how things worked back then. The contractors were the community leaders. They were intellectually honest and fiercely proud. If they said it — they stood by it.
I went through some medical treatment 1996 and couldn't work for over seven months. The Exchange paid my full salary during that entire time, although I qualified for temporary disability: the Exchange leaders wouldn't hear of that. Now, after all these years, I understand why: These were people who were used to giving — not taking. How times have changed.
When I was very young I made a pact with myself to never become stubbornly rooted in "old ways": To embrace the new and find joy in the way life always changes. Still, I cannot find much good to come from the loss of so many hard working construction, logging and timber industry men and women, and the thriving organizations they so proudly served.
In my heart I know these people really "got it" as they understood that joy comes in the process of working together and helping others, in a positive, not destructive, way. Some things will never change.
The legacy left by the El Dorado Builders Exchange will be found in the many lessons taught and still being learned: the knowledge passed on to children and employees about how to grow an honest company where your word is gold; the wisdom demonstrated by example about giving ceaselessly and staying involved in industry issues; the satisfaction of helping others and putting our community first, while remaining positive and productive. Aren't these the traits we should expect in all of our leaders?
Kathye Russell, former ED.
Business Alliance... Update August 1, 2014
Business The Business Alliance...Update is a bi-monthly publication of the El Dorado Business Alliance (BA). The BA is made up of the following organi-zations: El Dorado County Association of Realtors (EDCAR), El Dorado Business Alliance, County Chamber of Commerce, North State Building Industry Association (NSBIA) and Shingle Springs-Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce. Web Address for Subscription Info: KathyeRussell@gmail.com
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