2022 Highlighted 50 Years of Merit Shop

(left to right) Drew Maltese, Tudor Dixon, Keith Ledbetter, and Christine Scott cut the ribbon to open the Freedom Room

What will the next 50 years hold for ABC members?

Last year, ABC members, the board of directors and staff hit the ground running to make sure 2022 was the best year yet.

We got off to a snowy start in northern Michigan at the annual January planning conference where members and staff sat down to work out what’s going well for the training academy and association, and how we can better both organizations. After setting goals for the celebratory year, attendees shifted their focus to fun—enjoying
an evening in Bay Harbor.

2022 continued to be a great year of growth. The ABC Freedom Room debuted with its grand opening in May, the chapter played host to Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Ret. Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, and hosted its first gala with special guest Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“We’ve come a long way this year and I can’t believe it’s led to 300 people filling this ballroom to celebrate that achievement tonight,” said Butzel Long shareholder Eric Flessland at the 50th Gala.

Perhaps a special addition to the Southeastern Michigan chapter last year was the building of the Freedom Room. Four months of construction to make every last detail perfect resulted in a grand patriotic opening ceremony. Since its opening, the Freedom Room has hosted numerous member mixers, board meetings, chamber of commerce events, and provided a space for members to meet with their clients.

With a lot of celebration, however, the year closed out on a note of uncertainty for ABC contractors—leaving many wondering what 2023 will bring to the construction industry.

“The last few months in 2022 saw a halt in the housing market, increasing inflation, and record high gas prices, which will affect our contractors’ bottom line,” said ABC SEMI president Keith Ledbetter. “Now with a strong blue presence in Lansing, Right to Work laws that allow workers to opt-out of mandatory union membership, and elimination of Project Labor Agreements and Prevailing Wage requirements on government jobs are likely to be eliminated within the first few months of session this year.”

Ledbetter continued by noting that 2023 will require a lot more fight and discipline from ABC to protect contractors’ businesses from opposing politics.

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