Empowering Tomorrow: New cohort of Emerging Professionals begin their path to leadership

    Emerging leaders from ABC member companies gathered in the Freedom Room at the end of May for the start of the 2024 Professional Development series. The series consists of six sessions, each focused on a specific topic future leaders should be familiar with.
    The opening session provided context for what ABC is and our mission, then transitioned to a deep dive into understanding individual personalities.
    Two long-time ABC members and owners of local contracting businesses, Robert Clancy and Luke Beach joined the group for the morning to share their experiences with this association and why it’s important to make time to be involved.
    Robert Clancy, owner of Robert Clancy Contracting Inc., spoke about the integrity ABC members act with and the importance of keeping that at the forefront of the association.
    “Your name, your reputation is the most important thing you have. Protect that and act with integrity always,” Clancy said. “The public perceives merit shop workers to not value employee well-being, safety or operate with any code of ethics. I’m here to say that’s far from who we are. As we go through ABC National’s by-laws today, I want you all to understand the responsibility it is to be an ABC member and wear that logo with pride.”
    Owner of Independence Commercial Construction, Inc., Luke Beach, echoed what Clancy told the group.
    “We’re not here today to tell you all that we had a perfect path to opening our companies, but reputation is everything,” Beach said. “It’s not going to come down to if you make a mistake, it’s how you handle yourself when you do. That’s a person someone wants to do business with.”
    The last half of the session was led by Dr. John Mlinarcik, president at PCS-Global, a consulting and professional development firm. Dr. Mlinarcik led the group through their Behavioral Styles Profile assessment. This assessment broke down personality traits for each attendee and showed them how to become a strong leader by enhancing their communication skills.
    “It’s an interesting fact that by age 10, our personality is locked in,” said Dr. Mlinarcik. “From there, we go on autopilot, never thinking about changing it through our habits and responses to different encounters in life. That can be hard as we enter the workforce because we know how we operate, but don’t often think about how others operate, which can cause a lot of tension.”
    The session was not lost on one participant who is eager to start this journey in his career. Curtis McElroy, an assistant project manager for Action Traffic Maintenance, understands the reason his employer recommended him for the program and already is getting a positive impact on his career as he walked out of session one.
    “Everyone that stood up and spoke in front of us conveyed themselves in a manner that I would personally like to achieve one day, and that in itself inspired me, but also gave me some hope that there are kind people out there who are trying to make changes that benefit our country and other people, and ones that impact individuals in positive and productive ways. I thought it was an excellent first seminar,” McElroy said.
    From here, the Emerging Professionals are off to Lansing to meet with their local state reps and understand how politics affect the industry. The group will also be learning from a number of ABC SEMI members who are experts in law, safety, technology, strategic planning and leadership. Follow along with their journey on the ABC Southeastern Michigan Facebook page @abcsoutheasternmi. If you would like to participate or have an employee participate, the application for the 2025 Professional Development series will open in the winter.