BSCAI President To Prioritize Events, Membership Resources
Todd Hopkins, president and CEO of Office Pride Commercial Services, Palm Harbor, Florida, first learned of Building Service Contractors Association International 28 years ago when researching contract cleaning for his master's degree. That research soon became the foundational business plan for his company and launched his involvement with the association that would change his life for the better.
Today, Hopkins begins his 2020 term as BSCAI's latest president hoping to pay it forward and build on the success of those who preceded him. To gain a greater understanding of how Hopkins aspires to perform in his new role, Contracting Profits asked him a series of questions regarding his goals for BSCAI both during and after his term.
What are BSCAI's goals for the new decade, and how as president do you plan on reaching them?
Our focus is on the member experience. We have learned that engaged members receive great value from attending BSCAI events and developing relationships with other members. When this happens, members get a great return on their investment, the association grows, our sponsors are happy — everyone wins.
During the next few years, you will see more peer-to-peer relationship-building opportunities, such as peer advisory groups, and our events will continue to improve and be even more meaningful.
How is BSCAI looking to grow its membership and how will the association engage with these new members?
We have a team member dedicated to member recruitment and a group of BSC member volunteers who help answer questions based on their personal experience with the association.
A few years ago, we decided to focus more on providing a meaningful and profitable member experience and not so much on the number of members. In past years, there were times when we recruited a large number of members who did not get involved, saw no value and didn't stay. That doesn't help anyone. It is interesting (but not surprising) now that the member experience and engagement are up, renewals are off the charts and we are growing. We grow through the member experience and by keeping who we have, not by sales and recruitment alone.
Why should a contractor new to the industry join BSCAI?
BSCAI offers peer networking, educational workshops and special "members-only" vendor pricing on commonly used products and services. By joining and taking advantage of these benefits, those new to the industry can shorten their learning curve, build lasting business relationships with peers and learn best practices for growing and increasing the profitability of their businesses — not to mention realize cost savings on products and services they use every day.
With BSCAI, you have many resources available to you, and it is reassuring to know that you are not alone in this industry; you have a support network.
What about a BSC who isn't new to the industry? Are there different benefits for a veteran contractor?
We have had several veteran contractors join us — particularly in the last three years. They all say the same thing: "I can't believe I waited so long to attend these events." The veteran contractors actually have the most to gain by attending and bringing their teams. We have several types of memberships to fit various interests and needs.
The association experienced record attendance at its events in 2019. How do you plan to capitalize on this success in 2020? BSCAI is stronger than ever and we plan to continue this momentum in 2020. The newly launched BSCAI Member Advisory program will be a huge contributor to our event attendance in 2020. Many of these groups leverage our events as an opportunity to have in-person meetings and share ideas.
In addition, the member engagement at the committee level is very high right now, which contributes to high quality, content-filled programs, especially for the Contracting Success Conference. In my 27 years as a BSCAI member, I have not seen member engagement and passion as high as it is right now. Our Member Engagement committee — made up of BSCs — is strategically intentional about adding value for members and helping them get involved. None of this success is happening by accident. There is a lot going on behind the scenes.
BSCAI recently launched its new Certified Site Supervisor designation. What are the advantages to earning this certification?
The CSS designation is a valuable business tool and symbol of leadership excellence. The education is huge, covering a wide range of daily and "big picture" responsibilities.
The real advantage comes from our BSC members having a way to invest in their team members and to show them they care. It is a point of great pride for supervisors to earn this designation and it allows contractors to spot managers who are motivated, interested in a career and hungry for opportunity. The Certified Site Supervisor designation is one small thing our members can do to help retain their key people.
What are some of the government issues that may impact association members in the coming decade and how is BSCAI addressing them and keeping members informed?
There is always something on the horizon. The joint employer legislation is a huge deal right now — just as the Affordable Care Act was a big deal when it arrived on the scene. Though BSCAI posts legislative updates for our members, the teaching and sharing of best practices on how to comply and plan for regulatory changes during our member events is very beneficial.
The BSCAI Advocacy and Government Affairs committee is working to develop a series of position papers on issues that impact our industry. BSCAI has created an advocacy portal that allows members to easily communicate with legislators to share our perspectives. BSCAI will increase its communication and broaden education related to government affairs issues in the coming year with webinars, speakers, podcasts and editorial columns. This has become a larger focus for us and we're excited to increase the exposure of these issues, as well as the contractor perspective.
Why did you decide to join the BSCAI board and run for president?
I started out serving on committees and teaching the supervision seminar. There, I developed a great appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes with BSCAI. This is truly an organization run by building service contractors, for the benefit of building service contractors. I wanted to contribute more and at a higher level.
The board application was extensive and I wasn't selected the first few times. That was 20 years ago. Then, I was elected to the board in 2003. I served a three-year term and then rejoined the board in 2014.
Looking forward to my role as president, I am excited and honored that the members trust me with the responsibility and privilege to lead. It is going to be a great year.
How has BSCAI benefited you and Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services?
I joined BSCAI in 1992 and attended my first conference in 1993. Through BSCAI, I have learned the right way to grow a commercial cleaning business and have built meaningful relationships to last a lifetime. I now take my operations team to BSCAI events and the benefit is exponential. Getting involved with BSCAI was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.
What is your favorite BSCAI-related memory?
I have many great memories from the events I have attended and participated in over the years, as well as personal excursions my wife and I have made with other BSCs whom I met through BSCAI. Many years ago, we took a family vacation and visited Dennis Richards (of Puritan Cleaning) and his family in Montana. We celebrated the Fourth of July together and went river rafting. To this day, my family still talks about the wonderful time we had.
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