Eric Luke, CBSE, CPA and president of MG Capital Maintenance, has stepped in as the 2021 BSCAI president. Contracting Profits recently sat down with Luke to talk about how industry events might change in the coming year, networking opportunities that might open up and communicating governmental updates.

BSCAI events looked very different in 2020. How do you envision events for the year ahead?

We learned that there is more than one way to bring people together, as well as how to make the best out of tough situations. Nothing is more important in associations than networking and sharing information.

While you simply cannot beat the enjoyment and collaboration of in-person meetings, we learned we could have some excellent, low-cost events that allowed more employees and managers from our member companies to attend and be part of the training.

For example, the live chat sessions offered in our virtual formats were really outstanding. So many attendees who might have previously stuck to the sidelines at an in-person event were engaged and commented. I loved our Contracting Success virtual format. Most of us are ready to return to in-person, but we are confident that, if necessary, we can still provide quality, timely and entertaining events virtually.

Networking is one thing many of us lost due to the shutdown. How can BSCAI members continue to network in 2021?

Human face-to-face, hand-to-hand, ear-to-ear in-person networking cannot be fully duplicated virtually, but we can get close. Networking can still be done effectively — at a distance, if necessary — and there are four ways to do so:

1. Continue to participate in the small four-to-five company peer groups that BSCAI helps bring together.

2. Attend monthly town hall meetings and share tips, mistakes and ideas on how to serve our customers, compete in our own markets, and improve the value and quality of our own companies.

3. Participate in our Contracting Connections Podcasts.

4. Join us virtually or in-person in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, when we host our Executive Management Conference in April.

There have been some governmental changes in recent months (new president, minimum wage increase, cleaning as essential, etc.) What is BSCAI doing to help keep members informed on governmental issues?

When a risk-taking entrepreneur decides he/she is interested in facility services, the last thing they have time for is figuring out what the politicians are doing. The rules and regulations mount year after year. It is comforting to have an association that helps one stay abreast.

BSCAI is a member of an influential coalition called the Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA). From our leaders' participation in the CCA, and our Government Affairs efforts, we have a voice to hopefully influence laws and regulations that promote our industry. Members also receive government news updates monthly.


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