When I was 24, I purchased my very first house. Soon thereafter, I was visited by my very first aluminum-siding salesman: “Hi there. Is your mom or dad home?” The salesman couldn’t get past the youthful visage and struggled to accept that I was the decision-maker for the household. Needless to say, I didn’t buy any siding.

As annoyed as I was to be mistaken for a teenager, I imagine it was a bit jarring for the salesman, too, to come face to face with the “next generation” of homeowner. Some of you out there might be struggling the same way — but this time, with the “next generation” workforce. A 2003 white paper by consultants at Rainmaker Thinking Inc. refers to a “Generational Shift,” and it’s happening in many industries. It seems even more pronounced among building service contracting leadership, where many industry executives have been at the helm of their companies and their associations for decades.

In this month’s cover story, contributor Becky Mollenkamp spoke with several young BSC executives about being on the forefront of the Generational Shift. Her conclusions were similar to Rainmaker’s — that as the younger generation of entrepreneurs and leaders takes over, executives on both sides of the Baby Boom/Generation X divide will need to adjust. Flip to p. 20 to find out what contracting’s rising stars are doing to make this industry more accommodating, more productive and more profitable for workers and leaders of all ages.

Stacie H. Rosenzweig, Editor