AIC Constructor News - August 2013
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AIC President's Letter

Dear Friends,

Greetings from AIC; I hope your summer has been productive and that each of you were able to get time away with family to relax. 

Since April, when I was installed as AIC President, time has flown by.  Our Executive Director Joe Sapp continues his stellar job of operating the daily business of AIC and the Commission while also keeping our volunteer leadership focused on meeting the goals we have set.  I find these times in our industry to be dynamic.  As the industry comes out of four years of economic downturn I continue to be optimistic and see signs of positive growth.  With all of us facing increased workloads the management of the AIC over the past few years would not have been possible without Joe and his team.

Just in the last few weeks Joe has held meetings with several other organizations and is looking for teaming opportunities to help AIC expand our exposure into markets we have never been before.  Joe has had great support for these meetings from other Board members and officers of AIC and has kept all of us spinning in multiple directions.   It is great to see all the support from members and I challenge each of you reading this today to let Joe know you can help AIC in some small way, whether it is calling on a local school, arranging a meeting with a new construction program or association, or signing a colleague up for membership.  We are working hard each and every day to make this a better place and I encourage each of you to step up and help us with the mission.


Sticky Situations: What's your company's approach to ethics?

Originally published in the August edition of the American Subcontractors Association Contractors Compass Magazine

By Joe Rietman, AIC-CPC & Joe Sapp 

What are ethics?  Are ethics, a system of moral principles, ingrained or something individuals have to work to achieve?  Ethics have always been a major part of the American Institute of Constructors' professional core values and continue to be a driving force for so many in this industry.  Most know what ethics are in some form, but how do individuals and companies know if they are taking the right approach to ethics?  The right answer is that there is no right answer. Everyone has his or her own core values and view of what is ethical, both personally and professionally.  That does not mean, however, that there is not an ethics path for the construction industry to follow.  There are ways to have consensus on the subject.  One way is to rally around a set of established code of Ethics.


The Constructor of the Month program is a new way for us to recognize some of the best and brightest AIC Members, Associate Constructors (AC), and Certified Professional Constructors (CPC).  Each month we will be featuring a new individual and the work they are doing in our industry.  We will also profile additional individuals on the AIC Website each month.  

To be eligible you must be an AIC Member, AC, or CPC in good standing.  To have yourself profiled on the AIC site you must use the submission form available here.  Complete forms and supporting documents should be emailed to

AIC Mid-Year Meeting

The AIC Mid-Year Meeting is coming on October 17 & 18 at the Sheraton Suites in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  This event features a session from Peter Eyre of the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative and Brian Perlberg, Esq, Executive Director of ConsensusDocs.  We also have one more special key note speaker to be announced in the coming weeks.  Our keynote speaker will speak during the Inter-Industry Reception on the evening of October 17th.  Attendees of the Mid-Year Meeting not only have access to high quality, budget friendly professional development sessions, but also the opportunity to network and attend AIC Committee Meetings.  This is the ideal meeting for those looking for a way to get more involved in the AIC or someone looking for professional development. 


Call for Presentations

The AIC Annual Forum has opened the submission process for speakers/presentations for it's 2014 event.  The 2014 Annual Forum is taking place April 16-18 in Greenville, SC.  The Forum is a great opportunity for speakers of all levels to present on topics relevant to the individual constructor.  If you or someone you know is interested in presenting in 2014 please download the Call for Presentations Document.  The deadline for submission is September 30, 2013. 

Completed forms and questions may be submitted to  

Ranking of Key Compentencies Needed to be an Effective Manager in the U.S. Commercial Construction Industry

Originally published in The Professional Constructor Journal - April 2013

By R. Casey Cline, Assistant Professor, Boise State University & Kenneth F. Robson, Director & Professor, University of Oklahoma

Construction projects differ from projects in other industries in that the life span of most projects are not exceptionally long, are characterized by high cost and high risk, usually include multiple entities both large and small, and require significant information handling needs (Goodman & Chinowsky 2000). The management process is a composite activity of multiple dimensions that requires the assessment of complex variables, and involves dealing with a certain degree of uncertainty (El-Choum 2000). Thus a project can be well conceived and adequately financed, and the project participants may be highly experienced; but if the efforts of all the participants are not skillfully coordinated and managed, the project may fail to be successful (Udo & Koppensteiner 2004).
The construction project manager (PM), while responsible to upper management, organizes and manages the construction project team. The PM is responsible for completing a project to an owner’s required parameters and standards while at the same time implementing time, schedule, cost, quality, and safety to ensure a profit for the construction company (Mincks & Johnston 2003). Project managers must be good planners, motivators, communicators, and business people (Bent 1996). A construction project manager’s ability to effectively manage a construction project is dependent upon their leadership qualities, in combination with technical knowledge and expertise. However, the identification of these leadership qualities, technical knowledge, and expertise, which are collectively known as key competencies, is particularly problematic (Dainty, Cheng, & Moore 2005).
A key competency is the knowledge, trait, skill, motive, attitude, value or other personal characteristic essential in performing a job (Bratton 1998). A key competency can be a hard skill, where a technical ability or proficiency is needed, or a soft skill that focuses on the interpersonal relationships and workplace productivity (Rigolosi 2001). Latham (1994) found that it is paramount for construction personnel to possess the “right” skills and knowledge base if they are to be efficient and productive, but it is the merging of skills and knowledge with proper personal behaviors and characteristics that allows individuals to be successful in the performance of their jobs (Abraham, Karns, Shaw, & Mena 2001).
In a study undertaken to determine the key competencies needed by construction project managers, Souder and Gier (2006) found that effective project managers must possess fundamental construction management skills, project administration skills, business writing and communication skills, and soft skills, such as negotiation, leadership, and teamwork. Specifically, they found that the most significant skills were:
  1. Negotiation
  2. Ethics
  3. Leadership
  4. Business Writing
  5. Management Organization
Similar in focus, the study was not an exact replication of the study by Souder and Gear that focused exclusively on entities in the state of California, and did not exclusively focus on commercial construction entities. 

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Register for the November 2 Associate Constructor or Certified Professional Constructor Examination.

Upcoming AIC Webinar

Utilizing Contractual Best Practices and How ConsensusDocs Help Get Better Project Results

August 26, 2013 - 12pm ET

Approved for 1 CPD Credit

Speakers: Join Brian Perlberg, Esq. Executive Director of Consensus Docs

Carrie Ciliberto, Esq. Deputy Executive Director of ConsensusDocs

AIC Member Benefit Partners

Upcoming Education Sessions

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