The American Subcontractors Association of the Carolinas (ASAC) is reconstituting its Charlotte chapter, creating a circumstance where two associations will now vie to represent the community’s subcontractors.
The other organization, the North Carolina Subcontractors Alliance (NCSA), was formed in 2013 by former ASAC’s Charlotte-area board members who decided then that both the ASAC and the association’s Charlotte chapter “were in a death spiral of high costs and declining membership,” according to NCSA’s website.
“The board unanimously voted to call a special meeting of membership to vote on withdrawing and re-naming the organization North Carolina Subcontractors Alliance. At the special meeting, with 16 of 18 members present, and hearing both sides of the argument, the vote to withdraw was 15-1.”
However, new ASAC Charlotte chapter president Mark Muller of Wayne Brothers Inc. writes in a recent note that “at the end of last year a group of members put together a steering committee to discuss and plan the future of the ASAC Charlotte chapter.”
“We met numerous times over the past months and I am pleased to inform you that we are moving forward with a plan to revitalize the ASAC Charlotte chapter and bring it back to a prominent position in the construction industry in the Charlotte area.”
The new chapter’s first activity will be a social at the Sugar Creek Brewery Company on April 5. “This event will be the first of several socials, but we have some exciting educational programs on the agenda as well,” Muller wrote.
Notably, as this issue of North Carolina Construction News goes to press, the NCSA was in the final stages of preparing for a social event at the same brewery, the annual “Sub Paddy’s Day Event” which the NCSA says “provides a great opportunity to network and socialize,” open to subs, suppliers, general contractors and invited associations.
The NCSA is affiliated with the National Subcontractors Alliance, while the ASAC is associated with the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).
“Unlike the ASA which has a high overhead large central office in Washington DC, the NSA has only two paid employees located in a member company’s office in Akron, OH,” the NCSA’s website says. “The NSA is a federation of local subcontractor’s associations, all of which are former ASA chapters. The local organizations are members of NSA, so the dues paid to NCSA stay at the local chapter to meet the needs of subcontractors at the state and local level.”
Meanwhile, the revitalized ASAC Charlotte chapter has “a leadership team of dedicated and talented individuals who have a good knowledge of ASAC and the construction industry – individuals who have the desire and passion to move our Charlotte chapter back to the forefront in North Carolina,” ASAC’s Muller says.
The breakaway of the NCSA from the ASAC a few years ago turned into an acrimonious experience, according to interviews with individuals from both organizations. The main issue of contention was the association’s treasury.
In one version, the NCSA grabbed the ASAC’s chapter funds (in the low five figures) unethically and without authority. The ASAC sought legal advice, and the bank put a hold on the funds.
In the other version, according to NCSA president Duff Regan, the funds were the moneys collected by the chapter from local operations and the new association didn’t want them diverted to ASAC’s multi-state administration and overhead.
However, with the funds blocked, after several months the two groups reached an agreement to split the difference and go their separate ways, Regan said.
Now the two associations will compete for membership and support in the same market.
Muller said in a phone interview he was not aware of the NCSA or the history involving the bank funds. While based in Charlotte, the concrete site development company where he is employed has interests in other markets in the Carolinas and belongs to ASAC chapters in Charleston and Columbia, and Muller thought it reasonable that ASAC have a chapter in Charlotte, where he lives.
“I didn’t know about the other organization,” he said. “I reached out to some pretty strong subcontractors who didn’t know about as well.” He said he thought it was “vital to get this one (ASAC) going as well.”
In addition to Muller, other ASAC Charlotte chapter executive members include: First vice-president, Charles Richmond, Eldeco Inc.; second vice-president – Gray Curry, ACF Environmental; treasurer – Mike Fitzsimmons, Wayne Brothers Inc.; administrator – Earl Capps, Web-Don Inc.; general counsel – Fenton Erwin, Erwin Bishop Capitano & Moss PA.; and general contractor consultant – John Mowery, Harkin Builders.
Other ASAC directors include: John McPhail, Maxson and Associates Inc.;and Zach Scott, Max Heavy Equipment.