Letter from our 2012 President: Mike Sheahan
To those whose livelihoods depend on the construction materials industry, it comes as no surprise that these are very difficult times. The demand for aggregate has fallen dramatically from the rapid pace of the mid-2000’s.
Other than behaving as responsible business leaders, operating safely and with environmental awareness, there is little we can do to affect the economy as a whole.
But I contend that there is much we can do to maintain or even improve our situation with regard to government regulation, safe production and environmental sensitivity. Involvement in the legislative and regulatory processes can have a direct impact on the operating cost of an aggregate mining company.
Colorado Stone Sand and Gravel Association (CSSGA) is an organization that has long been known for its involvement in legislative and regulatory affairs. CSSGA has been heavily involved in land, air and water regulation issues for decades. But I dare say that our relationship with the regulatory agencies has never been better than it is today. Additionally, I believe that CSSGA has never been more respected as a responsible and valuable contributor to the regulatory affairs of the State of Colorado, than it is today. CSSGA was invited to participate in Governor Hickenlooper’s “regulatory reduction panel”, the Governor’s initial attempt to eliminate burdensome regulation. We are heavily involved with the Selenium Task Force in an effort to minimize the additional regulatory burden proposed by the State. CSSGA is at the table with the Water Quality Control Division negotiating the proposed new stormwater discharge regulations. These are but a few of the efforts with which CSSGA has been involved to minimize the regulatory freight train.
Pete Jacobson, CSSGA’s Managing Director has filled a major role in each of these situations. Pete has developed a meaningful relationship with the State agencies that regulate our industry. Much of the credit for the Association’s reputation and credibility are due to Pete’s substantial contribution and personal commitment to understand the issues and represent the organization in a manner that has been beneficial to the members of CSSGA.
Mr. Pete Sigmund of United Companies, a past President of CSSGA often said, “If you are mining stone, sand or gravel in the State of Colorado, you should be a member of CSSGA”. That statement has never been truer than it is today. As a member of CSSGA, you have access to the latest regulatory, legislative and safety information. This information is essential to the management of an aggregate company in today’s challenging regulatory climate. CSSGA’s regulatory focus and presence adds credence to the Association’s position as a unified representative of Colorado’s aggregate producing companies.
I congratulate member companies who realize the value of membership in CSSGA. I realize that during tough times, decisions about where to spend a company’s resources are more difficult than ever. But for my company, membership in CSSGA is money well spent. For those not yet members of CSSGA, I only ask that you speak to an existing member about their involvement. I believe you too will recognize the value of belonging to such an influential organization. I look forward to working with you as the President of the CSSGA Board of Directors in 2012.
Letter from our 2011 President: Jerry Schnabel
With another difficult year facing all of us, I have to remind myself that this will pass. I believe the recession will end by 2013. The demand for construction materials will begin the growth cycle again and pressure to reduce capacity will end. We are not in the category of diminishing businesses such as renting videos, selling hard bound books, or printing newspapers. An alternative technology to replace aggregates and aggregate mining is not on the horizon therefore our industry will improve as the economy improves.
The lessons in the depth of the worst recession in the last 50 years of United States history are hard earned. My caution is to not forget those lessons too quickly as our fortunes improve. The industry effects we may have created over the past 4 years will affect the next generation. We cannot pass on a beleaguered mining industry to the young people in the association simply because times got a little tough. Continued defense of our rights to mine responsibly will insure that we will be here at the end of this recession.
My goals this year are to achieve a neutral cash flow for the association and to continue the progress being made on the legislative front. Denny Fields has left me in a very strong position and that enables me to have some fun in the association. Tom Brubaker volunteering to apply for the Mined, Land Reclamation Board (MLRB) vacancy gives me a sense that members are still in this association for the long term. I have been looking forward to working with Pete Jacobson for the past 2 years. Together we continue the press for membership. If this letter makes it to press you will know that Christine Chacon has already done a wonderful job as editor. I want this to be a positive year in a negative climate.
I have no crystal ball or even the slightest hint of economic forecasting ability, therefore I look at history. This cycle will pass. On the other side will be those who were tough enough to survive. That is the history of the mining industry.
Letter From the 2010 CSSGA President: Denny Fields
I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the CSSGA through this next year and into the hands of Jerry Schnabel in 2011. I’m approaching 2010 with a cautiously optimistic attitude coupled with great enthusiasm.
Last year was a very successful year for the CSSGA. Our ex officio President Pete Siegmund and Managing Director Pete Jacobson did an excellent job guiding us through a tough reces- sionary period. In 2009 we increased our producer membership by 27% and increased our associate membership by 18%! Our mission statement embodies the core of what we will be focused on in the coming year.
CSSGA has an excellent three-committee structure which is directed by Pete Jacobson:
• The Legislative Committee is guided by our lobbyist Totsy Rees and Ben Frei of Albert Frei & Sons.
• The Land, Use & Environmental Committee (our Regulatory Committee) is guided by Corey Hansen of Lafarge.
• The Safety Committee is directed by Jerry Glynn of TXI.
All three of these committees will be challenged this coming year. The Legislative Committee will be moni- toring the Colorado state budget to make certain bud- get constraints do not adversely affect the dollars dedi- cated to Colorado’s roads and bridges.
The Regulatory Committee will work to protect our in- dustry from the new regulations being formed by the SEO, CDPHE, DRMS and the WQCD. The Prebles Mead- ow Jumping Mouse is once again being recognized as a species, I mean as an “endangered species”. CSSGA will also be engaged with the selenium issue, an extremely controversial water issue in western Colorado.
In order to fight regulatory battles, CSSGA has joined a new coalition called the Construction Industry Coali- tion (CIC). With strength in numbers, especially when it comes to lobbying legislators or regulators, we are pleased to be working with other CIC associations in- cluding CAPA, CCA, CRMCA and the Portland Cement Association as we work collectively to protect the mu- tual interests of the construction industry.
The Safety Committee will keep us abreast of all MSHA, OSHA and DOT regulations. Fines that are being lev- ied by these agencies are huge and have the potential to impose a financial hardship on any size company.
CSSGA members must be attentive to the importance of having an effective public awareness campaign for our industry. For this reason I encourage your support of the Teachers Tour. Although we have not scheduled a Teachers Tour for 2010, it has proven to be a valu- able tool for us in previous years. It is imperative that we continue to educate the public about our industry’s impact on the economy of Colorado. The Teachers Tour will be a start to accomplishing this goal.
As members of the CSSGA, it is our responsibility to guide the industry from this generation to the next; the decisions and actions of today will have a long-term effect on our industry. To that end, I would like to thank all of the members that have supported the as- sociation in 2009 and continue to support us in 2010. It is vital that we continue to show the value of our association to other operators that are mining in the State of Colorado who are not presently active in our association. Non-members of CSSGA that mine mate- rial in the State of Colorado also need encouragement in supporting the industry that provides all of us with our livelihoods.
I would like to also thank our associate members for your support in 2009 and for your continued support in 2010. We are excited to announce that we are cur- rently working on four networking events in 2010.
Without the support of our producer members and our associate members we would not be able to continue defending the common concerns of our industry.
Let’s work together on having a great 2010!
Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your renewed investment in the Colorado Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association. As the new president, I am grateful for your 2009 membership support. Without the ongoing financial commitment from our producer and associate members, CSSGA would not be able to continue with our important regulatory, legislative, and safety committees. Secondly, I would like to thank you for your continued time commitment to CSSGA. Every member’s involvement is voluntary, and seeing the participation by our members to serve on the board and committees is impressive. For CSSGA to be successful, it takes a strong obligation, and I encourage all of our members to get involved anyway they can.
For those of you wondering what CSSGA can do for you, remember that return on investment (ROI) is a critical aspect of any business endeavor. CSSGA’s niche is providing broad-based regulatory and legislative oversight and advice to all members within the aggregate industry. As president, my motto is straight forward, “If you are mining stone, sand, or gravel in the state of Colorado, you should be a member of CSSGA.” This year clearly presents tough economic challenges for our industry as well as for every business and working family across Colorado. The recently passed federal stimulus package does not do enough to provide a strong and significant investment in Colorado transportation projects. The aggregate industry, as well as our affiliate organizations, such as CAPA and CRMCA, is not clearly understood by policymakers and citizens. It is critical to promote the value of our products–whether rock, asphalt, or concrete–in a good and bad economy. So please visit with legislators, friends, associates, and colleagues to promote the importance of the aggregate industry and to teach them how highway transportation projects can help put Coloradans back to work. I know our partners in the concrete and asphalt industries share our desire for significant road and bridge investments this year and in the future. CSSGA has set some aggressive goals it hopes to accomplish in 2009, and I hope you will continue to be a strong and vocal advocate for the construction-materials industry.
Thank you for your support,
Rock & Ready Article from Todd Ohlheiser, 2008 President of the Board:
Title: 2008 – A Year of Transition
Welcome to the 2008 edition of Rock & Ready! This is an excellent annual publication and I hope you will find Rock & Ready to be of interest and value to you and all of your employees.
2008 has brought a great deal of change to the Colorado Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (CSSGA). As you probably know, we have changed our name from Colorado Rock Products (CRPA) to CSSGA. Along with our name change we have also developed a 5 year Strategic Plan, hired a new Managing Director, and we have moved our offices. I thought I would bring you up-to-date regarding all of these changes:
CSSGA Name Change: For many years CRPA and the Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA) were jointly managed and operated as one trade association with one management and administrative team. During the past 12 – 18 months the Board Members of CRPA believed it was important to operate more independently with their own autonomy. This strategic impetus has lead to the separation of CRPA and CRMCA and the name change to CSSGA as the representative organization of the aggregate industry in Colorado. CSSGA is an affiliate member of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
5 Year Strategic Plan: The leadership of CSSGA held a Strategic Planning Session on May 5th. The purpose of this all-day session was to review our past successes, assess our strengths and weaknesses, and to develop a long-term action plan for CSSGA. The core strength of our association is the focal point of our three committees: Legislative, Regulatory and Safety. Membership participation in these three critical areas is not only important to our members; it is also equally important to elected officials and regulators at the state, federal and local levels. Aggregate materials provide the foundation element for all construction and transportation related projects.
The Strategic Plan will help guide CSSGA as it increases its membership and enhances its member services in the legislative, regulatory and safety arenas over the long-term. This plan also helps by providing a roadmap for the current and future leadership of CSSGA in where to focus priorities and efforts to ensure the organization remains strong in the years ahead.
New Managing Director: Pete Jacobson was hired in March as the Managing Director for CSSGA. Pete has a diversified public policy and campaign marketing background. He served as the State Director for U.S. Senator Wayne Allard for three years where he managed five offices and fifteen people across Colorado. Pete was most recently affiliated with Dutko Worldwide, a Washington, D.C. based lobbying and government affairs firm and he was the Republican principal in their Denver office. Prior to working with Senator Allard and Dutko, he worked on the campaign consulting side of politics where he was involved with all aspects of fund-raising, marketing and get-out-the-vote activities for numerous Colorado campaigns.
He is a 26 year resident of Evergreen where he served 12 years as a Board Member of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District and 6 years on the West Jefferson County Metropolitan District. Pete is an avid back-country enthusiast and he enjoys the outdoors with his two daughters Katherine age 22 and Madeline age 21.
I am hoping that you have had the opportunity to meet with Pete during the past few months. He has been spending a great deal of his time touring quarries and aggregate plants while meeting with current members and recruiting new CSSGA members from across Colorado
New Office Location: As of July 1st CSSGA is located within the Mountain States Employers Councils offices at 1799 Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Denver. The telephone number is 303-771-5290 and the CSSGA website is:
Summary: All of the changes that I have described were undertaken for one very simple reason: To provide professional, high quality, pro-active legislative, regulatory and safety representation to Colorado’s aggregate industry. If your firm is not a member of the Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, we hope you will consider joining CSSGA in 2009; it will be one of the best business investments your company can make. Today CSSGA is looking forward to a new, bright and highly beneficial future and we look forward to serving you for years to come. Thanks!