Change Serves to Refocus DCA Path

If one word is used to describe 2010 from the perspective of the Distributor Contractors Association (DCA), that word would be “change,” said Kevin Miller, whose term as DCA president ends in March.

“Change within the organization made the past year a bit more challenging than most years,” explained Miller. “Executive Vice President Dennis Kennedy retired at the beginning of my term, after 20 years of successfully leading the DCA. Our new executive vice president, Rob Darden, had only been with the organization for about six months before Dennis left. This transition of leadership created lots of opportunities for change.”

Throughout the transition, Miller added, DCA remained a strong industry force in a “down” economy, and much was accomplished while the staff continued to handle regular daily business and make plans for the association’s 50th anniversary celebration at the 2011 annual meeting in March.

“I am very pleased with what we accomplished in 2010,” Miller continued. “DCA is in good financial health, and membership has grown in both associate and regular member categories. We also continue to have an excellent working relationship with all three crafts of organized labor. We started the year with a new five-year agreement with the UA, and the past summer our labor committee signed a five-year agreement with LIUNA. Both agreements should benefit many of our members.”

Long-term planning
Miller pointed out that 2010 was the last year of DCA’s old five-year strategic plan which left Rob Darden the task of preparing and leading the process of approving a new five-year plan. Work started with a very detailed member survey which provides a benchmark by which to measure association success.

“Three strategic planning sessions were held during the year with about 25 members involved in each,” he said. “With free time at a premium, it was a challenge to find time to devote to this important task.”

The new five-year strategic plan, which will be voted on by the board at the March meeting, includes strategic objections and operational tactics to help DCA grow both internally and externally.

“Instead of a new five-year plan,” said Miller, “we have developed a living document which the board will visit at every meeting. Some objectives will be completed and new ones added as the organization grows and evolves over time. Too often strategic plans sit on the shelf and collect dust until the next five-year deadline. I am excited about the new direction and pleased that so many members took an active role in developing our direction for going forward.”

In addition to the new strategic plan, Miller said the association developed and implemented a new database and is in the process of revamping the DCA web site. In addition, goals of working committees were evaluated and redefined and association bylaws were reviewed and updated.

“We also modified the structure of some of our meetings to a more business-oriented focus,” Miller said, “and changed the open board meetings to ‘town hall’ meetings with the goal of gaining more input from members. We want to continue to move in the direction of providing more services to our regular members and increase the benefits of being a member of DCA.”

Founded in 1961, the DCA serves as a link between its members and government agencies, organized labor and other industry organizations. The association tracks governmental issues affecting distribution contractors, and keeps members informed of the latest developments on the industry’s regulatory and legislative fronts with monthly and on-line newsletters and updates.

The association also provides signatory members with a labor relations service, negotiating collective bargaining and national distribution agreements and maintains alliances with other industry groups to pool resources, ideas and information in order to help members operate their businesses more efficiently.

DCA is a strong advocate of the directional drilling industry with many of its members recognized as leading directional drilling contractors.

Miller is president of Miller Pipeline Corp., Indianapolis, IN, a leading natural gas distribution and transmission pipeline and utility contractor, also serving the water and sewer, rehabilitation and telecommunications industries.

Incoming president is Gregory S. Dahl, vice president of ARB, Inc., Lake Forest, CA. ARB constructs water and wastewater treatment plants, pipeline and related facilities, power plants, and compressor stations and provides engineering, construction and maintenance services to energy companies, utilities, other public agencies and other industries.

DCA offices are in Richardson, TX. For more information about the association, access its web site at

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