Article tools: Share:

Introducing the Tilt-Up Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (Tilt)

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

More than 30 young professionals in the tilt-up industry entered a large ballroom at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas this past January, knowing very little about what they were to accomplish. They left with new friends, a stronger connection to the tilt-up community, and a fire to make an impact.

It was during the Tilt-Up Concrete Association’s board of directors meeting just three months earlier in Dallas when an initiative was formalized to establish a young-professionals collaborative. The goal was to provide high-potential leaders access to the cross-disciplinary resources of the TCA in expectation of them becoming the organization’s future leaders – and this would encourage self-initiated programs that manifest today’s problems solved in terms of the future. Aimed at those leaders in the industry aged 35 years and under, this new initiative was to be driven by the participants themselves, beginning with a TCA-founded kick-off event during World of Concrete in Las Vegas.

The board, knowing meaningful participation would come from a nonprescriptive approach and that the group’s sustainability would come from the sincere self-ownership of its formation and direction, kept the program for this kick-off event vague, to say the least. The only instructions from the board was for the group to come out of this event having begun the process of formulating their mission, programming, and structure through a series of exercises designed by a third-party facilitator programmed with the objectives and policies set forth by the TCA board of directors.

Beth Malicki, an award-winning journalist from Iowa who was dubbed the “millennial whisperer” by TCA past president and co-facilitator Jeffrey Brown, led the day’s work.

After breakfast and the obligatory, yet oddly effective, ice breaker exercise, she asked the group to communicate the reasons why they were in attendance. Their responses made sense in light of the invitation’s vague nature, as their reasons included: curiosity, obligation from bosses, and a trip to Vegas. Yet, they also communicated that they were there because they believe in the value of the TCA, to share ideas with colleagues in the industry, and to bridge the generation gap.

The group then learned about other young professional groups from outside the industry and shared with each other experiences they had with similar groups. With that context, they began to articulate some basic goals and purposes for the group they were hoping to create. Suggested objectives such as mentoring, networking, idea-sharing, serving, building community and educating began to shape the new group’s vision. There was convincing consensus that they did not want the initiative to be focused solely on purposeless social activities. They favored hands-on programming, small-group work and live, onsite experiences. They identified a desire to physically make something through a truly collaborative process and agreed that the strength of the group would be in the multidisciplinary landscape of its participants.

Through a series of exercises, participants began to identify critical questions, problems and solutions related to their work. They considered broad topics affecting the entire planet as well as specific issues impacting a single facet of the industry. The group also considered their potential to affect change related to any one topic. During lunch, these thoughts were organized into what we are now calling Categories of Engagement, or COE. They have become the beginnings of a more formalized structure for the group. As individuals began to identify with one or more COE, more concentrated discussions commenced. A representative from each COE presented to the TCA board of directors on their work the following day and will serve as an interim leadership body for the group.

Next steps include further concentrated discourse within each COE to establish programming and initiatives. Other areas of focus over the next few months will be education surrounding board proposals, budgeting, and additional work on the structure of the group, its participants and their roles in the broader TCA organization.

The Tilt-Up Convention and Expo (September 26-28) in Atlanta presents the next opportunity for the group to come together face-to-face. Related activities that week will be detailed by the group itself and announced as they materialize.

“These young people care deeply about the mission of the TCA and are invested in improving themselves, the industry and their communities,” said Beth. “Even though they were strangers at the outset of this effort, they left united in their vision to make a meaningful contribution to [the] TCA. The energy and intelligence in that room were the driving forces behind how much those 30-plus young professionals accomplished in such a limited time. I’m excited to see what this dynamic group accomplishes next.”

Reflections on the day’s activities from participants themselves are shared below.

“Being part of an engineering, architecture and construction firm, it’s very encouraging to see TCA taking the initiative and bringing together some of the younger industry leaders to help shape the future of tilt-up. It was a great experience and discussion, and I look forward to seeing what this group can achieve.” – Mike Roberts, Quality Coordinator at Gray Construction

“This was by far the most constructive work event I have attended. It was an excellent group who truly wanted to better the tilt-up industry!” – Mark Stevens

“To better thrive in any industry, you have to have insight, imagination, team skills and openness. We had all these things at our first of hopefully many meetings. We have young professionals in tilt concrete ranging from the initial design of a tilt-wall building, to the estimators and project managers, marketers, all the way to the ground guys that put it all together and carry it out. It’s such a great mesh of professionals from all aspects of tilt-wall.”
– Andrew Holt

“It was inspiring to witness a group of 35 strangers collaborate seamlessly as industry professionals with the mutual passion of advancing the tilt-up system.” – Justin Burgoon

“The beginning of a new tilt-wall way of life.” – Nicholas Heinz

“This was the best emerging-leader event I have ever been a part of – the energy was exciting and contagious! Looking forward to future events and working with my other fellow leaders.”
– Michael Frew

“Coming from the architect’s seat, it was great to hear from a room full of construction professionals in our industry and what gets them fired up. As a result of the workshop, I’ll now be working on efforts to tie these groups closer together in the tilt-up community. It’s exciting stuff!” – Jesse Hunt

“To put 40 strangers in a room and have it be the most productive eight hours of my life is nothing short of a miracle.” – Dylan James

“Really great program. It is great to see the matured, established leaders are getting the young, developing work force involved early. Good mixed group of the projects from all perspectives, i.e., architects, engineers, performing subs. I appreciate the opportunity.” – Peter-John F. Murphy

“The T.I.L.T. organization, Tilt-Up Industry Leaders of Tomorrow, is a great catalyst for the next generation of tilt-up professionals to collaborate, network and continue moving the TCA forward.” – Kylie Dennis

“This was such awesome collaboration between young individuals who are truly inspired by not only tilt-up, but the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis in the industry!” – Elliot Moore

“It is great to be a part of an energetic group with burning questions and ideas for our industry and who are looking to make a difference.” – Heath Michel

“This was absolutely the highlight of my trip to Las Vegas. Being in one room composed of other young professionals that are part of the tilt-up industry was a great honor and such a privilege. It has fueled my passion for tilt-up even further. I truly look forward to being a part of T.I.L.T. Mitch, Jeffrey, and Beth did a fantastic job hosting us, and it is something I will never forget. Thank you!” – Jeremy Wingfield

“The collaborative day felt both productive and entertaining, with opportunities to meet peers from all over and share their different experiences and motivations.” – Chelsea Serrano-Piche

“The conference brought together young minds from all over the nation to help provide new perspectives in our industry. With the assistance of Beth, our facilitator of the day, we were able to bring together a group of complete strangers into one cohesive group. The day was filled with discussions, debates, and laughter. We left that day hopeful for the future and determined to see what we can accomplish together.” – Kyle Eason

Leave A Comment

Get Connected

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Subscribe to us on YouTube


About us

TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.