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Getting involved with industry advocacy

RCSI March - Wendy Marvin - Getting involved with industry advocacy
March 22, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Wendy Marvin says advocacy is an opportunity to bring awareness and much-needed perspective to the field.

To embark on your journey towards active local, state and federal involvement, start by attending local industry and affiliate events. These gatherings offer a prime opportunity to connect with legislative officials who hold sway over policies crucial to our profession. Understanding the direct link between voting for the right policies and knowing a company owner affected by those decisions – is vital.

Industry events serve as meeting grounds for professionals across various business sectors, not just our contracting industry. Even seemingly unconnected events like those by say the Humane Society can be ripe for building these relationships, but also for networking and attracting potential clients and suppliers. Being visible and engaged in front of legislative officials at such events fosters relationships that can lead to unexpected collaborative ventures, and referrals, all of which enrich your business.

Our officials wield significant influence in shaping regulations and legislation that directly affecting our trade. Think safety. Think jobsite requirements that make us pull out our hair. By engaging with them at events, we open avenues for fruitful discussions and raise awareness about issues that could be impactful to our industry. We humanize our profession and even highlight our passions and talents in their eyes.

Females especially – I call you – to bring our fresh perspective to legislative matters. Often they are surprised at my perspective, and hadn’t considered our topic in this manner. I’m often sought out and patiently answer their questions. Forgotten, unless standing in front of them. Our presence is crucial right now. We have a unique opportunity to bring awareness and our much-needed perspective to the field that still largely remains male dominated and male ruled. We need to have our voices heard, championing policies that also promote diversity, equality and empowerment within the contracting community.

Final thoughts – remember that once you’ve forged these relationships, the officials may one day be in need of YOU. Show up for them. Friendships are maintained on nothing less. One never knows when a local Senator may go to bat for you over a bizarre issue, or may need you to testify for them in a matter that they can’t get their peers to fully see. Involvement is a powerful and necessary tool for any business – wield it with care, but don’t forget about the power you hold.

Wendy Marvin is the CEO of Matrix Roofing. See her full bio here.



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