NSSGA’s Johnson addresses infrastructure at Roundtable

By |  August 9, 2021


P&Q: What challenges does M&A pose to NSSGA and its membership? What opportunities might consolidation present? Deal-making sort of paused last year but it’s resuming here in 2021. So I’m curious about the effects this has on an association like NSSGA.

JOHNSON: The fact of the matter is we’re crushing more rock and producing more sand and gravel every year, year after year. But the other fact of the matter is there are fewer companies doing it every year, year after year.

[The] state associations are seeing their memberships shrink. We’re seeing larger companies grow and smaller companies be acquired. That’s been going on the eight years I’ve been here and it’s been fairly steady.

With the pandemic in 2020, everything took a timeout. But I think you’re going to see some of that pent-up acquisition activity take off. You’re already seeing it in 2021.
The fact of the matter is we continue to produce more product every year with fewer folks. For the association, that’s a bit of a challenge. I like the family-owned and
-operated, multi-generational businesses where the folks with the name on the side of the truck are in the room. They’re the decision makers. They’re the people who are known in their communities.

When you want to move something through Congress, nobody is more powerful than a constituent. They are very effective at talking to their members of Congress about what matters to them. Those members of Congress pay attention, because they’re talking to living, breathing constituents who employ folks in their neighborhoods. They recognize the name. They know the family.

That gets a little more challenging when you’re talking about employees of a large, multi-state or multi-national company who are working in a territory who may be there for a year or two before they move on to the next territory – or they change jobs and move up in the company. We’re seeing a lot more of that and it means we have to operate differently. We have to figure out how we get deeper into our member companies and employees and activate them as advocates for the industry.

We have to recognize that grassroots is going to change somewhat and that it’s not going to be as heavily dependent upon the family-owned and -operated businesses that have been in that local area for generations. It’s going to depend more on getting those employees ramped up and trained.

For additional information about the 2021 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, visit pitandquarryroundtable.com

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