Remarks from the Outgoing CII Chair

By Jim Backes, P.E.
Executive Vice President, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors
2015 CII Chair

Austin, TX – It was my privilege to serve as your chair during such a pivotal year for the Construction Industry Institute. A record number of research teams reported out at our annual conference in Boston, and two additional teams were granted extensions to continue their promising work in seeking the next breakthroughs in project quality and safety performance.

Member volunteers are nearing completion of the comprehensive review, integration, and tagging of the CII Knowledge Base. Their work will be loaded into a new content management system which is set for roll-out at the annual conference in 2016. This new knowledge base will give the industry, especially our members, the ability to retrieve any CII resources relevant to their particular situation whenever they need it.

With the signing of the contract with the Economic Development Authority in Singapore this year, our research base and global influence made a huge step forward. This three-year project will provide us with important productivity data and best practices from the Asia-Pacific region, and we hope the partnership will engender a long-term collaborative relationship to benefit members planning and building there. In 2015, CII also supported organizations in Africa, Saudi Arabia and Korea that are spear-heading similar efforts in those regions. In Canada and Norway, our partners continued to work with us to advance a mutual understanding and practice of delivering maximum value for money spent.

These projects were an outgrowth of the strategic plan published three years ago, calling for greater global diversity. In 2015, we formulated a new strategic plan, which calls for the Institute to continue to broaden its influence globally and across multiple sectors of the construction industry. But the new plan also challenges us to deepen our relationships with members, especially relationships with the business executives who need to utilize capital project excellence as a strategic competitive competence in this complex business environment.

Finally, 2015 was pivotal in terms of transition within the organization. Wayne Crew, who has served CII for 12 years, nine as our Executive Director, handed his responsibilities over to Dr. Stephen Mulva. For the past eight years, Stephen served as associate director for Performance Assessment, and led CII’s global expansion. Stephen brings to CII a deep understanding of our member companies and their needs, formed in his years in industry and in service of CII research and benchmarking. Beyond this foundation, Stephen brings insight, vision and energy gained on the expanding edges of CII’s influence. I am convinced that Stephen will be a visionary leader who will help the Institute deliver ever greater value for stakeholders and communities.

Our company joined CII as a small member, and our involvement with the Institute has enabled us to grow in several dimensions. Simply put, we are a better contractor because of our active CII membership. We are grateful for the relationships we enjoy with colleagues, competitors, and customers, all project professionals and academics focused on collaborating to make our industry not only better, but great!


Date posted: March 11, 2016

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