Built a New Decorative Concrete Walkway

About a month ago now, we did some renovations at our office building and refinished the pool deck.  Now, we’ve installed a concrete walkway from the pool deck to the front of the building.  The walkway is 75 feet long with custom decorative concrete.  This stamped concrete walkway addition was somewhat random since we decided last minute, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity.  Over the weekend, we hosted the 19th annual National Concrete Show. The event draws approximately 1,200 attendees from all over.  Concrete companies flew in from New York, Texas, Florida, California, and a few other states to attend.  This special event is held at our location once a year to offer concrete contractors a chance to train their team on the latest construction techniques and to network and form partnerships with other companies across state lines in case they want to expand in the future.  The host of the event was Albany Concrete Contractors, a family-owned company based in New York that provides residential concrete repair.  More information can be found on their website at albanyconcretecontractors.com.  They presented for 3 hours on proper concrete mixing, building a brand online, to forming partnerships with other local concrete companies to create a referral network.  Albany Concrete Contractors was voted in as the primary sponsor by their peers in a unanimous decision.

At the lunch break, our team spent some time speaking with the leadership at Albany Concrete Contractors and asked whether they could install a new walkway for us.  We were looking to build a path that allowed easy access from the front of the building to the pool that people could use without having to go inside first.  We ended up deciding on a curved decorative concrete path that connects the pool deck to the front driveway of the building. We paid for Albany Concrete Contractors’ hotel accommodations and provided them food to convince them to stay a few more days and install it for us.  All in all, the project took 5 hours.  It went much faster than expected and the price of the walkway was very reasonable.

pool deck refinished by Orlando Pool Decks

Why We Paid for an Orlando Pool Deck Refinishing Company to Fly Here

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know how hot it can get in the summer.  You step outside your front door and you’re already sweating through your clothes.  Even if you pack cases of water, you’re always feeling hot.  That’s why it’s a good idea to get a pool like we have at our office building.  We’ve got an 8-foot in ground swimming pool in the back of the building.  If you walk around the complex, you’ll notice the whole pool deck area is gated-off to prevent people from wandering in and to help give our team a bit of privacy.  We’ve had the in-ground pool for about 3 years now, and the Kool deck application that was originally applied has completely worn off.  The pool deck surface is now very hot again because it’s baking in the sun. Furthermore, the surface is slippery because the tacky surface has completely worn off, so we needed to refinish the pool deck.

The team wanted to create a whole project plan and make a big deal out of this, but I had a better idea.  Our huge network of business owners has connections all over the United States, so I waited until our weekly meeting and simply asked if anyone knew a good pool deck company.  The company name that kept coming up was Orlando Pool Decks, a pool deck contractor from Florida, so I gave them a call.  After a brief conversation, 4 contractors from their company flew from Orlando International Airport to McCarran International Airport last week to handle the project.  Orlando Pool Deck’s concrete specialists completed the pool deck refinishing in 4 hours, before flying back to Orlando on Thursday afternoon.  The pool deck surface is tacky and non-slip once again, and it looks great.  During the process, we had many questions that their team answered for us.  Overall, we were very impressed with Orlando Pool Deck’s work and would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them to anyone in need of their services.  We kept hearing that they were the best concrete contractors that money could buy, and I think our colleagues were correct.  Their decking work was worth every penny because our team can now enjoy our pool again without falling in accidentally.

Portland Networking Event

On June 8th, Associated Builders & Contractors hosted the 2nd annual Contractor Networking Event in Portland, Oregon at the Moda Center (previously known as the Rose Garden). We look forward to this event each year because it brings together businesses from all different industries for 2 days of networking. Each year, participants tell us how great their experience was and how much they look forward to continuing the business relationships they made at the event.

The drive from Sparks, NV to Portland, OR is quite a long one at about 530 miles via I-5 North. If you’re inclined to drive the speed limit, the trip will take about 9 hours without any traffic. With that in mind, the majority of attendees fly in. As the host of the event, we flew in as well, carrying all of our equipment on board the planes.

While ABC was this year’s host, the networking event was sponsored by Banish Pest Control, a Portland exterminator with multiple locations. Their pest control service has received numerous local awards for pest removal, including notable mice infestations. In addition, many of the companies in attendance at the Moda Center have used their service to get rid of everything from rats to termites. The company is very impressive, and we were honored to have them host the event.

After a short welcome speech to open the event on Saturday morning, the various businesses from Portland had a chance to network for about 3 hours until the lunch break scheduled at noon. Lunch was catered and lasted about an hour and a half. Shortly thereafter, 10 different local business owners stepped on stage to share their stories of the relationships they’ve built using this networking event. After that, the networking continued until the 7:00 PM cocktail hour. Open bar lasted until 9:00 PM when the event wrapped for the 2nd year in a row.

Overall, we were very happy with the turnout, welcoming 49 returning businesses and more than 76 new ones to the group. We look forward to continuing this again at the 3rd annual Portland Networking Event in 2020.

New Mentoring Program

I got this idea from my time at the state comptroller’s office. They had a mentoring program that employees could apply to be a part of if their performance was sufficient. Managers and executives applied to be mentors, and lower-level employees applied to be the people being trained.
The Head of Employee Engagement (EE) was in charge of reviewing applications and deciding who would be allowed into the program.

The first trial of applications saw around 120 applicants to be mentors, but only 25 employees to be mentored. Obviously those numbers don’t work out, so the Head of EE sent out an email to each manager on the floor asking for (encouraged) volunteers. Suddenly, the number of applicants increased to more than 80. Audrey, the head of EE reviewed each of the apps and paired up colleagues based on what they wanted to learn and what the mentor could teach.

Some people wanted to learn office politicking, others wanted to acquire more technical knowledge. Each application had a goal sheet which detailed what the person was looking to get out of the program. That’s how Audrey knew who to pair with who. In addition, being around for more than 10 years, she had had plenty of interactions with the different employees to know who would mesh and who would fail.

The program ran for 8 weeks, and the mentors and employees were encouraged to have an initial meeting to set expectations and weekly touch-bases, then manage the training on their own. Overall, 95% of the participants completed the mentoring program and everyone in attendance at the wrap-up event at the end of year recommended having it again the following year.

As a part of a builders and construction association, we have a number of qualified people who may be competitors, but hold a vast wealth of knowledge. We can find ways to help each other grow without hurting our businesses. As such, I’m announcing that the ABC Sierra NV mentorship program is coming. We’re still working out the details because we want to make sure it has enough people and we have clear lines drawn for people to follow.


ABC is a trade association that works with construction firms throughout Nevada. The Association operates apprenticeship training programs, which are recognized and supervised by the State Apprenticeship Council (SAC.) ABC’s training programs also operate under the guidelines of the National Center for Construction Education Research standardized craft training process.

Apprenticeship requires a long-term commitment of 3-4 years. The training programs combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. The employer pays tuition fees and five Community College Credits are earned each semester. Apprentice is responsible for books and job tools. Benefits vary by company.

Open Enrollment January 17 – February 21, 2020
All applications must be submitted in person – 740 Freeport Blvd. #101, Sparks, NV 89431



4-year program
Class 2 eves/wk (640 Hours)
On-the-Job Training 8,000 Hours

Commercial Plumbing

4-year program
Class 2 eves/wk (640 Hours)
On-the-Job Training 8,000 Hours

For more information, call 775.358.7888