“Run to Win” Election Advocacy Program Takes Home Gold
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Section: Advocacy News

AGC/VT and VIECA Lobbying Team has won its third national award in as many years. Recently, the association won a
Power of Associations Gold Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
for its successful “Run to Win” election advocacy initiative.

“Congratulations to AGC/VT for exemplifying the impact associations have on the industries and
professions they represent, and on society at large,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle
Mason, FASAE, CAE. “It’s always so incredibly satisfying to see associations going above and
beyond their everyday mission to change the world. We’re very proud to spotlight this awardwinning

“We are very honored that AGC/VT, a statewide association, is one of the only statewide
association to win,” said Richard Wobby, executive vice president of AGC/VT. “The other
winners included national heavy weight organizations including the American Bankers
Association, American Pharmacists Association, National Retail Federation, and the Society for
Neuroscience, but this brave little state association stands among them.”

ASAE is the “association for associations” and they provide support, training and programs so
that associations like AGC/VT can better provide services to its members. Its members include
trade associations and individual membership societies that represent almost every sector of
the economy and countless professions. It’s more than 48,000 individual members—association
professionals and industry partners—lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in
more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance
to technology.

Led by its government affairs committee and supported by the Board of Directors, AGC/VT
launched a six month, comprehensive and multi-faceted “Run to Win” election program aimed at
educating, building relationships, and helping elect construction champions to the Vermont
legislature and statewide offices.

“We realized there was a unique opportunity for us to engage Vermonters running for elected
office in a way that we had never done before as an organization,” explained Government
Affairs Committee Chair, Cheryl Harvey, Co-Partner of Harvey’s Plumbing and Excavating. “As
an association, we have worked hard to build a credible rapport with lawmakers and
government officials in Montpelier. The ‘Run to Win’ program was our chance to introduce
ourselves, educate people on the work we do as companies and an industry as a whole, build
relationships, and help the new elected officials land on their feet in an environment that can
take years to understand.”

“My company does work in Vermont and New York, and I happen to live in upstate New York,
and I can tell you, the level of access and engagement, and ability to collaborate with Vermont
officials is unique,” said Government Affairs Committee member, Tom Garrett, Vice President of
Administration for Kubricky Construction Corp and a member of the D.A. Collins Companies.
“The ‘Run to Win’ campaign was an extension of our philosophy at AGC/VT that government
affairs is about reaching across party lines to work with all elected officials craft meaningful and
responsible legislation, rules, and regulations.”

The ”Run to Win” campaign was launched in response to the historic 2022 election cycle, which
saw a record number of legislators and statewide officials, almost one-third, announce they
were retiring or intended to seek higher office. The “Run to Win” initiative offered a free
candidate training program available to everyone running in the primary. AGC/VT also hosted
multiple in-person Burgers and Brews events so members could meet candidates. These events
saw record attendance. The association also achieved record-setting fundraising for its Political
Action Committee, and launched a “Get Out the Vote” website in conjunction with the
Associated General Contractors of America.

The end result? Almost 80 percent of the candidates AGC/VT supported won their seats.
“We’re proud to have played a part in helping elect candidates, but more importantly, it was the
relationships we started building that matter the most,’ said Matt Musgrave, deputy executive
vice president. “I hope this initiative has also excited our members to get even more involved in
the government affairs process, because their involvement really does make a difference.”
Over the last few years, the association has seen an increase in member engagement with
legislative activities and Harvey and Garrett both echoed Musgrave.

“So much of business is about rules and regulations,” said Harvey, “and where do those come
from? The government. Whether it’s the legislature or government agencies like AOT, ANR, or
MSHA/OSHA all those rules and regulations affect our businesses. In order for Matt and the
lobbying team to be as effective as possible, they need members to get involved. Fortunately,
it’s easier than ever for us to play active roles in building relationships with our representatives
and senators, and working with Matt the AGC/VT team.”

“This award shows us what happens when a group of people come together and work toward a
common goal,” said Garrett. “We can make a real difference in Vermont when we want to, and I
hope that more members see this award and feel proud of what they—what we—have
accomplished and feel inspired to do even more.”

Harvey also explains that this award is another recognition of the proactive approach to all
issues involving the construction industry. “Whether its developing new training programs,
launching new safety initiatives, or engaging legislatively, we don’t simply talk about doing
things, we do them whole-heartedly in ways that make a difference,” she said. “It’s exciting to be
a part of an organization that is truly making a difference in our businesses, the construction
industry, and the state of Vermont.”