The Power of Connection
By Megan Young | 12/14/2022
I’ve always been a social person, thriving on relationships and interactions with others. Our business is a social one, too. Gearbox really leans into the power of connection, and few of those connections are as meaningful as our memberships with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Georgia and the Georgia Hispanic Constructors Association (GHCA).
ABC of Georgia has 350+ member companies dedicated to advancing careers and improving collaboration in construction disciplines. By facilitating connections, ABC helps firms win more bids, establish advantageous partnerships, and expand their reach. Members frequently describe feeling like they are part of an extended construction family. Gearbox certainly does!
Despite Georgia’s rapidly expanding Hispanic construction community, inequity and access barriers remain. GHCA offers critical services to nurture Hispanic-owned businesses in the state. Established in 2012 as a 501(c)6 nonprofit, GHCA provides unmatched educational programs, networking events, and advocacy to equip members for growth and success. GHCA empowers minority entrepreneurs with respect, education, and a seat at the table.
As the VP of Business Development here at Gearbox, it was clear that memberships with these organizations could open doors for our company while allowing us to support an industry we care deeply about.
Megan Young and Mary Tveit at the ABC of Georgia Chili Cook Off
My first ABC event was their annual Chili Cookoff. Right away, I felt the spirit of camaraderie and support among attending members. Everyone was eager to chat with me about how the organization helped their companies win bids, facilitated partnerships, and enabled expansion. The stories of collaboration were so heartwarming in our typically competitive industry. I left full of delicious chili and even more sure that this was a group I wanted Gearbox involved with.
Since then, I’ve attended monthly ABC Safety Forums to help Gearbox better understand construction challenges as we craft solutions. I’ve also gone to several Business Over Breakfast events, where members gain insight from guest speakers on pressing industry topics. During the networking time, conversations lead to genuine connections. I always come away with new ideas, contacts, and opportunities.
GHCA provides value through a close-knit, culturally aware community where business owners can find strength and support. My first GHCA event was hosted by Batson + Cook at their headquarters, and I was fortunate to attend the GHCA annual Building Georgia Awards gala earlier this month. Despite hundreds of attendees, I was impressed when Rafael Villegas, GHCA’s Executive Director, made a point to say hello and check in on us as new members. This personal outreach exemplified the welcoming environment they’ve built.
Luis Trujillo with Megan and Marty at the GHCA Gala Event
Later, Rafael and I had the chance to connect again in person at the GHCA headquarters to explore how Gearbox can further support GHCA’s mission. His genuine approach to relationship-building mirrors the culture of collaboration the entire Association seems to share. Witnessing such care for new members showed me firsthand why GHCA gives Hispanic professionals crucial empowerment and visibility.
Getting involved with groups like GHCA that enable deeply meaningful partnerships beyond transactions allows Gearbox to more actively support the positive changes we wish to see in this industry. As trusted partners for construction excellence, we aim to continue strengthening these connections in 2024 through event participation, sponsorships, encouraging our clients to join the mission, and more.
Because at the end of the day, construction isn’t simply about concrete and steel - it’s about people and the communities they work so hard to build.
Megan and Marty at the GHCA Awards Gala