AGG1, 'Weather' You Like It Or Not.
This year's AGG1 show was held in Indianapolis, and if you are a weather aficionado, you got to see it all. Sunshine and blue skies on the day we arrived, a few inches of snow the next day, then some sleet, high winds and cold temperatures, then plain cloudiness and a temperature boost right after.
Good thing we were inside most of the time.
This year's show was maybe the best ever, on multiple levels. More than 10,000 people attended--a new record--with people coming from all 50 states, including 1,500 from Indiana alone.
International attendance also increased. I knew something was going on when, while speaking with the representative from a company that sells portable crushing plants, we were interrupted by someone who wanted to introduce him to a cabinet minister from the country of Nigeria.
While almost every exhibitor we spoke with lauded the increased traffic and excellent business opportunities, it was the larger picture that told the full story. Meetings with aggregates producers were fruitful, and the attitude was optimistic, despite the 800-lb. gorilla in the room: the FAST Act is running out, well, fast, and the Trump administration has not focused on infrastructure as promised.
At the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) convention, held just prior to AGG1, association President and CEO Michael Johnson commented that now might be the best opportunity we have ever had to pass a substantive infrastructure bill, financed by an increase in the gas tax.
"The time is now. A collective commitment and bipartisan compromise are essential to finally making the much overdue and badly needed investment required if the U.S. is going to continue to be the strongest economy and the most secure nation in the world," he said.
Rock Products once again sponsored the Young Leaders Luncheon as part of AGG1 and the NSSGA convention. Former Navy Seal Mike Sarraille of Echelon Front, a group of decorated, combat-proven veterans, spoke about leadership to a rapt audience.
We like to think we understand a little bit about leadership here at the industry's number-one magazine. We will be taking Mike's message to heart.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor