In 1993 I was president-elect of the UMCA. One of the main responsibilities we had that year was to find a new administration for our Association, as the old administration was retiring. I met Bob Bergman at the MCAA Convention that year and convinced him to consider an opportunity here in Utah. Bob came out to Utah and interviewed with the Board of Directors and ultimately accepted the position. He replaced Avard Booth who ran the organization for many years and had a great deal of experience. He was replaced with youth and a lot less experience, however, with Bob’s intellect and work ethic, the UMCA did not skip a beat. In fact, if anything, it was a springboard forward.
Bob was is the office early every morning and stayed late to come up to speed with the workings of the organization and ideas about how to improve it. He went into the business community and political community to form relationships that have helped to both promote and protect our industry and our businesses.
Bob has accomplished much while with the UMCA. He was instrumental in forming the Utah Subcontractors Council, which was introduced in 2003, and was successful in securing legislation that reduced retention from 10% to 5%, eliminated a great deal of our liability under the, then, onerous indemnification laws, and secured a venue law that requires out of state general contractors, doing business in Utah, to operate by Utah law on Utah projects. He has also been instrumental in developing and protecting lien laws that benefit each of us. To get a real feel for the benefit of his efforts, pull out your AR aging report and look at how much money is out of retention, then multiply that by two and you’ll be better able to appreciate this great accomplishment.
He has worked tirelessly and brilliantly as a member of the Utah Pipe Trades Trust Fund to help that organization operate as efficiently as possible. It is because of his leadership and those other contractor members who serve on the Trust Fund as Trustees, that we overcame significant unfunded liability and now currently enjoy the status of NO unfunded liability.
Having been a member of the negotiating committee for many years, and especially when we were negotiating with three separate Locals, I can attest to the difficulty of dealing with the union leadership at that point in time, and the benefit of having Bob as our Executive Director. After leaving those difficult meetings, the contractor members of the committee could go back to their businesses and get on with what they needed to do, confident that Bob would stay to “mop up” and follow up on all the problems generated from those meetings to continue to carry the negotiations forward.
As a bit of a crown jewel to all these years of negotiations with the union, this last contract was settled without the use of the IRC. Bob’s leadership and hard work, along with a great negotiation committee, and a very competent and capable union leadership, were instrumental to this great accomplishment.
Bob has had the ability to form good working relationships with some of the International Representatives form the union, such that we were able to work together to benefit the industry. With the help of his staff, Bob has provided great forums for contractors/competitors to mingle with one another, enjoy each others company, and get to know one another’s families. We are a better organization, and we are each, better individual contractors because of Bob Bergman. Thank you for the last 25 years of service, Bob.