GroundBreak Carolinas is honored to spotlight Leslie Clark, a member of the exclusive group of 2020 GroundBreakers — four individuals who are shaping the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry in a variety of ways.
Clark is Vice President of Operations and S.C. Director of Government Relations & Divisions for Carolinas Associated General Contractors (CAGC), a construction trade association made up of contractors and construction-related firms that perform work in North Carolina and South Carolina. CAGC members include small and large general contractors, specialty contractors, material/equipment suppliers, and service providers.
Based in CAGC’s Columbia office, Clark is connected to all levels of the industry. She is in close communication with government agencies like the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), educators, and other industry associations as she represents the interests of commercial builders, highway heavy contractors and utility contractors in the state. Each year Clark works with S.C. legislators on dozens, if not hundreds of pieces of legislation. In doing so, she successfully navigates through the bureaucratic and legislative maze to successfully achieve the best outcome for the industry.
Over her career, Leslie has been instrumental in the protection and advancement of the commercial construction industry in the Carolinas. One of the most pivotal examples of her success occurred three years ago when her efforts in the SC Legislature were crucial to the successful approval of the Gas Tax, a huge step in increasing the quality of roads in South Carolina.
“Leslie puts the best interests of the construction community first in everything she does,” said Marty McKee, Vice President of King Asphalt and former Chairman of CAGC’s Board of Directors. “I witnessed first-hand how she worked tirelessly to see the Gas Tax get approved, and I know there are numerous other examples of her legislative successes – despite her humble attempts to keep them quiet.”
Most recently, Clark was actively involved in successfully pushing for state funding for Be Pro, Be Proud, a critical skilled trades initiative. Thanks to Clark’s joint effort with Rick Todd, President of the SC Trucking Association, South Carolinians will soon notice a tricked-out 18-wheeler (mobile skilled trades workshop) rolling down their interstates.
“Skilled trades are the backbone of the state’s economy and the Be Pro Be Proud SC truck will be the perfect way to showcase those trades to middle school and high school students across South Carolina,” said Clark.
“Leslie is a role model for good leadership. She has a skill for identifying what’s important and staying on task. Besides all of her professional accomplishments, she is also known for giving back to the community… I think everyone in Columbia knows Leslie,” McKee added.