It has been nearly a year since Amy Sullivan Hicks assumed the role of President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas (ABC Carolinas). This week, GroundBreak Carolinas had the chance to get to know Amy better and hear about some of the chapter’s accomplishments since she took the helm last May.
What is your background and how did you come to ABCC?
I literally grew up in the construction industry. My stepfather was a general contractor who worked for several developers during my formative years. My first job in the industry, with an executive suites company covering the Carolinas, Ohio and Florida, introduced me to the world of commercial real estate. From there, I worked for a major accounting firm, where my focus was business development with developers and general contractors. That opportunity vastly expanded my network of general and sub-contractors. With those connections, I advanced my career at an engineering firm. After six years doing that, COVID gave me the itch to do something different and seek a leadership role. As a member of ABC since 2012, I was already sold on the organization, so I jumped at the chance to lead it.
You became CEO of ABC Carolinas a year ago, just as COVID struck. What challenges have you encountered and what are you most proud of?
ABCC is a very networking/event-driven organization, so COVID made it challenging to host safe events. As an organization that spans both North Carolina and South Carolina, I am proud we were able to pivot to serve our members while still operating under state gathering guidelines. As cases decline and more members are vaccinated, we are gearing up for a strong in- person event lineup for the back half of the year.
I’ve already made two hires during my short tenure: a new Regional Director of Membership for NC and a Director of Government Affairs. Both are based in Raleigh.
Finally, we gained 80 new members in 2020 and another 37 since the beginning of this year – during a pandemic no less!
What can members expect in 2021?
Members can look forward to a complete refresh of everything we do – from the look and feel of member communications, to council level and major events. We’ll also put some extra energy into the Triad, Triangle and Coastal markets.
What new partnerships have you put in place?
ACE, Explorer Post, 4C, Wilmington Construction Collaborative, The Charleston Chamber, and Launch Greenville, to name a few.
What are key events we should put on our calendars?
The 21st Annual Construction Conference in Myrtle Beach August 18-20, 2021, and the Excellence in Construction Awards slated for November 4 (location TBD).
What’s the status of SafetyFest and STEP Awards?
We had to cancel our annual SafetyFest in April 2020 due to COVID, but we’re taking this time to revamp the program to come back stronger than ever. We will give out STEP Awards at our Annual Construction Conference in Myrtle Beach this summer.
What’s something fun you want your members and or readers to know about you?
I grew up in Gastonia and live there now with my husband, Donny, who is the Economic Development Director for Gaston County. I’m a UNC Charlotte graduate, outdoorsy and enjoy “fishin and shootin,” as well as spoiling my fur baby Boston Terrier, Bella Ruby! I also have a goat “Sully” named after me.
About ABC Carolinas Chapter — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of the Carolinas represents merit shop contractors and related firms in North Carolina and South Carolina. ABC Carolinas Chapter is part of the national ABC organization which represents more than 21,000 members. For more information and news, visit www.abccarolinas.org.