December 2016 Executive Director’s Blog


Members attend the 2016 CSSGA Annual Conference.

Hello CSSGA members. Welcome to the Blog for December 2016.  It’s December 2nd, so remember, only about 22 more days until many of us walk around the shopping mall, aimlessly searching

for something our spouses might enjoy.  I have learned my lesson and will never shop at the 7-11 again for a Christmas gift.  Don’t try this at home!

This update will primarily focus on our successful Annual Conference, but I will also discuss a few other highlights:

The attendance at the Annual Conference in Colorado Springs on Nov 17 & 18 showed great participation.  It was clearly the highest participation level in many years.  We had over 120 combined members attend the conference meetings and over 140 attend the Presidents banquet.  Beyond the numbers in attendance, the business interaction regarding the CSSGA key initiatives was clearly at an all-time high.  Our continued theme of “Strength in Numbers” has never been so clear.  With the push and engagement on the industry items prioritized by you, the membership, we are making an impact!  I want to sincerely thank those who participated and engaged at this conference.

The sponsorship was also at very high levels, confirming the fact there is strong support for our direction.

I list out the primary agenda items and speakers/topics with a few thoughts:

  • Over 40 CSSGA members attended the Annual Members Meeting.  At this meeting, the board approved the 2017 Budget, and also determined their 2017 officers.  These officers include Garrett Varra, President; Mark Ewald, Vice President; Doug Hartley, Treasurer; and Zane Luttrell, Secretary.  I want to thank this group of individuals for the dedication to CSSGA and the aggregate mining industry.
  • Laura Beverage, Jackson Kelly PLLC: Overview of OSHA/MSHA Enforcement Initiatives, New Cases, and the Regulatory Landscape.
  • Jon George, Bishop Brogden Associates: Water Rights Accounting in Colorado. Much to look forward to in the coming year. Be sure your company is involved in our Safety Committee and staying on top of the pending regulations!
  • Tiffany VanderSchaaf, Calyx Social Media: Why Engagement Matters on Social Media – We continue to strengthen our message through social media.  I encourage everyone to jump on board.
  • Steve Coughran, Coltivar Group: Leveraging Leadership: Cultures that Breed Success.  This session challenged our ways of thinking in how we structure our companies and set objectives with our people.  Very informative.
  • Sargent Elizabeth Marks, Paralympic Medalist Rio 2016: The Journey of “Happy Accidents” – I can’t say enough about this young lady.  After sustaining a serious injury defending our country, she turned her challenges into a positive, inspiring many others.  What a story for all of us!
  • DRMS was also on hand to recognize companies who excel in reclamation and site remediation with the Jack Starner Award.  Thanks to Ginny Brannon and Tony Waldron for their attendance and congratulations to Four Corners Materials on winning first place.

Thanks to Annelise for making this event so successful.  It takes a coordinated effort over many months to make this look effortless.  While she makes it look easy, there are many, many moving parts.  Hats off to her.  Please plan to participate in the conference next year!!

Last, but certainly not least, we obviously had an election in November.  While I don’t need to provide any information at the national level, I can say the Colorado State Senate remained with majority control of Republicans, and the House remained with the Democrats.  This likely means there will be a balanced approach during the upcoming legislative session.  Actions will be updated at the Legislative Breakfasts beginning in January.

Thanks, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and remember………………….. no 7-11 Christmas gifts!

Todd R. Ohlheiser

Executive Director