by Dianne Elizabeth
Deb Ferguson knows how hard it is to get established in business. And she will readily recount how important membership in Springfield Contractors Association has been in getting her company established.
As president-elect of the more than 300-member industry organization, contractor and subcontractor services and member attraction will be at the top of her agenda in the new year.
Ferguson, who has been an SCA member for more than 10 years, owns and operates D. Ferguson Construction Inc., a company engaged in concrete work, mostly related to street and sidewalk maintenance and improvement.
"It used to be guys would walk up looking for work and never consider I was the owner doing the hiring," Ferguson said. "Now the guys do better with accepting me on the job."
"Now," she added, "people don't think D. Ferguson is Dave or Dennis or something like that," she said. "When I see people now, they know who I am and the work we do. It's a lot easier to get jobs. We about starved for a while. It was really tough. I hoped that I would get to know all the contractors, and they would get to know me, and it's worked wonders."
As SCA president, Ferguson said, she will work with the board of directors to plan monthly membership meetings that are both informative and entertaining.
"I have all kinds of ideas," Ferguson said, "but I hate to spring them on people before I'm actually president."
She does not hold back on her excitement over the SCA's new headquarters, currently under construction at 1313 N. Nias.
Ferguson said she and the entire membership are looking forward to having their own building where they can conduct safety seminars and other educational events and meetings.
"It's especially going to help that the Dodge Room will be right there," Ferguson said. "We'll be able to look at plans and then conduct our other business with the SCA staff."
The new location will also provide an expanded central location for taking applications and making names of qualified workers available to members through the Springfield Contractors Employment Referral Service. SCA also operates a matching service, pairing equipment-owner member with members who need specific equipment to meet job contracts.
Debra Ferguson stands on Glenstone during a project she and her crew worked on in preparation for new drop inlets for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
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