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Time in DC

February 28, 2024

I was wondering why in the world our tower industry trade association would want to do a meeting with regulators and politicians. When the wondering began to manifest itself into a verbal question, the answer came from Don Doty as a senior mentor adding simplicity and clarity with a single sentence.

He said, “Jim, if you do not have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu!”

Since 2015 I have had the opportunity to spend time each spring, summer and sometimes fall  in Washington DC. The first trip was enlightening but surely filled with the wide-eyed and tentative look of a first-time tourist. I was frankly overwhelmed with the history and majesty or our nation’s capital. That feeling quickly subsided and on the second visit I realized that our time was quite limited, and we needed to accomplish a great deal more than cursory meetings with bureaucrats. Our time spent there needed to be meaningful if we were going to invest the precious commodity of time, we better hustle.

In the ensuing trips, beginning in 2016, we had as many as 40 or so meetings in a single week. To accomplish that large number of appointments, we travelled to DC on Sunday afternoons and headed home late Friday nights. Further, we met with people at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to gain the time needed for influence and to gain traction.

Many members of our trade association questioned the judgement and cost of spending time and money travelling to DC. The trips were always done at minimum cost and our Board Members typically paid their own ways. The results have been amazing. We have influence and not only have a seat at the table, we help craft the menu. Thank you to Don Doty for having the vision to encourage us to head down the best albeit hardest road. Even if it does lead to Washington DC!  

February 28, 2024

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