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CCCIA celebrates 40 years of service to community

By Staff | May 13, 2011

Photo provided Past presidents of the CCCIA include, front row, from left, 1979 Vince Tolisano, 1985 Walter Barletta, 2001 Bob Knight, 1986 Frank Triscari, 2002 Annette Carrasquillo, 1987 Wayne Kirkwood, 1991 Cora Gilbert, 2009 Becky Swift and 1989 Robert Greco, and second row, from left, 1988 Richard Durling, 1993 George Koszulinski, 2003 Brian Gomer, current President Jeremy Johnson, 1976 Gary Spaniak, 1983 Anthony Greco Sr., 1981 Don Ostrowsky, 2008 Bob Koenig, 1982 Dick Knight and 2010 David Mulicka. Not pictured is Gary Aubuchon.

The Cape Coral Construction Industry has been around 40 years, nearly as long as the city itself.
Celebrating four decades in Cape Coral, the organization has seen the industry soar to unbelievable heights, and endure some of the toughest and most challenging times it, and the entire nation, has ever seen.
Yet the organization continues on and is poised to help guide the construction industry out of the recession’s darkest hours.
“When I talk to potential or new members, I tell them we’re growing, and maybe that’s a sign we’re over the hump, that we’re working back to normalcy,” said current CCCIA President Jeremy Johnson.
While new memberships isn’t booming like the days before the boom and bust, Johnson said membership is on the rise with one or two new members signing up each month.
The “normalcy” he mentions is the chance for the association’s members to return to some sort of prosperity instead of simply surviving, which much of its members have been doing over the past few years.
“We don’t want to build 5,000 homes, but we would like to get back to the early 2000s. That was a nice steady pace.” Johnson said. ‘People had jobs, people we’re making money … we need to get back to where companies are doing more than just working to keep their doors open.”
The organization’s success is due largely to how close the members are, according to Johnson, and how they have operated the association mostly the same for those 40 years.
“The organization has kept to the same fundamentals over those 40 years,” Johnson said. “We’ve worked to benefit the community and the industry and individual businesses. That standard and those goals haven’t changed.”
The organization did face the challenge of losing long-time executive director and industry champion Patti Schnell, who lost a battle with cancer.
Johnson said the association’s leaders stepped up to help make those days following Schnell’s passing still successful, but he said Schnell “could never” be replaced.
As the CCCIA’s new executive director, Heather Mazurkiewicz has had to help the association traverse the ups and downs of the still recovering industry, and changes within the city’s administration.
Mazurkiewicz said the CCCIA is like a close-knit family.
“I am proud to represent an Industry that, when necessary, will take a firm stance on what they believe is right and at the same time has the heart to reach out and help others in need whenever asked,” she said. “In my short time with the CCCIA I have found the members to be the most generous group of individuals who give freely of their time and their resources.”
Johnson said helping the community is what the CCCIA is all about and this year, and for years to come, the CCCIA will continue to mine those relationships with the city and its residents.
“We’re going to climb back out of it,” Johnson said of the still recovering economy. “The next years are going to be big, and we’ll continue reaching out to areas of the community and forming partnerships.”