Arizona Builders' Alliance Newsletter

Association News                                                                                                                                                                                   December 2013
In This Issue
Did You Know?
Federal OSHA Takeover Looms in Arizona
Tucson's Volunteer Day
Apprenticeship Updates
2013 SEP Graduates
AGC's "Doing More with Less"
ABC's Business Development Help
ABA's Toy Drive
Tucson's December Member Dinner
The LDF/SEP Graduation Luncheon
The Month in Photos

Fall 2013 Calendar (Phoenix/Tucson)


ABA Statewide Committees

Did You Know?


Bricks are the oldest manufactured building material still in use. Egyptians used them 7,000 years ago.



Built in 1967, the world's only flying saucer launching pad is in St. Paul, Alberta, Canada.



The tallest artificial structure in the world is the KTHI-TV tower in North Dakota, at a height of 2,063 feet.  

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ABA Offices:

1825 W. Adams
Phoenix, AZ 85007

1661 N. Swan, 
Ste. 144
Tucson, AZ 85712



Transaction Privilege Tax Reform - What you Need to Know About the Changes

Dec. 4






Tucson's Volunteer Day at Miracle Square


Thursday, Dec. 12


For more information on any of these upcoming events or programs, please contact

ABA's Staff
Working for you...


Mark Minter
Executive Director


Tom Dunn
Southern Arizona Director


Carol McMullen
Assistant Executive Director


Erica Lange
Assistant Executive Director
in Training


Debbie Carlson
So. AZ Office Manager


Gary Townsley
Director of Apprenticeship


Jenn Swanson
Director of Management Education


Dana Jones
Apprenticeship Coordinator


Nita Ornelas
Office Administrator


Mary Navarrette
Chapter Accountant



Happy Holidays, ABA Members! 

The following ABA e-newsletter is designed to increase your awareness of what the ABA can offer you, as an ABA member.  In addition, the goal is to keep you abreast of what's happening in the industry.  

A calendar for the remainder of the year can be found here.  There are still several classes in the month of December in both Tucson and Phoenix, as well as business development opportunities.

We're looking to improve involvement on our many committees statewide. ALL members are welcome at committee meetings.  A list of statewide committees can be found here.  

In particular, your assistance is needed on the Education Committee, as well as the Auction Committee for the February 7, President's Party.  Please contact me if you have an interest in participating in one of our committees.  

Also, make sure and scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter to browse through photos of this past month's activities. If you're a Facebook member and see yourself in a photo, please tag it to increase the ABA's visibility. And make sure you LIKE our page.  Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!
Erica Lange
Assistant Executive Director 
Registrar to Check Your Tax Returns?
by Mark Minter 

Some years back the Legislature passed legislation requiring regulatory agencies to make sure that people who get a state license are paying their taxes.  That law sat on the books for five or six years with no response or action by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.  Recently, the Registrar had a legislative audit.  As a result of that audit, the Registrar has announced that it intends to check tax returns for contractors involved in some complaints and/or disciplinary hearings.  The taxes to be checked include income and Transaction Privilege Tax filings. 


However, it seems that the Department of Revenue is not being cooperative!  The DOR has advised the Registrar that it can't simply give tax records to another state agency without the permission of the taxpayer.  As a result the Registrar intends to require contractors, upon application or renewal of a license, to give pre-approval for the tax checks.


Lots of questions arise out of the possibility of this action taking place:

  • How to check the tax returns of Subchapter S entities where the corporation's income and tax liability flow to the individuals, including partners?
  • What information on the tax return is of use to an agency charged with protecting consumers from being ripped off by unscrupulous or unlicensed contractors?
  • Will the request for tax records from the Registrar trigger an audit from the Department of Revenue? 
  • How will the Registrar analyze a TPT return from a contractor who has no tax liability? 
  • How will the Registrar deal with ongoing audits, claims, disputes and litigation between DOR and a contractor

There is a possibility that legislation to bar this action will be introduced next year.  The ABA has not yet taken a position on this issue and your input and comments are appreciated.  To comment on this issue send an email to me at Mark Minter or call at 602.274.8222 ext. 31.

ABA Members Build our Community at the 19th Annual Volunteer Day at Miracle Square in Tucson

by Tom Dunn

Tom Dunn

Members of the Arizona Builders' Alliance and their friends and families will descend upon Tucson's Miracle Square on Saturday, December 7th.  The efforts this year are led by Volunteer Day Committee Co-Chairmen Bill Ford of Barker Morrissey Construction and Susan Mulholland of Mulholland Art & Design Commercial Interiors.  The goal is to renovate the facilities that provide affordable housing and independent living for the elderly, the disabled and the less fortunate in our community. 


Miracle Square is a non-profit that has served the Tucson community for more than 30 years. Miracle Square enables elderly and disabled adults to live independently with self reliance by providing: affordable housing, supportive services and advocacy for their wellbeing.  Read full article here.


Please ask us how you can help by contacting Tom Dunn or Debbie Carlson.  


Apprenticeship Updates
by Gary Townsley

Contractor Night at Gateway:


The first annual Electrical Contractor Night at GateWay Community College was held on Tuesday November 19.  The highlight of the evening was observing our fourth year apprentices working on approximately twenty different labs.   During the dinner, brief presentations were given by:

  • Wes McClure, Wilson Electric
  • Dan Puente, DP Electric
  • John Colonna, Rural Electric
  • Mark Minter, ABA
  • Gary Townsley, ABA   

Thanks to all the contractors who attended, including:  

  • Briston Construction
  • Broadfoot Electric
  • Corbins Electric
  • DP Electric
  • Gaylor Electric
  • JFK Electrical Contractors
  • Kearney Electric
  • Kortman Electric
  • RML Electric
  • RMJ Electrical Contractors
  • Rural Electric 
  • Wilson Electric
You can view photos from this event at here. 


Spring Orientation


The spring orientation for our Electrical Program is on January 6 and 7 from 4:30-7pm at Gateway Community College.  Dana Jones will be sending out the orientation registration form this month.  You can also go on the ABA website to register students for orientation.  I encourage you to please talk to your employees about joining the program so they can start working towards earning their Journey Worker Certifications and gaining knowledge and skill in the electrical industry. Electrical classes start the week of January 13.  We finished this semester with 260 apprentices in that program and are looking forward to the spring semester starting.


For more information about the program, please contact Gary Townsley, Apprenticeship Director. 


The 2013 Senior Executive Program
Swanson Headshot


Congratulations to our 2013 class of graduates from the Senior Executive Program (SEP)!  


The group has shared four sessions together, garnering strategic executive skills, and exchanging their experiences as leaders within their company and the industry.


The graduates include:

  • Ed Campbell, PDI Construction
  • Casey Cartier, Jokake
  • Dave Elrod, DPR Construction
  • Mike Epstein, Epstein Construction
  • Emmett Jones, Jones Concrete Construction, LLC 
  • Rick Karber, IMCOR 
  • Ken Kortman, Kortman Electric 
  • Kitty Langmade, W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling 
  • Kevin Morrissey, Barker Morrissey 
  • Brian Saker, Border Construction Specialties 
  • John Walstrom, Achen-Gardner Construction

If you, or a senior executive from your company, are interested in this high-level leadership program, please contact Jenn Swanson to be added to the list of limited invitations extended for the 2014 session.


AGC - Helping you do more with less

When your company joined the Arizona Builders' Alliance, you had an option to join the National AGC.  If your company chose to become an AGC national member, you can take advantage of the many member benefits they offer. 


Realizing that most of AGC's members are faced with the challenge every day of trying to do more with less resources, AGC has developed a number of resources to help our members "do more with less." Those resources are as follows:

  • A web page with links to many forums within AGC, all of which contain information which can help contractors to reduce their costs.  View here.
  • A Doing More With Less Database, where contractors of all types and sizes can:
  1. Share cost-saving ideas with other members
  2. Search for cost savings ideas contributed by other members (click here to access the Database)
  • A Doing More With Less Interest group on LinkedIn, where AGC members interested in maximizing their efficiency can participate in a dialogue and develop new ideas to reduce their costs (Join our DMWL Interest Group).

You will find a brief description of some of AGC of America's forum web pages which contain information regarding efficient practices here


If you're unsure whether your company is an AGC member, please contact Nita Ornleas.  

Grow Your Business with ABC

When your company joined the Arizona Builders' Alliance, you had a choice to join the National ABC.  If you chose this, you can take advantage of the many member benefits the ABC offers. 


In order to stay competitive, contractors are continually looking for ways to win work and deliver that work profitably.  ABC offers tools to help its members grow business and highlight company achievements and capabilities to potential clientsDownload an overview of the ABC's business development programs.


To find out if you're an ABC member, please contact Nita Ornelas.  

The ABA Toy Drive!  How can you help?


The ABA will once again be collecting toys for disadvantaged children over the holiday season. Collected toys will be given to children who are part of the Sunshine Acres Community and Sunshine Group Homes Organizations.  These organizations provide homes and care for needy children who have been displaced, abused, neglected or orphaned.  



Here are several ways you can choose to help:

  • Donate a NEW toy or gift for a child between the ages of 4-18 to the ABA office by December 17.
  • Start a collection in your office by displaying this flyer with a box and collecting toys as a company. Please bring toys to the ABA office by December 17.
  • Make a cash or check donation, made out to the ABA, which we will be used to buy additional toys for the children.
  • Print these flyers and distribute them throughout your office or e-mail them to your employees, vendors, and clients.
  • Post this information on your website to encourage employee, client, and vendor participation.  
  • Join the Community Service Board and help collect, coordinate, and distribute the gifts to the children. Contact
  • If you are a general contractor, please consider posting this "faux" bid report on your website to encourage subcontractor participation.  

For more information, please contact Erica Lange.   


Tucson's Holiday Legislative Reception


The Holiday Legislative Reception is co-hosted by Arizona Builders' Alliance, Tucson Metro Chamber, SAHBA, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Marana Chamber of Commerce,  and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.  Southern Arizona State Senators and Representatives are scheduled to attend.  This is an opportunity to discuss issues that affect the commercial construction industry.  

  • Wednesday, December 18,  5-7pm
  • Flandrau Planetarium, 1601 East University (on University of Arizona Campus)
  • 7pm Complimentary showing of "The Tucson Sky Tonight"
  • RSVP to Tom Dunn at 520-881-7930 or Tom Dunn
  ABA industry advocacy works better when our membership is engaged locally.  Together we are stronger!
ABA's 20th Annual Leadership & Membership Lunch
Honoring 2013 LDF Grads, SEP Grads & Past LDF & SEP Grads

The 2013 Leadership Development Forum (LDF) and the 2013 Senior Executive Program (SEP) graduates have devoted significant time this year to improving their leadership skills. Join them, along with over 200 ABA members, as we celebrate their success and hear about their experiences. ABA's Assistant Executive Director, Carol McMullen, will share her philosophy on personal and professional relationship building.

  • Thurs., Dec. 12, 2013
  • 11:30 Registration / Noon Lunch
  • $40 Members/ $75 Non-Members
  • DoubleTree Inn by Hilton (formerly Fiesta Inn) 2100 S. Priest Dr., Tempe, AZ 85282

Please bring a NEW, unwrapped toy for the ABA Holiday Toy Drive 




To view photos of the final LDF presentations, click here.

To view photos of the most recent SEP class, please  click here.  


The Month in Photos!

To see photos from this past month's events, programs or educational programs, click on the appropriate links below.  If you find yourself in any of these photos and are a Facebook user, please tag yourself, so the ABA's Business Fan Page can continue to grow.  And don't forget to LIKE us!  


The 11-19 Southern AZ Membership Dinner

The 11-21 Senior Executive Program Class

The 11-22 Finance in Construction Seminar

The Contractor Night at Gateway Community College 11-19

The 11-14 ABA Member Mixer at Audio Video Resources

The 11-14 Senior Executive Lunch