Let Your Voice Be Heard Nationally
Being a national Associated General Contractors committee member may mean input without a huge time investment
By Rindi White
Let Your Voice Be Heard Nationally
Being a national Associated General Contractors committee member may mean input without a huge time investment
By Rindi White

an you spare six to eight hours over the course of a year? If pressed, most people could probably find a way to free up that small amount of time, particularly if it meant including unique-to-Alaska input into policy decisions on a national stage.

Tom Krider is a lawyer at Seattle-based firm Oles, Morrison Rinker Baker, LLP, which has been an Associated General Contractors of Alaska member since 1991 and operates an Anchorage office. Krider says he has spent the better part of the twenty-three years he has worked at Oles handling cases for Alaska clients.

Krider has for the past several years served on the Associated General Contractors’ ConsensusDocs Drafting Council. ConsensusDocs is a contract document platform overseen by a coalition of twenty organizations in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. The goal of the group is to help industry members develop contracts that protect the best interests of the project.

Krider says he joined the drafting council about five years ago after attending a meeting while at the annual AGC convention.

“As a lawyer going to AGC National, probably the place where we can have the most influence … is in the legal stuff, and ConsensusDocs is probably the foremost of those areas,” he says.

We spoke with Krider about his service on the drafting council and what it has meant to him.

AGC: Can you tell us about ConsensusDocs?

Krider: It replaced the former standard AGC contract series. It’s an alternative to the AIA [American Institute of Architects] contract documents, which are sort of what most contractors see on a regular basis, but of course, those documents are skewed towards owners and architects. AGC brought together a broad range of players in the marketplace. There’s a whole suite of forms, whether it’s subcontracting forms or owner-build forms … and they have all had the general conditions gone through with a fine-toothed comb. The idea is, you don’t have to worry about negotiating a bunch of individual terms and conditions because the industry has negotiated those for you upfront.

Tom Krider Headshot
Tom Krider
AGC: What do you do on the committee?

Krider: There are two major things—one is, everyone is constantly discussing the current practice of law and … the group looks at whether those things need revision. And then, every five years, the committee goes through and updates everything.

AGC: Can you speak to the value of having local voices on national committees?

Krider: I think that’s almost evident just in the statement. For the contractors in Alaska there are unique issues dealing with weather and those sorts of things that might provide a unique opportunity for input. It’s always good to have the perspective of everywhere in the country so that you know that things that affect Alaska are included in the process. I think it’s also good to learn what people are doing in other areas of the country … being involved in those committees exposes you to those ideas and you can incorporate [what you learn].

AGC: Have you had a lightbulb moment while serving?

Krider: I was involved in industry groups at the start of COVID and it was super-helpful to hear how everyone was incorporating information into their workplace. If you can have a collaborative discussion with a bunch of people, maybe you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

AGC: What is your time commitment for serving?

Krider: The meeting at [the national convention] is a couple of hours long, and occasionally there are subgroup meetings by a Zoom call, maybe once a quarter. It’s not much more than that.

AGC: Has being involved helped or affected you in other ways?

Krider: One of the nice side benefits is, it does sort of force you to go to the national convention and, once you go there, you get engaged [in the discussion]. This kind of gives you that additional impetus to go and meet other folks. There are a bunch of sessions that happen, and you can digest and learn a lot in a relatively short period of time.

Where Do You Fit In?

Associated General Contractors of America and Associated General Contractors of Alaska have a broad array of options for AGC members who are interested in being involved in their industry.

From committees weighing in on highway work zone safety concerns to those dedicated to working cooperatively with the US Army Corps of Engineers or focused on international construction, there’s space for members with a wide range of interests and expertise.

If you’d like to learn more about being part of a national AGC committee, check the website www.agc.org/connect/agc-groups. There you can find an overview of each AGC committee, along with volunteer opportunities and application forms.

On a local level, AGC of Alaska staff say the AGC Membership Committee and Construction Leadership Council are always seeking new members. Many other committees are also seeking new members, from the AGC Anchorage Golf Committee to the Safety Subcommittee. Learn more about the various AGC of Alaska committees and how to apply at www.agcak.org/committees.html.

Rindi White is the editor of The Alaska Contractor magazine.