Construction White Papers and Articles
Dallas and Fort Worth AGC Chapters Merge into QUOIN
Part Two of a series of articles on the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and QUOIN, featuring an interview with QUOIN President and CEO Raleigh Roussell.
East Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth Come Together
Up until the 1980s, the various local chapters in North and East Texas operated independently; however, economic circumstances and the growing Metroplex market forced changes over the next several years.
In 1988 the East Texas AGC Chapter merged into the Dallas Chapter as a result of the soft economy. This merger expanded the area of responsibility for the Dallas Chapter from the Dallas/Tarrant County line to the Texas/Louisiana border.
Over the next eleven years, the Dallas and Fort Worth chapters met periodically to consider the value of combining into one group, with little success. By 2000, however, the groups' leaders recognized that viewing Dallas and Fort Worth as separate markets had become an obsolete perspective. "People began to truly realize that this is one market," said Roussell. "We saw that we could be a stronger political entity if we put the two chapters together."
Effective January 2001 QUOIN was formed to create a single AGC chapter that supports more than 40 counties in North and East Texas. With over 1000 members, a professional staff of 12 and an annual budget of $3.5 million, QUOIN has become the leading voice of the construction industry in this part of the country.
Where Did the Name QUOIN Come From?
Inevitably, the questions arise: "Where did the name 'QUOIN' come from? What exactly is a QUOIN?"
"When we did this merger we had contractors in Dallas, Fort Worth and East Texas," said Roussell. "Normally, the chapters are described geographically in AGC. But we thought it was unfair to call it the North Texas chapter because then you think only of Dallas and Fort Worth. We couldn't call it Northeast Texas because then you think of Texarkana and Mt. Pleasant and that area. We certainly didn't want to say North and East Texas because that just doesn't roll off the tongue the right way.
"We hired a professional PR firm to come up with a name. As the PR guy was getting ready to meet with the new combined chapter board, I told him, 'They are not going to go for any off-the-wall names. You better be thinking of terms like Council, Associated, Master Builder, Constructors, words like that.' He had shown me a bunch of the other ideas and I told him they'd never go for those.
"So we have this first meeting with the consolidated board. He makes his presentation on what I'd call traditional names. Everyone just sat there, didn't get excited about anything he presented. On a break he came to me and said, 'Let me give them some of these other names. You said they wouldn't like them, but I don't see a lot of energy for what we presented.' So he presented these off-the-wall names. He said QUOIN and explained why he had gotten there.
"QUOIN (pronounced "COIN") is a construction term. A quoin is a cornerstone or keystone of an arch. It was symbolic of bringing the two organizations together to create a structurally stronger group.
"It made wonderful sense when we talked about it. It was short and unique and when they saw it they jumped all over it."