FCA was officially created on Jan. 10, 1997 at Chicago’s O’Hare Hilton. The fledgling group of contractors approved articles of incorporation and elected the first FCA board of directors and officers. During the group’s first official board meeting, Bob Swanson was elected as the first President of the Board. During the spring of 1997, FCA’s international office was established in Washington, D.C. and its first executive director was hired. Read on for a full timeline of FCA’s history.

Before FCA

Before FCA, there was no national contractor association that represented the needs of signatory contractors. Another organization also representing non-signatory contractors had a signatory contractors committee, but the committee was not allowed to act on signatory interests alone. It was at that time that signatory contractors understood that they needed national representation. The below timeline is the path FCA took from 1996 to today.


The FCA community met during the 2020 FCA International Leadership Council in San Antonio just before the coronavirus pandemic swept through the world. As contractors adjusted to an ever-changing environment, FCA worked with its legal, legislative and safety teams to provide contractors factual information and resources they needed as they worked during the unprecedented times. FCA developed a comprehensive, customizable COVID-19 exposure control plan for signatory contractors, expanded its toolbox talk library with seven COVID-19-related Toolbox Talks and set up a web page to serve as a resource library. FCA also hosted the first ever GlassCon Global VE, an all new virtual experience that recreated the in-person conference experience online. Additionally, FCA developed its Environmental Control Program.


After the IUPAT terminated the LMCI in late 2018, FCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to rescind the fund’s termination (saving the industry millions of dollars). The MOU marked FCA’s independence from the IUPAT, although FCA continued to support all efforts that provided value to contractors. FCA also developed the weekly “Need to Know” emails, a brief weekly bulletin of information relevant to signatory contractors and their businesses. Additionally, FCA developed the FCA Silica Programs (trade-specific and customizable), held the 2019 FCA International Leadership Council in Boston and launched the FCA 2.0 initiative.


FCA launched its “Tell Our Story” marketing initiative to better educate contractors on the resources available to them through their international contractor association. FCA also further increased our influence on Capitol Hill by making a workforce pledge in the White House. FCA also provided information and education to contractors regarding their LMCI fund contributions following the IUPAT’s termination of the fund. Additionally, FCA hosted the 2018 International Leadership Council in California, held the third GlassCon Global Conference in Chicago, helped Congressional Representatives draft the GROW Act and organized a special FCA Legislative Fly-In on multiemployer pension reform. Finally, Jerry Haber became the management Co-Chair of the IPAT Pension Fund and Clark Anderson succeeded Mike Cassidy as Chairman of FCA International.


FCA celebrated its 20th anniversary during the 2017 FCA International Leadership Council in Chicago. FCA also worked with Bob Swanson to launch the “You’re Not Alone” blog to help increase awareness of mental health and suicide prevention in the construction industry. As a loss survivor and retired contractor, Bob could write from the perspective of the contractor. Additionally, FCA also launched the “FCA Audio Series” (which provided contractors education they could listen to on their schedule), developed a wallcovering brochure to educate industry decision makers on wallcovering contractors’ value, developed university curriculum for “glass week,” and provided information and resources on silica.


FCA expanded its safety program with the launch of the FCA Toolbox Talk Program, the FCA Safety Helpline, monthly FCA Safety Bulletins and quarterly FCA Safety Webinars. FCA also published its FCA Safety Manual for Ontario. FCA hosted GlassCon Global 2016 in Boston. Additionally, FCA launched its brand new website and launched its Quality Program, which delivered quality manuals to FCA members for free.


The NACC Certification sunrise was in July of 2015, with several contractors being the first to earn the certification. FCA developed and implemented the FCA Safety Program. Additionally, the association developed the FCA University Program, began planning for the 2016 GlassCon Global Conference, sent FCA Trade Committee training recommendations to the FTI, introduced apps to its events and worked with industry partners to complete the Interior Systems Guide.


FCA hosted the first-ever GlassCon Global Conference in Philadelphia. It also developed the North American Contractor Certification Program for Architectural Glass & Metal. Additionally, FCA moved its international office to Chicago, updated its strategic plan and developed its Trustee Training II program. Finally, after years of effort from FCA and its industry partners, Congress passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.


After working with the NCCMP for two years on multiemployer pension reform, the NCCMP issued its Solutions Not Bailouts Report. FCA became an honorary member of the Drywall Finishing Council. FCA also formed FCA Conferences, LLC to host industry events, and developed the GlassCon Global conference. Finally, Mike Cassidy succeeded Ed Smith as Chairman of FCA, and Ed became Chairman Emeritus.


FCA became an AIA CES Provider and implemented the FCA Sales and Marketing Strategy. The Safety Advisory Committee published the FCA Safety Manual, and FCA published “What Does a Journeyperson Look Like” for each of its trades and distributed to the FTI. FCA also developed SSPC QP Process flowcharts to assist contractors in understanding the process of obtaining SSPC QP 1, QP 2 and QP 9 certifications.


FCA expanded its website by creating pages for each of its trades and a safety page. It also developed an enhanced committee structure and each committee developed mission statements to guide FCA’s trade and industry efforts. FCA also started its Young Leaders’ Network in 2011. Staff was expanded, with FCA now having a staff member in each region. FCA also developed its Respiratory Protection System program and began working with the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Pension Reform. Finally, FCA staff implemented 12 week goals to guide its efforts.


Following the success of the FCA CBA Conference Calls, FCA launched quarterly Trustee Conference Calls. It also launched a new website, purchased a contact management system to enhance member communications and developed the CREST Awards safety program. Finally, FCA promoted Central Region Vice President Anthony Darkangelo to CEO of FCA International.


FCA expanded its advisory committees in 2009 by starting the: Flooring Advisory Committee, the Drywall Finishing Advisory Committee, the Commercial Painting & Wallcovering Advisory Committee, the Government Relations Advisory Committee and the Safety Advisory Committee. It also launched its UPS Freight Program, FCA CBA Conference Calls and developed the “Requirements of an Industrial Painter.”


FCA hired a new CEO and began work on a Labor Productivity Study. It also launched several programs, including a surety bonding program and a sponsorship program. The association also started its glazing advisory committee. Finally, FCA updated its strategic plan and mission statement.


The Model Collective Bargaining Agreement was approved by FCA and the IUPAT. FCA created several advisory committees, including: the Business Practices Advisory Committee, the Workforce Advisory Committee and the Industrial Painting Peer group. FCA also added video on demand to its communication efforts and rolled out Contractor Insight, a new quarterly publication that explained contract terms and ramifications. The board of directors voted to rename the “Distinguished Service Award” the “Robert E. Swanson Distinguished Service Award.”


As part of the business plan, FCA staff realigned and expanded to deliver services to Affiliate associations. FCA hired a second regional vice president and a communications director. The association produced a “state of the industry” video and expanded its publications with two new member newsletters. FCA also hosted its first Leadership Council.


FCA began working on the Model Collective Bargaining Agreement. It also launched its Comprehensive Business Plan, which resulted in new programs and services for members.


The first Mutual Gains Bargaining Seminar was held, and FCA began developing its CBA database. The Board of Directors established the Distinguished Service Award to recognize a member’s outstanding dedication and service to the signatory finishing industry.


FCA updated its strategic plan, and announced its support for the Mutual Gains Bargaining program.


FCA hires a new CEO and changes the title of “President” of the board to “Chairman” of the board. FCA launched its monthly legislative/regulatory update newsletter. By the end of the year, FCA had increaed to 27 affiliated associations.


The FCA Hotline Expert pilot program was launched, and FCA expanded its publication offerings.


FCA implemented its Strategic Plan to foster more involvement with the IUPAT or International Union of Painters and Trades in developing recruitment and training programs (including supervisory training). FCA also launched its first website.


FCA expanded its staff in 1999, hiring a Director of Member Services and a Director of Industry Services. Ten affiliate applications were submitted to FCA’s board, and FCA officially held its first Annual Business Meeting.


FCA and its labor partner, the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, held a strategic planning meeting together in January. The association spent the year expanding member services and increasing awareness of FCA benefits through trade show and industry promotions.


FCA was officially created on Jan. 10, 1997 at Chicago’s O’Hare Hilton. The fledgling group of contractors approved articles of incorporation and elected the first FCA board of directors and officers. During the group’s first official board meeting, Bob Swanson was elected as the first President of the Board.

During the spring of 1997, FCA’s international office was established in Washington, D.C. and its first executive director was hired. In the summer, the Labor Management Cooperation Fund approved funding of one-half cent per man hour.


At a special meeting of the union contractors, members decided to form a new national organization for contractors signatory with the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. Tim McAnany, NCUC Chairman, asked Robert Swanson to lead the effort.

Guided by General Counsel Bill Ecklund and Bill Grimm (Executive Director of the Minnesota Painting & Wall Covering Employers Association), contractors held an initial organizational meeting in November. They decided upon a name for the organization – The Finishing Contractors Association.