2023 FCA International Leadership Council Returns April 25-28 at the Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL

Signatory contractors should plan on being at the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida from April 25-28, 2023 for the FCA International Leadership Council (ILC)! This event is signatory contractors’ opportunity to expand their business network while networking with an independent, united community of likeminded peers. The 2023 ILC will provide contractors an opportunity to hear from and speak directly to industry decision makers.

Keep an eye on this page for updates on the event program, event registration and hotel! Read on below for a quick recap of the 2022 ILC to get an idea of the value provided at International Leadership Councils.


CEO – Lionshare Negotiations

  • Make the first offer – the first offer drives the outcome, and by making the first offer, you anchor the negotiations.
  • Create boundaries for yourself – know both your and the other party’s alternate options, reservation point and target point. The space between you and the other party’s reservation point is your playing field for negotiating a deal.
  • Have a concession strategy – know and value your concessions before you reach the negotiating table (and know what concessions the other party may ask you to make).  Make your concessions in small increments.
  • Present multiple offers – have a minimum of two but no more than three offers. Offers should be presented simultaneously, and each one should be of equivalent value to you.

Click here to download Joe’s presentation.

Chief Executive Officer – Bizgro Partners


  • The Difference Between Entrepreneurs and Business Owners – an entrepreneur is someone mainly focused on raising capitol and recruiting business owners to run their business while they provide vision and top line management. Entrepreneurs never use their own money for anything.
  • 5 Fundamentals of Business Valuation – 1.) Multiple Arbitrage. 2.) Separation of Church & State. 3.) Not All Earnings Are Equal. 4.) All Earnings must be Transparent. 5.) Elimination of Concentration (e.g. one sales person makes up 40% of your revenue. It’s a good way to make money, but it’s a bad structure if you’re trying to build generational wealth).
  • Types of Revenue – recurring revenue (companies with recurring revenue are easier to sell); repeat business (customers who have regularly shown they will use your services, but not on a set recurring basis); and project revenue (in and out). Most contractor revenue is in repeat business and protect revenue. However, there are opportunities for contractors to gain more recurring revenue
  • What You Gain in Acquisition – cash flow, land and labor. Construction companies’ real business is labor.

Click here to download J.C.’s presentation.

Chief Economist – The Economic Outlook Group

  • Workforce – the current labor shortage has been in the works for decades. Restrictions on immigration and record-low birth rates have been causing the labor force to shrink for years, and COVID-19 aggravated the problem. There is currently “friction” in the labor market with a mismatch of skills vs job openings. Some employers have been looking into fringes of labor market to bring in new workforce (e.g., non-violent former criminals).
  • Gasoline – the threshold for gasoline prices becoming a serious problem for the economy is when the national average is $4.75.
  • Economic Recovery – no U.S recovery is possible without the consumer. Global COVID-19 vaccination is imperative to the global economic recovery.
  • Federal Reserve Interest Rates – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is being very cautious with interest rate increases, because he doesn’t want to trigger a recession.

Click here to download Bernard’s presentation.

Attorney and CEO – The Subcontractor Institute
Author of Best-Selling Book Quit Getting Screwed

  • Bid & Scope – the SCOPE of work is one of the most critical parts of any construction contract, and that scope starts with your bid. Submitting the bid as an itemized list affords the most protections to a contractor.
  • Before Signing Your Contract – make sure there’s 1.) Verbiage that builds in protection for increased costs (i.e., if material increases more than 2%, contractor is entitled to be paid for increased cost), and 2.) Verbiage that builds in protection from potential delays in obtaining materials (i.e., contractor will be granted additional time to complete work if they are unable to obtain materials in the expected timeframe due to a shortage).
  • Change Orders – never perform a change order without first getting it in writing. When it comes to change orders, contractors should be overcautious, document all change orders, send notice to the owner and add additional time to prepare for any extra work. Make sure the change order is within the scope of work before performing additional work. If there’s a possibility it falls outside of the scope of work, notify the GC and owner that a change order is needed.
  • Credit and Liens – the entire construction industry runs on credit. A lien is a vehicle used to make the amounts you are owed a secure debt. The requirements for a valid lien are different in all 50 states (click here for a list of requirements by state). Not all attorneys know how to file a valid lien, so interview law firms before hiring one to file a lien for you. Also be wary of online lien filing services, as the liens they file are usually invalid.

CEO – McBrayer & Associates

  • Case for Growth – The longterm health of your company depends on growth. Financial factors are the #1 driver of valuation, and a valuation improves with proven processes. Future income is the most valuable business asset.
  • 6 Building Blocks for Sales – 1.) Clarity – getting everyone on the same page. 2.) Structure – who’s responsabile for what. 3.) Methodology – must have processes in place. 4.) Action – take intuition and guess work out of what’s working and who’s working. Keeping score. 5.) Accountability – employees respect what you inspect. 6.) Development – developing your people.
  • Most Common Sales Mistake – the most common mistake salespeople make is going to the bottom of the sales funnel to soon. The bottom of the funnel is your proposal: your prescription to your customer’s problem. It’s imperative salespeople spend more time in the middle of the funnel diagnosing your customer’s problem.

Click here to download Jim’s presentation.

The Alliantgroup


  • Employee Retention Credit (ERC) – a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes based on a percentage of qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees. Credit is currently effective for 1/1/21 through 12/31/21. Your business did not have to shut down to qualify for the ERC: even a partial suspension or impact to your business would qualify. Businesses can claim both the ERC and PPP loans.
  • Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit – The R&D credit was expanded in the early 2000’s to reward companies for taking work on projects that were new to them. This credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes paid or taxes payable. There are many qualified research activities contractors can leverage to take advantage of. This credit was made permanent in 2016.
  • Qualified Research Expenditures – employee wages (Form W-2, Partnership Earnings subject to SE Tax, Schedule C. Excludes 401(k) & benefits); supplies (cost to fabricate prototypes/items consuned in R&D process); and 65% of Contract Research (fees paid out outside consultants, subcontractors, software developers, etc.)

CEO – Association for Materials Protection & Performance (AMPP)

  • Merger of SSPC and NACE – the merger decision was made based on what was best for the industry as a whole. Many in the industry viewed the organizations as competitors – and most joined one or the other. However, most of what they did was either complementary or overlapping.
  • AMPP Conference – AMPP’s goal is to create an environment where contractors, specifiers, inspectors, etc. can network in one neutral location.
  • Standards – decision was made early in the merger process that the SSPC QP program would be the merged organization’s contractor accredited program. The AMPP has implemented new standards processes based on best practices. Before these new process, both NACE and the SSPC had antiquated standards processes. The AMPP is looking for contractors to get involved in standards committees and technical program committees.

Click here to download Bob’s presentation.

The International Painters & Allied Trades Pension Fund


  • The Red Zone – fund trustees elected to enter the red zone this year to provide the fund additional tools it needed to pivot. One of the tools in the red zone is accrual rate structure. The fund was able to simplify accrual packages to adjust.
  • Visual Benefit Accrual Rate (VBAR) – accrual rates vary based on Plan asset returns. When things are good, the plan can share some of the benefits. When things are bad, VBAR allows the Plan to eliminate zero accrual years WITHOUT costing any more money.
  • What Hasn’t Changed – benefits already in payment status, no change to benefits for those already receiving their pension, normal retirement benefits, no changes to benefits you have already accrued, no change in your ability to receive your benefit unreduced at age 65.
  • Rehabilitation Plan – this is really a restructuring plan. Fund trustees took a hard look at their assumptions in terms of investments and man hours. The rehabilitation plan was built on conservative assumptions. The plan has three schedules: Default, Alt 1 or Alt 2.
  • Default Schedule – legally required due to the Plan’s shift to the red zone. It has no required contribution increases beyond FIP 2, and it is the least generous of the three schedules.
  • Alternative Schedule 1 (Alt 1): greater early retirement benefits than the default schedule. Contribution rate is 11% increase 2022 base rate by Jan 1, 2025. Same accrual and early retirement as the default schedule.
  • Alternative Schedule 2 (Alt 2): has the same early retirement benefits as Alt 1, but it has more generous accrual rates and Special Early Retirement. Contribution rate must be 120% of base rate by Jan. 1, 2025.
  • Retirement – retirement age for the Plan is set at 65. Early retirement reductions and special early retirement benefits depend on the schedule your area is on.
  • Choosing the Schedule for Your Local Area – as required under federal law, the Default Schedule will automatically be imposed if the bargaining parties do not adopt one of the alternate schedules within 180 days after the applicable collective bargaining agreement expires. You cannot back any benefits. If you choose an alternate schedule, but you don’t get the money increase in time, your accrual ends up at the default schedule.

Click here to download Adam and Terry’s presentation.