This week on the Business Brush, Nick sits down with Mark Lipton of Tremont Paint the 112-year-old New York paint store founded by his great-grandfather. He likes to say he’s been in the business full-time for 31 years, but he never new a life without the paint store. In addition to running those stores, Lipton spent more than 20 years as a contributing columnist for Paint Dealer Magazine and now blogs and podcasts under the title Mark My Words.
The PDC What?
Today on The Brush, Nick is joined by Chris Shank of the PDCA! He’s their education director as well as a deep thinker and overall excellent human being who is here today to break down his philosophy at the PDCA.
The Painting Contractors Association, or PDCA, is our industry’s membership organization whose mission is to help build businesses and connect folks with each other in a non-competitive way. The PDCA is a non-profit group, which means — as Chris says — that the PDCA is not trying to get any money from anyone! They are there literally to be useful.
Chris has had a really interesting path to his current position. He studied criminal justice as an undergraduate and earned his Master’s in theology and education, and has worked as a social worker and in various nonprofits over the years. He’s spent three years at the PDCA and quadrupled their educational content in that window.
Chris gets us up to speed on what the PDCA is up to these days: a “member to leader” series focusing on business leadership and getting people involved; various training courses; live webinars; themes for every month (next is industry standards); a podcast (Paint Ed, which Nick has appeared on!) and videos in a video catalogue. They also help with accreditation and connect contractors in a non-competitive and non-confrontational way to share knowledge. There are chapters, councils, and regional events as well as the national expo. Plus, Chris facilitates conversations that are intended to benefit business at specific levels of growth and revenue; it’s all about education to help people help themselves to the next stage.
He prides himself on being a great listener and on his ability to facilitate knowledge-sharing between paint contractors — although Chris emphasizes that he is in not the guy to give advice about how to run your business because he’s never run one himself!
At the PDCA, podcasts are free and membership is $399 per year — and Chris emphasizes that, even if the PDCA doesn’t have the answer to your business question, they’ll connect you with someone who does.
Chris prioritizes trust shining through in not only the PDCA’s role as a non-profit but in creating relationships in the industry. He says that in today’s “trust economy”, contractors who aren’t trying to extort folks will win the day and even forge relationships in the industry. That’s what we’re all about!
Head over to the PDCA’s Events page to get in the know, and reach out to Chris via email at CShank@pvca.org!