Todd Schlekeway is the Executive Director of the National Association of Tower Erectors. In this episode we talk about what it takes to lead a trade association dedicated to quality and safety in what has traditionally been a high-risk industry. Todd shares his experiences in sports, legislature and trade association leadership and how he works to bring people together for a set of common goals in an extremely important industry.
Todd Schlekeway’s Biography:
Todd became the Executive Director of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) in June of 2012. As Executive Director of NATE, Todd provides overall leadership and vision working in concert with the Association’s staff, Board of Directors, volunteer Standing Committees and approximately 780 member companies.
Prior to joining NATE, Todd worked for seven years as the founder and principal of a public affairs and communications firm called Full Court Strategies Group, LLC. Todd also has extensive policy experience having served for two terms in South Dakota’s state legislature where he represented a Sioux Falls, South Dakota legislative district in both the State House and the State Senate.
Todd received his undergraduate college degrees from the University of Sioux Falls (USF) with a B.A. in History/Political Science and a B.S. in Exercise Science. He also earned a Master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.) from USF. While at the University of Sioux Falls, Todd also participated in collegiate athletics as a member of the USF basketball team.
Todd currently resides in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife Jill and three sons Gavin, Grant and Jett.
Todd learned a lot about leadership through athletics. Character, integrity and building relationships and learning to deal with adversity very important in Todd’s life growing up and helped shape who he is today.
He now manages an 810+ member trade organization. The tower industry is a high-risk industry and NATE is working to make the industry safer.
Serving as a legislator helped Todd learn how to leverage relationships to pass legislations and build coalitions.
There are multiple layers within the tower industry and NATE is working hard to protect safety and quality from being compromised. There is a direct correlation between quality and safety.
Behind the mobile technology we use every day there are tower climbers doing work to construct, maintain and repair cell towers on a regular basis. This is an important job and safety has to be integrated into tower work. NATE is at the forefront of working to provide safety training for the tower industry.
As the industry prepares for 5G technology NATE is also preparing for the spike in demand and their mission is to help make sure the men and women working in the tower industry go home safely at the end of the day.
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