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Welcome, Mr. Johnson


I would like to extend a warm welcome to Michael W. Johnson, who this month begins his tenure as president and CEO of The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. He succeeds our old friend, the much-respected R. A. “Gus” Edwards, III, who is retiring after more than 16 successful years with NSSGA.

Johnson comes to us from the National Beer Wholesalers Association. His association work also includes six years with the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, so we can make a case that he has now gone from “on the rocks” to “crushed rocks.”

Johnson is familiar with the construction industry, having spent nearly five years with the National Association of Home Builders Association. Recognized as a dedicated advocate, effective communicator and relationship builder, Johnson was named a “Leading Association Lobbyist” in 2012 and a “Young and Aspiring Association Executive” in 2007 by Association TRENDS magazine.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

I am sure Mr. Johnson will be overwhelmed getting up to speed in the weeks and months ahead. After that, the job gets even tougher.

Top on the list of things to do will be working with coalition partners to increase investment in our nation’s surface transportation infrastructure. The end of MAP-21 is coming fast, and we need a new, adequately funded bill to replace it. In addition, the Highway Trust Fund will be in deficit in 2015 without congressional action. That’s enough to keep him busy around the clock.

Besides transportation, he will have to keep the association on the forefront of health and safety issues; keep a sometimes tenuous working partnership with MSHA moving forward; keep the pressure on EPA and the Office of Management and Budget to reinforce the specific adverse impacts that an over-aggressive regulatory atmosphere has on aggregates operations; not to mention keeping the growing Agg1 show growing, and a hundred other things specific to his membership.

This is a great industry, and Mr. Johnson will find it refreshing that the people around here always tell it like it is, pat you on the back when you do well, and hit you over the head when you don’t.

Here’s to many successful years, Mr. Johnson.

Mark S. Kuhar, editor,