One of Jenny Dixson’s goals as the leader of NWUCA is to promote the trades as a viable option for teens graduating from high school. In February 2020, she visited multiple high school counselors to en- courage them to have their students attend NWUCA’s career fair and provide an opportunity for them to learn the benefits of working in the industry.
“I was getting an overwhelming positive response and our career fair was shaping up to be the largest one yet,” she said. “COVID hit in March and that canceled our career fair, but I want to pick back up with that momentum. Our industry needs to maintain a qualified work force to survive, and I want to spread that message to as many people as I can.”
Dixson said she also is working to recapture what made the NWUCA community special prior to the pandemic.
“NWUCA is a large trade organization that feels like a family. I am constantly amazed at how willing our members are to help make the industry and organization better,” she said. “We have many members that are competitors with one another, and all that gets checked at the door a tour events. The focus is bettering the industry.”
NWUCA is a family that Dixson has come to know well. She began serving as an associate board member shortly after graduating with a political science degree from Western Washington University and going to work for Nelson Trucking Company in 2002. She helped the organization by planning and volunteering at various events through the years.
“I began to really enjoy the industry and found it exciting and chal- lenging. Each day presented something different, and I felt like getting everything moved was like figuring out a puzzle,” she said.
Dixson officially joined NWUCA as an assistant in 2015. On Jan. 1, she was named executive director, taking over for her mother, Melinda Dailey, when she retired.
“My mom left some large shoes to fill. She has been nothing less than exceptional at her job over the last 18 years,” Dixson said. “She has not really given me any advice, but I have watched her for so long that I just hope to do half the job she has done over the years.”
Describing herself as a “Type-A,” Dixson said that planning NWUCA’s events, especially its holiday auction, plays to everything she loves doing.
“I also enjoy our members so much and feel extremely fortunate to have an active board of directors. They are always willing to help in any way and have shaped NWUCA into what it is today,” she said.
“Since becoming the executive director, I have had the opportuni- ty to have meetings with many different municipalities, speak with other organizations and I am learning so much,” Dixson added. “I am fascinated with the complexity of the projects our members do, and I love to point out completed projects to my kids to show them what can be achieved.”