With the start of the new year, the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association will have a new but familiar face at the helm.
On Jan. 1, Moe Beneke will take over as executive director for Heather Mazurkiewicz, who has resigned to become executive vice president of the Lee Building Industry Association. Mazurkiewicz's last day is Dec. 31.
A selection committee interviewed five applicants, both from in town and from out of state, for Mazurkiewicz's position. The committee decided on Beneke about two weeks ago, and the decision was announced on Friday.
"Moe just had the enthusiasm, the drive, the knowledge and the spirit of the CCCIA," board president Anthony Greco said. "Basically, (she) knows how the organization works and has worked side by side with our members."
He explained that Beneke has lived in the Cape for about a dozen years and that she had been a member of the CCCIA for "quite some time."
She will learn the ropes from Mazurkiewicz until the switch in January.
"She's been working side by side with her (Mazurkiewicz) to see how things work, so it's a smooth transition," Greco said.
Beneke, who worked in mortgage banking for about 30 years, has been involved with the CCCIA since 1999. Since getting out of banking in 2007, Beneke has been active in the Cape and volunteering her time, she said.
"I've been literally waiting for the right job to fall in my lap, and this is it," she said. "Cape Coral and construction is what I do."
Asked about priorities, she cited growing the membership as one.
"We want to give, in any way we can, value to our members," Beneke said. "The bigger we are, the stronger we are, the more we can do for everyone."
The CCCIA's motto for 2013: Build, Belong and Benefit. She explained that the focus is to become more involved in the community and improve the city.
"So that we are part of the community in more ways than just an office," Beneke said.
Part of the future voice and face of the CCCIA, she will try to enhance and convey what the board is trying to achieve as an organization and in the city.
"They've got some serious strong goals," Beneke said.
One is to train locals for the qualified, skilled labor jobs that will exist when the industry begins to flourish again, so there is no need to go elsewhere.
"So that we're ready for the growth," she said. "The year ahead is going to be a lot more positive than people think."
According to Beneke, people are complaining about not having skilled help for jobs, as compared to previous years when the talk was about downsizing.
"And that's good, that is so good to hear," she said. "I think it's going to be a growth mode year."
As executive vice president of the Lee BIA, Mazurkiewicz will oversee the day-to-day activities of the association and look out for the interests of its members and the interests of the area's construction industry in general.
Lee BIA covers Lee, Hendry and Glades counties.
"It was an opportunity to be able to serve the construction industry that I've grown to love on a much larger scale," she said.
Mazurkiewicz took over as head of the CCCIA in 2010, after former executive director Patti Schnell passed away from cancer.
"I'm going to miss the members of the CCCIA, my team here," she said. "But, I'm looking forward to the opportunities for both of the associations."
Greco mirrored that on behalf of the CCCIA.
"Heather took over a few years ago when the economy was bad and we had lost our executive director," he said. "She did a great job of promoting the organization and will be missed."