APC Spring Conference Brings Lessons on Leadership and Relationship Building to Life on Gettysburg Battlefield

Approximately 140 members of the highway construction industry, PennDOT, and the PA Turnpike Commission met in Gettysburg on April 20-21 during the 2023 APC Spring Conference. This year, APC partnered with the Gettysburg Foundation to curate a program focused on leadership development and relationship building from the lens of the Battle of Gettysburg. Three coach buses loaded with industry members learned about ordinary people who made extraordinary leadership decisions with stops at key battlefield locations along the way.

The morning started with remarks from APC President Al Hoffman, PennDOT Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary Daryl St Clair, and PennDOT Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Nicole Tyler. Then participants made their first stop at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center to view the introductory film “A New Birth of Freedom” to provide a foundation for the rest of the day spent with the guides on the battlefield.

Some of the themes discussed throughout the two days on the battlefield included managing ambiguity; making decisions based on resources, team morale, and other variables; how to effectively gain buy-in and solicit opinions; balancing the political elements of decision-making; and the importance of clear communication and expression of a clear vision. Groups also compared the leadership and communication styles of various leaders and how those styles ultimately affected the outcome of the battle. Participants gained insights on tactics that remain relevant and effective in their careers today.

The conference also included a reception, sponsored by Trumbull Corporation, and dinner, sponsored by High Steel Structures, during the evening. At dinner, participants had the chance to flex their new-found knowledge gained on the battlefield, as well as a variety of other topics, during Trivia with everyone’s favorite game show host and McNees Wallace & Nurick counsel Jim Kutz. Following dinner and a little friendly competition (Nice work, table 10!), some of the participants joined in on a private ghost tour which stopped at areas that included the Jennie Wade House, the Presbyterian Church, the Adams County Courthouse and Gettysburg Murder House. Tour guides shared stories of overcrowded field hospitals, gruesome amputation techniques, grisly murders, and more.

Thank you to all who attended and to the annual partners and sponsors that supported this program.