I tell lawyers I coach that at some point there is a luck factor in client development. I know. I experienced it at least twice. I will share one of those lucky experiences here.

Yesterday, I was the Keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association 2015 Contractor-Engineer Conference. I am giving a second presentation at 10 AM this morning. You may be wondering why I chose to speak to contractors when I am no longer practicing law. If you are read on to find out.

I was told there were between 700-800 at the conference, which I believe is the largest audience for whom I have made a presentation.

Since it was Thursday, I began with a Throw Back Thursday (TBT) story. It was November, 1981 when I gave my first presentation to contractors. On that day, I was speaking to contractors with what is now called  the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance.

Take a moment to picture this scene. I made my presentation with no slides, no notes, no podium, just me standing and speaking to the audience. Needless to say I was well prepared.

After I finished my presentation, a man about my father’s age walked up to me and introduced himself. He said:

I am Harry Lindberg. I am with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). I thought your presentation was very good. How would you like to give it to our national contractors meeting next July?

You know that I was on cloud nine after that offer. That next summer, I gave the presentation at Callaway Gardens resort in Georgia. After the presentation, three Wisconsin contractors invited me to join them for lunch.

We became fast friends. A few years later, Harry Lindberg became the executive of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and, over the years, I gave at least 10 presentations to the Wisconsin contractors.

Ok, here is the reason why I agreed to come to Madison, WI in January: I was met at the airport by Jim Peterson, one of the three contractors. After checking in at the hotel, I had dinner with Harry Lindberg, Jim and Mully and Barb Brenden, another of the two contractors. Tom, the third passed away about a year ago.

Harry is now 91 and no longer plays golf, but he is still plays bridge with a group in Madison. I took this photo and sent it to Nancy.

I am forever Grateful to Harry for giving me the chance to speak to the ARTBA contractors. Clearly I was lucky that he saw me speak. That one opportunity launched my career. Thank you Harry.