By Nicholas Johnson, Chief Evangelist, Kahua

Since the summer of 1978, I have had the good fortune of working in some capacity in the field of engineering, design, and construction. That’s long enough to have learned a few lessons and hopefully honed a few skills. Nothing helped me understand my responsibilities as a designer more than learning the construction side of our industry. Nothing helped me understand more about construction than teaching people about construction technology.

Nothing helped me understand more about how a business works than taking on a sales quota. And several times I experienced that nothing will help you understand the challenges of another person’s position more than stepping into their shoes.

A New Approach

Taking on a new role last year and entering the marketing profession, I’ve learned many new lessons and affirmed many others. Having been in for-profit sales or non-profit fundraising for the previous 20 years after spending the first 20 years on the design side, I had a particular lens with which I saw the business world. I went to events like CURT conferences looking for certain things from certain people. My activities were focused on narrow targets and specific goals.

Now, as the Chief Evangelist for Kahua, I approach CURT and other industry groups/events very differently. My goal now is to generally help a broad audience gain awareness of what makes my company and our solutions valuable to our industry. When it comes to getting value for your company from your investment in CURT or any other industry association, a few truths remain constant, no matter your approach.

If you want to get more from the time and resources you put into CURT, put more into it. Can you hear your parents’ voices when – as a teenager – you complained about having to participate in some class or group, or team? I can. I might have said, “I don’t get anything out of it!” And my parents would reply, “What have you put into it?”

If you want to get more from your investment in CURT, do something more. Volunteer to help in some way. Join a committee and give your input. Kahua President Brian Moore serves on the Construction Technology and Productivity committee. I have learned a tremendous amount by being part of the Offsite Construction Committee. And I now have a few more go-to resources for advice.

I joined the committee not knowing if it was a fit for what our software platform can provide. It turns out that it is, and we may be able to create solutions for offsite construction processes that no one has ever thought possible. The point is that these things don’t happen because you show up and listen to a presentation. They happen because you invest in the good of the organization and the good of the industry.

If you want to get more from the time and money you spend on CURT, don’t just show up … dive in.

If you’d like to learn more about Kahua for owners, Kahua for contractors, or Kahua for subcontractors, please visit

Nicholas Johnson has over 40 years of experience in the design and construction industry, including 15+ years combined with Autodesk and Trimble. Starting as a building design engineer with General Dynamics and Heery International (now CBRE), his career grew around the latest technologies. He now has the honor of serving the AEC industry as Kahua’s Chief Evangelist.