I read somewhere on the Internet that the average professional has 2.3 cellular telephones. While I don't blindly believe everything I read on the Web, I tend to think the figure could be correct. Despite the hundreds of dollars I pay monthly to keep my family's lines of communications open, our news sharing efforts need to be improved.

For whatever reason, we seem to quickly share the news about either very happy events or emergency situations. But when things are just on the verge of being good or bad, tough discussions go unspoken. I've experienced this mostly when it comes to discussing family finances.

For example, I can set my calendar by the timing of my son's Monday morning phone call. Despite his best planning, he's always short a few dollars in paying his rent and living the lifestyle to which he's become accustomed. It's been interesting to watch how he's been dealing with the increased cost of gasoline, food, and liquid refreshments.

As we prepared this special issue about our industry leaders and the TCP100, I've discovered that my family members aren't the only folks who hesitate to talk about their tough economic times. A number of producers were reluctant to share their financial results with us.

Our industry is accustomed to tough economic times. And despite the few good years we have just experienced, most producers had expected an end to the dramatic growth.

I'm of the opinion that while the economic times will be tough, our industry is still poised for growth. There are some dynamic reasons for optimism. The acceptance of concrete in all its forms as a sustainable building material is resulting in our product being specified on most Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. This will be evident in our September issue when we announce the winners of the GreenSite Project of the Year. Our staff was pleasantly surprised at the number of nominees we received in the first year of this effort.

The new building code now includes design elements, such as stairwells, that favor concrete. On average, the cement content of all structures is increasing, meaning that concrete is edging out competing materials. And when times get tough, the government tries to jump-start the economy by reinvesting in infrastructure. That means concrete.

For more than 15 years, we have been delivering useful information on how to improve our industry's plants, to develop marketing plans to grow market share based on new trends, and how to incorporate new technologies into operations.

We've been providing this information when times were good. And we promise to continue to do so when times are tough.