NSSGA CEO & president stepping down to live with husband in England

Tina Grady Barbaccia

September 5, 2012

Jennifer Joy Wilson, CEO and president of NSSGA
Jennifer Joy Pinniger, CEO and president of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, will retire from her professional career on Nov. 2 to move to England with her new husband, where he currently resides

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) President and CEO Jennifer Joy Pinniger is stepping down from her position as of Nov. 2, 2012, to relocate to live with her husband in England.

Pinniger was married earlier this year and has resided in the United States since her marriage. She “has advised she is retiring from her professional career and plans to relocate for at least a good part of each year to live with her husband in England,” according to a statement issued Sept. 5 by NSSGA Chairman of the Board of Directors Ron Summers of Glendora, Calif.-based CalPortland Co.

“I know I speak for the Board, our members, and our staff in expressing our decidedly mixed feelings about accepting Joy’s decision to leave…we would have preferred her to stay here and continue leading NSSGA as she has done an outstanding job for the association and the industry for nearly 16 years,” Summers says in the written statement. “Yet, we are also happy for her in her recent marriage to a British citizen, and anticipated that this would cause the couple to soon make a decision on their future location.”

In her formal letter to Summers, dated Sept. 5, Pinniger writes that it is “with great happiness and sadness” she formally announced her retirement “to embrace my new married life in both England in and the United States.”

Pinniger says in relinquishing her position she is leaving “a position of trust and responsibility that has fulfilled and honored me, enabling me to work for the betterment of our industry and our country…NSSGA leaders enhance industry credibility, voice, and effectiveness with government decision-makers and neighbors.”

She notes in the resignation letter that it was in October 1996 when she joined the association. Now, 16 years later after a national merger, three highway bills, a Great Recession, and two office moves, she says it seems appropriate to “hang up Mrs. Executive Busy Mom’s high heels, briefcase, and pearls for scarves and touring cars.”

Pinniger says she and her husband have criss-crossed the Atlantic many times to visit each other, while both remained vigilant with their work. “This has tested our mettle – and the mettle hjas tested us, colleagues, and friends. Our new adventures envision many more ‘pond crossings’ in the future, together.” (For copy of Pinniger’s formal announcement to the NSSGA Chairman of the Board, click here.

Summers notes that since Pinniger joined the National Stone Association, a.k.a. NSA (which later became NSSGA through a merger) in December 1996, “she grasped the essence of our industry and the goals of our association. With enormous dedication, Joy [Pinniger] traveled annually around the country to meet with members, state aggregates associations, non-members and allied industry groups to listen, learn, forge partnerships and build alliances around key common challenges.

From visiting more than 80 aggregates operations – “before she stopped counting” – quips Summers, to presenting 15 annual association budgets and the governing body of NSSGA without any dues increase, as well as nurturing NSSGA post-merger, “Joy [Pinniger] has helped membership and staff  achieve significant success in building the association’s strength, instrumental in achieving our public policy goals,” Summers continues in the written statement.
“Joy announced in her first year that she would apply her experience in government and politics to ‘romance the stone’ – to help decision-makers, our own workforce and the public better understand the purpose and value of our industry,” Summers points out in the statement. “The Smithsonian’s Rocks Gallery is an NSSGA-member endowed opportunity for the aggregates story to be told from the vantage point of a world-renowned educational institution – an example of teamwork between innovative members and colleagues on staff.”

“She credits her colleagues, her chairmen, members, Board and well-informed decision-makers as well as allies to NSSGA’s success.  She retained a team of professional colleagues who embody excellence and commitment to our cause.  Besides helping our industry target and leverage efforts to go all out for three federal transportation bills enacted during her tenure, she emphasized the industry’s ethics and credibility through our companies’ commitments to safety and health resulting in 11 years of record-breaking achievements. 

The environmentally benign nature of the aggregates business, paired with the compliance ethics of the sector, enables NSSGA communications strategy to resonate in a bipartisan manner, Summers says. He adds that with diplomatic leadership, Pinniger’s “policy, management and motivational strength has helped [NSSGA] members reinforce message and build relationship bridges to fend off unjustified regulations like PM10 and inappropriate legislation that doesn’t properly distinguish aggregates operations from others.”

Summers describes Pinniger as “a synthesizer of inputs, highly consultative and yet when a decision is made, she holds tough on applying it.”

It’s only now that the association is beginning to see the impact from applying 21st century technology in assisting NSSGA in bringing together a more unified and informed voice of the industry, Summer notes. “We will miss Joy Pinniger and wish her the very happiest of futures,” he adds.

Despite Pinniger’s departure from the association, the association will remain strong and won’t feel any negative impact. Summers says NSSGA is confident that it is “on a steady keel,” pointing out that NSSGA “has enviable operating reserves restored after the 2008 downturn.  America’s economic growth is enabled when the aggregates industry is strong.”

Although a specific time frame has not been indicated, the recruiting and selection process for a new leader of NSSGA will be soon announced, according to Summers.

NSSGA also plans to have a farewell tribute to Pinniger at the association’s fall board meeting.


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