No doubt, these are strange times in our industry. From manufacturers to suppliers to contractors--even magazine editors--we're all adjusting to changing conditions and the latest reports on the worsening economy. It isn't easy to find good news these days, that's for sure, and optimists are few and far between.

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Rick Schwolsky

But they do exist. I've just had the pleasure of working with an incredible team of optimists representing companies in the tool, truck, computer, communications, building products, and work-wear industries. This team came together to create and launch this year's Site Commander national work truck tour. These are the people I would choose if ever I find myself on a "Survivor" TV team.

Beyond their optimism, these brand leaders have all the traits of survivors, which bode well for their brands and are at the core of the Site Commander's success: hard-earned experience and highly developed instincts; low-ego, forward-thinking focus; open-minded, collaborative problem solving; mission-oriented determination; fearless response to setbacks and inevitable changes; willingness and wisdom to share solutions that prevent gaps in communication and advance real progress; and crucial abilities to work hard yet have fun doing it.

These traits can help any team survive, whether facing the challenges of a project like the Site Commander or the test of these times. As LENOX's Rich Mathews, one of the program's strongest champions, said at the September unveiling of the three Site Commanders in Detroit: "Launching an ambitious national program like this might seem counterintuitive in the face of current market conditions, but we feel it's important for leading companies to move forward, and we aren't going to shrink back from challenging times."

The same can be said for our other fully engaged sponsors: Carhartt, Dell, Dodge, Georgia-Pacific, Reading Body, Segway, Sprint, Therma-Tru Doors, and Werner Ladder. Together, these companies have created the most innovative, technology-packed, fun-filled Site Commander features ever combined into a concept work truck.

The national tour, which began in late October, will bring the Site Commanders to more than 400 Lowe's locations as well as jobsites and trade shows from coast to coast. Not only can you see how mobile computer and communications gear can change how you run your jobs and companies, but you'll also get a first-hand look at brand new products and jobsite solutions that will save you real time--time you can use with your team to map out a path for surviving today's challenges.

Go see the Site Commander when it appears near you. Check out its features, try out the new tools and technologies, and get a good dose of optimism while you're at it.

Rick Schwolsky, editor in chief rschwolsky@hanleywood.com

Visit www.thesitecommander.com to see where the Site Commander will appear near you and to enter for your chance to win the Site Commander sweepstakes.