What/who prompted you to become a member?
I got involved for all the wrong reasons. I had been assigned the task of saving and growing the financially failing satellite location of a business. ( I killed it by the way and increased sales about 650% in a few years. And did it through a recession! ) It was a year or so prior to the housing crash. Ownership wanted a presence in the association that they were not currently getting. I saw it as an opportunity to assist growth for the sales center I was assigned, so I got involved and eventually went on to become a council chair person, board member and eventual Associate of the Year.
How long have you been a member?
I’ve completely lost track. Sometime between 2003 and 2006 which would put it at around 10-12 years now.
How/who first got you involved and what did you do?
As I recall my first assignment was becoming the Chair Person for the local remodeling council. When the housing crisis happened NAHB saw the future potential for the remodeling industry and created a remodeling division. Many builders were becoming remodelers due to the lack of new construction work. Local councils were set up and local associations were given benefits to having an active council. I believe I was the 2nd or 3rd Remodeler’s Council chair person for the association. One of the requirements was to attend monthly board meetings and provide updates on the council. In doing so I was able to see what the board of directors did, how it operated, and learned that the passion of the association and board was much more than I was ever aware. This group of industry professionals was and is dedicated to the preservation, protection and advancement of the construction industry as a whole. I’m a firm believer in the principal of having two ears and one mouth for a reason. I enjoyed listening and learning from business owners much more accomplished and learned than I was at the time. I knew it was something I wanted and needed to be involved in at a higher level, and very quickly became an official member of the board. Now many years later I serve as New Castle County Vice President. I’m still learning and growing as a member.
What were your expectations when you joined? Have they changed?
They have completely changed. I joined as an associate with the expectation of getting business from builders for the company I worked for. I quickly realized that being a part of this organization was much more. The construction industry as a whole is critical to my success as a business owner, and the well-being of my family and employees. The HBA-DE along with NAHB is the only organization in our great state that supports the industry that feeds my family and the families of my employees. The employees of the association along with the many volunteers dedicate their time and resources to promoting our industry and protecting it from legislators and over reaching, costly regulations. My expectations now are only to be involved with this great group of people and be a part of change as much as I am able. I also enjoy giving back to other members in the form of business whenever possible.
How has HBADE membership impacted your business?
As a member I have obtained several industry certifications through NAHB. This training and the resulting designations set me apart from my competitors as a true industry expert and professional.
Fun fact about yourself?
I am a retired, Grammy Award nominated, professional musician. I recorded an album which received national record distribution and is available to this day via Amazon, I-tunes and other on-line sources. I toured the eastern us with my band and southern rock legends, The Outlaws in 2004 and 2005. I walked away because I learned very quickly to despise the music industry as a whole and how shady managers and record companies got rich on the backs of artists and songwriters. All that and $1.00 won’t buy me a cup of coffee, but it was a blast! Now I am the father of two great kids and just being Dad is awesome.
What wisdom/advice do you have for future members?
Don’t join because you expect instant gratification and sales. Join because you love the industry we have all chosen to be a part of. Join because you understand the destruction big government and legislation causes our industry in the form of taxation and over-regulation. Every new law that is passed takes away another piece of your freedom. Every new law or tax that is imposed and involves construction raises the cost of the product or service you are selling. This makes it harder for you to sell your service or product, make a fair profit, and make a living. Join because you are passionate about what you do and you understand that we as an organization support you in our efforts. And finally, once you join, get involved, have fun with it, and be patient. Good things come to those who wait. And good things come to those in our association who volunteer and get involved.