EDITOR'S NOTE: This State Rep Report by Kurt Dinnes is reprinted from the Winter 2014 edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine. Read it here.
By Kurt Dinnes
Oklahoma State Representative
The NAHB is keeping the heat on advocacy and administrative issues that can affect our business. I recently attended the NAHB Fall Board meetings in Phoenix. I left the meetings with two key observations.
The first is that the NAHB is working diligently on a daily basis, on our behalf, with respect to advocacy efforts not only on Capitol Hill but all across our country. This further emphasizes the importance for us to communicate our challenges and successes around our state to NAHB leadership.
The second is that the NAHB is trying to make needed changes, albeit slowly, within the organization. These changes will help provide better communication and services to local and state HBA's, while exploring ways to reach out to and attract the younger generation within our industry. Difficult changes are being considered that rethink the number of meetings and how all meetings within the NAHB can be more efficiently and economically conducted given today's technology.
AFFILIATE DUES RATE
The NAHB Board of Directors approved a 2015 combined budget for the NAHB and the National Housing Center that reflects an increase in the annual dues rate for NAHB Affiliate members to $15 effective Feb. 1. Pending formal ratification of this increase at the 2015 International Builders' Show, the current $5 Affiliate dues will increase to $15 for new and renewing members with anniversary dates of Feb. 1 and subsequent. It should also be noted that there are discussions as to whether proper notices have been given for said ratification and the effective date for the increase may change, provided it is ratified. I will keep you posted.
FIELD REP PROGRAM,
This much needed program was voted in after much discussion on the floor. The program is intended to reconnect NAHB with its locals at a grass roots level by providing assistance to locals with EO training and support and strengthening membership recruitment and membership services provided by NAHB. The field rep program will also be a communication conduit to NAHB so it can better understand issues that are affecting locals across the country.
Each Field Rep will live in the area he/she serves and be on the road in locals 40 weeks a year. The program will start with five Field Reps the first year: one in each region utilizing existing NAHB Staff at a cost of about $690,000. Five more will be added the second year at an additional cost of about $800,000 for a total of $1.5M. An additional five reps will be added the third year. There will be two full-time staff to assist the Field Reps, one in the field and one in-house at NAHB headquarters. This program was eliminated due to budget restraints years ago and the Federation is optimistic about its return.
REDUCTION OF BOARD MEETINGS
In very contested and protracted discussions, the Board voted to reduce the number of required Board meetings from three to two a year, beginning in 2016. The Board asked the Officers to establish a task force charged with developing an appropriate leadership calendar, featuring two Board meetings while preserving the governance and networking needs of the organization. This modification, coupled with a well thought-out meeting strategy, will save money and time for the association as well as board members. It will also make NAHB participation more convenient, rewarding and feasible for many more members.
International Builders' Show: Bigger and Better in 2015
We're going back to Las Vegas, Jan. 20-22, for the 2015 International Builders' Show and second annual Design & Construction Week. Five industry tradeshows will participate: IBS, KBIS, the International Window Coverings Expo and new entries, Las Vegas Market, featuring furniture and home goods and the International Surfaces Event, combining all types of flooring, stone and tile. Just a quick reminder you can register at BuildersShow.com/Register.
First Look: NAHB's New Website!
The new, more user friendly nahb.org website is set to debut at the 2015 International Builders' Show. The entire membership is anxiously awaiting these improvements.
As I mentioned, this is just a brief summary of some of the NAHB Fall Board Meetings. If you would like a complete summary of the NAHB actions, votes and advocacy efforts, please contact us at the OSHBA offices and we will email you a full report.