Tony Foust, NAHB 2nd Vice Chair Randy Noel, Kurt Dinnes, Connie Stokes and Kenyon Woods prepare to hear from @RealDonaldTrump speak to NAHB.
Editor's note: This column will be published in the August edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine
By Kurt Dinnes
Oklahoma State Representative
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) held its mid-year board meetings this year in Miami, Florida, and yes, that’s the same Miami, Florida, that has the Zika Virus outbreak. My new cologne of choice for this trip was OFF Mosquito Spray. While dodging mosquitoes and braving the accommodations at the Fontainebleu, both the State Representative’s Meeting and the Executive and Board Meeting agendas were full, so I will do my best to update you on some interesting, but not all, key advocacy efforts, NAHB policy and other information that is relevant to the Oklahoma homebuilding industry.
First, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our Local HBAs across Oklahoma. Oklahoma was one of the first states to fully comply with the NAHB Local Affiliation Agreement initiative. This very basic mutual written commitment between the NAHB and Local HBAs is a good step that will help maintain positive and professional relationships within a Federation of this size.
At this year’s mid-year meeting, we were privileged to hear from both presidential campaigns. In a last minute effort the NAHB leadership was able to get commitments from both the presidential campaigns to come speak to the NAHB members and directors attending here at our hotel during our meetings.
Donald Trump made the commitment to speak to us in person and Hillary Clinton sent her chief economic advisor, Gene Sperling, who seamed to be very knowledgeable about our country's economy. Both shared their campaign platforms and talked about how important the home building industry was to our economy and our nation. Although, the security detail for Trump was time consuming and very thorough it was great to hear from the candidate himself.
The upcoming NAHB 2017 International Builders Show (IBS) will be held in Orlando Florida January 10-12. This design and construction week which includes IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will also feature the new CEDIA Smart Home Pavilion designated specifically for exhibitors who specialize in technology solutions for the home. With over 100 educational classes and 800 plus trade show partners IBS promises to be better than ever. A few other IBS highlights include Payton Manning as the opening speaker, an IBS house party at Mangos Tropical Cafe, a Spike Party featuring the Little Big Town Band, and the new NAHB Member Summit. The new Member Summit is a great opportunity to learn how the NAHB grassroots guide the association’s direction and activities. You will also get to hear about the NAHB’s many membership benefits and network with like minded professionals.
Businesswoman and “Shark Tank” personality Barbara Corcoran will present her unique winning strategies for leading teams to success. Early registration and related discounts are now available on line at BuildersShow.com.
NAHB Dues Increase
The NAHB leadership set a goal for 2016 to have all 50 states visited by an NAHB Executive Officer personally. Approximately 40 states, including ours, during our legislative day and OSHBA board meeting earlier this year, have already been visited in a town hall style meeting. With the feedback received from our grassroots membership the Senior Officers recommended the dues increase previously approved and slated to go into effect on January 1, 2017, be postponed for one year. Proper notice will be given and an official vote of the board of directors pertaining to this recommendation will be voted on at the upcoming IBS Board of Directors meeting.
If you would like to serve on the NAHB Board of Directors I would like to encourage you to check with the Local HBA you are a member of and ask if there are NAHB Board appointments either un-filled or the current appointees are no longer active. This is a great way to get involved and serve. If you are currently a NAHB Board of directors member and wish to serve on or are already on a council or committee, committee appointment applications are open and close October 1, 2016. Remember, if you are on a council or committee you must re-apply each year and be reappointed by senior officers.
Often, I will cover some of the key NAHB advocacy efforts on our behalf in this article, however there are simply to many key efforts and updates to key issues that are important to our industry and unfortunately not enough space in this article to affective address each. For your convenience an updated and very comprehensive outline of the NAHB advocacy efforts is available on the NAHB web site. (http://www.nahb.org/en/members/national-leadership/executive-board.aspx) I encourage you to open this link and see first-hand the issues that affect our industry and the efforts the NAHB takes on our behalf to protect our industry. Just to name a few key issues you will find on our behalf are; updates on the Wetlands (Waters of the United States) environmental issue, Confined Spaces in Construction amendments, the ongoing efforts on the upcoming Department of Labor’s new overtime ruling that basically doubles the minimum salary exemption for certain “white collar” workers, the legislative efforts with the Health Reimbursement Arrangements and the very important ongoing legal battle with the EPA’s Silica Ruling.
As you can see from the NAHB’s advocacy efforts and important ongoing regulations affecting our industry, your HBA membership is more important than ever. However, membership is just the start. Becoming an active member enables you to stay connected with other industry professionals and provides you with countless educational opportunities to stay informed and educated. As a professional in this industry, staying informed and educated can make the difference between a business that’s ordinary or extraordinary. As for myself and our company, active membership does make a difference.
As always, I would like to personally thank you. By reading this very article, you are wisely taking advantage of the work done on your behalf and our industry. This is made possible because of your valued membership in both OSHBA and The NAHB. Once again, if I can be of any help as your NAHB State Representative please contact me, I would enjoy hearing from you.
Kurt Dinnes is president of OSHBA and state rep to NAHB. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at (405) 641-2154.