June 24, 2012

"Summer 2012 is Offically Here"

Association Maximization will be taking off the months of July and August returning on September 2nd. 
When we come back we will begin a series titled "Selling to Builders for Dummies," your basic guide to building industry product and service sales. 

Take the time to enjoy this time of the year. Family and friends are very precious and so is our time here on Earth. Be safe, have fun, continue adding memories.

Submitted by:
Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

June 17, 2012

"Left Click to Maximize Your HBA Membership"

"Time is money." ~ Benjamin Franklin.   
The same could be said of not maximizing all your HBA has to offer. The local HBA offers tremendous career building opportunities, particularly with the educational programs offered and local networking availability.  Your local executive officer can bring you up to date on the many benefits of your particular local and you, as a member, should understand what and where you have invested your dollars. If Mr. Franklin were alive today and he looked at your HBA investment, I'm positive his 2012 version of his quote would be "It's your money. Take the time to learn how you can maximize your investment." Or something like that ;-)

"Links That Could Help Strengthen Your Knowledge"

 One of the best ways to maximize your NAHB membership is to take advantage of certain areas on NAHB.org.  Some of the items below are for members of NAHB. If you are a member you will need to login to NAHB.org to access Login Now (click here)

Need an NAHB Staff Contact?

What's Next for NAHB Members and Staff?

Special NAHB Reports:

NAHB: Education is Power


Submitted by:
Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

June 10, 2012

“A 'Thank You,' from a Builder to an Associate”

Today's guest blogger is a builder from New Jersey, Bill Asdal from American Micro-Homes, LLC. Bill is a past president (1995) of The Community Builders & Remodelers Association, Whippany, NJ, and was a past officer of The New Jersey Builders Association (2000-01). Bill is a life director of NAHB and chaired NAHB's Remodelers Council in 1996. He also chaired the NCHI (Leading Suppliers Council) in 2002.

Bill's national awards are as follows:

2006 NAHB Green Advocate of the Year
2007 NAHB Remodeling Hall of Fame
2012 NAHB Instructor of the Year

I have known Bill for many years; he is as dedicated to our industry as they come.

“A Public Thank You, from a Builder to an Associate”
                                                                      by Bill Asdal 
Bill Asdal
American Micro-Homes, llc
Builders and Associates are foremost citizens of this great country.  We are watching before our eyes the continued erosion and intentional destruction of property rights and outright theft of asset value from land owners.  One associate stood up and expressed his frustration challenging a local board to stop the takings.  He lost the vote of the board but we all won a new appreciation for one individual standing in the face of takings and trying to stop it.  He is a solid citizen and his actions can be held high for all to see. 
Last week my wife and I were at a Zoning Board hearing in Califon, NJ for an interpretation of whether there existed two lots or one lot associated with a property we had under contract for purchase. The listing, and hope, was there were two lots so we could restore the existing home and build a micro-home on the second half acre lot. These small homes may just be the next generation of housing to fill America’s dreams while consuming nearly no energy and a tiny footprint. Our prototype in NY cost just $19.00 to heat in January! 
We look and work for solutions that can make better lives. The board seemed open minded but the municipal planner, engineer, and attorney all have clearly been steeped in the past decades of “application negativism” and had honed skills of finding the worst scenario while casting off responsibility to “law”, “DEP”, “precedent”. To say the least, two of the professionals were arrogant. 

Multiple times the board attorney cited the demeaning “these board members would simply not understand this issue”. Really? The planner continually and pompously professed legal opinions well beyond her qualifications.

Without replaying the case, let it stand that the seller (estate) bought two lots in 1950 and 1955, built a home and raised a family there for the rest of their lives. The extra lot had a municipal lot and block assigned, a deed, a tax assessment, and the borough collected taxes every year. We made our case. The feeling in the room was dark with the professionals attacking the existence of the second lot with statute and verse, case and law saying it had been merged with the main lot by a “doctrine of merger” unbeknownst to the owners for 53 years and somehow escaping the tax collectors grasp that it was gone to regulatory confiscation.

As the final vote was nearing, the public was granted time to speak on the question at hand. The attorney for the estate made his points that the family held the lot for financial emergencies, that it was not maintained as lawn or used for the main home. Then a gent  from the back row arose and asked to be recognized. He is 70 years old and told the board he has been in the real estate business for over 37 years. He said he has watched laws take property from owners. He said citizens write off as impossible the hurdles to change the ways of the federal government. He said most surrender to the regulations of the DEP and the Highlands and are vanquished by the often illogical regulations. He said but HERE we have local citizens volunteering for local service who have a chance to protect a local residents family. The parents are gone. The heirs are at risk. He said before my very eyes tonight I am watching a “takings” of land occur. He asked the board members to think hard about their vote. He asked if there could be notice to all others in similar situations to protect their land and family holdings. He asked them to take a first step in defending rights at the local level for a local family. He asked they not be silently compliant in the collapse of remaining property rights. It was clear he moved some board members. On his conclusion the man sat back down.
The board attorney dismissed the emotion in the air and remanded the board to vote NO to the existence of the second lot. He told them they had no choice according to the law.
The vote recognizing the two lots went down by a vote of 2-6. The family lost their savings. I can find no answer to who benefits to this denial.

I am moved to chronicle these 90 minutes of hearing to recognize the man who pulled at the heart strings of the board. He didn’t need to stand. He didn’t need to be heard. He may have taken the last step in defense of any property rights of the land owner. I think hopefully that he may have taken the first step in a broad citizen rejection of our surrender of rights to government.
Sig Schorr was this last man contributing to the public discussion. Sig is a good man. He is the real deal. He is a contributor to a better society. I hope his steps to the front of the room and plea for sanity of our citizens will be a small candle to illuminate the way for others to step forward. Those with seats at the table should be guided by such strength. We need to cultivate more citizens like Sig Schoor. Thanks Sig for the wisdom, effort and reluctance to retreat from the country we were raised in. It was inspirational.

Submitted by:

June 3, 2012

"NAHB Volunteer Members Are Special; Let's Recognize Them"

 This week's guest blogger is Diana A. Lucero, CGA, CGP, CAPS, an associate member from New Mexico. Diana is The NAHB Associate Members Committee's Advocacy sub-committee vice-chairman. 

Diana also is very active back home local, The HBACNM:
  • Membership Chair
  • Parade Chair
  • Remodelers Council Bowling Tournament Chair
At the state level;
  • New Mexico Home Builders Association's Associate Vice President and Finance Chair
At the National level;
  •  NAHB Board of Directors and BUILD-PAC Trustee

Diana A. Lucero, CGA CGP CAPS
As a longtime member and current Vice-Chair of the Associates Advocacy Committee I realize the importance of recognizing those members that go that extra mile to promote the value and importance of the Home Builders Association.  In order to help recognize these outstanding members, we have three categories of awards that are given out each year.  This year’s awards will be given at the Associates Awards Presentation at the International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas in January, 2013.

The NAHB Associate of the Year and Society of Honored Associates Awards (click here) recognize associate members who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding contributions on the local, state and national levels of the home building industry and to NAHB. 

Each state is invited to submit one nomination for the NAHB Associate of the Year and Society of Honored Associates Awards.  Nominations will be accepted from state presidents, executive officers, or (in states without a state association) NAHB State Representatives.  Nominees must be associate members in good standing with NAHB.  Nominees who have previously been inducted into the NAHB Society of Honored Associates within the last two years will automatically be considered for the 2012 Associate of the Year Award.  These nominees will be given the opportunity to update their entry.

A panel of five impartial judges select up to five outstanding entries.  The most outstanding associate is named Associate of the Year and up to five are inducted into NAHB’s prestigious Society of Honored Associates. 

The NAHB BEAM (Builders Engaging Associate Members) Award (click here and email NAHB's Betty Thweatt for information) is an honor bestowed on one builder member (may be a builder, remodeler or developer) who is chosen, by a committee of Associates, as the one who best exemplifies the motto “it’s good business to do business with a member.”   This award serves to encourage builder members to use the goods and services offered by member companies and to recognize the one builder who exemplifies this vitally important teamwork. 

Your state association will judge all applicants and then submit one builder as the state recipient to NAHB to compete for the 2012 NAHB BEAM Award.  The final decision is not based on the greatest percentage of associate members they use, but also on their relationship with those associates.  Therefore every builder, whether large or small, has an equal opportunity to become the proud recipient of this prestigious award. 
Nominations and additional information regarding this award will be available soon.  .

The Bill Polley BUILD-PAC Award (click here) was established 12 years ago to recognize the most outstanding Associate member advocate of BUILD-PAC, NAHB’s political action committee  on the local, state and national levels.  Named in honor of Bill Polley, the award acknowledges the associate members who best epitomize Bill’s ardent loyalty and support.  All NAHB Associate members are invited to submit nominations.  A three-judge panel will review the nominations.  The judges include a past Associate Committee chair, Associates Advocacy (BUILD-PAC) Subcommittee chair and BUILD-PAC Subcommittee vice-chair. 

The judges select the winner based on his or her demonstrated BUILD-PAC advocacy at ALL levels of NAHB, including:
  •  Leadership roles in BUILD-PAC local, state and national fundraising 
  •       Efforts to increase Associate members’ understanding of the importance of BUILD-PAC and to encourage grassroots participation and growth
  •  Overall enthusiasm and distinguished service
Deadline for nominations is Monday, October 29.

 Acknowledging our members for their accomplishments is a great way to keep them involved.  I encourage all of you to distribute this information and to look in to your membership pool for someone who may be worthy of one of these awards.  Let’s continue to work together to keep our association strong and active.  

If I can be of any assistance, please click on my signature below. Thank you and hope to see you all this week in Washington, DC. 

Note: If you would like to know more about our NAHB Associates Meeting while attending Spring Board, it will be on June 8th, 10:30 AM, at the NAHB Housing Center. If you can't attend in person please attend by webinar:

Friday, June 08, 2012
10:30 AM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT

NAHB Associates Committee
This particular member team is well practiced at utilizing virtual meeting tools. Listen as these members review the status of 2012 priority projects. During this meeting participants will be provided updates on a number of Association Programs (Associate Outreach Network, BUILD-PAC, NAHB Affinity Opportunities, and Education & Designation Offerings). Be a part of this dynamic membership group! Register (click here) to participate now.