November 24, 2013

"Our Association Family; A Time to be Thankful"

2013 will be remembered as the year our industry realized that a full recovery was under way from what will be known as the "Great Recession." We have so much to be thankful for as the year enters the homestretch. Personally, I am grateful for my family and the memories we have created that will last all of our lives. This is my 54th Thanksgiving, my 32nd as a husband and my 26th as a father. Each era generated so many different remembrances with so many family members. I'm quite sure that most people could relate to what I'm expressing and, right now, have there own very vivid memories.

This is also my 28th Thanksgiving as a member of NAHB. Time stops for no one and I'm no exception. So many memories, so many things to be grateful for as an association member. One of those things I am grateful for has been the opportunity, over the past few years, to have been invited to visit with associations outside my home state of New Jersey. What strikes me most during my visits are how, while the faces are different and accents add distinct flavor, we are all from the same "family." We have the same issues, the same desires and the same challenges as well as the same camaraderie. This ties us together, across the nation, as one big family. Like family we may have our differences and yes, the occasional "we're not speaking to one another" factions. At the end of the day, family will fight for each other when the family is threatened by outside forces and that's how I view, but more importantly, feel about our Federation. 

The family spirit is the uniting factor for our Federation and our industry and for that I will always be grateful. 

God Bless you and yours all year long and remember and cherish those who were in your life and celebrate and love those you are in your life.

Warm Regards,

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

November 10, 2013

"Celebrating a Housing Legend"

What is our federation of home builders associations if not a proud organization built on literally the blood, sweat and tears by those who came before us? We didn't just wake up this morning and started our day by saying "hey, look, a home builder association!" Sometimes though the newer members don't realize that what we currently have was created by others, carefully molded by others and delivered to today, by others. One man, in particular, helped with our association, with such passion and determination one could call it legendary. In fact, in New Jersey one such man is a housing legend, Leonard "Lenny" Sendelsky,
Back row, left to right: Dean Mon, NJ State Representative, Kevin Kelly, NAHB Chairman-elect, Bill Tuyn, National Area 2 (NJ/NY) Chairman. Front row, left to right; Michael Kurpiel, Event Chairman & Master of Ceremonies, Len Sendelsky, NJBA "Lifetime Achievement Award" Recipient, Steve Bomberger, DE State Representative. (not shown, but in attendance, National Area 3 (DE, PA, MD, VA) Chairman, Steve Black)
On October 24th 2014, the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) honored NAHB Housing Hall of Fame and NJBA Legend of Housing Lenny Sendelsky with the their first ever "Lifetime Achievement Award." NAHB Chairman-elect, Kevin Kelly, as well as other NAHB leaders (shown in above picture), were in attendance. Lenny, an NJBA and NAHB member since 1957, was honored by his family, friends and building industry colleagues for his years, which span 7 decades of extremely active volunteerism and devote leadership. Known lovingly around the NAHB BUILD-PAC circles as "The Godfather," Len has been a tremendous inspiration to all, particularly when it comes to the political arena of our industry. I have inserted a link (see below) to Len's tribute video that will demonstrate the lives Len has touched but I would also like to ignite a passion in all of our leaders, from the local level up to NAHB, to remember who it was that delivered to your association such lasting contributions in time, talent and treasure and look to honor those members like New Jersey has done with their very own, Lenny Sendelsky.

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP