The small local home builders association (HBA) with a one person staff, with maybe another staffer or part timer, is a wonder to behold. Day in and day out they are the protectors of the local HBA. And let's face it; the local HBA is extremely important to the strength and well being of both the state HBA and the National Association of Home Builders. Yet these unheralded guardians of our association are not being as respected as they should be. Let me point out a "few" of the functions that make up the local executive officer's world which include, but are not limited to;
- Take phone calls during the day to answer questions from members or industry professionals who are not members but want answers, regardless
- Recruit members
- Retain members
- Work to appease disgruntled members
- Referee disagreements between members
- Recruit volunteers for committees
- Sit in on committee meetings and keep focus
- Takes on more work that the committee decides is needed for an event or initiative
- Makes sure that the event or initiative brings value to the association itself or for individual members
- Taking up slack for a volunteer who volunteered in name only
- Help to obtain sponsors for events
- Make phone calls to get members to attend events
- Make phone calls to get board members to attend
- Send out emails, more emails, to remind members of events
- Help to make the budgeted profit dollars for events
- Explain why budgeted profit dollars were not met
- Prepare the agenda for the board meetings
- Make sure to keep the board meetings on track
- Work to appease disgruntled board members
- Work with staff at the state HBA
- Enter information into the WMS system for members to NAHB
- And... probably much more
What can we do to help the EO, which in turn helps us all? Let's start with our local board of directors and committee members;
- Committee members; do not create extra work for your EO. A volunteer that takes control and does what they say they will do is a professional I would want to know. Remember, the event(s) that you are volunteering your time are to help your livelihood because net profits go directly to the health of an HBA.
- Don't be a seat warmer. Become actively engaged in the very association you swore an oath to on installation day. Take ownership in you local's success and work to help figure out why there have been "not so successes." Believe it or not (and I suggest you believe it), the EO needs each of you to help support the goals and ambitions of the HBA.
- Help motivate volunteers for committee work and praise them for their efforts. This helps the EO keep volunteers, something that is deeply appreciated.
- Take a small or large financial role in the local. Attend general membership meetings, take out a sponsorship, depending on your business' discretionary income availability. Pick up the phone or type out and send an email to members you know to help engage them in the HBA. Showing a commitment to the HBA is to lead by example and HBA successes will follow and grow.
- Help to keep positivity flowing during the board meetings. Work to eradicate board members who are happiest when they are at their most miserable. Don't let the negative actions of a few tamper the overall board's enthusiasm or derail new thoughts and conversations. This is not a club, it's an association designed to help our businesses thrive.
Mr. or Ms. President;
- You are the key to an EO that needs to be, and feels, supported. You are THE leader of the HBA. Your role in keeping the unnessecary burdens placed on your EO to a minimum. There are only 24 hours in a day, not 25. There are only 7 days in a week, not 8. The 24/7 is ONLY if the EO has no outside life with a family or a need for downtime to eat or sleep. In other words, time management for a local EO is predicated on volunteers that actual help.
submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP