I am deeply honored to represent you as your Wisconsin Builders Association President for 2018. One question that naturally comes when you take a position like this is why, why would you give so much time back to the industry? For me, that’s easy to answer. I have found that investing time into your industry gives you back so much more in return. I have made personal and business connections too numerous to mention and I have learned so much that has made my business more successful. I’m grateful that I can now pay it forward.

My primary goal for this upcoming year is to continue the WBA’s efforts to get as many members active at the state level as possible. This includes the following initiatives:

  • Creating programs to increase communications and involvement bottom-up. I want to get local Executive Officers, Presidents, Advocacy Group chairs, and Membership chairs more informed and involved at the state level, so that the WBA really reflects the thoughts and will of its members.

  • Visiting locals. My intent is to visit every local personally this year, as there is nothing like face-to-face communications to really see, hear, and feel what is happening at the local level.

  • Restoring NAHB leadership training. We will be restoring NAHB leadership training for the local associations so that our local leaders are prepared and know what to expect from their positions.

  • Filling open state director positions. We want to ensure that all WBA Board of Directors positions are filled so that each local’s voice is heard.

  • Holding two Virtual Member Meeting Days. The first WBA Virtual Member Meeting Day held last October exceeded all expectations, so we will now host two this year in April and October. This means that you have the opportunity to attend two of our meetings from the comfort of your own office, from a participating local association office, or in-person at the Pyle Center in Madison.

In addition to increasing involvement at the state level, building membership is the backbone of any strong trade industry association. There is absolute strength in numbers that get the attention of local, state, and national legislators, and the WBA is one of the most (if not the most) recognized political voices within our state. We absolutely must maintain our numbers to keep that voice heard, and you will soon be hearing about some new initiatives from both the WBA and NAHB to help recruit and maintain members, especially younger members. (Our current membership is skewing much older, with most members well into their 50s.)

Beyond these initiatives, however, I look to our current membership’s potential to assist in recruitment, and I would like to set a goal of each member recruiting one member this year. I believe this is attainable, and the effect it would have on our association would be tremendous. In other words, let’s build our association together.

Lastly, the WBA will be very active politically this upcoming year as 2018 is a governor’s election year, and many of our state senators and representatives will be up for election as well. It is crucial that we elect state government officials that strongly represent issues that positively affect our industry, and we need to know that they will resist undue regulations, taxes, and fees that keep our industry from flourishing. Over the last ten years, we have made tremendous strides in this respect, but it is of utmost importance that we maintain these accomplishments and build on them in the coming years.

After many challenges 6-10 years ago, our industry has regained its strength. Let us keep moving forward together, as a strong and vibrant industry is good for all of us!

Thank you once again for this opportunity, and I look forward to meeting as many members as I can this coming year. If you would like to contact me directly, please email me at president@wisbuild.org – I promise a quick response.