Gary Embler is pictured with his wife, Kelli, and his three daughters Kaelyn, Kelsie and Kristyn.
Gary Embler is pictured with his wife, Kelli, and his three daughters Kaelyn, Kelsie and Kristyn.
For anyone who spends even a small amount of time with Gary Embler, one quickly learns that he has three main priorities: his family, his business and NCHBA. In fact, his solid “family values” are clearly interwoven with each and formed the basis for his presidential theme “Welcome Home”.

He is firmly devoted to his family—his lovely and talented wife Kelli and their three attractive and accomplished daughters Kaelyn, Kelsie and Kristyn. Gary is the very definition of a supportive spouse and involved father. His “family values” extend to his work as a top executive of Niblock Homes which he joined out of college twenty-four (24) years ago. Gary is a perfect fit in this family-owned company. Finally, Gary has embraced the NCHBA as his “extended family” and applied these same “family values” to leading the nation’s largest state home builders’ association to new heights in 2017.

Gary first became exposed to NCHBA when he joined the Cabarrus County HBA in 2003. He later served on the local board of directors and three different terms as local president. He recognized the value that NCHBA was providing which, in turn, motivated him to become NCHBA’s Region VI Vice President and to subsequently join the NCHBA senior officer leadership ladder in 2015. “Through our association, members develop valuable relationships,” Embler said. “These relationships help us learn from one another, be there for one another and ultimately build better businesses together.”

During his frequent travels to local associations—from the mountains to the coast— during 2017, Gary carried this message of “family values” to our membership. And, it resonated as our members understood the importance of working together, as a family, to continue to bring our industry out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

In addition to motivating and leading, Gary took an active role to ensure the success of the association on many fronts during 2017. Just to name a few, those include:

NCHBA had another excellent legislative session in 2017. The General Assembly enacted, and the Governor signed into law, virtually all of NCHBA’s pro-active agenda. Highlights include passage of the Building Code Regulatory Reform Act of 2017; further favorable modification of the sales tax for repair, maintenance and installation (RMI) services; passage of legislation which provides authority for local governments to impose lawful water and sewer fees to expand capacity but under a new structure which has clear standards and limitations; repealing Orange County’s impact fee authority; legislatively reversing an important workers’ compensation decision which would have adversely affected employer rates; providing needed resources to the NC Housing Finance Agency; and successfully thwarting several unfavorable bills.

During 2017, membership grew by almost 2% figures preserving NCHBA’s position as the largest state association in the NAHB federation. Both personally and through his leadership team and other members continued NCHBA’s strong record of involvement in the activities of the National Association of Home Builders as would be expected of an association which comprises almost 10% of the membership of NAHB.

Under Gary’s leadership, the NCHBA Senior Officers and senior staff drafted, and the Board of Directors adopted, a new three-year NCHBA strategic plan—Vision 2020. Further, Gary continued to strengthen the role and accountability of our regional vice presidents as a vital link between NCHBA and our local membership; and maintained NCHBA’s strong financial footing by recording a solid 2017 operating revenue profit which thereby increased NCHBA’s net assets to a record level.

Gary led efforts by the Board of Directors to provide $300,000 in funding to the “Home Builders Education Fund, Inc.” (HBEF), NCHBA’s Section 527 entity. During its initial election cycle in 2016, it was active in 43 primary and general elections races for the NC General Assembly and spent over $250,000 in support of pro-housing candidates. The additional resources provided in 2017 and those anticipated next year will allow the HBEF to play an even more significant role in the 2018 election year. In addition, Gary championed increased giving to NCHBA and NAHB’s political action committees (BUILD-PAC) which both raised post-recession record contribution amounts. Gary also made it a priority for his executive team to give and each of his 10 regional vice presidents were at least President’s Circle contributors ($1,000) to NC BUILD-PAC in 2017.

The NCHBA Volume Builders Council continued to grow. Composed of national and regional production building companies as well as several development companies, these 34 entities pay a special dues assessment for council membership. This council held several meetings during the course of the year providing input and expertise into the formulation of NCHBA’s 2017 legislative priorities. Gary and Niblock Homes played a prominent role in this Council.

The excitement was back at the 15th edition of the 21st Century Building Expo & Conference held in Charlotte in October. The STARS Awards Gala was a highlight of this year’s show.

One of Gary’s priorities was to continue to emphasize NCHBA strong commitment to professionalism and education through the work of the NC Builders’ Institute; the maintenance of strong support for vocational career educational opportunities; and the award, via the NCHBA Educational & Charitable Foundation, of two (2) college scholarships to children of members majoring in residential construction related careers. Gary also led the very successful “Builders Classic” Golf Tournament in April which is the primary funding source for the NCHB Educational & Charitable Foundation’s scholarship program.

While the foregoing successes demonstrate many of the significant accomplishments during Gary’s term, the fundamental gift that Gary leaves to all of us is his commitment to the “family values” that he both represented and imparted. Upon this platform, he motivated his fellow senior officers, his Executive Committee, his committee chairs and the NCHBA staff to reach a new level of achievement. All of us join together to thank Gary for his solid leadership, his commitment to service and for living his “family values.”