It has been my true pleasure to serve as the WBA President since my installation in late January of 2018. When we work together as builders and associate members of the WBA, it never ceases to amaze me at what we can accomplish to improve our association and advocate for public policy items that decrease the cost of housing for Wisconsin families.

I wanted to first thank you for entrusting me to serve as your president, as well as touch upon some highlights from the past year.

New Health Insurance Member Benefit

This summer, the WBA introduced an association health insurance plan that is now available through the Insurance Center of Wisconsin and underwritten by WPS Health Insurance. WBA membership is required of the business owner, there is health underwriting, and health insurance must be offered to all your employees.

This new health insurance plan is a great new benefit for our existing members and a powerful recruiting tool for prospective members. Several new members have already been recruited because of the plan and have saved substantially on healthcare costs. Recently, it was reported that a Milwaukee-area member was able to save $14,000 per year by switching to our new association health plan.

For more information on this plan and to work with someone from The Insurance Center of Wisconsin please go to wisbuild.org/health-insurance-public.

Marketing Directly to Non-Members About Membership Benefits

In the past year, the WBA has begun marketing directly to nonmember contractors in Wisconsin who currently hold a DSPS contractor credential but are not current members of a local HBA/WBA/NAHB. This process not only educates non-member industry professionals about what the Wisconsin Builders Association does throughout the state, but serves as a way for the state-level organization to actively recruit on behalf of the locals.

These efforts have yielded a significant increase in prospective member leads, and the recently passed 2019 WBA budget includes funds to continue this process next year.

Opening Member Meeting Day for More to Attend Online

One of the first decisions I made after being installed as president was to offer members the opportunity to attend our Member Meeting Days either in-person or online for our April and October meetings. This followed the successful launch of the online meeting platform for the first time in our association history in October 2017.

With the later date of the next President’s Installation Dinner on February 8th, 2019, we will hold only three Member Meeting Days in 2019 (February, June, and October). The February and June meetings will be in-person since they are scheduled around our installation event and the WB Foundation Golf outing. The October meeting will again give members the option to attend in-person or online.

Another Successful Legislative Session

The core of what WBA can provide to you is a strong partner and advocate at the state capitol. We have previously reported in detail several of the big wins we have been able to pass since the start of the legislative session in January 2017.

The list of advocacy wins is long, but some highlights include streamlining the process for housing development in areas that contain wetlands, a six-year review for the electrical code for one and two family homes, additional cuts to property taxes, the creation of a Wisconsin “RESCheck” for energy code compliance, and giving the legislature the ability to object to any administrative rule for any reason.

Again, thank you for the honor of being able to serve as your association president this year. If we continue to work together in 2019 and beyond, we can continue to accomplish great things for housing in the future.