Good day fellow OSHBA members, and welcome to fall in Oklahoma. Your State Associates Council met on October 9, 2018, prior to the OSHBA fall Board of Directors meeting and BuildPAC Golf Tournament. In an earlier article, I highlighted the potential shortage of skilled trades and construction management, and past effort by the State Associates Council to provide financial aid and scholarships to Oklahoma students. The primary goals I have for my 1-year term is to raise awareness of the shortage mentioned above; revive our primary method of fundraising while investigating other means and methods; increase the amount available for scholarships; and put in place a structure within the Associates Council going forward to administer the program.

We began by naming a scholarship committee and planning to re-start the silent auctions. I think we made a pretty good start that I hope will increase in scope and involvement. The Associates Council will convene again in November to discuss upcoming silent auction events and allocation of scholarship funds. Last year we allocated $3,400.00 to be matched with $5,000.0 in State budget funds, so we have $8,400.00 available this year. Of this total, the Associates allocated $2,500.00 for the 2018 “Build My Future” event in Tulsa; and, $2,000.00 for a current OSU student pursuing a BS in Construction Management Technology. Disposition of the remaining $3,900.00 will be decided at the November 15, 2018 meeting.

This year, through silent auction proceeds and council reserves, we appropriated $7,500 for the year 2019. With matching funds from the State budget, we have $15,000 appropriated for the year 2019. At the Fall Board meeting the Associates allocated $5,000.00 to the statewide VoTech “Skills USA” program; and, $2,500.00 each to the Oklahoma City and Tulsa “Build My Future” events. Disposition of the remaining $5,000.00 will also be decided at the November meeting.

Beyond these achievements we are working on the total funding of our OU Endowment that, once funded, will allow for an annual $1,000.00 scholarship. Phase 2 of that project is to fund an additional $1,000.00 annual scholarship. We are working with OSU on the same type of program.

Your Associates Council would love to have your involvement. We are not a closed group – all associates are welcome and encouraged to participate with your ideas, your energy, and discussion. The next big event is the Associates Council Silent Auction to be held during the January 19, 2019 state installation of officers and Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame induction. This is a great event that I highly recommend you attend and is an outstanding venue for the silent auction. We need lots of items to bid on so please help us in that effort and support our educational scholarship program.

I have certainly appreciated the opportunity and privilege of serving as Chairman of the Associates Council. It’s been fun as well as challenging, but I believe more than ever that associates are the heart of the association. The men and women who have served on this council for years were an invaluable resource, and I appreciate you all so much. Finally, our new slate of Associates Council officers will be inducted with the other officers on July 19, 2019. Those elected Associates Council officers are:

Chair - Connie Stokes, Coldwell Banker Team Stillwater

Vice Chair - Lisa Rhodes, Stewart Title Company

Secretary - Brianna Ross, Law Offices of Brianna J. Ross, PLLC

Blessings for 2019!