It is hard to believe my year as your president of the Home Builders Association of Michigan will be up in the next couple of weeks. I have enjoyed serving and am grateful for the opportunity to be a senior officer of our great association. While everything this year did not turn out exactly as planned, we definitely were not afraid to try some new things for the betterment of our association.
The first new thing we tried was the Great Lakes Builders Show. While the inaugural event at Ford Field did not have the member participation we were hoping for, it could still be a good investment in the long run. The HBA of SE Michigan has taken over management of the show and hopefully a new location will draw more members better ensure success. The 2016 show will be held at the Suburban Showplace in Novi February 17th and 18th.
We also created a membership sales position at our state association this year—in partnership with eight of our local associations. This attempt at member recruitment reinforced our knowledge that in this day and age, it is difficult to get people to join any type of association. It also taught participants that our message has to continually evolve. It used to be the association was about helping people find more business opportunities. Today, it needs to be about helping members manage their time more efficiently and helping with things like finding workers.
At our fall board meeting we voted to eliminate state membership dues and try a fixed fee model for funding the state association. This new fee structure will allow locals to keep more of their new dues and invest in their own associations.
With members all over the state finding it difficult to find qualified workers, our forming the Skilled to Build Foundation may end up being our most important long term strategy we instituted this year.
I am proud to have been able to help lead an association that has been so important to my business over the years. While our future is most definitely uncertain, I know our state association will survive and thrive if we continue to keep our eyes open to new ways of doing things. Sincerely,
Bill Benedetto President l