It is hard to believe I only have a few short months left as your president of the Home Builders Association of Michigan. I have enjoyed serving and am grateful for the opportunity to have traveled around the state this year and meet with so many of you. By the time you read this publication I will have visited all 24 local home builder associations in Michigan. It has been a very rewarding experience. I’ve learned a great deal (which has helped guide and influence efforts at our state association). And, I’m humbled and encouraged by the great team of leaders I see around our state.
A new era of HBA leaders are stepping forward. I’ve seen it up close and personal. The 30 and 40 somethings have stepped up. They’re there (not in as big of numbers as we’d like but they are there). Most local associations have also turned the corner (financially and otherwise). For those that have, I see enthusiasm and energy that wasn’t there just a few short years ago. People are proudly asking those in the industry to join with them as members. For those locals that haven’t quite turned that corner, most are working hard to re-ignite efforts. This is all encouraging and I must say, for the first time in several years, I am confident that our diverse set of HBAs around the state are poised for growth.
In these past few years we (our state and local associations) have not been afraid to change and experiment with new ways of doing things. That has been the key to our survival. Some of that mud has stuck. We totally eliminated state membership dues (among other things). This unabashed willingness to change has not gone unnoticed. Your national association is now moving to do some of the same things (changing its funding model) we have done here in Michigan. Our CEO, Bob Filka, and I had the opportunity to carry a message of change to NAHB this past month in Miami. We witnessed a historic shift where NAHB’s Board of Directors voted in near unanimous fashion to put off a scheduled dues increase and direct NAHB leaders to come back with an entirely new funding model for our national association.
As I reflect back on this past year and in my years as a state senior officer, I can truly say we’ve moved the bar—good stewardship of the resources you send us; preserving our core strength of advocacy in the legislative, legal and regulatory arenas; unifying local associations and facilitating a sense of team among all 24 local associations; pushing for change at the national level that will, ultimately, benefit and strengthen local HBAs.
I’m encouraged and uplifted by the things I’ve been able to be part of during my years of service to your state association. Having worked with the leaders coming up behind me, I know the state association will be in good hands for years to come.
Chuck Thompson, President HBA of Michigan l