It is hard for me to believe that my year as President of the Michigan Home Builders is almost done and Michael Flory will soon be your new State President. The highlight of this year for me has been being able to visit a number of associations around the state and getting to know a number of you and the local EO’s. Each time, it was heartwarming to see and hear about how the locals influence the area. Some of you presented scholarships to the next generation of carpenters and engineers. Others helped build a Habitat House. Others presented awards during local Parade of Homes events. In each case, it was members’ making an impact in their communities by sharing their expertise and what they have learned.

I have found that when we get involved, either with an association project, recruiting new members, sitting on a local Board of Directors, or holding a state office, we are pushed out of our comfort zones. This always results in personal growth and the satisfaction of seeing our fingerprints on ideas that are near and dear to us and that make our communities stronger.

It was a privilege to be able to present the Nail it Awards at the fall convention. These awards are a way of saying thank you to those of you who have made special contributions and have made a difference. This issue of Michigan Builder is also our opportunity to say, “Thank You” to some of you that have come to our attention for the extra efforts that you have made. Thank you for your help and participation in membership drives, community events, increasing local member involvement, volunteering on local and State Boards, and coming alongside of members in our own locals that needed help. I trust that you too feel that it was worth the time you invested in helping your colleagues.

It was a privilege being your President this past year. I want to thank Lynne Pratt who has given so much to this association as she leaves the Senior Officer team. She will be missed. I am excited as I look at the great group of new leaders coming up. On most Fridays, the Senior officers meet through Zoom (a video conferencing technology) to share ideas with each other and stay informed about what is happening in the Association. These meetings provide an opportunity to speak openly about issues that are important to us. Being able to have these conversations without being judged allows us to think deeply about important issues for our industry and Association. We’re able to come alongside Bob and recommend ways to represent you and the rest of our Association effectively. I don’t know of any other Association that accomplishes as much as our staff does. Bob, Lee, Dawn, Pam and Diana are highly respected in Lansing and that serves our Association well.

One final thanks to all of you who have commented on the recommendations from the Strategic Task Force. With all the input that we received, we were able to make needed changes to our Association before we were in trouble. Thanks to all of you and your willingness to invest in this Association. Because of your efforts and involvement, we have a bright and exciting future.


Jack Vander Meulen 2019 President HBA Michigan l