14 Dec Remembering 2020
What a year. When starting my time as IBA president after our December board meeting last year, I never would have expected what 2020 had in store for us as individuals, a community and an industry. I came in to my term as IBA president with the goal of visiting every local association and advocating for membership retention and involvement. When the COVID-19 pandemic became a serious threat to our state and country, it became clear that those goals may need to be shifted. We started to worry about the effects that the pandemic would have on the housing industry and what we needed to do to make sure we came out on the other side with as few blows as possible.
To say we went in swinging is an understatement. We proved that the housing industry was an essential part of our nation’s economy and continued to work safely on the job. We fought through a virtually unknown disease, lumber shortages, elections and a completely new way of living our everyday lives in the hopes that we could continue providing the American Dream of owning a new home to Hoosiers. I have never been more proud to be part of such a resilient community of professionals that took a potentially disastrous situation and turned it in to something we could work and grow with.
I believe moving forward we should continue to focus on the importance of membership retention and expansion. If you are an active member of your local association, don’t be afraid to work with your executive officer to reach out to members who may not be as active. Make sure they know that they have an entire network of individuals that are working on their behalf to ensure that their industry is protected and represented at the local, state and national levels. Continue working to get the word out to those who may not know about our association and all the great benefits that come along with it. Starting a conversation is the first step in gaining a new member.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend NAHB’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas this year and network with individuals in the home building industry from across the country, participate in both of our golf outings in Granger and Newburgh, attend our legislative conference in Indianapolis, and visit many of our locals for membership meetings and association events. I enjoyed every single one, and I am grateful for the conversations and encouragement from every individual I encountered along the way. I also had the honor of being the first IBA president to endorse the Indiana governor, which was something I was proud to be a part of.
I want to give huge shout out to Jeff Thomas, Paul Schwinghammer and Ric Zehr for being a part of my senior officer team and continuously offering me their support. I know you will continue to serve IBA well and be excellent representatives for our industry. To our past IBA presidents, thank you for taking me under your wing from day one and giving me your guidance and advice throughout this year.
A special thank you to IBA’s staff for your expertise and dedication to our association, your hard work does not go unnoticed. And lastly, but certainly not least, thank you to Shelby Roberts with the Builders Association of Kosciusko-Fulton Counties for all the laughs and effort she put in to managing our local association through this crazy year, Larry Coplen, Frank Rhoades and Julia Moore for being shoulders to lean on and individuals to bounce off my ideas and concerns. You all are appreciated.
Being your 2020 IBA president will be something I remember for the rest of my life, and I will be proud to look back on a community of builders and associates that stood with me to fight for an industry we believe in. 2020 may have been a crazy year, but we got through it together. I look forward to taking on my role as a past president and am excited to continue being an active member of IBA.