NEFBA is gearing up for one of the most important events on the annual calendar: the membership drive.
The drive kicks off with a party May 8 and runs through May 24. Members form teams to compete for prizes — and the competition is fierce. But everyone is working toward the same goal of increasing the membership rolls.
“My role is to help organize the effort and support Chris Dostie, the membership committee chair,” said NEFBA Membership Services Director Hans Krieg. “Every year we are challenged to bring in more new members and to retain the members we have.”
Larger numbers mean more impact, Krieg said, and NEFBA President Lee Arsenault explained why numbers matter.
“One of the primary benefits of NEFBA membership is having a voice in local, state and national discussions about issues related to construction and growth,” Arsenault said.
“As the largest local home builders association in Florida and the fifth largest in the nation, we have a place at the table not only locally, but at the state and national levels, too,” he said.
Influence gives NEFBA a way to advocate for issues that affect members.
“Our Government Affairs Committee keeps a close touch on the pulse of proposed regulations and changes to existing regulations that would affect our industry,” Arsenault said. “We are fortunate to have Jessie Spradley as staff director of Government Affairs and Nathan Day as chair of that committee.
“Together and with other members of the committee, they have expanded and strengthened our partnerships with decision makers,” he said.
Government advocacy is a primary benefit of membership but by no means the only one.
Membership is a three-for-one deal. Being a NEFBA member includes membership in the Florida Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.
Access to the state and national resources provides information on trends, issues, problem-solving suggestions, statistics and much more.
Also, each of those entities has its own list of special offers and discounts from local, state and national vendors that directly affect a company’s bottom line and can offset the price of membership.
Training is yet another major emphasis on the association. From monthly lunch-and-learn meetings to special daylong or extended days training workshops, NEFBA strives to bring in leading experts to speak and teach on technical, administrative, sales and marketing and relationship development.
Many are free and some have a nominal fee, but all are a bargain for business leaders and individuals who seek to sharpen their professional skills and enhance their profit margins.
NEFBA offers its members a selection of groups and activities that promote the creation of business relationships that benefit those involved.
There are geographic councils that allow members to meet with others in their own area. Clay, Nassau and St. Johns Builders councils hold meetings and socials for their members.
Special interest councils, such as the Sales & Marketing Council, the Remodelers Council, the Young Professionals Group and the Professional Women in Building Council, allow members to focus on a specific interest.
It’s not all work and no play at NEFBA. Sometimes it’s both.
There’s the annual Beast Feast, for example, where city building officials and local lawmakers enjoy a barbecue dinner and mingle with NEFBA members. It’s a mutually beneficial event and well attended every year.
It gives NEFBA members a chance to meet and talk to the men and women who directly affect our industry in various ways.
Other socials and networking opportunities are casual get-togethers for members who enjoy networking and having a good time with their counterparts from other companies or parts of town.
Outreach to the community is yet another important benefit of membership. NEFBA’s Builders Care and Apprenticeship Program are two examples of the contribution of the association to the quality of life in the community.
They also provide an avenue for individuals and companies to multiply their resources by joining forces to help solve challenges all communities face: safe housing for all and training future construction trade professionals in support of the economy.
It’s not too early to be thinking about how you can participate in the membership drive. One way is to join a team and participate in the call-a-thon.
Another is to look over your list of trade partners and reach out to those who are not NEFBA members. Or set your own goal and reach out to as many people and businesses you know would benefit from NEFBA membership.
“Our strength is in numbers, but not just numbers,” said Doug Wenzel, whose passion for membership is well-known. “Our members are special. Most of them join because they want the benefits and they stay because they know that membership is more than benefits.
“As they become involved, attend meetings, donate their time to special causes, they begin to realize that being part of NEFBA is not only a good business decision but it is a valuable asset because of the people they’ve met and the friends they’ve made,” Wenzel said.
Contact Hans Krieg, NEFBA director of member services, at HKrieg@nefba.com or Chris Dostie, chair of the Membership Committee, at CDostie@dostiehomes.com for information about the membership drive and how you can help.