Saturday 9 April 2016

2016 NARI Spring Business Meeting Recap

It was an honor to attend the 2016 NARI Spring Business Meeting in Austin, TX this past week.  As President of the NARI Central Indiana chapter I was looking forward to learning new ways to help grow our great group of members and also hear from industry experts on the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Opening Remarks
As one can imagine work force development was a hot topic all week.  The labor shortage we see nationwide is staggering.  Contractors regardless of their field of expertise are desperately looking for employees who know the trade or simply energetic people who are willing to learn on the job!  Whether it was a general contractor in the Midwest Indianapolis or a Design-Build operation in Texas all were discussing ways to handle the problem.

Some chapters currently have programs in place to work through this problem such as working with the Department of Labor while others were taking a more “grass roots” approach and striving to get the trades back in high schools.  As we all know college isn’t for every high school graduate and NARI and its members want these young individuals to know they have great options available to them in the remodeling industry.  More excited information on several of these initiatives will be available in the coming months!

CoTY Awards Gala
As a first time attendee, the only one representing the dumpster rental industry I was excited for the CoTY (Contractor of the Year) Awards ceremony on Friday night.  This event, which was streamed live on the web for those that couldn’t attend in person showed the fine craftsmanship of NARI members from coast to coast in addition to some members from Canada.  Whether it was in the bathroom remodel category or a full house remodel a large contingency of awards were handed out over the hour and fifteen minute gala.  To view the complete list of award winners, click here.  Congrats to all the regional and national winners, you should be proud of your craftsmanship!

What was a pleasant surprise was to meet so many knowledgeable people from around the country willing to share information with each other.  Any questions from a newbie like me were answered in great detail.  The information exchanged through out the meetings in round table discussions, panel forums and after hours dinners are truly what make conferences like this so wonderful and informative.

As we all know large events like this cant take place with out the help and support of great sponsors.  Companies like Home Depot with their wonderful Home Depot Pro Rebate Program and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with their Business Link rebate program were showcased prominently through out the meetings.  In addition businesses like Qualified Remodeler Magazine, Guild Quality, Sen Design Group, CEDIA, MarketSharp, Panasonic, Rebuilding Together and PennTek all chipped in to add insight on how their particular business can help chapters and their membership.
The Spazmatics rocked!
One can’t visit Austin and not enjoy the night life and live music!  A special thanks to the NARIAustin chapter for hosting a first class networking reception on Thursday night in historic downtown Austin.  In addition to a wonderful spread of food and drinks all attendees were mesmerized by the entertaining and comical Spazmatics band.  This networking event was another excellent opportunity to speak and mingle with other chapter executives and their wonderful members!

Special thanks to all the NARI members who made this Spring Business Meeting a huge success.  If you’re a NARI member and have never attended one of these meetings I would highly recommend it!  If your thinking of joining NARI at the local level I invite you to reach out to your closest chapter and get involved.  I know I cant wait til next year!