Editor's note: This column is reprinted from the March edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine
By Steve Sullivan
Chair, State Associates Council
The 2015 NAHB International Builders' Show's (IBS) theme was All Homes Start Here, and that's precisely the message that the 55,000-plus attendees heard throughout the three-day event, as well as the fact that Home is the foundation of not only family life, but for our communities and their economic growth.
As an Associate Member of the National Home Builders Association, this is a show that you should consider attending in the future, and here are the reasons why:
It provides pertinent information that allows you to keep abreast of national trends, policies, inventions, energy and other technologies.
It provides you with continuing education involving all aspects of the building industry. For me, one area I wanted to learn more about was the international energy conservation code (IECC) changes that would impact Oklahoma.
It gives you a more relaxed venue to work with key account stakeholders, as well as major decision-makers, in national, state and local homebuilders associations, some of which have a strong lobbying presence that can affect your business.
New builder technologies and techniques are introduced and showcased, as well as existing best practices.
There are many educational opportunities available with both Pre-Show Education
Courses and standard IBS Educational Sessions. The Pre-Show Courses are in-depth courses on specific topics taught by NAHB-approved instructors. These are not included with your basic registration, and require a separate fee. IBS Education Sessions are very popular and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
All training sessions are uploaded to NAHB's Online Library for your future use.
After the show, all paid full registrants -- excluding spouse, exhibitor and student registrations -- receive an email providing complimentary access to a one year subscription. This is an on-demand access to more than 100 education sessions in 10 different building industry topic tracks that cover the entire building industry. You'll find the know-how you're looking for, as well as insights you may never had expected!
My experience at the event was definitely a positive one!
In between sessions, caucuses and general meetings, I walk the show floor. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot of ground to cover, you can literally spend days just visiting booths in all of the buildings. The show floor provided me with countless opportunities to network, learn, share information and make connections with builders, associates and the industry's best suppliers and manufacturers.
This year's show had everything from small gatherings, roundtables, meet-and-greets, awards programs,evening receptions, and even a Spike concert featuring ZZ Top to close out the event.
So, as you consider your options for continuing education, I would urge you to look at IBS. Attendance at the event has grown 40 percent over the last two years because builders and industry professionals know that IBS keeps them up to date on the latest trends, newest techniques, and the most forward-thinking business strategies.
I know I do and hope that you will join me in 2016
In closing, one of my goals is to get to know associates throughout the State Home Builders Associations and, so far, I have been able to attend meetings in Enid, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. At those meetings I gathered ideas, as well as concerns, that you might have so that we can work on them together in order to make our Association more beneficial for each of us.
I am bringing your concerns and ideas to the Associates' Council, as well as to the OSHBA Executive Committee. Please contact any of us listed below, to share your ideas or concerns.
Associates Council Officers for 2015:
Chairman: Steve Sullivan, OG&E, (405) 553-3393
Vice Chairman: Steve Taylor, CenterPoint Energy, (580) 250-5417
Treasure: Vanessa Shadix, Old Republic Title Company of Oklahoma (405) 942-4848
Secretary: Chris Evans, Building Specialties, (405) 232-2595
State Representatives for 2015:
Central Area (Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma, Moore Home Builders Association), Laurie Matthews, American Eagle Title Group (405) 550-3952
Northeast Area (Homebuilders Association of Greater Tulsa, Rogers County Builders Association, Bartlesville Home Builders Association) Mark Priess, HUB International/CFR (918) 712-5274
Northwest (Enid Home Builders Association, Stillwater Home Builders Association and
Southwest, Oklahoma Home Builders Association) Titian Burris, ClimateMaster Inc. (405) 473-7100
Southeast (Ardmore Home Builders Association) Randy Chambers, OG&E (405) 553-3961
National Connie Stokes, Realtor Team Stillwater (405) 612-0016
The Oklahoma State Home Builders Association is for all of us who touch the homebuilding industry. It is important that we support the Association that looks after our interest and helps keep legislation from adversely affecting us. So, I challenge each of you to invite someone to