Editor's note: This column is reprinted from the February edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine
By Phil Rhees
Just when you thought you were safe from the pithy and endlessly upbeat articles from when I was your NAHB State Representative, I'm back with a vengeance! Needless to say -- but I'll say it anyway -- I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead our great association, and I will do my best to continue the extraordinary efforts of my predecessors.
First, let me begin by thanking Todd Booze for his steady leadership in 2014. During his term, we have achieved many of the goals set under the Strategic Plan created during Jeff Click's term as President, and we had our most successful Oklahoma Building Summit yet!
Speaking of Mr. Click, he deserves tremendous praise for creating some wonderful videos in support of membership that will be great tools for local associations in their quest for new members.
My good friend Kurt Dinnes has been a terrific addition to the leadership team and, in addition to his hard work as our NAHB State Rep, his membership training sessions held in November were a great success, and the lessons learned should pay dividends for all local associations whose staff and members attended. His business acumen and experience will be a great asset to our association as he serves as VP/Treasurer this year, and I am blessed to have him as a confidant and friend.
I also want to welcome Dan Reeves to the senior officer team as VP/Secretary. He's already hit the ground running with ideas for next year's membership goals, and is also getting caught up on the many different initiatives we've been working on for the past couple of years. He's a quick study, and will be a tremendous asset to our leadership team.
Our Exec team is fantastic and incredibly experienced! Jeff Click from COHBA and Jeff Smith from Tulsa have agreed to serve as my advisors, and Steve Sullivan will serve as Associates Chair this year.
Of course, no offering of thanks is complete without mentioning Mike Means.
I don't have the space to list all he does for this association, and the wisdom he brings to the table. But I am very grateful for his counsel and leadership.
At the end of the year, he will have lived up to the promise he made to my father that he stick around until my term as president was up. It is my fervent hope that he stays much longer than that! And I have to thank Kathy Kastner for her hard work keeping Mike organized and the state office running so smoothly.
There is much in store for OSHBA members this year, and perhaps the most anticipated is the addition of a trade show to our annual Building Summit!
As of this writing, we are very close to closing a deal for a Presenting Sponsor for the event, which will move to the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City this year for a two-day show August 26-27.
We only have around 80 booths available for vendors this year, and they are going fast, so make sure to get in touch with us ASAP to make your reservation.
This is the only event where you can get in front of more than 400 builders -- decision-makers -- from around Oklahoma at one time, and we think it will be incredibly successful. In addition to the trade show, we are again offering the excellent continuing education classes we've all come to expect from the Oklahoma Building Summit, with engaging speakers and relevant topics that will improve your business.
With the anticipated help of the Associates Council, we are also bringing back an evening dinner event on the 26th, open to everyone, which will combine great food, giveaways, entertainment, and hopefully a silent auction!
We've also negotiated a good deal on a block of rooms at the Renaissance Hotel adjacent to the Cox Center, so stay overnight and have some fun.
Finally, I'm very excited to announce the creation of the OSHBA Hall of Fame!
We are still working out the details, but I envision this as an award of excellence to builders and associates who, through a combination of successful business operation and service to both their local and state associations, have established themselves as icons in our industry.
This will be a VERY exclusive club, and will be the highest honor bestowed upon any member in Oklahoma.
Our first Hall of Fame class will be inducted at our next OSHBA Installation Gala in January 2016, and you will not want to miss it.