North Dakota Banker Earns Grand Spike Status

Filed in Awards, Membership by on June 24, 2014 3 Comments

Krajsa_Ken_real_estate_0449 (2)A member of the HBA of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota, Ken Krajsa has been named a Grand Spike, an honor only achieved by about 60 people in NAHB history.

To become a Grand Spike, members must earn 1,000 credits, awarded when they recruit and sponsor new members. Spikes receive one credit for each new member they sponsor and another credit when that member renews his or her membership after the first year, then ½ credit for every year that member renews their membership thereafter.

Becoming a Grand Spike is a difficult process, but a “labor of love to those who work this hard to achieve it,” according to NAHB Membership Committee chair Michael Kurpiel.

“This really means a lot to me,” Krajsa said. “I wanted to become a Grand Spike because I wanted to give back to my HBA by getting more members involved.”

Krajsa is a senior vice president at Bell State Bank & Trust, where he works in construction lending and financing. He has been a member of his HBA since the mid 1980s, and said that his membership is “invaluable” to him with all of the networking and working relationships it provides.

Being a member has had a “tremendous” impact on his business, and as a result, he has been able to work with many new clients he has met at the meetings that he otherwise may not have had the chance to work with.

“I wouldn’t be doing this job if I wasn’t a member of the HBA of Fargo-Moorhead. I love being a part of it, and you can’t find a better group of people to work with,” Krajsa said.

Being a Spike has many advantages, he said. “In addition to the networking opportunities, when you attend meetings, you have a better understanding of the concerns and problems builders have, and you are able to understand where they are coming from. That has helped me to do a better job as a banker to help them finance.”

Krajsa uses that value of membership mantra to sell the idea of belonging to his local HBA and enticing new members to join. He tells them of all the benefits it has had for his business, and that it all stems from the national level.

He informs people of how much they will save on the cost per home if they become a member because of NAHB’s work, and all of the other great benefits they will enjoy. His tactic is certainly working, as his HBA has a 92% retention rate for members, well over the national average of 78.8%.

“Ken is really just a joy to be around,” said Fargo-Moorhead Executive Vice President Bryce Johnson. “He is so committed to the building industry and the health of this HBA. It’s astounding how much time he has put in. You just don’t see that anymore. There are only a handful of people who maintain that kind of enthusiasm. Ken sets a great example in hoping that other members will step forward and see the value of being involved.”

“This monumental achievement means he understands the importance of building memberships from the local level up, Kurpiel said. “This is a fine example of what members can do when they put their minds to it.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. John Koerselman says:

    Ken is just simply a person who deserves recognition for what he has done for our industry! Over a 1000 spikes is a remarkable achievement! Having Ken in our local association and knowing him personally is truly an honor for me.

  2. Paul Krabbenhoft says:

    Ken is definitely an example to follow!

  3. Only a few Home Builders Association members in the nation have become accomplished Grand Spike Club members, and our very own Ken Krajsa is the only one in the state of North Dakota. This award recognizes Ken’s dedication to growing the HBA’s membership and we are very proud of him! – Julie Peterson Klein, Bell State Bank & Trust Chief Culture Officer

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