Michigan Associate Member Revs Up for Veterans

Filed in Councils & Committees, Membership by on September 28, 2016 0 Comments

This past summer, NAHB Associate member Geri Nelson shifted into gear to support our nation’s veterans during the Michigan Bikers Helping Veterans annual charity ride.

Since its inception eight years ago, the ride, which draws between 75 to 200 riders each year, has raised about $60,000 to help area veterans in need.

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Geri Nelson, DTE Energy

“I have a passion for helping people and this is my way of giving back,” she said.

DTE Energy, Nelson’s employer for the past 35 years, has also been an avid supporter of the race, serving as one its major corporate sponsors.

“They like their employees active in the community, so they support local activities that their employees engage in,” Nelson said.

Helping local veterans, some of whom just need a little bit of help with mortgage payments, rent, or even furnace repair, is a natural tie for Nelson in her work with builders.

As a residential gas account manager for DTE Energy, she spends a lot of time building relationships with home builders and promoting the benefits of using natural gas burner tips (or appliances/equipment that use natural gas).

Through her local HBAs, she’s been able to make and maintain many valuable connections. In fact, she’s quite active in several of them: the HBA of Northern Michigan, the HBA of Upper Peninsula and the HBA of Grand Traverse, and each of their respective Professional Women in Building Councils, two of which she helped get off the ground.

“The opportunity to get to know other business in the community where you live and work makes HBA membership invaluable,” she said. “It’s a great organization that helps our builders. And because I work for a utility company, it helps me get to know the builders around here, network with them, and find out ways we can help support them in their businesses.”

Sarah Schultz, EO for the HBAUP, who nominated Nelson as a featured Associate during Associate Appreciation Month, said that Nelson and DTE Energy have played a significant role supporting the HBA.

Service to others, whether at work or in her community, is very important to Nelson. She serves as chair of the PWB Council of the HBA of Northern Michigan, a PWB Area Trustee, vice chair of the NAHB PWB Membership Committee, HBAUP Friends of Housing advisor, and on the board of directors for the HBA of Michigan.

A Gladstone, Mich., resident and mother of four boys, Nelson also enjoys volunteering (she serves on the board of directors for the Delta County Chamber of Commerce and on the governing board for the Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency), golfing and spending time with her grandchildren.

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