Young Professionals Finding the Path to Better Business

Filed in Councils & Committees, Leadership, Membership by on January 29, 2018 1 Comment

puzzle piecesJarom Iacono was a little hesitant when he first started going to meetings and events at the Salt Lake HBA. As the owner and president of Tree Haven Homes, Iacono was worried that talking business with his competitors might not be good for the health of his company.

“I thought, ‘I have my business. I have to protect my business. I don’t want anyone to know how I do things,’” he recalled.

It didn’t take Iacono long to change his point of view. The home builders he met at networking events were generous with their time and eager to talk about their experiences after years in the business. More importantly, Iacono discovered that his HBA was a place to create an ethos of shared values among the professionals in the home building industry.

The HBA “allows our industry to grow in greater lengths and faster levels,” Iacono said. Discussions with seasoned professionals “help these builders lead their companies in a way that’s ethical and value oriented. Young leaders often don’t have access to that kind of support, which can provide them with more focus and help them measure what they really want to do.”

Iacono was hooked. He became active in his HBA, rising through the ranks to serve as president in 2017.

And in one of his last acts before handing over the reins to the 2018 leadership team, he convinced his board to start a young professionals committee to help other younger builders get a leg up. The first meeting is set for Feb. 1.

It’s the second local group to form in just the past week, according to 2018 NAHB Young Professionals Committee chair Rich Robinson. He also heard from the HBA of Greater Atlanta, which plans to launch next month. Both will use the Recruiting Young Professionals Toolkit to get these groups started.

Robinson’s own association, the Shore BA in Central New Jersey, started with just 10 young professional members and now boasts 60 active participants. “These committees can really change the dynamic of an association,” he said. “It’s an excellent tool for recruitment and retention, because it gives younger employees a voice and it shows the value of HBA membership to their employers – providing a safe place to be with like people,” whether it’s to focus on career-building, philanthropy, advocacy and political involvement or member recruitment: the four niches that these committees tend to focus on, he said.

Iacono said he’s been flooded with questions from potential members and is excited to see how the group will evolve. “As we start building our ideals around what we want this committee to do, we can develop ways to reach out to professionals outside the association and get their involvement. If they are smart, they immediately see the networking capabilities. We’ll reach out to those younger individuals and those who might be coming into the industry.”

To learn more about starting a young professionals committee, contact Topher McLarty.

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  1. Joshua Dean says:

    Our local Association(GBAHB- Birmingham, AL) started a YP council last year, under the recommendation of our local’s president and the Region’s 2017 YP of the year- Clint Lovette. I had the honor and privilege of chairing that council and I must say, I cannot recommend association’s starting these enough!

    We had almost instant buy-in from the younger members and even used the group as a recruiting tool for new affiliate members. It is my firm belief that technology(& therefore, the world) is changing so fast now that failure to adjust to the times will leave companies, organizations, and individuals behind as the world changes around them. HBAs will not be immune to this. And so, I believe it is absolutely necessary for associations to engage the younger generation, excite them about our industry, and give them leadership opportunities and an influencing voice. If we continue to do things as we have always done them, we will continue to battle dwindling membership rosters and loss of enthusiasm.

    If anyone is starting a group or would like to talk about how to begin that process, I would love to share what we learned in our first year and what we are doing moving forward. Hit me up however is convenient.

    Joshua Dean
    (205) 789-1517

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