Young Professionals Committee Kicks Off at IBS

Filed in Committees and Councils, Membership by on January 25, 2016 4 Comments

Several inaugural members of the newly established Young Professionals Committee convened at the NAHB International Builders’ Show to discuss their plans for the future.

At the meeting, Kim Hefner passed the torch to the up-and-coming group, with the charge to make membership more attractive to under-45 members—the future leaders of the home building industry. Hefner, general manager for Allen Homes in South Dakota, was a key driver in forming the Young Professionals Committee.

Billy Doelker, 40, a Louisville builder and national director for the  HBA of Kentucky, said that even though his state boasts the second largest HBA in the country and a very active local young professionals group, it remains a struggle to get new, young people engaged and involved in the association. A lack of mentorship stands out as one possible reason.

“Older members have to do a better job of grooming the leaders of the future,” he said.

Image of confident colleagues looking at their boss at meeting

One of his peers and fellow committee member, Brian Schmidt, 41, owner of Brian Schmidt Builder in Portland, Ore., agreed, saying that a stronger focus on mentoring could help bridge the disconnect between the generations.

NAHB senior officers Ed Brady and Randy Noel, who helped kick off the meeting, agreed, but added that a likely culprit of the divide lies in the way younger versus older generations communicate.

The officers swapped stories about the differences in communication styles and acknowledged that it was a true barrier to the type of engagement and interaction they would like to have with young professionals—and one which they hope the committee will be able to address.

“Millennials operate under a different mode of communication,” Brady said. “I think this committee may have the key to opening that door. We’re really excited about what this committee can offer to the association.”

The senior officers also offered the group some sage advice on how to get a new committee off the ground, their thoughts on the commitment it takes to be successful, and sentiments about tangible and intangible returns on investment.

After the senior officers left, the group held a brief roundtable discussion about what they hope to accomplish in the coming months.

To kick things off, members plan to hold a conference call in February to start talking about the mission, purpose and goals for the coming year, and will report back to the larger membership at The Midyear Meeting.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Cel Demers says:

    How can I get more involved on a local level?

  2. Encourage the youth to enter our industry ASAP!
    We need participation at every age and demographic segment of our population for our industry!
    ONwards and UPwards!

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