by Denny Van Horn, HBAL President
Becoming HBAL President for 2019 is an honor and a big challenge. A challenge because I follow in the steps of many previous Presidents who led HBAL so effectively and because our industry and Association face many challenges and opportunities in 2019. A special thank you to Bo Jones for his excellent leadership in 2018 and for providing HBAL with a strong foundation for 2019!
This year we will continue to struggle with a lack of skilled labor, increased materials and land costs, and the cost of government regulation. As an association, we must continue our focus on working with the youth of the community to introduce them to and create an interest in becoming a part of the skilled construction workforce. Working with the City of Lincoln City Council and administration to create an environment that is pro-growth and development has to be one of our top priorities.
The Growth is Good Coalition comprised of HBAL, LIBA, Chamber of Commerce and the Realtors Association support the six-year 0.25% sales tax for street construction and repair. Part of the negotiations to gain the coalition’s support was a five-year freeze on impact fees if the sales tax is passed by the voters in the April primary election. I ask each of our members to become educated on this issue and get out to vote. If you have questions, please contact me or Michaela. In addition, HBAL has an opportunity and absolute need to be involved in City Council and Mayoral races. Please consider joining HOMEPAC as we work to raise money and campaign for those we feel can best support our industry and community.
We are a strong Association with over 572 member companies. Our efforts on behalf of the industry and the community are amazing. However, each year we lose as many members as we gain. The best tool any organization has for membership retention is active participation. I encourage you to become involved in HBAL and to encourage fellow members and members you sponsor to become involved.
February is a busy month for HBAL. Our largest event of the year, the Nebraska Builders Home and Garden Show, is February 8-10 at the Lancaster County Event Center. There are continuing education opportunities including a Lunch and Learn: HBAL 101 that will provide an overview of the Association and ways to become involved.
A big thank you to our talented and dedicated staff for all the work they do on behalf of HBAL and our members.
Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019. I look forward to serving the Association and seeing each of you at our many events.