Kickin’ It Off With Networking
A large crowd of 150 AHBA members filled the lobby at Hilton Garden Inn the evening of Thursday, January 16th. The air was filled with the buzz of conversation prior to the Asheville Home Builders Association’s 2020 Annual Meeting. Twelve tables lined the well-appointed space, where member companies who helped to sponsor the event set up tabletop displays of their company’s offerings. Members connected over drinks and appetizers and many visited with tabletop sponsors. Those that filled a punch-card with a stamp from each tabletop sponsor entered a drawing to win some pretty great door prizes.
The Main Event
First, an Update
AHBA Executive Officer Megan Carroll kicked off the meeting with a welcome and brief update: over the past year, the association has grown to more than 900 members. That’s boosted the AHBA’s ranking from 34th a year ago to 26th largest home builders association in the nation!
Also, AHBA has added a new After Hours, preceding this year’s Build and Remodel Expo. The After Hours will be Friday, January 31 at the WNC Ag Center’s Davis Event Center from 5 – 7 p.m. Sponsored by 84 Lumber, an added bonus will be special student guests from local schools participating in the Playhouse Showdown as well as students from a newly formed AB Tech AHBA chapter. RSVP here if you plan to attend.
A New Board of Directors
A group of 15 members raised their right hands and promised to be good stewards as Brandon Bryant, NCHBA Vice President of Region X, swore them in. We welcomed a new Executive Committee, new and returning board members, and returning president, Thomas McClain. Click here to see a listing of the 2020 board.
Healthcare Update and Call for Volunteers
1st Vice President of the Board Kevin Hackett gave an update on the challenges AHBA is facing on offering a group health plan to members. The needle is moving, but AHBA is not currently able to offer a solution to our members. Alas, the journey continues.
Leslie Apple, Board President for the AHBA Education Foundation, announced an exciting opportunity to support our community and earn funding for the Foundation. Leslie polled the audience and noted that we have enough member support to commit to providing volunteers for both days of the Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore Estate. The marathon will award $2,000 to the Education Foundation if we are able to rally 50 volunteers over both Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up to receive more information.
Gwen Wisler Drops Some Knowledge
AHBA was fortunate to welcome Gwen Wisler, Vice Mayor and Councilwoman for the City of Asheville. Gwen reported an update on the city’s rezoning of four new urban centers. These areas have the potential for mixed-use redevelopment, and Gwen encouraged builders to consider the residential building component. She quickly opened up to a Q&A session, which allowed for a productive conversation on builders’ needs and challenges, housing affordability, and suggestions to Gwen on ways the City could support local builders. Gwen closed with a call-to-action, encouraging AHBA members to attend council meetings and participate in educating Council on the real building challenges they face. She noted when our legislators are better informed on real-life challenges of building in the city, they can more adequately support local builders. So maybe this knowledge drop went both ways?
Let’s Hear It For Our Sponsors!
Megan recognized AHBA’s 2020 Foundation Club sponsors, whose financial support is vital to the success of the many events, networking opportunities, and education classes that AHBA provides for members throughout the year.
Table-top sponsors had an opportunity to speak about their work. Each drew a winning card from the cache of completed punch-cards and awarded some impressive door prizes. Members went home with everything from free legal consultation time, major discounts on products, and some sweet take-home prizes like a $1200 toilet, a cordless leaf blower, and even Four Roses bourbon!
Thank you to our table top sponsors: 84 Lumber, Asheville Chamber of Commerce, BMB Rolloff Dumpsters, Capua Law, Carolina Colortones, Ferguson, Horizon Tile and Stone, HomeTrust Bank, Labor Finders, Morgan Landscape and Stone Works, Norbord, and US Architectural Millwork.
Congratulations to the following winners:
- Joseph Brown and CJM Communities
- June Buttrick of Full Circle Construction
- Stephanie Chapman of Advance Cabinetry
- LaShawn Correa of Asheville Floors & Design Gallery
- Amber Cramm of CDI Cabinets
- Dana Dollar of Well Appointed Home Design
- Chris Farrell of Cove Creek Construction
- Antonio Grion of Builders FirstSource
- Sam McMurray of Advance Cabinetry
- Cory O’Brien of CDI Cabinets
- Stacey Stephens of Advance Cabinetry
We appreciate everyone who came to the event, to our sponsors and our speakers. It was a great way to kick off what promises to be an exciting year to come!
For more photos, visit our 2020 Annual Meeting Facebook album.