July 2015 NADRA New Jersey Meeting Recap

From the NADRA NJ President:

We had a successful meeting on Tuesday night, July 21st. The chapter was well mixed with builders, manufacturers, distributors and lumber yards. Actually, we were skewed higher in builder attendance which was pleasing since it was a concern of some meetings in the past. We had a standard of about 20-25 people in attendance. Following the introductions and reading of the Anti-trust, Judy, the chapter secretary asked for approval of our last emailed meeting minutes and Gus updated the chapter on a treasurer’s report.

A big thanks to Walter & Wendy Jones from Artisan Builders Guild, for sponsoring our July meeting.  They spent time explaining what Artisan Builders Guild offers the market and then spent time reviewing a line they offer called Arcadia Pergolas. They went over the features and benefits of the product and talked about the mechanics and installation of the system. They presented some beautiful pictures to demonstrate some of the opportunities that exist when it comes to louvered pergolas. Great presentation!

Following the ABG presentation, Tommy Hilcken, owner of Toolbox Talent took the floor. He went into great detail about public speaking and how we can look to enhance our selling abilities on an everyday basis. He asked some great questions like, how do we connect with our customers, how do you become memorable? He mentioned what do you and don’t you like about public speaking.  He did say that public speaking is a learned skill. When speaking publically we need a memorable, compelling presentation that raises peoples’ emotions.  And that public speaking just “is”.

Tina Breen of MRS from our fun committee said she was going to put together a survey regarding fun event ideas and email it over to Judy to send to the group. Judy then discussed the upcoming National Deck Competition and upcoming NADRA events in Chicago.

Our next meeting will be held on September 15th. Thanks again to our sponsor and speaker!

 

Lainie Sleppin

NADRA NJ May 2015 Meeting Recap

From the NJ Chapter President: Lainie Sleppin

On Tuesday night May 19th I opened the NJ meeting at about 6:40 and welcomed everyone.  The chapter was notably light on our regular deck builder attendees.  As we know this is not the easiest time of the year to get deck builders to attend.  A standard of about 20-25 people were in attendance.  I took a moment to remind everyone about the upcoming deck awards in June and reiterated to them that we need their support.

I introduced our sponsor Ken from Abbe Lumber and reminded everyone to please remember to support our local members.  Ken did a nice presentation communicating the history of Abbe lumber and how much he supports the NADRA brand.  He mentioned he actually lost a builder due to not participating in his organization so again he emphasized the importance of participating in NADRA.  He expressed their involvement in the decking industry and explained that they have become a dominant player in the specific brand Trex.  In addition to Trex he is a big supporter and supplier of RDI. He then turned the presentation over to Brianne from RDI.  She did a wonderful presentation in explaining the history of RDI as well as all the features and benefits of the product.  She also emphasized that they will be opening up a new 52 acre facility in Southern New Jersey where they will be doing all of their manufacturing

Following the Abbe/RDI presentation, Judi Rossi from Glazer promotions took the floor and discussed the benefits of using promotional items and provided some samples of what companies have used in the past to promote their businesses.

Our committee updates went well but were brief due to missing some committee chairs.  Judy and I again discussed the upcoming deck awards and again asked for support.  After this reminder I again thanked all in attendance and again thanked our sponsor Abbe Lumber & RDI.

NADRA NJ January 2015 Meeting Recap

January 14th, 2015

From the President:

On Tuesday night Jan 13th I opened the meeting welcoming everyone back with the hopes that all attendees had a wonderful Holiday and a happy New Year. I was extremely pleased that we had a very healthy turn out for the first meeting of 2015. We had a wonderful blend of attendees.

After we all introduced ourselves I reminded everyone whom our past sponsors had been in late 2014 and that it is our responsibility as a chapter to support the products that sponsor our meetings. Following that reminder our NJ Chapter Secretary, Judy,  followed up on the minutes from our last meeting and the Chapter Treasurer, Gus, reported on our financials. Some of the members had some good questions about our budget and they asked about our intent with the budget. Gus explained the need to cover the costs of some events and that we need to continue to grow our budget so in the future we could potentially look at events or promotional ideas for the chapter. Some of the members suggested we look to invest in some small social media like Facebook. A motion was made to invest in utilizing Facebook to help promote our Chapter. Everyone felt this was a great idea for the Chapter. We all feel the need to continue to make more of a presence. As NADRA some progress has been made but we need to continue to strive forward and grow.

After Gus had updated everyone on the financial aspect of the Chapter I introduced Vinnie C. from Admiral Spacemaker. He was the Sponsor of the meeting. Joining him was a fellow NADRA member, Dave Lombardo from MD. Vinnie launched into his presentation explaining the benefit of Admiral Spacemaker and Dave added to the presentation by discussing some of the installs he had completed over the last few months. All levels of the channel had excellent questions. They seemed excited to see a new concept in the market. Some of the builders had great questions as it related to install techniques, which Dave was happy to answer.

On the heels of Vinnie’s presentation we had our guest speaker Michael Beaudry from NADRA HQ explain to the group all of the tools that NADRA offers. He expressed how pleased he was with our participation with the Deck for a Soldier®  program. On a local level, he suggested we get more involved with Deck Safety Month® . He reminded everyone about the deck certification course and reminded all attendees that NADRA had just completed the deck certification course with a good number of home inspectors. He explained that all of those inspectors will be looking for NADRA deck builders as decks need to be replaced. It was refreshing to be reminded of all the wonderful marketing tools that NADRA really offers and in the future we should always consider adding the NADRA logo to our business cards, letter head, etc. We need to continue to raise awareness wherever we can. For the retailers he made a wonderful suggestion by reminding them they should post the deck safety checklist for homeowners and contractors to see at their locations.

Our committee updates went very well. We discussed the upcoming deck awards and reminded everyone to please register and get projects submitted and by a show of hands I asked who might be supporting the awards by submitting projects. All of the builders agreed to participate and then Judy in turn asked about sponsorship and asked the manufacturers/distributors and dealers to please get their sponsorship forms filled out and turned in. Everyone is excited about the event and it looks to me like we will get some good participation. Gus and Bruce spent some time reviewing our recent Deck for Hope project and how well it went and how much we appreciated many of the manufacturer reps stepping up in addition to our builders. Bruce read off a beautiful email that we got from Jack M.- the project coordinator for Homes for Our Troops. He really appreciates what we are doing in trying to give back. Feeling humbled, I reminded the group how it has made me feel so much gratitude for being part of the NADRA organization. Tina from MRS did a very professional report on some fun events we will look to do based on surveys she had taken months back. As part of the location committee she mentioned we all agreed to keep our meetings at the same place for sake of consistency.

After our committee updates I again thanked all in attendance and again thanked our sponsor and our guest speaker. Overall, an awesome meeting with great content and great participation by all attendees!

Lainie Sleppin

NADRA NJ Chapter President

NADRA NJ Update from the President

From the President:

Last night was an excellent meeting, we had over 30 attendees. In fact we had 33 people attend.

What pleased me the most was the blend of builders vs. distributor’s vs. manufactures vs. retailers.

It was an awesome mix of all levels of the channel.

I stayed on task at all times with the agenda and the meeting flowed very efficiently. I gave everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves and give a blurb about what they do. We had over 10 new attendees at this meeting so I wanted to ensure everyone knew who was present in the room.

Our sponsor Fastenmaster did an absolute wonderful presentation. In place of just talking about fasteners they explained ways to utilize social media thru their company. Certainly an opportunity for builders & retailers to create value for themselves. They offered our members a few nice opportunities to not only self-promote but to earn some free product. Again it was wonderful information for all levels present at the meeting.

On the heels of that presentation we had Rich Largman, Empire of Hope www.empireofhope.com discuss how he helps many mid-size businesses define their goals. He helps them to identify how they can work on their business rather than in their business. He also did a fantastic job of offering some wonderful goal setting advice. He even had a hand out where we had to list our goals for the next 6 months. Wonderful tools and suggestions for us all to apply to our businesses.

Both the sponsor and speaker tied together wonderfully making this a value packed meeting.

My plan in becoming President was to create substantial value in the meetings that I believe was met last night.

Prior to the close of the meeting we discussed helping a 17 year old quadriplegic who needs a wheelchair ramp desperately, all were in favor of us exploring this idea.

We had some volunteers step up for committees that we will look to continue to modify or add to as we move forward.

Some discussion focused on our next meeting place and we tabled the location but confirmed that date.

Overall I could not be happier or more pleased with the attendance and the excellent feedback I have received on how last night’s meeting went.

I look forward to moving at a good pace with more value packed meetings in the future.

 

Your NADRA New Jersey President, Lainie Sleppin

NADRA NJ 5th Annual Deck Competition Winners Announced

Hello All,

I want to thank everyone who attended the awards dinner and helped to make it a total success.  It was great seeing all of our members and reps having a great time.  So that being said, this is a perfect time to dig out that card from a sponsoring material rep or distributors’ rep gave you and reach out to them and make a connection.  After all that’s what it’s all about; helping one another to reach our fullest potential.  If you can help a supplier, distributor or manufacturer that supports NADRA they will see the benefit and continue to support us. Thank you to our $2,500 sponsors: Fiberon & Trex & to our $500 Sponsors: AZEK, TimberTech, Mid-State Lumber, RDI, FastenMaster & Fortress Railing Products.

I would also like to thank the sponsor members who used their complimentary tickets to invite new members to the event.  I hope they had a blast and want to stay involved with NADRA and continue to contribute.  This organization is our competitive advantage in the industry.  The more we support the sponsoring members the stronger it will be.

Lastly, thanks to all the event sponsors and to the NJ BOD, Jennifer Sheridan from Phoenix, Lainie Sleppin from Lainie’s LBM and NADRA HQ for all the hard work making this event happen!

I wish you the best of luck in the upcoming building season and pray it stops snowing soon. 

Regards,

Dan Miles

NADRA NJ Chapter President

Congratulations to the 5th Annual NADRA NJ Deck Competition Winners! View winning projects HERE on NADRA’s Facebook fan page.

Deck Competition Categories: 

  • Best Wood Deck under 500 sq ft
  • Best Wood Deck over 500 sq ft
  • Best Alternative Deck under 500 sq ft
  • Best Alternative Deck over 500 sq ft
  • Best Covered Structure
  • Best Unique Feature
  • Best Illumination
  • Best Commercial Deck
  • People’s Choice
  • Best Overall Deck

 Judging Criteria: 

  • Use of Space / Functionality
  • Creativity / Innovation
  • Evidence of Craftsmanship / Degree of Difficulty
  • Overall Visual Appeal

Our Judges: 

  • Jeff Fleisher, Jeff Fleisher Architects
  • Glenn Matthewson, NADRA Code Instructor
  • Bobby Parks, Peachtree Decks, Atlanta, GA
  • Eugina Smith, n2 publishing
  • Amy Weis, House & Home Magazine
5th Annual NADRA NJ Deck Competition Winners: 
  • Best Wood Deck under 500sf: Decks by Kiefer- Bob Kiefer
  • Best Wood Deck over 500sf: Decks by Kiefer- Bob Kiefer
  • Best Alternative Deck under 500sf: My Deck, LLC Robert Lascelle
  • Best Alternative Deck over 500sf: Deck Remodelers.com – Sean McAleer
  • Best Covered Structure: Legends Home Improvements, Bill Lecorchick
  • Best Unique Feature: Decks by Kiefer- Bob Kiefer
  • Best Illumination: Legends Home Improvements, Bill Lecorchick
  • Best Commercial: C. Verblaauw & Sons, LLC – Judy & Bruce Verblaauw
  • People’s Choice: America’s Deck Builder, LLC – Gary Daley
  • Best Overall Deck: Decks by Kiefer- Bob Kiefer

DECKED OUT with Rev. Run

January 21st, 2014
Joseph Ward Simmons, aka Rev. Run from the rap group, Run DMC, makes it a family affair as he and his whole family work together to completely renovate their 9,000-square-foot New Jersey home. Rev’s back deck has seen better days. Completely untouched since the house was built, it’s fallen into disrepair. Rev and Justine turn the demo into a family affair in hopes of saving money and speeding the process along, but structural surprises and permit delays put their patience to the test.
NADRA’s very own Gustavo de la Cruz from Barrett Outdoors were contacted by the production company to take part in an outdoor project. They were looking for a company that had the experience to build an extraordinary project plus with the man power to get in and get it done. “Truth be told we were very delayed by the pool company first, and then the lack of proper permits. Lesson learned is not to let the film company and the architect handle the permitting. We had a blast with the cameras and film crews..we even helped stage some of the shots.” says de la Cruz.  NADRA ambassador and member, Lainie Sleppin was also there to take party in the duration of the build.

 

de la Cruz also says “Justine Simmons is a wonderful lady and deserves everything she has, it was a pleasure working with her!

“Many thanks to Trex Company – they had a major role in getting the project.  Also thank you to Trex rep, Tim Schlosser who was also involved with the show.”

 

 

Tune in to the DIY Network to watch the DECKED OUT Episode:

  • January 23, 2014 8:30 PM e/p
  • January 23, 2014 3:30 AM e/p
  • January 25, 2014 11:30 PM e/p
  • January 25, 2014 2:30 AM e/p
  • February 01, 2014 9:30 PM e/p
  • February 01, 2014 12:30 AM e/p
  • February 02, 2014 8:30 PM e/p
  • February 02, 2014 3:30 AM e/p
  • February 05, 2014 7:30 PM e/p
  • February 22, 2014 11:30 PM e/p
  • February 22, 2014 2:30 AM e/p
  • February 23, 2014 2:30 PM e/p


How Valuable is a Trade Association – FastenMaster

January 17th, 2014

The Value of Trade Associations for Professional Contractors

by Greg Hartmann, National Account Manager

Why doesn’t every deck builder belong to NADRA? What can we do to spread the word about the benefits of belonging to trade organizations? I see some NADRA chapters that have become relevant, educational, generous groups of builders. They are doing great things in their communities and sharing experiences, knowledge, and their time with each other. These are the groups that are making an impact in our industry. How can we get more chapters started and reinvigorate chapters that have not gotten off the ground?

In this latest FastenMaster Blog post I look at some of the benefits of trade organizations. Who wants to help get more chapters going?

As a sales person working for a manufacturer, I know that by joining an association of builders I have the opportunity to connect with the people that use the products I sell. For me the value I receive is far greater than the annual fee I pay. For builders the value can be even greater.

  1. Financially it is in your best interest to belong to the trade associations representing your business. These organizations are made up of members at the core of your business and can bring you many benefits. Benefits may include advice on building issues and code compliance, or advice on legal issues concerning your customers, your business and your employees. The availability of this advice alone can outweigh the cost of membership if you avoid one costly legal issue. Your annual membership is probably going to be less than 1 or 2 hours of legal fees.
  2. Associations give you a voice. I’m sure you can think of plenty of things having an impact on your business that you wish could be changed. It may be local, state or national regulations. It may be availability of materials or the quality of the materials. Alone it is hard to get anyone to listen or to appreciate the issues you are having. Get together with a group in your same industry and you will be heard by manufacturers and suppliers, you will even start to make gains with the building officials. Hearing from a group gives the authorities confidence that they are hearing about issues affecting an entire sector of an industry. As your trade group grows so does your voice.
  3. Belonging to a trade group can even improve your image by increasing your professional credibility. For many industries membership in the trade association can be a mark of quality and shows the public you are part of a respected group of builders. This is especially true when the association works hard promoting community involvement projects. I am sure you are aware of groups that have done remodeling work for families suffering through hardships, home repairs for victims of tornados or hurricanes, decks built for veterans, and even homes built and given to deserving families. Not only is the recognition of being associated with these projects valuable. You will also enjoy volunteering yourself and your resources for these extremely meaningful projects.
  4. Educational opportunities are a benefit realized at nearly all trade associations. Members are offered continuing education opportunities, certification programs, and discounts with online education and local colleges. Regular chapter meetings will often times include presentations by experts in materials, software, marketing, and other aspects of your business.

Any of the above benefits are of greater value that the annual dues you pay.

But wait… there’s more!

Members also take advantage of:

  • Business Resources such as easy access to forms and templates exclusive to your industry.
  • Public Relations: Most groups are doing marketing for their members. Brochures and mailers, “How to Select a Builder” or “Deck Safety Month” flyers.
  • Connect to customers through websites and trade shows.
  • A Higher Level of Accountability: The unlicensed handyman, the Chucks with Trucks, the lower quality builders are not part of these groups.
  • Trade Show Attendance: You will have free or discounted access to attend many shows. NAHB claims that members saved more than $1 million in admission fees at the International Builders Show last year.
  • Trade Show Exhibiting: Many associations sponsor shows for homeowners giving you a great venue to attract new customers.
  • Insurance Group Savings: Insurance plans and prescription drug plans can represent huge savings compared to any plan an individual could get.
  • Networking with Your Peers: A non-competitive environment to talk with and learn from others that are in your business.
  • Make More Money: Members of trade organizations make more than their non-member competitors. The knowledge, resources, and expertise gained are realized in greater revenues.
  • Weekly newsletters with the latest news in your industry.

 

Trade associations are critical to improving the industry you make a living in. Not only do associations help you become more successful, they give your industry a voice and can quickly communicate to everyone in the industry how government regulations will affect members.

Below is the reply I got from Lainie Sleppin. When I asked her about the benefits of being a NADRA member.

“Being a NADRA member has helped me stay within the nucleus of the decking industry. It has helped me develop wonderful relationships with many of the key deck builders, manufacturers and suppliers. Through the years we have all worked diligently to raise the bar in the decking industry. The local chapter of NADRA has served us well to be able to carry that message.”

Glenn Mathewson is extremely active in the decking industry and has been involved at nearly every level of the industry. From laborer to carpenter apprentice to business owners and as a building inspector in Colorado. He is an expert in our industry. Below is his reply when asked about the value he sees in trade associations.

“As a single individual or single company, it is difficult to single-handedly guide and steer your industry and contribute your experiences and knowledge for the greater good.  However, when many individuals and companies pool together their experiences, knowledge, time and finances, they are able to lead their industry in everything from legislation to bulk rates for services…and they are heard and respected.  With so much change anticipated in the future regarding deck building codes, now is more important than ever to have the professionals of the deck industry leading the future of the deck industry.  This can only come through membership and support of the leading industry organization.  For decks…that’s NADRA!”

Glenn is also a member of the International Code Council, and the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council

What is your experience? Do you belong to a trade association? Let me know what ones you belong to and what you see as the benefits to your business.