In 1952 a group of builders in Lebanon County came together to form the Builders Exchange to serve the needs of builders, associates, and consumers. In 1969, the organization was officially recognized as the Lebanon County Builders Association (LCBA).
Today the LCBA is the 10th largest builders’ association in Pennsylvania. Serving over 170 members, the LCBA brings those in the industry together to inform them of issues and legislation as well as to provide education and benefits along with networking opportunities to help improve and grow their businesses.
Members are highly involved in legislative issues and work tirelessly to benefit those in the home building industry across the state – along with homeowners.
Local President Nate Wenger, of Copenhaver Builders, works with the LCBA Board of Directors and Executive Director Ashley Fickel and Event Coordinator/Social Media Manager Sierra Gettle to establish annual priorities and events. Immediate Past President (and current PBA Regional Mideast Vice President) Darrell Adams, of Myers Building Product Specialists, has also been a huge help and resource for the LCBA. Ashley also brought on a new intern from the Millersville College for the 2020-2021 school year, Kayla Herd. Kayla will be assisting in membership recruitment and home show sales.
Ashley, who is currently the President of the PBA Executive Officers Council, was awarded the “New Executive Officer of the Year” award from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2018 and went on to receive the “Commitment to Excellence” award from the organization as well.
One of the largest undertakings is the annual Lebanon County Home & Garden Show that takes place each January. The show draws in over 4,000 guests and is a fantastic way for members to market their products and services – and schedule projects for the coming year. The Home & Garden Show received the “Best Home or Trade Show” honor from NAHB in 2016. Mark your calendars now for the 50th edition of the show set for January 28-30, 2021.
The LCBA Builder/Remodeler Excellence Awards, honoring entries in a number of categories including Residential, Kitchen, Bath, Outdoor, Landscaping, Design, and more, are presented in conjunction with the Home & Garden Show.
Providing benefits and programs for members requires additional fundraising. In the past couple of years, a dedicated core group of staff and members have been putting on one of the most effective and efficient fundraising events in the state. HIT IT BIG BINGO! That’s right, twice a year BINGO tickets go on sale to the general public for chances to win prizes provided by sponsors and members. These one-day events have been extremely popular and have become a great non-dues revenue source. In fact, the program was honored by the NAHB in 2018 with the “Best Non-Dues Revenue” award. The next HIT IT BIG BINGO will be held on Sunday, October 11.
Summertime brings members together socially for the traditional pig roast. It’s a great chance to put business on the back burner and socialize with old and new friends. Due to the current CODIV-19 crisis, it will return next Summer. Another opportunity is the annual Gala and Installation of Officers held at the beginning of the year. This gala recognizes individual members for their outstanding accomplishments and volunteerism throughout the year to the LCBA.
The dedication to members is paramount, but the LCBA is also very invested in the community as well. Members come together to aid Habitat for Humanity’s Women in Build Week by working on a local house in the Lebanon community. The local Habitat office chooses a family, local to the area, that is in need and are able to purchase the house at a 75% discounted mortgage. Involvement with the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce has nurtured projects to benefit the region. In 2018 and 2019, the Lebanon Chamber and the LCBA have partnered and hosted joint educational seminars and offered to each association’s members. A codes update seminar and a recent Construction during COVID-19 were recently hosted.
In the spirit of looking toward the future, the LCBA regularly awards scholarships to young people interested in a career in the trades. Members feel this is especially important in order to support and promote the industry. The students selected must be Lebanon County students in high school or tech school, in order to receive the LCBA Scholarship or Career in Building Industry Scholarship. They also offer a Members Only Scholarship to children of members all through college.
Besides the obvious reasons of joining the LCBA, members can take advantage of a plethora of special benefits. Among them are the much sought-after graphic design work that is available to them through the LCBA, which is heavily discounted as a member benefit. Also, every other month, the association offers free educational seminars on topics that are trending in the industry.
The Lebanon County Builders Association has come a long way in almost 70 years. Their dedication to members, innovative thinking, and strong leadership has not only been a tremendous asset to the community, but also to the entire home building industry.