The 2021 PBA Summer Board of Directors meeting was held on July 15. The meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Cindy Cepko welcomed all those in attendance and thanked them for their ongoing patience using the Zoom format.

Over the past several months, the PBA Awards Task Force met to develop a proposal to update the awards program. Task Force Chair Frank Thompson presented recommendations to the Board that had previously been vetted through the Summer Regional Meetings.

The Task Force recognized the challenges of the past – a shortage of nominations, lack of member awareness, lack of category knowledge and a poorly understood judging process. The Task Force recommendations included the rollout of a PBA Awards/Judging Committee made up of a rotating-term of two Past Presidents, two Builder Members, two Associate Members, and one Executive Officer.

Nominations would be accepted from current qualified PBA members instead of Executive Officers. In the past, nominators provided information about the nominees, which sometimes resulted in less than complete details. The Task Force determined that once a nominator puts forth the nominee along with their reason for nominating, then the nominee would be contacted to submit a completed questionnaire.

A scorecard will be utilized for the initial judging and the final recipient determination will come after a discussion between members of the judging panel.

The Task Force also suggested that the awards ceremony be moved from the Winter Board Meeting to the Summer timeframe. This would put more focus on the nominees and recipients with a planned evening gathering and then the presentation of awards in conjunction with the Board of Directors meeting. Previously the awards were presented as part of the Installation Gala.

When presented with the Task Force’s proposal, the Board of Directors approved all the recommendations of the Task Force.

Jim Rumbaugh, Governmental Affairs Chair, reported that the GA committee was working diligently on behalf of PBA with regards to the various legislative issues and he made an appeal to members for more participation on the various special committees.  With a variety of items before PBA, there is an increased need for more participation on those special committees.

The Nominating Committee report by Chair Jon Sukonik requested the Board to consider the nomination of current PBA Vice President Cathy Sloan, Berks County BA, as the President-Elect. The nomination was approved.

Additional nomination considerations for 2022 included the following:

  • Vice President – John Olson (Wayne Pike BIA)
  • Secretary – Thomas McCosby (Lawrence County BA/Mercer County BA)
  • Associate Vice President – Dean Hilliard (Central Susquehanna BA)
  • Treasurer – Richard Clawson (Indiana-Armstrong BA)

NAHB Officer nominations included:

  • NAHB State Rep – Maria Coutts (Wayne-Pike BIA)
  • NAHB Associate Delegate – Amy Martino (BA of Metro Pittsburgh)
  • NAHB Builder Delegate – OPEN to date

Financial reports were presented by Treasurer Richard Clawson. Although overall membership is down, PBA dues revenue is ahead of budget due to realistic budgeting and the fact that dues revenue is typically “front-loaded” in the calendar year. The sale of PBA’s former building continues to save PBA substantial amounts. Pandemic-related shutdowns have the small silver lining that PBA’s travel expenses are well below budget.

PaCAH (Pennsylvania Committee for Affordable Housing) Chair Mark McNaughton stressed the need for donations. Contribution have been down because fundraising events could not be held during the pandemic. There is a great need to raise funds for the upcoming election cycle to address issues impacting the home building industry. McNaughton announced a “Save the Date” for a PaCAH event, held in conjunction with the Fall in-person Board meeting, on Friday, October 8. More details will be released soon.

BUILD-PAC is also planning an event this fall, according to Trustee Betsy Dupuis. Betsy made the announcement to stress the need for raising funds. This was even more evident after NAHB State Representative Maria Coutts spoke about NAHB activities to reduce the cost of building supplies and efforts to offset potential legislation adverse to the needs of PBA members.

It’s no secret that home builder association membership numbers are down. PBA Membership Committee Chair John Olson talked about the upcoming NAHB fall membership drives. He also suggested that locals work with the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) on upcoming code change educational seminars and merge them with events to attract potential new members.

PBA CEO Dan Durden told members that the Fall Committee and Board of Directors meetings are planned to be in-person at the Hershey Lodge, October 7-9. The staff is working on several projects that are planned to be presented at the meetings. Included are the 2022 PBA budget, a report on the Board-approved study on the “Cost of Regulation in Building”, as well as a glimpse at the new UCC codes from representatives of the PHRC.

Dan also noted that, with the loosening of the pandemic restrictions, PBA senior officers and staff will be available, if requested or invited, to attend local association events or meetings.

President Cindy Cepko wrapped up the meeting with some highlights accomplished so far this year.

Cindy is hosting monthly virtual Lunch with the President sessions where all members are invited to join her for a discussion on issues impacting their businesses and how PBA can help. Another new outreach vehicle is the weekly “Did You Know?” feature that highlights facts and benefits for PBA members. The “Did You Know?” topics are shared on social media, in the weekly Trade Secrets, and with all local executive officers.

Before the meeting adjourned, Cindy reminded everyone that membership is paramount. Both NAHB and PBA have offered materials and ideas to help with fall membership drives. NAHB’s theme of “Recruit 1 in 21” is a call to action for members to reach out to those they do business with and showcase the benefits of membership.

For the first time, the week of meetings and the finale of the Board of Directors meeting was held during a Monday to Thursday timeframe instead of the usual Thursday through Saturday. Members are encouraged to let PBA senior officers and staff know their thoughts about the shift.

Mark Your Calendars! – Fall PBA Committee and Board of Directors meetings will be held October 7-9 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.