Resolve to make 2019 the best yet for our association and our businesses
Hello. My name is John Williams and it is my great honor and privilege to serve as your 2019 president of the Greater Houston Builders Association.
I’d like to start this introduction with thanking our Immediate Past President Don Klein, for his leadership and a record-setting 2018. His commitment to our industry and investment in tomorrow’s future is commendable and inspiring. He is an example that should be followed illustrating the effective service to his industry and community.
Every homebuilder, remodeler, developer and trade in this region benefits from more than 75 years of industry investment through the GHBA, but it all goes away if no one carries the torch moving forward. I appreciate the intensity of his involvement and his results-driven approach. It makes you wonder what the untapped potential of impact our association could have on the industry and community if we all participated to some degree.
With nearly 1,800 member companies, GHBA is the fourth largest builders association in the country and the largest in Texas. Our collective mission is to provide advocacy, education, professional development, and valuable services to our members and the homebuilding industry. The GHBA realizes this vision through a number of councils, committees and taskforces.
GHBA is the voice of Houston’s residential construction industry, serving our members and the community by education and advocating professionalism and quality, affordable housing. The association interacts with the government, community and general public to enhance the business climate for its members, and to provide quality obtainable housing to the community it serves.
In addition to industry advocacy, some of our greatest successes have been our very active community outreach and charitable events that include Benefits Homes, Operation Finally Home, HomeAid, BuildAid, the Scholarship Program, and the Frank Aranza Adopt-a-Family Project. Their accomplishments alone would fill this article.
Individuals are encouraged to participate and invest in the industry in whatever capacity best fits them. On your behalf, the GHBA works to protect our industry from over-regulation by monitoring codes, ordinances and legislation that directly impacts the homebuilding industry, and by communicating directly with elected officials and policy makers. The focus of advocacy extends to a state and nationwide effort through the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) and the National Association of Builders (NAHB).
The GHBA works closely with TAB on state issues and has direct contact with the 42 state legislators in our area, as well as county and city officials. Although the program’s primary focus is at the state and local levels, the committee monitors and provides input on federal legislation and agency activity directly to our federal officials and through the NAHB. Your voice and concerns can reach their intended audience in a message focused to best represent our industry interests.
Without individual and company participation, none of these associations would exist and bad policy could steamroll affordable housing.
Supporting your industry is as easy as you want to make it and can be as effective as you choose. Some may only have the time for maintaining active membership, reading an occasional email update, and attending one meeting or event each year. Others will chair committees and even engage at the state or national level.
My experience started as simple as attending a Codes and Standards meeting about the newly proposed City of Houston Energy Code. I quickly became enthused by the efficiency and effectiveness of this dynamic group of professionals and experts. We worked on many successful code and policy efforts. As a result of simply attending a few meetings and reading our newsletter, I found myself developing into a much deeper, well-rounded professional, as well as being incredibly more informed on the current policies and direction of our industry. As I added value to the association, it has always returned it many fold.
Over the years, my involvement grew. I’ve been on the GHBA board of directors since 2013, as well as the TAB board since 2014, and the NAHB since 2017. I’ve sat on committees, councils, boards, taskforces, and I’ve even won some awards. The most important aspect of my involvement was the decision to show up and participate.
This next year, I plan on spreading that message as far as possible. Engage at the level that suits you, but leave this industry better than you found it.
Before I excitedly embark on my year of presidency, I’d like to give special thanks to my incredible team at K. Hovnanian Homes and the amazing staff at the GHBA. I also have incredible gratitude for my boss David Orlando, for supporting me in this endeavor. Most importantly, I’d like to thank my three other bosses, my daughters Stella and Layla, as well as the love of my life, my beautiful bride Patricia Williams. I plan to make this next year one that will make you all proud. In closing, I ask you to join me. Show up to a meeting, shake a few hands and let’s see what we can accomplish together!