Case Studies

New Jersey Builders Association

Presenting the 65th annual Atlantic Builders Convention

For decades, the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) has been building bridges between builders, remodelers and associated businesses in New Jersey’s construction market. Members include residential and commercial builders, developers, remodelers, subcontractors, suppliers, engineers, architects, consultants and other professionals within the state. The organization serves as a leading resource to industry professionals for education and advocacy, helping businesses grow while creating a more economically and environmentally strong New Jersey.

Carol Ann Short, Esq. serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. A lawyer and seasoned government-relations professional, Short has been involved with the NJBA for more than 25 years. Short has worked for the organization in several roles; first as the executive director of former affiliate, the Institute of Multi-Family Housing, then as director of legal and legislative affairs for NJBA, followed by a stint as the organization’s vice president of government affairs and then as NJBA’s chief operating officer. In 2013, Short assumed the position as NJBA’s first female CEO.

A different experience

 “The membership of NJBA is much more diverse than what one might see in other traditional trade organizations,” Short explains. “NJBA’s membership includes not only residential and commercial builders, developers, subcontractors, remodelers, but also a variety of consultants and other professionals, including attorneys, architects, engineers and material suppliers who work within the home building industry. NJBA works closely with its four local affiliated associations throughout the State. Members join through the local association, which provides a membership not only in that local association, but also in the State association, as well as the National Association of Home Builders [NAHB]. The local associations provide monthly membership meetings, other networking opportunities, as well as educational programs, some of which focus on more regional issues.”

Short goes on to explain that the most important aspect at the state level is representing the interests of the membership before the legislature, the various regulatory agencies, as well as the courts. “From the bottom up, our goal is to improve the knowledge base of our membership through educational programs, substantive committee meetings and regular notification of critical industry information that help members to be well-informed,” she continues. This ongoing education increases the overall professionalism of the membership, which allows NJBA, its professional staff, as well as our members, to serve as valuable resources to the policymakers of the state, their staff and representatives of the regulatory agencies when issues arise impacting the home building industry.”

High visibility in the industry

Another major benefit of NJBA membership is exposure and visibility. “When looking to hire someone, association membership can be a major attractor for potential clients,” Short explains. “When you consider hiring someone who is a member of our association, you can be more confident that the potential hire is likely to be well-known and more committed to building a network of business relationships within the industry. Our members tend to be more informed and knowledgeable about the various factors impacting the industry, as a whole. When a member joins NJBA and becomes an active committee volunteer at a nonprofit trade organization, that in and of itself demonstrates a level of dedication and commitment to their career and the industry.”

Another component to the visibility NJBA offers is the organization’s annual Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC), held in Atlantic City each spring. “This is the largest building industry trade show in the Northeast,” Short notes. “ABC provides an avenue for anyone associated with the building trade to learn about innovative products on the trade show floor and enhance their business and/or career by attending the numerous educational seminars.”

Each year, the convention features hundreds of exhibits showcasing the latest products and services to the diverse crowd. Over 6,500 participants attend the conference annually from seven different states and all aspects of the construction industry. ABC serves as a solid promotional ground for members, as well as a venue for education and networking.

“The conference is an integral part of our operation as an organization,” Short elaborates. “For us, it is great to see so many people, the incredible passion and amazing level of involvement across our industry, all in one place. The conference provides a professional environment where so many individuals come together to learn and enrich their valued business relationships. We also use this forum to host an awards ceremony each year to recognize and pay tribute to those members who are doing outstanding work to support our industry.”

In the coming years, Short and her fellow members and officers look forward to making new advances through the organization. “It is great to see this organization grow,” she explains. “Every new home can create hundreds of jobs and we want to help the market maintain an upward trend. We will continue to focus on expanding our membership while we promote, protect and improve the building industry.” Building on 65 years of annual Atlantic Builders Conventions, the New Jersey Builders Association continues the tradition of educating and building connections.

Published on: September 25, 2014

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