Heidi’s Inaugural Remarks, December 5, 2018
Home builders are a force for good and our industry the noblest of professions. I’m honored to stand among you tonight. You are people whom I admire and respect. Current and future leaders of our industry all making your personal mark on the communities in which you do business. Collectively, you represent over 9500 of the building permits issued in 2017 and we know 2018 will be higher. Each one of those permits represents a person or a family with a story. In fact, one of those permits pulled this year by KB is the home that our CEO Jeff Whiton and his wife have just retired to. What a profound way you impact the lives of others.
It is a great honor you all bestow upon me today. An honor that I do not take lightly. I will to the fullest of my ability provide guidance to our capable and talented staff and represent your interests as your Board President. As you all know 2019 is an important year for our organization. It is a year of transition as Chérie Talbert will embark upon her new role as our next CEO of the HBA. It will be my focus to lend her my support and act as resource as she settles in. I ask and encourage you all to do the same to help assure a seamless transition and that the organization continues to provide us all with a high level of service. Chérie, you have our confidence and our gratitude.
I will also be focused on assuring that our organization is properly funded for the future. In today’s political environment challenges to our businesses abound. With anti-growth sentiments and the potential erosion of construction defects reform, we must be prepared to engage on these issues. We have been operating very lean as compared to other HBA’s. We are fortunate to have the dedicated staff that we have but we must assure we have the resources necessary to maintain the level service we all enjoy. Thanks to Jeff we have built our reserves from nothing during the great recession to 6 months of operating expenses. As you know reserves burn very quickly when we experience events that create shocks to revenue like the consolidations in 2017. I would like to see us continue with Jeff’s legacy and build reserves over the coming years. This will assure we do not revisit the dire financial days this organization went thru during the great recession. As some of you know, Jeff, Rich Staky, and I have started to tackle these issues by creating a 4 year business plan and a one year budget. The budget was approved in October and I look forward to continuing to work with you all to achieve these goals.
But enough of business. It’s time to say thank you.
I must stop and give a special thank you to our outgoing President Scott Moberg. I am now keenly aware of the sacrifices you and your beautiful family have made for you to serve in this role and I thank you for that. I appreciate the comradery we’ve had working together and I look forward to continuing to work with you as Past President
Next, thank you to our incredible staff. I see first-hand your commitment and passion for our industry. I see first-hand how hard you work, so often going above and beyond for us and I thank you.
It is important to take a moment to stop to thank Jeff.
We are stronger than we have ever been thanks to Jeff’s leadership. When Jeff accepted the job as CEO we had $2,000 on our balance sheet and he whittled us down to 3 employees. And now we have 8 employees and our equity position is $600,000.
Our education programs have grown during his tenure. We train over 2500 of your employees every year. We are known for our highly valued Superintendents and safety training, our coveted MIRM, and certified sales professional certifications, and our personal development training programs done through our various councils just to name a few.
Our work to connect us to one another and provide networking opportunities to strengthen all of our businesses is beyond compare. With Jeff’s patient building and nurturing of our Councils and Committees we have over 100 people in leadership on Council Boards. Thanks to Jeff and Past President Chris Presley we boast the largest Professional Women in Building Council in the US with 300 members. Through Jeff’s leadership we are reaching out to the custom and remodeler builders with new members joining everyday bringing Custom Builder Remodelers Council to 100 members strong. SMC is at 400 members, and our new YLC is at 90 members. Additionally, we provide over 200 events a year where we have the opportunity to network, look for advice, and maybe commiserate over our shared challenges.
My personal passion, advocacy. Under Jeff’s leadership and our superstar Chérie we are an organization that effectively addresses the issues we face. We stand at the ready to protect our businesses and do it with unparelled success. As you all know, it was our lawsuit against title that stopped initiative 66 in its tracks. Chérie is out there fighting daily battles for us and making a difference on fees, zoning policy, and building policy. In November she stemmed the tide of increasing fire district impact fees by stopping several IGA’s in Arapahoe County with multiple fires districts that would have allowed fees to increase without an inclusive community process. And our political committee, the MHC is an example to other membership organizations. We financially participate in municipal and county elections all over the 34 municipalities and 8 counties we cover, often times interviewing 100+ candidates every spring and fall.
Jeff, you have been a giant of our industry and we all owe you a debt of gratitude for the work you’ve done to strengthen the HBA and all of our businesses. I personally want to thank you for your friendship, mentorship, and let you know that I will miss you.
I am fortunate to have the love and support of my parents tonight, Joe and Kaye Majerik, my husband David Seyboldt and the light of my life, my brilliant son, and future home builders, Gabriel Seyboldt. You are the foundation upon which I stand and I thank you for the sacrifices you make for my many late nights away from you. Gabriel, let this be an example to you of the importance of giving back and serving your community. I look forward to witnessing the unique ways in which you will chose to do so as you grow.
And finally, to all of you, thank you for the faith you have placed in me to guide our great HBA over the next year as Chérie’s first Board President. I’d be remiss to not mention that Chérie will be our first female CEO in our 75 years and that together, next year the HBA will be led for the first time by 2 women. It’s a humbling honor and I thank you.