One of the benefits of NAHB membership is the ability to easily network and do business with other members in the industry. The NAHB BEAM (Builders Engaging Associate Members) Award is given by NAHB’s Associate Members Committee to one builder (or one local entity) who best exemplifies the motto, “It’s good business to do business with a member.” This award encourages builders to use the goods and services offered by Associates.
The Kochmann Brothers, a company owned by Bob and Paul Kochmann and Darrick Guthmiller, are home builders from Fargo, N.D., and members of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead (HBAFM). NAHB members constitute 95% of their business vendors — a key factor, along with their dedication to the industry and community, in their acknowledgement as the 2020 NAHB BEAM Award winners.
“We are a small business and depend greatly on our trade contractors and associate members to succeed,” said Bob Kochmann. “We view them as part of our company because, in the end, it is a team effort to keep our industry strong.”
Bob, Paul and Derrick have all been extremely active in the HBAFM throughout the years. Bob and Paul have been members for more than 35 years and recognize the value of a network of building industry partners. Darrick is the 2020 HBA president and served in that position in 2013. All three are also past Builders of the Year.
“The Kochmann Brothers are the epitome of integrity. They look at all trade partners as partners,” said Terry Lipp, builder salesman for Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Showroom and business vendor of the Kochmann Brothers. “Sometimes things don’t go smoothly or between trades. They’re the type of people who look for a solution through joint efforts. If they have an issue, we always work together to get it fixed for the client, because we all recognize the client is most important.”
The Kochmann Brothers are also well-known for recruiting new members to the HBAFM, because they believe in keeping the industry strong by working with other members.
“They feel strongly that it’s important to support trade contractors and suppliers who have similar goals and believe in the betterment of our industry through supporting the Association,” said Bryce Johnson, HBAFM executive officer. “They sit down with all their non-member vendors, explain the benefits of membership and share all they’ve done over the years. They embody what membership is all about: members doing business with members.”
Fellow nominees for last year’s BEAM Award have also shown the value of collaborating with NAHB members to help grow and strengthen the industry:
- Tim Ruth — a builder member from Iowa City, Iowa, and a member of the Greater Iowa City Home Builders Association (GICHBA) — helped to create and oversee the ACE (Architectural Construction and Engineering) program with Joe Greathouse, an educator at Kirkwood Community College. The ACE Program — which spans seven counties, two HBAs, one community college, and 32 K-12 school districts — systematically tackles the labor shortage and provides education to students. “Tim eats, breathes, and lives the mantra of not only getting people into the industry, but utilizing the relationships and connections of those already involved in the HBA,” said Greathouse. “His passion for it is contagious, and often spurs others about how they can get involved, too.”
- Joe Atalla is a home builder from Meridian, Idaho, and a member of the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho (BCASWI). Atalla is highly involved with the NAHB Federation and is a lifetime SPIKE. When working with vendors who aren’t members, he doesn’t fail to share the value of membership and encourages them to join. “I know so many people who are members because of Joe,” said Ken Rock, a business vendor and Associate member. “The amount of members Joe has recruited speaks to his level of trust and affinity with him.”
- Lynne Herrick and her husband selected Dan Mitchell — a home builder from Knoxville, Tenn., and a member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville (HBAGK) — to build their home after seeing him present at a Log & Timber Home Show. “During the construction of our home, it didn’t take us long to figure out that every single sub-contractor that was part of Dan’s team were all members of the Home Builders Association,” she recalled. “Not only were they members, but they also were fine in their craft. By the time construction was completed, it didn’t take long before Dan was recruiting me to join the HBAGK myself as an Associate to represent my business with Aflac and the Home Builders Association of Tennessee (HBAT) health insurance,” she added. “Soon, I was networking with different business owners as an Associate and attending different events.”
Applications are currently open for this year’s Associates of Excellence Awards, including the NAHB BEAM Award. Apply now to nominate deserving members for their remarkable contributions to the housing industry at the local, state and national levels.
Thank you to the NAHB Associates Premier Partners Club for supporting the Associate Members Committee.