50-Year Members Recognized at IBS, Share Importance of Membership


During last week's International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, NAHB honored several longtime members who recently surpassed their 50th year of membership. A celebration was held Feb. 2 during the Leadership Council meeting to recognize their significant milestone.

Among those honored was Neil Haselwander , who co-founded the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association in Eau Claire, Wis. Early on, Haselwander realized the power of a strong unified voice of builders to advocate for industry-friendly policies locally and nationally. So, he quickly prioritized the HBA's member recruitment and retention efforts.

"We as builders knew it was up to us to help ensure housing was a priority for legislators," Haselwander said. "The first thing we did as an association was educate our community and elected leaders on the challenges facing the housing industry. Our hard work resulted in some very effective lobbying and successful fundraising."

A large focus on advocacy and government affairs is common among 50-year members. Patrick Nelson, a long-time industry professional and current executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi, believes the Federation's commitment to growth through pro-building advocacy has remained consistent.

"I'm continually amazed by how much effort NAHB devotes to fighting for legislative initiatives on our members' behalf," Nelson said. "NAHB has long helped the members and HBAs protect the profession, grow the industry and enact laws that allow us to continue building into the future."

The relationships formed among members were critical for members like Joe Landers, who credits much of his 50-year membership run to the countless networking opportunities at the local and national levels. Remaining heavily involved with the home building community, Landers served as president for the first-ever two-year term in the New Hampshire HBA. He currently serves as executive officer of the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Massachusetts.

"I understand the challenges we face today of balancing work and family obligations, only to throw another commitment into someone’s life," Landers said. "But, even in the business of building, the time investment I put into my HBA was important so I could enhance my business, and the lifetime relationships through networking were important to my success."

Here are the NAHB members who were recognized during the meeting:

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