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The Year In Review - Past President Nicholas Riley

The Year In Review - Past President Nicholas Riley
Nicholas Riley has served as the President of the HBRA of Western Massachusetts during the past year. Here is a recap of the key events and accomplishments during the 2018 - 2019 fiscal year.

With a new Executive Director in place, the HBRA-WM moved forward in assessing the needs of the members of the association and ensuring its financial success moving forward. Interim Executive Director Andrew Crane was approved as the Executive Director. Committees were formed to assess the association’s financial situation and to establish a realistic budget moving forward.

The Clambake in September was another success as our association joined the HBRA of Hartford County and area Inspectors for a great day of food and fun at High Meadow in Granby, CT. Hundreds of members and their guests, along with area inspectors, enjoyed networking at this relaxed day long event.

The general membership meetings continued to evolve into Networking Events hosted by member companies allowing our members an free, informal and informative networking event. Thank you to the following members for hosting our networking events this past fiscal year: Schooley Mitchell, Encharter Insurance, Ed Os/Frank Webb Home, and Recycling Works/Horizon Services. Without a formal program, members are able to come and go at their leisure and maximize their networking time with fellow members.

In December, the Holiday Open House was a fun, free night which benefited the Toys for Tots campaign. Our members graciously donated toys and money for this worthwhile cause to make the holiday season a little brighter for many less fortunate families. Members and their guests enjoyed great food, holiday cheer, networking and a host of door prizes. Stuart Fearn of SAFCO Foam served his delicious frozen dessert cocktail “Chauvinette” to the members. We thank our media partners for all of their generous donations of door prizes, as well as to Lori Loughlin of Frank Webb Home for the grand prize of an outdoor patio heater.

The association continued to market its CEU continuing education program to licensed contractors. With the new changes that limits contractors to only six credits on-line, the association saw an increase in the number of students participating in our in-class programs. The association continues to look for opportunities to increase its educational offerings to our members and the industry.

The “Original” Western Massachusetts Home & Garden Show produced its 65th show which was a a sell out. Many of our vendors reported a successful show and were excited for the start of the busy season. Due to the hard work of the Home Show Committee and staff, the show continues to be a great success and continues to fund the association’s annual activities.

In March, we held our Legislative Breakfast at the Castle of the Knights in Chicopee. Various local and state legislators were on hand to join our members as state lobbyist, Ben Fiore, addressed some of the key issues facing our industry. This event continues to be a very important event and we encourage all our members to attend it in the future.

This past May, the association held the Second Annual Don Smith Memorial Golf Tournament at Franconia Golf Course in Springfield. Once again, the tournament conducted the “Don Smith Closest to the Pin Contest” using a driver. This contest was in honor of long time Golf Chairman Don Smith who passed away last year. This event was a great day of golfing followed by a delicious steak dinner held at the newly constructed pavilion at the course.

The Home Builders Foundation will be awarding a record number of scholarships this year. We distribute eight $1,000 member scholarships and two $1,000 NAHB Student Chapter scholarships. We also award $750 in tool stipends or scholarships to students in area trade/vocational schools from Hampden, Hampshire, Berkshire and Franklin counties.

Once again, the year wrapped up with the Annual Election & Installation of Officers and Directors on June 25th at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee. The Edward Pedersen Service Award was presented to Gisele Gilpatrick of Pro-Tech Waterproofing for her service to the association this past year.

With the newly executive team elected and installed, we encourage all of our members to get more involved in the association. Whether it is learning about all the financial rebates offer to members, utilizing discounts on national products and services, or serving on a committee, your involvement is key to taking full advantage of your membership.