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Presidents Year in Review – Josh Nolan

It is hard to believe that another fiscal year at the Home Builders and Remodelers’ Association of Western Mass has ended marking the end of President Josh Nolan’s term.  This past fiscal year was not a typical year for the association. Signs of normalcy started to play as the covid vaccine was available, but then the pandemic reared its ugly head again in the fall of 2021 with the Delta variant. The association struggled to hold events all while trying to keep members as safe as possible with social distancing.

Here is a recap of the key events and accomplishments during the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year under the leadership of President Josh Nolan and his leadership team.

Since the March 2021 Home Show had to be postponed due to the lingering pandemic, the association held a “Summer Edition” Home Show in August to offer vendors the opportunity to showcase their services to consumers throughout the Pioneer Valley. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and through prudent guidance from the state and local agencies, as well as Emergency Management, the show had to be closed early for the public interest.

The association continued to market its CEU continuing education programs to licensed contractors with smaller classes to observe necessary social guidelines. The classes were well received and were held monthly. As the pandemic eases even more, the association will explore hosting CEU classes once again with the Berkshire Chapter, and potentially host classes in the Franklin county area in the future. With the recent closure of the HBRA of Central Mass, our association is looking to potentially reach that underserved market, as well. Our seven week CSL License Preparation Course was recently held and we will be planning for a late summer session.  

The Fourth Annual Don Smith Memorial Golf Tournament changed venue this year due to the renovations at Franconia Golf Course in Springfield. This popular event was sold out again and held at the Chicopee Country Club. We thank all of our members and media partners for their donations to the tournament allowing the association to collect funds for the Home Builders Foundation, a worthy cause held dear by Past Chairman Donald Smith, in which the tournament is named for.   

The “Original” Western Mass Home & Garden Show was held in March this year. Although limited to the Better Living Center, the turnout for the show was great and vendors were very happy with the show attendees that came out to have work done for the homes. Some vendors stated that this year’s show was the best in several years with some vendors reporting record leads. Thank you to Gisele Gilpatrick, Home Show Chair, and her hardworking committee members for a great job in presenting a great show.

The Foundation offered the fourteen area trade schools in the Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire County areas, the opportunity to select candidates from their schools to receive the $750 Tool Stipend Award. ill be awarding eight $1,000 member scholarships and one $1,000 NAHB Student Chapter scholarships.      

The Annual Election & Installation of Officers and Directors held in June was one of the first major events that the association has held in a while due to the covid pandemic. There was a great turnout of over 50 members, as the association membership voted on the Slate of Officers and Directors presented by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.  State Representative Joseph Wagner was on hand to install all of the newly elected Officers & Directors at this popular event. Association Treasurer Richard Kowal was awarded the 2022 Edward R. Pedersen Service Award for his hard work in steering the association through the turbulent financial situation brought on by the ramifications of the Covid pandemic.  His financial leadership helped the association leadership in making tough financial decisions to ensure the longevity of the association’s success.

As the new executive team takes the helm of our association and the economy slowly opens back up, we ask our members to support our new leadership team.  The association is planning its annual calendar and hopes to offer more networking events for members to network. Please do not forget that the HBRAWM is here for you.  Please stay involved and take advantage of your membership.  Whether it is learning about all the financial rebates offered to members, utilizing discounts on products and services, serving on a committee, or networking with other members, your involvement is key to taking full advantage of your HBRA membership.