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If It’s Spring, National Membership Day Cannot Be Far Behind

For Larry Chimenti, the membership director of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties in Washington, the signs of spring are easy to discern.

“People are happy, again,” Chimenti says. “That’s a certain sign that spring is here. That, and we’ve all been gearing up for National Membership Day.”

This year, National Membership Day — the federation-wide membership drive — is Tuesday, May 23. Its theme is, "Driven to Be the Best.:

Having the drive helps local associations revitalize and grow their memberships. It can also help them to energize their members, create excitement, build momentum and even enter into a few friendly cross-state, cross-country or member-to-member rivalries.

Let the Battle of the Sexes Begin

The Charlotte Desoto Building Industry Association in Port Charlotte, Fla. has thrown down the gauntlet, and this year it's waging a battle of the sexes.

“I’m the first female president of this association in 20 years, so this National Membership Day it’s the men against the women,” said Susanne Graham. “We’re just making it fun and trying to involve everyone.”

Her association’s goal is to have 100 new members.

Members, Start Your Engines

Dayle Flint, the executive officer of the Forgotten Coast Home Builders Association in Apalachicola, Fla., doesn’t pit team against team in her association. It’s too small an association for that. Instead, she says, everybody gets their own project and this year it’s NASCAR.

“Every participant gets a six-pack cooler filled with NASCAR-themed items, including checkered flags, streamers, Matchbox cars, brochures, new member applications and other things that are in line with the year’s auto racing theme,” Flint says. “The cooler gets hand delivered to their store, warehouse or showroom by a member of our membership committee, and they are asked to set it up in their space to attract new recruits. This is my first year working on a campaign like this, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Pass the Word, the Chips Are Back

In Tampa Bay, real clay poker chips are earned — one for each new member. Each poker chip is worth $50 for the association’s trip to Las Vegas in the fall.

In addition to the incentives local associations are creating for participating members, NAHB is awarding double Spike credits during May.

The Momentum Grows

National Membership Day has gained in popularity in recent years, a trend made clear by the growing number of associations pledging their commitment to participate — 150 to date — and organizing fun campaigns around the event.

“I participate because it’s the right thing to do,” said Stephen Gidus, CGR, CGB of the Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando, Fla. “It’s good for us to all rally around membership for one day of the year and do what’s right for our associations. We’d be nothing without a strong membership. NAHB knows that, so they do a nice job of making this work rewarding.”

Membership Day Webcast — and Prizes

New this year are prize opportunities for Webcast viewers, including a Chillerator provided by Whirlpool, NAHB’s official membership sponsor.

The Webcast will air on Tuesday, May 23 from 2:00-5:00pm ET at www.nahb.org.

For more information about the 2006 “Driven to Be the Best” campaign, visit www.nahb.org/membershipday, or call the NAHB Membership Team at 800-368-5242 x8440.

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