Note From Alaska: Spring Board Energized Newcomer
When I arrived in Washington, D.C. for NAHB’s spring board of directors meeting from my hometown of Fairbanks, I thought my NAHB experience would be all about visiting our Alaska legislators on Capitol Hill.
Being new to the NAHB experience, however, I quickly realized first-hand that being part of the NAHB “family” meant more than being given a ribbon at the welcome booth.
At the morning hospitality room for the Women’s Council, for example, I met council members who told me that newcomers should be involved.
So I took their advice and soon had a second ribbon attached to my badge. From that point on I was introduced as “the newest member of the Women’s Council" to every council member I met.
Needless to say, I was pumped and ready for more.
Everywhere I looked during the board meeting, I saw plenty of members wearing multimple ribbons. Just how long have they been part of the NAHB family, I wondered, and did they really take part in so many councils and donate countless hours to make the home building industry better?
Yes, in fact they were that involved. And their communities benefited as well.
As a new director with the Interior Alaska Building Association, I thought, what more should I do at the national level in order to bring home valuable resources home to my fellow member?
My natural instincts guided me. I took photos at every meeting I attended and I asked plenty of questions. I asked members and staff about anything and everything. I talked to long-term members and realized how their businesses and HBAs benefited from their NAHB “family” trainings and contacts.
Before long, I was sporting a third ribbon, for the Sales and Marketing Council, and signed up for training in October. After 30 years in my career and less than a week in Washington, D.C., I realized I had plenty of exciting resources available through NAHB.
With so many choices, I gravitated to the Women’s Council-sponsored Building Hope scholarship program. The program was at the heart of what I liked ― helping young people become part of a growing community.
Then I heard NAHB President Sandy Dunn’s call for support through the Century Club. Soon after, I was wearing a Century Club pin.
All in all, the week in the nation’s capital was pretty exciting for this newcomer from Alaska. I became committed to a mission that spoke to me in large part because so many members of the NAHB family embraced me and my willingness to learn from them.
Karen Isreal Garrity is the community relations and marketing director of the Fairbanks Title Agency in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is also a new director of the Interior Alaska Building Association. For more information, e-mail Garrity, or call her at 907-456-6626.