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Next month is the 2003 International Builders' Show. It feels like it was only a few days ago when, as an industry, we gathered in Atlanta before the 2002 show to build five homes for Habitat for Humanity.

December 01, 2002


Dean Horowitz, Publisher

Next month is the 2003 International Builders' Show. It feels like it was only a few days ago when, as an industry, we gathered in Atlanta before the 2002 show to build five homes for Habitat for Humanity. That effort proved to me - proved to all the participants - that while we might call ourselves builders, architects, manufacturers, suppliers, remodelers, trade partners, etc., we share the same passion for what we do. We care about our customers and feel fortunate to be part of the residential construction industry.

In trying to figure out how to take all that we planned for IBS 2003 up a few notches - we're in Las Vegas, after all - we kept struggling with the message. Something powerful happened in Atlanta as we all worked side by side for something bigger than ourselves. Instead of focusing on the issues that stress our professional lives, we forged personal relationships that enhanced the business ones.

Letting that connection lapse at a time when next year's economic and supply chain issues are just beginning seems too dangerous for us all. So the goal of everything the Reed Residential Group has planned for 2003 is to remind us all that there is great strength in working together and realizing the opportunities our industry provides.

Instead of doing our traditionally separate events such as the Builder of the Year breakfast, the Best in American Living Awards and Remodelers Night Out, we have combined the programs and expanded their significance with a new event titled "One Night. One Industry." It is designed to highlight the greatest achievements, ideas and designs occurring in the industry. Not a segment, but the industry.

We also are assisting in the launch of the Las Vegas chapter of HomeAid America by completing two important shelters that will be showcased outside the convention center throughout the Builders' Show. This organization has almost 60 chapters nationwide and is focused on bringing the home building industry together to build and sustain transitional shelters for the temporarily homeless. HomeAid's vision is to serve "individuals and families who find themselves without shelter due to factors such as domestic violence, job loss and catastrophic illness." HomeAid has helped thousands of men, women and children since its launch in 1989.

One HomeAid shelter is being built by Beazer Homes' Las Vegas division. The other is being built by Carina Homes. These homes will be built with material and labor donated by building product manufacturers, suppliers and subcontractors.

We also are building two homes for Habitat for Humanity. These homes will be built and showcased outside the main entrance to the show as well.

As 2002 comes to an end and New Year's resolutions are being formed, let's take on the challenge to make trade contractors and vendors members of the team. Include them in the planning and processes that establish where your home building firm is going in 2003 and beyond. Make employees part of the discussions on where you are headed as a company, the products you will produce and the customers you will serve.

There is an opportunity for a next level of evolution in the collaborative process, one that enables individual achievement and recognition to occur simultaneously with the realization of the goals of the whole. This next step on the evolutionary ladder leverages the energy, experience and intuition of a group of people driven to deliver the best homes for their customers.

Together this industry is very powerful and remains the one strong element in our economy. Now is the time, if we all choose to do so, to demonstrate to other industries our "best practices" and how they can transform the way they do business.

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