Building Insight January 2020

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Table of contents

WHO WE ARE The Building Industry Association of Washington is the state’s largest trade association representing thousands of companies in the home building industry. BIAW is dedicated to ensuring and enhancing the vitality of the building industry for the benefit of its members and the housing needs of citizens.

BIAW STAFF Executive Vice President Greg Lane Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh General Counsel Jackson Maynard Administrative Services Director Jan Rohila R.O.I.I.® Select Director Mark Shaffer Communications & Public Relations Director Jennifer Spall

BUILDING INSIGHT EDITORIAL STAFF Communications & Public Relations Director Jennifer Spall Communications Manager Leah Jaber Writer and Editor Bailee Wicks Layout & Design Brenda Kwieciak

To submit editorial or advertise contact

Pierce County Career Day, with sponsor the Master Builders Association of Pierce County, allows high school students the opportunity to experience skilled trades hands-on and introduces them to career opportunities in the trades.


How to grab your legislator’s attention


Website missteps to avoid


BIAW Health Insurance program best in class

Simple steps on how you can connect with your lawmakers

Pay attention to your images before posting

BIAW health insurance program offers employers a wide variety of options and plans


New education classes in 2020 Registration is open for 2020 schedule

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President’s message BIAW is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Seventy years is an impressive accomplishment and demonstrates the dedication of BIAW members and staff. Celebrate BIAW! is our mantra for 2020. Now before you get the wrong idea, it is not about partying, but to find and use our strength as an industry. Through the years as an industry, an association, and as individuals, we’ve experienced many good times. Each of us is proof that in spite of all the economic and political challenges we have faced, we have persevered in a very challenging occupation.

Sherry Schwab President

Collectively, as builders, remodelers, and associates, we proudly provide housing. As a nation, we are advancing rapidly in a relatively short period of time. As we modernize, some of our processes in construction have also become more systematized. However, it is still impossible to physically build a structure without hands-on-labor and knowledgeable professionals who contain those skills.

BIAW’s strength is its unity We have grown into the fourth largest state association in the nation, with the highest retention rate, so BIAW must be doing something right. BIAW’s Health Insurance program provides affordable and dependable healthcare options that cover 26,000 employees. R.O.I.I.® Select encourages workplace safety. The success of these two programs helps contribute to BIAW and our local associations’ efforts in furthering our message of pro-housing and skilled trades development. The recently approved strategic plan lays out BIAW’s goals and a road map on how to achieve them. BIAW and local association staff is very dedicated and will work hard to reach those goals. Prior to the economic slow down in 2007, our industry was already facing a skilled labor shortage. In 2020, BIAW will push for solutions to our industry’s workforce shortage. For decades, BIAW has helped shape our industry’s public policy by meeting with state legislators, agencies, and even the Governor and his staff. We will continue this endeavor to educate our lawmakers and the community about what is necessary to achieve affordable housing, and our fight to uphold the American Dream of home ownership for everyone. Our industry also needs to focus on educating our future home builders at all levels, starting with storybooks at the elementary level and programs such as Junior Achievement, speakers, shop classes, and field training at the secondary level. Today’s children are not growing up seeing their parents doing home repairs, so how can we expect a home builder to be a career choice when it is an unknown? See PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE on page 15


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Government Affairs

How to grab your legislator’s attention by Jan Himebaugh

Government Affairs Director

Lawmakers genuinely want to hear from their constituents, individuals and businesses alike. Nothing is more effective than to communicate with your lawmaker, whether it’s in person, by letter, email, or a phone call. BIAW needs your help in sharing your stories. Our lawmakers need to know what rules and regulations harm your ability to do business in the state. What legislation, existing or proposed, impacts you and your employees’ well-being and your company’s bottom line? Here are some simple tips to getting your message in front of your legislators.

Communication is Key

In-person meetings, whether in your district or at the Capitol, is perhaps the most effective type of communication. BIAW recommends an individual or small group gathering. Letters should be a single page, short, and concise. Begin with a short introduction of yourself, why you are writing, and any action you want to be taken. Letters show the advocate spent time. Note: timing is crucialletters can take up to a week to arrive. Emails are excellent at any time and very convenient. Make sure to include your home address for constituent verification. Phone calls are beneficial when time is short. Be sure to keep your conversation simple. Social media engagement with legislators varies, some lawmakers are more active than others. A quick thank you for their vote on BIAW-priority legislation is always appreciated. Get to the point, be firm on your position, and remember it is okay to disagree with them. Be sure to include the bill number in your correspondence. Follow up is essential, a thank you letter for taking the time to meet will go a long way. Be sure to offer them a business card so they can contact you if they have any additional questions. BIAW is more than happy to assist you in setting up a meeting with a legislator, provide talking points, or drafting a letter to help you communicate our industry’s position. Please contact Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh at (360) 352-7800, ext. 135 or january 2020


Executive Vice President’s message Happy Anniversary In case you missed it, during the fall board meeting we announced that Feb. 18, 2020 marks the 70th-anniversary BIAW became a chartered state association affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders. BIAW has many activities planned throughout the year to mark this special occasion. Legislative Session 2020 The 60-day Legislative session opens Jan. 13. Led by BIAW Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh and our advocacy team, BIAW has developed an aggressive policy agenda, including bills to: reduce redundancy in permitting; bring accountability to permit timelines; streamline the platting process; and increase opportunities in workforce development. Unfortunately, our team will once again have to work hard to stop numerous anti-business bills from passing. Greg Lane

Executive Vice President

On the legal front, we kicked off the year with a hearing on our hydraulic permit approval lawsuit. The lawsuit asserts HB 1579 was unconstitutionally drafted and partially vetoed. As we wait for this suit to reconcile, we continue to look for opportunities to engage and intervene in cases that impact home affordability, such as collecting sales tax on concrete pumping and raiding the workers’ compensation funds from last year. Strategic Plan Updates Over the upcoming year, Building Insight will provide members with regular updates on the progress made toward meeting the goals outlined in BIAW’s Strategic Plan. Save the Date It’s never too early to mark your calendar to attend BIAW’s board meetings. We make our usual stop in Olympia in February (24-26) and after a long hiatus, return to Skamania Lodge in June (22-24) for the summer meeting. In November (11-13), we head south to Vancouver for the fall meeting. Speaking of events, the winter board meeting will feature Hill Day, a unique opportunity for our members to visit with their legislators at the Capitol. Please make plans to attend our evening event, the annual legislative reception hosted at Hotel RL on Feb. 25. Bits and Pieces I hope to see a large gathering from Washington at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas later this month. The show will open with an address from Magic Johnson and The Doobie Brothers will headline the closing concert. Construction work on BIAW’s new headquarters, the Parkside Building, is expected to begin later this month, with the sale of the mansion closing on Jan. 10. BIAW staff will remain at the mansion until the tenant improvements are completed, scheduled for late May.


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Safety Services

Website missteps to avoid

by Bob White

Safety Services Director

We live in a new age of information, where customers have become increasingly savvy about how they hire contractors. In today's digital world, customers can go online and instantly check to make sure a contractor is licensed and bonded. For example, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) website offers visitors the option to check experience ratings and safety violation history. Visiting a contractor's website or other social media sites when researching a contractor’s offerings has increasingly become a part of the hiring process. Many times you can find photo galleries of past projects, before and afters, and "during the construction" phase. Often, however, a contractor may post a photo to showcase his recently finished custom home or

highly intricate stairway project and be totally unaware of unsavory elements in the picture, i.e., safety violations. Over and over again, I have visited dozens of websites that posted photos of a construction crew working on million-dollar homes. The owner posts the photos to highlight the beautiful twostory, steeped-pitch roofs—what he doesn’t notice is the crew working on the roof is not using the required fall protection. Other photos show employees visible in the background operating nail guns or other machinery without eye or hearing protection. With increasing scrutiny, at the county, state, and national levels, placed on safety procedures and job site safety, company owners need to be aware of what photos are being posted to their website and any other social media

platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz, are just to name a few). While potential customers may be amazed at the craftsmanship on display and an architect visiting your site may recognize an extraordinary design feature, a safety inspector that happens to stumble (or not) upon your website may spot employees at risk or other improper safety procedures. Now is always a good time to take a look at the photos posted to your website and social media accounts. Your attention to detail goes beyond the mahogany handrail, Shaker kitchen cabinet, or that polished granite counter top you install.

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Health Insurance Program

BIAW’s Heath Insurance program best in class by Bailee Wicks Writer and Editor

According to a recent poll in late 2019 by WalletHUB, Washington state ranked #1 in terms of the highest GDP growth in the nation. With a booming housing market, a growing tech industry, and a historically low unemployment rate, we head into 2020 with the wind behind our sails. However, with this success, the need for talented and hardworking employees is more significant than ever, and the competition to attract that talent is fierce. In today’s record-low unemployment rate, employers are under pressure to offer job candidates a full suite of benefits. In particular, health insurance options are high on the list of job-seekers’ perks. As 2020 approaches, employers and employees embrace for potential changes in the healthcare industry. Washington state continues to set the standard for affordable and comprehensive health care offered through association health plans (AHP). AHP group businesses in similar sectors together. By leveraging the buying power of all the participating companies, employers are often able to realize significant savings on their health insurance costs. The BIAW Health Insurance program has been serving BIAW member companies of all sizes for over 25 years. The program currently has more than 650 businesses enrolled and 10,000 individuals covered under the plan, with an average of 16 employees per


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company. By offering a wide variety of benefit plans and pricing levels, employers have the flexibility to choose options that best suit their budget and cover employees’ needs. As the new year approaches and the healthcare policy landscape becomes more uncertain, BIAW’s Health Insurance program will continue to offer the best in class benefits to the best in class employees. Getting a quote is free. To see if BIAW’s Health Insurance program can save you money as it does for the other 650+ member companies, go to

GET A FREE QUOTE NOW! Visit us at or (425) 641-8093 january 2020


Cover Story

Meet your 2020 Senior Officers by Bailee Wicks Writer and Editor Sherry Schwab HCS Construction Services Co.

President Sherry Schwab has been a BIAW member for more than 25 years and heavily involved in leadership at BIAW, as well as her local association, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS). At the state level, Schwab has served as a BIAW director, chair of the Remodelers Council, Legislative Policy Committee, and a trustee on the Washington Affordable Housing Council. In 2017, she served as National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Area chair Region 15, representing members in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington. Sherry is also a leader in the Professional Women in Building group and received NAHB’s 2016 Professional Women in Business member of the year. As a long-time supporter of the industry, Sherry remains one of BIAW’s top recruiters with 1,702 Spike credits. For her contributions to the industry, she has received top awards from MBAKS, named BIAW Remodeler of the Year in 2002, and was inducted into the BIAW Hall of Fame in 2011 and the MBAKS Hall of Fame in 2019.

First Vice President Tracy Doriot has been a strong supporter of his local association, the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIACC) and BIAW. He has held numerous leadership positions with BIACC, serving as president in 2010 and 2016, as well as several other roles. Tracy Doriot Doriot Construction


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Tracy has also been an active member of BIAW, participating in the Washington Affordable Housing Council and the Legislative Policy Committee. For his outstanding leadership and service to the industry, he was named a nominee for BIAW Builder of the Year in 2017.

Secretary Nick Gilliland began working in the insurance industry in 2013 as an operations manager for Aetna Insurance. In 2015 he attained his property casualty license and was hired at Blasingame Insurance.

Nick Gilliland Blasingame Insurance

As a strong supporter of his local association, the Spokane Home Builders Association, serving as a board member, as well as a director on the Young Professionals Council. Nick was honored in 2018 with an Associate Appreciation Award for his dedication and service to the home building industry at the local, state, and national levels. Treasurer During his more than 20 years as a member, Joseph has been very active in leadership at his local association, MBAKS. He served as executive board president in 2016 and chair for both MBAKS and BIAW’s Remodelers Councils. He is an active member of NAHB’s Remodelers Board of Trustees, as well as having served as BIAW’s representative on the executive board.

Joseph Irons GMR CGR GMB CAPS CGP, Certified Builder Irons Brothers Construction

Joseph’s commitment to the industry shows with his numerous remodeling excellence awards from MBAKS and BIAW, and being recently designated as a BIAW Certified Builder.

Second Vice President As a BIAW member since 1991, LouAnne has been active at her local association, the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities, serving as chair on the Membership and Parade of Homes committees. She also volunteers her time on the annual Home & Garden and Fall Home Show committees. Additionally, she regularly participates in membership drives, accumulating 243 Spike credits. LouAnne Neill Neill Construction Services

LouAnne serves on BIAW’s Associate Advisory Council, Membership Committee, and is a trustee of the Washington Affordable Housing Council. For her service to the home building industry, she received BIAW’s Associate Appreciation Award in 2016. Immediate Past President Rick Hjelm has been a member of BIAW for more than 20 years and recently became a BIAW Certified Builder. During that time, he has held numerous leadership roles with his local, the Master Builders Association of Pierce County, serving twice as president, and chairing several committees and councils.

Rick Hjelm, CGR, Certified Builder Phase II General Contractor, Inc.

At the state level, Hjelm has served as chair of BIAW’s Legislative Policy Committee, Local Association Presidents Council, Education Committee, and Remodelers Council. Rick is a dedicated recruiter for the industry, earning a whopping 513 Spike credits. january 2020



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BIAW Milestones A look back over the past 70 years

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Education Program

New education classes in 2020 by Bailee Wicks Writer and Editor

A new year has begun, and that means a new selection of BIAW education classes. We know you are as excited as we are, so here is your guide to BIAW’s latest and most popular classes, as well as our recertification, and online offerings.

BIAW offers new classes in 2020

New DOL Exempt and Overtime Rule Requirements On March 7, 2019, the Washington Department of Labor announced a new salary threshold for exempt employees, and on March 28, 2019, announced updated requirements for calculating the regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime. The new rules became effective on Jan. 1, 2020. Now is the time to review your current wages for salaried exempt employees as well as to ensure they are correctly classified.


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Education Classes you Won’t Want to Miss Recertification

CESCL Recertification The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) requires CESCL certifications be renewed every three years. Is yours about to expire? Students attending this one-day class will receive a DOE CESCL certificate good for three years. Certified Lead Renovator Refresher This six-hour refresher class is for individuals who have previously completed the Certified Lead Renovator Initial class in compliance with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule.

Live Webinar

Washington Family and Medical Leave for Employers with Less than 50 Employees Same information as the class on page 14, but as a live webinar option. Help Minimize Risk + Protect Your Bottom Line The workshop will discuss proactive approaches to improve employee retention, company culture, and safe work habits. This class is geared toward company leaders and managers.

To view a complete list of all the BIAW education classes for 2020, visit If you have any questions, please contact Certification/Education Manager Hillary Vanatta at (360) 352-7800, ext. 106 or

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE from page 4 Our heritage shapes every one of us. My heritage west side of the mountains. Large and small local includes a grandmother, born on a homestead, who associations and member-to-member, let’s work to ran a ranch and taught school in rural areas. Her find solutions to the problems facing our industry philosophy was there are two kinds of knowledge: and the lack of affordable housing in our state. what you know and what you know how to find. We have some big tasks ahead of us, but I am My family is not confident we will unique; I think we find success by Local Association Anniversary Milestones in the west have a working together. BIA of Clark County.................................................................. 50 years can-do attitude to None of us may MBA of King & Snohomish Counties................................. 110 years find solutions to know what the new Kitsap Building Association.................................................... 65 years problems. year will bring, but Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association...................... 40 years Our industry I can tell you that should look for I will work hard to unconventional solutions. We need to help change represent you, as will all your senior officers. the attitude of the public; residential construction I have a lot of admiration for the two female is a rewarding career. I felt at home in the industry, presidents who preceded me, Dottie Piazza and so I abandoned work on a Ph.D. and started a the late Audrey Borders. Thank you to my husband construction company. Joe and my friends, old and new, too numerous to Some of you have asked how you can help me this year; I do have one request for each of you. Let’s face this year together. Our fall board meeting in Spokane showed our unity across the east and

mention. You are the reason for my volunteering for the past 30 years. So, let’s celebrate BIAW and help build the future.

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Guest Columnist

Not just a win, Spokane’s election message on the issues is a demand Reprinted with permission, Spokesman Review, November 21, 2019

by Chris Cargill

Eastern Washington director at Washington Policy Center

In a democratic election, surpassing 50% is a win. A victory north of 60% is a mandate. Getting nearly 80% of the vote is a popular demand. On Nov. 5, voters in Spokane were crystal clear about their demands regarding two of Washington state’s most contentious issues­—opposition to an income tax and support for open collective bargaining negotiations. Spokane voter opinion was so strong it could cascade across the Cascades. First, with more than 77% support—something unheard of in an election—voters have demanded and will receive open and transparent collective bargaining negotiations between the city and city unions. Despite the grumbling of hardline union leaders, the question of government openness is no longer up for discussion. The action taken by voters will change the city charter. Collective bargaining negotiations between the city’s powerful unions and the city’s executive team have, until now, been done in secret, behind closed doors. This means an important and costly taxpayer expense was hidden until the final bill comes due. That now changes. The public and the media will now be allowed to be in the room when the negotiations are taking place. The people’s money is at stake, and now they can listen in to the conversations taking place to ensure both sides are arguing over public dollars in good faith. Spokane becomes the first city in the state in which voters have weighed in and passed the openness 16

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policy. It has already been implemented by county commissions and school districts in places like Lincoln County, Kittitas County, Ferry County, Spokane County, Gig Harbor, and the Pullman School District. Spokane city leaders must now follow the overwhelming will of voters and open these negotiations, resisting any attempts by union officials to put up more roadblocks. This transparency reform should be one of the first priorities of the new Woodward administration. Union leaders are now on notice that nearly 80% of voters stand against them should they decide to try to resist the effort or play games as they have been doing for more than two years in neighboring Lincoln County. Second, voters also sent a strong message in opposition to an income tax of any kind. Spokane became the first city in the state to approve a ban on a local income tax, slamming the door shut and throwing away the key by passing Proposition 2 with more than 72% of the vote. This action was understandable given Seattle’s attempts to impose its own income tax, the recent Court of Appeals ruling allowing cities to adopt income taxes, and the Legislature’s continued attempts to impose a statewide capital gains income tax. Spokane voters, just as state voters did 10 times before, said absolutely not to any future income tax. While the state’s largest city tries to implement an income tax, the state’s second largest city has ensured it will never have one. In the battle to attract See SPOKANE on page 17

SPOKANE from page 16

76% of Washingtonians support “requiring collective bargaining highly-skilled, highly-paid workers, negotiations for government the Lilac City now has another employers to be open to the competitive advantage. public.” Another poll shows nearly Now, there is word that other local 70% of Washingtonians oppose an governments across the state might income tax. follow Spokane’s lead on these The real question is whether two critical issues—and for good legislators are paying attention. reason. A statewide poll shows Some of the Legislature’s

key leaders call Spokane and Eastern Washington home. Their constituents just adopted two important policy priorities that have statewide implications. The passage of Propositions 1 and 2 in Spokane were not just routine ballot wins—they reflect demands that are echoing across the entire state. Lawmakers should listen.

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LOCAL ASSOCIATION HAPPENINGS [1] A potential future home builder takes his turn hammering nails during the Pierce County Career Day which MBA of Pierce County was a sponsor. [2] BIAW President Sherry Schwab administers the oath of office to 2020 Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association President Kim Piazza. [3] BIA of Clark County 2020 officers and leadership take the oath of office from BIAW Past President Rick Hjelm. [4] BIAW Past President Rick Hjelm installs 2020 BIA of Whatcom County President Charly Myers. [5] 2020 MBA of King and Snohomish Counties President

Brian Holtzclaw addresses members and guests during the MBAKS 110th anniversary gala. [6] North Peninsula Building Association member Tracy Gudgel installs their 2020 officers and leadership. [7] Olympia Master Builders 2020 President Erik Jensen (r) congratulates OMB Remodeler of the Year Chris Winters. [8] 2020 Central Washington HBA President Clint Adamson gets things in order as he is sworn in by BIAW Past President Rick Hjelm. [9] The 2020 MBA of Pierce County officers and leadership take the oath of office from 2001 BIAW President Bob Camp.

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Building Industry Association of Washington 111 21st Avenue SW | Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 352-7800 | |


FEB 24-26


HOTEL RL olympia

network meetings hill day at the capitol legislative reception committee and council updates NAHB happenings strategic plan update spike awards builder appreciation awards guest speakers

BIAW & NAHB 2020 MEETINGS NAHB International Builders’ Show.........Jan. 21-23 Las Vegas BIAW Winter Board Meeting.................Feb. 24-26 Olympia | Hotel RL NAHB Spring Leadership Meeting....... June 18-20 Washington, D.C. | Washington Hilton BIAW Summer Board Meeting.............. June 22-24 Skamania Lodge | Stevenson NAHB Fall Leadership Meeting.............Oct. 20-22 Kansas City | Loews Kansas City Hotel BIAW Fall Board Meeting....................... Nov. 11-13 Hilton Vancouver, Vancouver

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