2023 January Building Insight

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INDUSTRY-LEADING PROVIDER OF STRUCTURAL WARRANTIES Brenda Godfrey Risk Management Specialist 425.463.7979 bgodfrey@2-10.com Bill Connor Risk Management Specialist 503.522.8364 wconnor@2-10.com Jake Echevarria Risk Management Specialist 801.931.9373 jechevarria@2-10.com Learn why 1 in 6 new homes nationwide are covered by a 2-10 HBW Structural Warranty. BUILD IT, YOU WE’LL BACK YOU UP. SEATTLE & TACOMA VANCOUVER OLYMPIA & YAKIMA TRI-CITIES & SPOKANE

Danielle Winski

For editorial inquiries, contact Hannahc@biaw.com

Building Insight magazine is published on behalf of the Building Industry Association of Washington by Print Northwest.

A new 105-day legislative session is scheduled Jan. 9 – Apr. 23. BIAW’s government affairs team outlines BIAW’s top priorities heading into the new session. Protect yourself and your business with these CPA-approved tips. BIAW and your local association can help, too! Bergen

Environmental Director for the Washington Policy Center Todd Myers previews his new book

Gary Wray of Laser Construction and Development in Coupeville takes the lead as BIAW’s 2023 president. This year, Wray plans to focus on family, friends and future workforce. Read his column on page 4. Meet all the 2023 BIAW Senior Officers on page 14.

7 4 12 13 10 15 14 18 20 22 6 5 8 9 IN THIS ISSUE 3 New
New Certified Builder
your
BIAW legal staffer President’s message
Time to Think Small 2023 legislative session preview Recession-proof
business Introducing BIAW’s 2023 Senior Officers Local happenings Another solid year for ROII Make safety your New Year’s resolution Executive Vice President’s message NAHB member savings Voyager fuel and fleet card Jessie Zundel of Parr Lumber shares what she gains from her membership
As always, we want to hear
you! We
Meet your
lobbyists building insight | january 2023 WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU EDITORIAL STAFF
BIAW MANAGMENT CONTACT US
Teschner of Cornerstone Builders is BIAW’s newest Certified Builder
from
invite everyone to take a quick survey about your thoughts on Building Insight. Happy reading! Associate member spotlight
2023
FEATURED
ON THE COVER
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT CONTENT SPECIALIST EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS ROII DIRECTOR ASSOCIATION SERVICES DIRECTOR
VISUAL DESIGNER DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
@BuildingIndustryAssocWA
GENERAL COUNSEL
Janelle Guthrie Janelle Guthrie Greg Lane Hannah Cassara Al Audette Josie Cummings Jan Himebaugh Stephen Hyer Jenn Kavanaugh Brenda Kwieciak Jackson Maynard
@biawofwa
www.BIAW.com Building Industry Association of Washington
@BIAW2
Lena Anderson
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President’s message

Welcome to 2023! I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you this year as your 2023 BIAW president. As your leader this year, I’m focusing on our BIAW family, our friends and homebuilding partners and our future workforce.

Family

This first priority is deeply personal to me: the BIAW family. Let’s celebrate those who came before us, those actively leading the association today and the up-and-coming leaders who will carry us into the future.

As builders and business owners, sometimes we hold our knowledge close, worried we’ll train the next generation and then they’ll leave to start their own businesses. But that’s what we want them to do. We need to share our wisdom and help others learn our craft with as much passion and dedication as we have so they can continue to keep our industry strong.

Let’s respect and honor our most senior builders, remodelers and associate members by supporting their leadership and learning from them. But at the same time, let’s cultivate the next generation.

We have some amazing younger builders, remodelers and associates in our mix. And there are students in our schools who need to learn the trades are a pathway to a wonderful life. Let’s work together to support them and bring them into our association at all levels.

Not only can we mentor the younger generation and share our wisdom and experience with them, but we can also learn from them to continue building and strengthening our association from within. As we all struggle with inflation, rising interest rates and a looming recession, we need to build our BIAW family. We’re stronger together.

Friends

Next, I’d like to strengthen our relationships with others. My colleagues and I at Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA) support our local Habitat for Humanity program, and I know many of your locals do the same. Habitat provides access to the American dream of homeownership, that first step to generational wealth, to families who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity. They also help build our future workforce. Let’s strengthen those relationships at all levels.

Future

Finally, as a member of BIAW’s Workforce Development Task Force, I’m very proud of our workforce development programs all across the state. Let’s continue to work together in our local communities, at events statewide and in the Legislature to build an educational climate that supports trades education.

Washington needs 270,000 more homes today to meet the state’s housing crisis. The work we’re doing to train and develop the future workforce will pay off and help us build the homes Washington families need. I’ll be reaching out to all of you for help to bring our workforce development messages to your local schools and communities.

Thank you for your hard work and inspiration! Here’s to a great year.

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A new membership savings opportunity through NAHB

When signing up for membership through your local home builders association, you also enroll as a member at the state and national levels. With this membership, you have access to resources, expertise and educational opportunities to help build a better product, form a better business, and create a more positive business environment.

Members saved over $36 million in 2021

Another benefit of your membership is savings and discounts on products and services through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

NAHB negotiates exclusively with more than 20 national companies that members can use for their businesses and families. From automotive to business management and everything in between.

Shopping through the NAHB member savings program also supports your local home builders association. All purchases made through the programs provide monetary support; last year alone, NAHB gave more than $700,000 thanks to member participation.

New NAHB membership savings

Recently, NAHB announced a new member savings opportunity with US Bank Voyager Mastercard. This new fuel and fleet card provides the following savings and benefits:

n No account setup or card fees

n Fuel savings through NAHB Voyager App

n Works in remote locations, as well as in Canada and Mexico

The new savings program allows members to administer cards, set spending controls and see all transactions within a single system.

Taking advantage of this new offering is a simple two-step process. Members need to:

1. Provide their Financial Institution Number (FIN)

2. Complete an application online

Once members submit the information above, they will receive a call directly from Voyager. They then choose a prepaid card or a credit option. The process is simple and quick.

Ready to start saving? Check out NAHB’s complete list of businesses that provide discounts for members at nahb.org/savings

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Member Put your membership to work. Exclusive discounts that benefit you, your business and your family
NAHB Member Savings NAHB
nahb.org/Savings

Executive Vice President’s message

Just over three years ago, BIAW and its leadership developed a five-year strategic plan to take our association to the next level of benefits and service to our members. We conducted extensive research, including focus groups and surveys, and met with builders, remodelers and associates all around the state.

Based on your feedback, the plan outlined five strategic priorities and crafted goals in each to help BIAW provide the most value to all of you:

n Government and legal affairs n Communications

n Workforce development

n Continuous education n Thriving association

A fast track to success

Thanks to the hard work of our leaders, members and staff, I’m proud to report that BIAW has accomplished all of the goals in the plan a full two years earlier than expected.

n We’ve successfully advocated for member businesses in the Legislature and in the courts.

n We’ve expanded our workforce development efforts and added a job board for members to post jobs and find new workers.

n We’ve brought new technology into our education offerings so even throughout the pandemic, we were able to offer important classes to help you succeed.

n We’ve increased our communications capacity with paid media campaigns, multiple methods of communication and more videos.

n And finally, our association is thriving through sustained membership, providing record ROII refunds, increasing the engagement of board members participating in our board meetings and recruiting and retaining quality staff to serve our members.

A new strategic plan

Now it’s time to accomplish even more. BIAW staff and leaders will be reaching out to members throughout early 2023 to gain your perspectives on the direction of our association and the goals you would like us to achieve over the next three to five years in a new strategic plan.

We’ll confirm the strategic priorities we identified in our previous plan and develop new goals in each area. This will guide our association into the future.

Leading with excellence

As Washington’s largest trade association and one of the largest state home builders associations in the nation, BIAW has the power and influence to make a difference for our industry, for our future workforce and, most importantly, for you and your business.

Help us shape the future of our association by actively participating and sharing your ideas.

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The BIAW team welcomes a new legal staffer

Upcoming BIAW Classes February 2023

BIAW is excited to welcome Ashli Tagoai as the newest member of the team. Tagoai joins the legal department as the new Associate General Counsel.

Before joining BIAW, Tagoai was an associate attorney at Flynn & Associates in Seattle. Her practice focused on representing landlords in residential landlord-tenant disputes. As an advocate for property owners in her former role, Tagoai looks forward to advocating for builders and housing providers in her new role at BIAW.

Tagoai holds a B.A. in international relations and political science from Boston University and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law. She was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association in 2021. A native Washingtonian, Tagoai enjoys running, indoor cycling, reading crime thrillers and spending quality time with her family.

BIAW Office, Tumwater

1 PM

Master Builders Association of Pierce County, Tacoma

Feb. 1 Feb. 10 Feb. 14 Feb. 15 Feb. 17

Online Online

3 PM

Lower Columbia Contractors Association, Longview

8 AM 8 AM 8 AM

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Service Class
Subscription Service Class
CPR/First Aid Contract Subscription
Contract
CESCL (Certified Erosion & Sediment Control Lead) CESCL Recertification

Jessie Zundel: Gaining confidence through connection

Since joining the Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA), associate member Jessie Zundel has found a new community that has brought her a boost in confidence. A contractor sales representative for Parr Lumber in Spokane, Zundel joined SHBA after attending an event in 2019. She now serves as SHBA’s second vice president, the highest-ranking leadership role an associate member can achieve.

“I have found a new group of people I can call peers— people who would recommend you to business prospects because you would, in return,” Zundel said.

A rewarding career Zundel began working for Parr Lumber seven years ago, initially as a window purchaser for the Spokane and Pasco locations. In her current contractor sales role, she is regularly in direct contact with local contractors, overseeing several large accounts. Her involvement with SHBA has helped her open up and become more comfortable when reaching out to make new connections.

“Being involved with SHBA has helped me grow personally regarding my confidence when it comes to speaking to new members or even a crowd,” she said.

Before working in the building industry, Zundel served as a medical records technician in the U.S. Air Force. During her service, she completed two back-to-back overseas tours before returning home to work as a pharmacy technician. After a 12-year career, she left the military and began her path in the homebuilding industry.

“I absolutely love my job,” she said. “I love the feeling I get when I see a completed house that I had a huge part in, from the foundation to the interior. I love the gratitude customers have when I help with the smallest details. It really is a rewarding job.”

Being involved with SHBA has helped me grow personally regarding my confidence when it comes to speaking to new members or even a crowd.

Contribution deserves recognition

In 2022, BIAW’s Associate Advisory Council honored Zundel with an Associate Appreciation Award. SHBA Executive Officer Joel White said he nominated Zundel for the award for the value she brings to their association through her continued willingness to offer support and be involved.

“Jessie is a driver who makes sure SHBA programs are focused on providing value to members in a professional manner,” White said. “She knows the needs of our core membership and is always willing to engage members.”

Voted as one of the area’s top workplaces in The Oregonian’s 2022 survey, Parr Lumber is a family-owned company with a mission of “providing legendary service through teamwork.” Founded in 1930 and headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., they now have 23 locations throughout Washington and Oregon. Learn more at Parr.com

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Associate Spotlight

Government Affairs

Meet your 2023 lobbyists

BIAW is well known for its incredible team of lobbyists who stand up for the homebuilding industry in Olympia. Working year-round, they provide support on issues that matter to home builders, from healthcare and labor laws to regulations and taxes and everything in between. Committed, experienced and highly respected, they are second to none when advocating for members across our state and industry.

Josie Cummings is BIAW’s Legislative Director. Cummings’ lobbying portfolio encompasses natural resources and environmental issues, focusing mainly on water, climate and fish. In the past, she worked on forestry and recycling infrastructure legislation. She is Certified in Low Impact Development Design (LID) from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Cummings holds a B.A. in political science and public policy from Seattle Pacific University.

Jan Himebaugh is the Managing Director of External Affairs for BIAW. She joined BIAW in 2011 after working for the Washington Lodging Association and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ campaign.

Tom Kwieciak of Tom Kwieciak Consulting, LLC, has over 20 years of lobbying experience in Washington state. A former director for BIAW’s retro and health insurance programs, he has extensive knowledge of workers’ comp, labor and healthcare issues. Kwieciak graduated from Purdue University and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Bill Stauffacher of Stauffacher

Communications began his career in Olympia as a student lobbyist for Washington State University. Before establishing Stauffacher Communications, Stauffacher worked for the Democratic House Majority and ran several high-profile swing-district campaigns.

Brent Ludeman owns Ludeman Public Affairs, specializing in government affairs in Washington state. Ludeman is also a partner in Northwest Initiatives, a political consulting firm specializing in ballot measures and initiatives for business clients. An expert in campaign politics, Brent graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Business Administration - Finance with full college honors.

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2023 Legislative session preview

A new 105-day legislative session starts on Jan. 9, and it’s scheduled to end Apr. 23. Coming into 2023, Democrats will control both chambers here in Washington with a 29-20 majority in the Senate and a 58-40 majority in the House of Representatives. BIAW is ready to work with pro-business and pro-builder lawmakers across the aisle to bring housing issues to the forefront.

1.

At our Legislative Policy Committee meeting in early 2022, BIAW members brought forward their top legislative housing issues. Here are our highest priorities moving forward into this year’s session:

Permit timeline reform

Local governments need to be held accountable for statutory permit timelines. BIAW will look at ways to put teeth into requiring jurisdictions to accurately report their permit timelines, defining a complete application and finding creative new ways for applicants to seek relief if jurisdictions fail to meet their statutory timeline for permits. Our government affairs team has expanded its network by working with the Department of Commerce, as well as county and city governments, to get a head start on this issue.

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BIAW will also introduce a bill requiring jurisdictions to expedite and streamline the permit process by allowing architects and engineers to provide their professional stamp of approval on projects. After all, they are the certified and insured professionals trained to follow the existing codes and laws in the first place.

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) threshold exemptions

The current categorical SEPA threshold exemptions need to be clarified and codified to ensure that preliminary plats and the entire project are actually SEPA-exempt. The way the Department of Ecology currently interprets the rules, jurisdictions that have adopted threshold SEPA exemptions could require a SEPA review on only preliminary plats, but the rest of the project could be SEPAexempt. This interpretation doesn’t make sense. If the project is supposed to be SEPA-exempt, the whole project should be SEPA-exempt.

Also, local jurisdictions should create categorical SEPA exemptions after those jurisdictions have gone through comprehensive planning. There is no need for a project to go through a SEPA review twice, and it makes more sense to have it done at the planning level.

Workforce development

Each year, we see more and more funding cuts for Career and Technical Education (CTE) in middle and high schools, partly due to efforts to push students toward a four-year degree. To counter that, BIAW will be supporting the Education Pathways Bill. This bill will use language written by BIAW requiring the State Board of Education to provide information to students and parents on all graduation pathways and the requirements for each beginning in middle school.

We will also continue looking for other legislative opportunities to help our youth gain earlier and easier access to careers in the trades.

State Building Code Council reform

BIAW will partner with other construction, business and labor groups to find ways to restructure the State Building Code Council to provide cost-efficient options for new homes to be built in our state. We will also look for ways to address, slow down or oppose the new burdensome energy codes.

Impact Fee Deferral Program reform

The current process for the Impact Fee Deferral Program is broken and unusable. BIAW will be working with lawmakers to streamline this program so it actually makes sense for builders to use.

We will push to simplify the paperwork, require fees to be due at the end of the process, and mandate local governments publicly post all impact fee agreements.

In addition, we expect to play defense against a host of other issues. We expect to see more labor issues resurface like ergonomics and direct contractor liability.

We’re also bracing for bills adding climate change and net ecological gain to the Growth Management Act, banning natural gas and eliminating energy choice in our state, and as always, taxes, taxes and more taxes.

We need your help!

Our team will work diligently on your behalf throughout this session, but we will need your help! Legislators like to hear from real people who are impacted by their choices in real life. This is where you come in.

We hold a call each Tuesday morning during session to keep you in the loop. You’ll receive updates on our priorities, opportunities to testify before the Legislature and other ways you can help by engaging with your elected officials. To sign up for these calls, email josiec@biaw.com.

You can also receive calls to action by signing up for our text alerts by texting “BIAW” to 50457. Keep an eye out during session for more ways to help and be involved!

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2. 3. 4. 5.

Bergen Teschner solidifies Cornerstone Builders’ level of quality

BIAW is thrilled to announce a new Certified Builder has proven they measure up and exceed expectations. Congratulations to Bergen Teschner, co-owner of Cornerstone Builders. Teschner has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Before taking over the ownership of Cornerstone Builders from her father and his business partner, Teschner owned her own floral design business. Her experience running a successful floral business and upbringing in the construction industry helped her feel naturally at home at Cornerstone Builders, first as an employee and later as one of the owners.

Within the last year, Teschner and her husband, Justin, have assumed ownership. They plan to continue the founders’ legacy by providing a great workplace and building high-end custom homes.

Teschner

and Cornerstone Builders measure up

In growing the business, becoming a BIAW Certified Builder is the latest milestone for Cornerstone Builders. BIAW is honored to provide the company with this designation, as Teschner has proven she measures up.

Cornerstone Builders: Past meets present

Teschner’s father, Noel Carey and his business partner Lex Morgan founded Cornerstone Builders on the Olympic Peninsula 40 years ago. Throughout those years, Cornerstone Builders became widely known for its custom design and high-quality construction of single-family residences, commercial projects and remodeling, receiving multiple national-level rewards.

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Bergen Teschner (r), co-owner of Cornerstone Builders and her husband Justin.

Thinking small for big environmental gains

Washington politicians have declared our state’s leadership in environmental sustainability for more than a decade. The facts tell another story. On key issues—notably CO2 emissions— Washington’s government-driven approach to environmentalism isn’t living up to the promises of state politicians.

Rather than relying on governmentheavy environmental efforts, builders, engineers and consumers are turning to consumer technologies that allow homeowners to conserve energy while saving money and staying comfortable.

Consumer-driven approaches drive success

As I outline in my new book, Time to Think Small, consumer-driven approaches that connect people directly to environmental and energy outcomes are increasingly effective thanks to small technology.

Unlike many energy regulations, these technologies can pay for themselves.

Smart thermostats save money every day by keeping homes warm while conserving energy. For example, using artificial intelligence, smart thermostats can cool a house when it is inexpensive or before temperatures increase, using well-built homes’ ability to hold temperature.

Other technologies help homeowners see how they are using electricity. The Sense monitor connects to the electrical box to determine which appliances use the most electricity. The monitor tells the homeowner right on their smartphone how energy is used and offers guidance on how to conserve.

Individually, these efforts are small, but the impact can be remarkable.

During California’s 2022 energy crisis, when faced with potential blackouts, the state texted residential consumers asking them to conserve where they could. Within 15 minutes, electricity demand dropped by about 2,000 megawatts—equal to about two-thirds of the power provided by all batteries in the state that day. All from just one text.

Connecting people to results

The reason personal approaches are so effective is that they connect people directly to results. If a given approach isn’t saving people money, they are likely to change course. Small technology can provide people with the information they need to make better decisions on what changes to make.

Politicians, on the other hand, don’t want to admit their policies failed, so they continue to follow outdated and

ineffective approaches, relying on ideology rather than information.

It is time to change how Washington addresses environmental stewardship, putting more power in the hands of individuals rather than trusting politicians to get it right. It is time to think small.

With more than two decades in public policy, government environmental agencies and the private sector, Todd Myers serves as Environmental Director at the Washington Policy Center in Seattle where he develops market-based environmental solutions. His work has been featured in dozens of media outlets around the world, including The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC.

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Environment

Introducing your 2023 Senior Officers

Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA)

Gary Wray of Laser Construction and Development has been a member of his local association, SICBA, since 1998 and a SICBA board member for nearly 12 years. Over the last 10 years, Wray has served on the BIAW Education and Legal Committees and the Workforce Development Taskforce. He chaired the Legislative Policy Committee in 2015-2016 and actively participates in the Washington Affordable Housing Council. In his community, Wray chairs the Habitat for Humanity of Island County board, supports Hearts and Hammers and serves on the board of directors for Civility First. Before his homebuilding career, Gary served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a Petty Officer Second Class.

First Vice President/Treasurer Jay Roberts

Central Washington Home Builders Association (CWHBA) Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA)

Jay Roberts, vice president of Cascade Custom Homes and Design, Inc., is a BIAW Certified Builder, a state director and past president of SICBA. Roberts serves on the BIAW Workforce Development Taskforce and Member Services Corporation. He is also vice chair of the Legislative Policy Committee. A proud Husky, Roberts is involved in his community and a member of the Public Stadium Authority Board for Lumen Field and Event Center.

Second Vice President Luellen Smith

Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties (MBAKS)

Luellen Smith is an owner/partner in Rhino Wine Cellars & Cooling Systems with her husband, Doug. She enjoys serving in leadership at BIAW, her local association, MBAKS and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Smith currently serves as Chair of the BIAW Membership Committee, is a BIAW Director, an NAHB Remodelers Council member, and NAHB second vice chair of the Professional Women in Building Council. A dedicated and prolific membership recruiter, Smith was named BIAW’s Top Spike for five consecutive years from 2016 through 2020, and has 858 Spike credits.

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Third Vice President Kent Arola Secretary Nicole Ahola

Master Builders Association of Pierce County (MBAPC) Central Washington Home Builders Association (CWHBA)

Kent Arola has owned his residential construction company, Wind River Homes, for 20 years. He has served as a BIAW director for 13 years, sitting on the Washington Affordable Housing Council since 2012, and serving as a member of the Legislative Policy Committee since 2016, including chair in 2020. Arola has served in several leadership positions at his local association, Master Builders Pierce, and at the state and national levels. He has earned numerous awards and accolades including multiple awards for remodeling excellence from his local and BIAW, Master Builders Pierce Member of the Year in 2015 and Recruiter of the Year four times. He is a Statesman Spike with 508 Spike credits.

As a health insurance broker for Ahola Benefit Consultants, LLC, Nicole Ahola has been active with multiple local home builders associations over the years. In recent years, she has served in several leadership positions, including the 2022 treasurer of CWBHA and the 2022 vice president and chair of the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce. She has also been involved with the BIAW Health Insurance Program since 2007. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Ahola looks forward to becoming more involved and lifting up our next generation of leaders.

Immediate Past President Joseph Irons CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMR, Certified Builder

Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties (MBAKS)

The state’s second Certified Builder, Joseph Irons is a past president of MBAKS, as well as past chair of BIAW’s Remodelers and Education Committees. In 2010, he was named BIAW Remodeler of the Year. Irons was BIAW’s state representative for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) from 2016-2018. An active BIAW instructor and accredited educator in Washington state, he holds many NAHB certifications and currently sits on NAHB’s Design and Education Committees. Irons is a four-time MBAKS Remodeler of the Year and recipient of NAHB’s 2018 Young Professional Award for Region E.

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Is your business prepared for a recession?

History indicates that with the tight labor market and persistent inflation, a recession by mid2023 is inevitable, according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz, Ph.D. That’s the bad news. The good news? There are things you can do to protect yourself and your business. And BIAW and your local association can help!

Tips from a pro

Justin Brown is a partner of Larson Gross CPAs and Consultants, a public accounting firm with offices in Lynden, Burlington, Wenatchee and Yakima. Associate member and leader of the firm’s construction practice, Brown offers some tips for construction-related businesses to keep in mind heading into 2023.

Get lean and conserve cash

Now is the time to be fiscally conservative. Owners should ensure the company has built a war chest of cash reserves in preparation for any potential slowdowns, job delays, slowpaying customers, etc.

Brown suggests reducing distributions out of the company and refraining from buying any unnecessary equipment or vehicles. Also, take a look at your overhead to see if any costs can be reduced and or eliminated.

Take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

The ERTC is a federal tax credit created to assist businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look back at your payroll and evaluate whether your business qualifies for this credit.

Business owners may be eligible to receive a credit of up to $5,000 per qualifying employee from 2020 and $7,000 per qualifying employee from the first three quarters of 2021 if they meet specific requirements. If your business qualifies, Brown recommends applying as soon as possible, as the IRS has considerable delays on payments for these credits.

Have adequate liquidity

Check with your bank and make sure your business has enough sources of liquidity by reviewing contracts and loan agreements. Brown advises looking at increasing and negotiating favorable terms on lines of credit and reviewing all long-term debt to ensure no large balloon payments or other significant cash outflows are due in the near future.

New ASC 842 standards for leases may impact your balance sheet. Brown suggests discussing these with your bank to see if you need to renegotiate terms in order to avoid covenant violations.

Evaluate workforce

During tight times, you might need to take a close look at your workforce. Think about who you will keep on payroll during slow times and who you want to continue to move up in the company. Are there employees available from your competitors?

Brown advises making sure your employees are on the same page regarding bonuses and performance reviews. Slowdowns and or margin tightening can be used as ways to keep your employees bought in.

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Additionally, if work becomes slow, make sure labor isn’t a drain on your bottom line.

To learn more about the services Larson Gross offers, reach out to Justin Brown at justinb@larsongross.com, or visit www.larsongross.com

Help from BIAW and NAHB

Recession is a scary word for a business owner, no doubt. But tight times can also bring growth through new methods and opportunities. Being a member of your local home builders association, BIAW and NAHB gives you a unique advantage. Here are some things these memberships offer to take into consideration this year.

Client transparency

NAHB recently offered a few strategies businesses could implement during uncertain financial times. Maintaining transparency with the client was one. Keep an open line of communication with clients regarding finances and budget status. This will build trust and confidence in the buildercustomer relationships. Having strong relationships with your customers is vital to surviving unstable times.

NAHB offers members a wealth of resources, expertise and educational opportunities, as well as frequent economic updates. Visit nahb.org to learn more.

Protect yourself

Make sure your company is protected from potential legal fees by ensuring your contracts are up-to-date with the latest legal mandates and case law. An easy solution is to sign up for BIAW’s Contract Subscription Service, where you’ll receive templates for more than two dozen of the most common contracts and addenda specific to our state.

This service provides unlimited online access to download the documents you need, live and online training and easy-to-follow instructions with every document. For only $399 annually, this subscription could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees down the road. Sign up at BIAW.com/program/legal.

Expand your horizons

A slowdown could be the perfect time to explore new, unchartered business opportunities. If your business isn’t already a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), now could be a

great time to tap into this market. More than 1.3 million people in Washington are 65 and over, and 90 percent of them want to stay in their homes as long as possible. That translates into a large market of people needing to revitalize their home environments.

Help your business expand by earning a CAPS designation. BIAW offers CAPS classes that will equip you with the knowledge and tools to effectively market and sell services to the aging-inplace (AIP) market. Keep an eye on our upcoming classes at BIAW.com/classes or reach out to Education Manager

Andy Arrants at andya@biaw.com or (360) 352-7800 ext. 147 to learn more.

Lean on each other

Member-to-member collaboration is arguably one of the most significant values of your membership. Our association is full of a talented network of industry leaders. Becoming involved with your local association and using this network not only to brainstorm solutions but to do business with each other ensures that companies will maintain a steady flow of work and will strengthen the industry overall.

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Local Happenings

[1] The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties hosted its annual Painting a Better Tomorrow event Nov. 5 at Valley Cities Behavioral Health Center in Kent. The event brought 42 volunteers together to apply a fresh coat of paint to the inside of the clinic.

[2a] The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIACC) held its annual President’s Awards & Officer Installation during its November dinner meeting presented by Blue Mountain Community Management. Caleb Blanton of New Tradition Homes was installed as 2023 President. 2022 BIAW President Joseph Irons (left) officiated the installation of the 2023 officers. (left to right) Vice President Chuck Neibert, Vice President Associate Mark Kroll, Immediate Past President Aaron Helmes and Vice President Secretary Elizabeth Gomez.

[2b]

[3a] BIAW Education and Workforce Development Director Al Audette (center) presented the Community Boat Project (CBP) of Port Hadlock with a $5,000 grant to support its internship program. CBP provides hands-on learning experiences to teens by partnering them with high-capacity adult mentors in unique programs. Interns work alongside master craftsmen volunteers such as shipwrights, sailmakers, riggers, captains and more, to gain job and life training that leads to employment. Left: Jefferson County Home Builders Association Executive Director Lizanne Coker..

18 building insight | january 2023
BIACC Executive Director Bart Hansen presented the Outstanding Leadership Award to 2022 BIACC President Aaron Helmes.
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[3b] A tiny house built by Community Boat Project interns.

[4] Bates Technical College, a member of Master Builders Pierce County, welcomed First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden and Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, to South Campus on Friday, Oct. 7, to tour the college’s youth apprenticeship and Technical High School programs. This visit highlighted the college’s innovative Technical High School and youth apprenticeship opportunities as a successful example of workforce development and hands-on learning.

Photo credit: Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times

[5] BIACC hosted a Turkey Shoot on Nov. 19 at the Vancouver Trap Club, presented by ServPro. Members shot clay pigeons for the chance to win a holiday turkey.

[6] BIAW Policy and Research Manager Andrea Smith (second from left), BIACC staffer Danielle Killian (fourth from left) and Certified Builder Elizabeth Gomez (6th from left), owner of Bridge City Contracting, join Elizabeth’s 6K team at the 16th Annual Girlfriends event on Oct. 11. The event raises money to fight breast cancer in Vancouver.

[7] The San Juan Building Association (SJBA) hosted its Annual Gingerbread House Contest Dec. 14-18. SJBA invited members to get creative with their best gingerbread house designs for a chance to win up to $500. Award categories included Best Replica of a Local Building, Best Holiday Spirit and Best Construction Site Theme.

19 building insight | january 2023
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Another great year with ROII

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our participants, ROII is on track for another great year in 2023! The numbers speak for themselves, and we’re looking at another solid year with fantastic refunds.

“At Rush, safety is a top priority for our team so participating in a retro program is a smart business move. ROII helps our company with safety and claims, and we can earn sizeable refunds. Our participation also benefits the construction industry on a state and local level. It’s a win-win and critical to our success.

Transparency is fundamental

As the 2023 marketing efforts ramp up and your inboxes fill up with information from other retro groups, please remember that predicting or projecting refunds on open plan years is not upfront or honest. Many groups live or die by their first adjustment percentage. But, as you know, it’s all about how you finish. A retro groups’ refund and a participants’ refund are not known until the third and final adjustment.

The charts on the next page show other group refund performance numbers compared to ROII’s from first adjustment to final adjustment. These charts will show you if a group has a trend of losing refunds from the first to final adjustment, and ultimately how they finished the year.

We’re here to help you get the most out of your workers’ compensation retro program by helping you reduce your risk, increase efficiency, and protect your bottom line. But we don’t just want to tell you more about what we do. We want to show you.

Partnering with you to prevent injuries

While refunds are important, providing safety and prevention services is what ROII is all about. The goal of ROII is to help every participant maximize their potential refund by partnering with you to help prevent injuries and keep your employees working. We go beyond just claim assistance and focus our services on safety and prevention.

That’s why we have statewide field reps that help companies find simple ways to avoid injuries. It’s also why we have litigation services and will fight erroneous decisions by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries when our group interests are aligned with our members. For us, it’s more than just refunds. It’s about how we can help you, our member.

We’re grateful for our members, and we appreciate your continued commitment to safety. We strive to offer you the best possible value for your participation—and we know that feedback from actual participants is invaluable when you’re looking for the right retro program for your company.

Competition makes ROII better, and I’m glad that our participants, and every Retro participant in Washington, has the opportunity to evaluate their program every year and decide what is best for them.

I know this is a lot of information. I am always happy to walk anyone through the data and help them get a deeper understanding of how ROII can work for them. Please reach out to me at (360) 352-7800 ext. 132 or jennk@biaw.com.

“I have worked closely with our claim rep and the ROII team of professionals for a couple of years. Not only have they been fantastic to work with, but they have also saved me countless hours in the office, helping with their guidance when concerns arise related to worker injuries and prevention. From minor jobsite cuts and bruises to sophisticated claims, ROII has been instrumental to our job safety success. Our company is growing, and so is our safety success. I highly recommend the ROII program for any company that puts safety at the forefront of everything they do!

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Josh Demers, Pacific Lawn Maintenance Spokane, WA

We had a difficult L&I claim that started right in the middle of COVID. It’s been years since our last big claim, so we didn’t know what we needed to do. Our claim rep was simply amazing. We are a small company without a full-time HR person, and they guided us every step of the way. I was so relieved that they were on our team, helping us through uncharted and unfamiliar water. I couldn’t imagine doing it without them. ROII is the best!

When it comes to safety and prevention, the field reps at ROII know their stuff. With their help, we were able to decrease our claims by over half after implementing a stretch program on the jobsite and after long drives. The visit didn’t cost me a thing, but because of this small change, we received our highest return this plan year.

Not an ROII participant and want to be rewarded for safety in your workplace? Join the crowd—by joining the state’s largest, longest-operating Retro (Retrospective Rating) safety incentive program: ROII. Get started at roii.com or email enroll@roii.com

21 building insight | january 2023

Resolve to keep your fellow workers safe in 2023

As we enter 2023 and plan for another year, it’s the perfect time to think about the safety of your fellow co-workers. Spoiler alert! It keeps you safer, too.

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re busy on a jobsite. That’s why I wanted to share one of my most popular safety topics: Five great reasons to watch out for others.

Increase awareness

When you keep an eye on other people’s safety, your own safety awareness improves. We can see hazards that other people don’t notice when they’re focused on a job. This makes a much safer working environment for everyone.

Reduce distraction

Even the safest workers get distracted. Letting your mind drift to family, friends, vacation, hobbies, what’s for lunch? All of these things can distract people from safe working practices. On a nice day, for example, your co-workers may be daydreaming about heading to the beach or hitting the links for a round of golf. Just like that, they’re distracted from their work and might risk injuries. Watching out for your coworkers’ safety can help prevent problems that could arise from distraction.

Combat cognitive failure

Every one of us can experience occasional cognitive failure. Think about when you’re staring right at your keys but still can’t find them. Even worse, there’s that split second when you don’t notice a car speeding along toward you on the road. These are both examples of

cognitive failure. If this happens during a high-risk job, the consequences can be devastating. No one is absolutely perfect and our concentration efforts can fail us at times. Even the best worker can fall prey to cognitive failure resulting in an opportunity to be injured.

No regrets

Imagine if you had a safety concern but didn’t say something, then your co-worker got hurt. Your failure to speak up could haunt you for a very long time, if not the rest of your life. Choosing to speak up if you see something potentially dangerous means you’ll never have the nightmare of knowing you had the power to help change the outcome but failed to do so.

It’s just the right thing to do You may never receive a thank you for pointing out a safety risk. In fact, you might even face resistance—but it’s simply the right thing to do. It’s always better to be on the safer side on a jobsite.

If you are an ROII participant and would like to receive my regular safety updates, including ideas for safety topics, please contact me at (360) 352-7800 ext. 109 or bobw@biaw.com.

Not an ROII member? Learn more at roii.com

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