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As I began my year as your president, I stressed to our board of directors and our staff my goal of collaboration. I put great value on productive partnerships in my own business, and I’ve seen the positive results. That same philosophy of partnership has served me well in my leadership roles with organizations, and I emphasized the power of working together with our board and staff this year. So as we enter the last quarter of this year and my term as your president comes to a close, I thought I’d reflect on the partnerships and collaboration we’ve strengthened during this past year.
Nearly three years ago, BATC-Housing First Minnesota brought together a wide array of construction-related associations to address the workforce challenge. That effort ultimately led to a working group under The Builders Group, which spawned the creation of Project Build Minnesota.
We officially incorporated Project Build Minnesota this year, kicking off the new enterprise in January. It is a tremendous collaborative effort with BATC-Housing First Minnesota, Minnesota Builders Exchange, The Builders Group and Associated Building Contractors as its founders. If you haven’t yet seen the website, take a look at ProjectBuildMN.org. You’ll be impressed. Then let our staff team know if you are interested in serving on a speakers bureau (contact education and special programs assistant, Trisha Johnson, at Trisha@BATC.org). Project Build Minnesota is a powerful example of collaboration.
Our partnership and collaboration with the Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul Associations of REALTORS has continued to strengthen. What a powerful advocacy voice we create regarding the value of homeownership. Our second Housing Day at the Capitol was a great success, and we enjoyed our continued partnership as we advanced our Housing Affordability Act, which seeks to address the regulatory challenges home building faces. And we had another great Housing Day at the Fair this year.
Our BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation provides another great model of collaboration. For example, we completely redid eight housing units in an old Minneapolis building for Avivo, which serves women in recovery who are housed with their children. Three different build partners were engaged (Crystal Kitchen, Soderberg Apartment Services and The Kingdom Builders), dozens of trade partners and Avivo contributed as well. Similarly, the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation and Lennar constructed a home for homeless veterans in partnership with Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. More than 90 trade partners were engaged. Talk about collaboration.
We’ve been deeply engaged with our partner business associations and chambers in the 2018 elections. These include the Minnesota Association of Auto Dealers, AgriGrowth Minnesota, the Minnesota Grocers Association, Hospitality Minnesota, Minnesota Association of REALTORS, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership. All of us seek to bring business-friendly candidates into office and we find those can be most effective if we do so collaboratively.
It’s been a year of collaboration and partnership on behalf of our association, our industry and our members. We’ve also had great collaboration on our board of directors and I want to thank our engaged leaders. And an association can only be successful with a powerful collaboration between the volunteer leadership and our staff. We enjoy a wonderful staff here at the association that is tremendously passionate about our industry. Our staff-volunteer collaboration is yet another key to our successes this year.
I want to thank my family and my coworkers at Cardinal for giving me the support I’ve needed to serve as your president this year. It has been a great experience.