NFBA picks new management company

The National Frame Building Association board of directors, at its Spring 2009 meeting in Kansas City, Mo., concluded a 10-month evaluation process of how it manages the day-to-day aspects of running the association.

The evaluation concluded with a decision by the board to select Association Management Center of  Glenview, Ill., to provide full service management of NFBA activities, beginning with the start of the new fiscal year, September 1.

The board is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, as it continues its efforts to build a stronger, more prosperous post-frame industry and the board believes the talented folks at AMC are best-positioned to lead the NFBA in achieving its key strategic objectives.

In the next issue of Frame Building News, some of the key people will be introduced as NFBA starts to interact with AMC. But for now, I want to provide our members and other industry stakeholders a brief recap of the process that led the board to making a change in management companies.

With appreciation for the past
As many in the NFBA know, the current management company, Knight Enterprises, has managed the association for 35 years. Tom Knight and his staff have accomplished a great deal over those years and all of us will be forever indebted to them for helping us grow this industry.

With Knight Enterprises nearing the end of its current five-year contract to manage the association, the board decided several months ago it had a fiduciary responsibility to members to conduct a thorough, rigorous evaluation process that would explore the options available in managing the affairs of the NFBA.

Much like each of us has to contend with in our own businesses, the board felt opening this process up to competition would be in the best interest of NFBA members.

The first decision was to hire an outside consulting firm, Pierce and Associates, to assist in conducting an evaluation.  Sharon Pierce met with the board for the first time at the summer, 2008 meeting. During that session the board identified the following key priorities as the focus of the evaluation of potential management options:

• Leadership capabilities.

• Marketing expertise, particularly as it relates to building awareness in the marketplace about the many advantages of post-frame construction.

• The ability to develop and deliver educational training and content to a wide variety of industry stakeholders —design professionals, builders, suppliers and customers, just to name a few.

• Transparency in management practices.

Task force steps up
The board next selected a Management Audit Task Force to work closely with Pierce to evaluate options and bring back to the full board its recommendations. Members of that task force were:

Bob Brisky, Fingerlakes Construction, Clyde, NY., chair; Steve Eversole, Eversole Builders, Lancaster, Ohio; Larry Edema, Wick Buildings, Grandville, Mich.; Randy Ridenour, Atlas Bolt & Screw, Ashland, Ohio; Fred Mancusi, Plyco, Elkhart Lake, Wis.; and myself.

Following the summer board meeting, the group went to work. Tasks included:

• Performance evaluation with Tom Knight and Knight Enterprises.

• Drafting of a Request For Proposal that outlined the requirements the board was looking for.

• Review of submissions received from several association management companies that responded.

• Site visits to finalist candidates  selected by the task force.

• Site visits to a “free-standing” association that employed personnel directly and rented office space and equipment that allowed it to manage the affairs of the association independently.

Field narrows to 2 candidates
The process concluded with a decision by the task force to select two finalists. Knight Enterprises and Association Management Center were the two finalists.

The board met in special session at its April meeting to hear presentations offered by both firms. The board also reviewed the entire process the Management Audit task force had undertaken in the several months required to complete its work.

Following a thoughtful  and thorough discussion, the board unanimously voted to select Association Management Center to manage the affairs of the NFBA beginning with the 2009-2010 fiscal year, beginning September 1. Tom Drake of AMC will become the new executive director of the NFBA at that time. He will be introduced in the November issue of Frame Building News.

As chairperson, I can tell you the primary consideration in selecting an association management firm was to look ahead to NFBA’s future and evaluate which firm could best help meet the primary strategic objectives.

Those objectives are to broadly increase awareness of the benefits of post-frame construction and to prepare NFBA members to take full advantage of the opportunities a growing post-frame industry will present to them.

The board thinks AMC, with its dynamic 190-plus member staff, is best positioned to help meet the goals the NFBA board has set for itself and the industry.

The board of directors looks forward to all NFBA members getting a chance to meet and work with the new association management team in the months ahead.

John Hill, Lester Buildings, can be reached at 320-395-2531, ext 5200, or by e-mail at Jhill@lesterbuildings.com

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