SBCA OQM Bigger and Better in Fort Worth

Framing News, Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — March 28, 2024
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A lot has happened in the association and the industry since SBCA’s last Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) in Buffalo, NY, in July 2023. One of the most significant was the addition of multiple association staff. Executive Director, Jess Lohse, introduced the new staff to members: Shannon Ambelang, Software Support Specialist; Ashley Baker, Director of Education; Greg Greenlee, Technical Director; Nikki Hilton, Executive Assistant; and, Abby Langenberg, Director of Business Development. In addition, Jess noted three significant staff moves with Sean Shields becoming Director of Marketing, Christine Wagner becoming Director of Communications, and Jennifer Gustafson becoming Director of Finance. 

The OQM started with an overview by Jess Lohse of SBCA’s strategic plan and its three strategic pillars: grow and engage membership; innovate and adapt; and demonstrate expertise. With regard to membership recruitment and retention, SBCA successfully retained 98% of its members (the strategic goal is 97%) and recruited 21 new members (with an overall goal of 118 new members by 2027). On innovation and adaption, SBCA is bringing back the Innovation Grant in 2024, which solicits innovators from inside and outside the industry to showcase their ideas at BCMC & Framer Summit in Milwaukee in September. Finally, in demonstrating expertise, SBCA is launching a new Learning Management System (LMS) which will provide a cutting-edge platform to offer online education for the industry and broader supply chain. 

Next, Sean Shields provided an overview of a new initiative by SBCA to work with members and industry partners in Texas to conduct another framing comparison study called Framing the American Dream 3.0. There are multiple goals for this effort. The first is to conduct another apples-to-apples framing comparison between identical stick-framed and component-framed houses similar to the Framing the American Dream studies conducted in 1995 and 2015. The second is to also measure the labor and material differences between installing HVAC mechanicals, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) in a stick-framed house and a component-framed house. The third is to invite framers, builders, specifiers, and building officials to the jobsite to watch the component-framed house get framed over two days and have the opportunity to ask questions. Finally, the fourth goal is to identify through targeted market research the actual barriers that exist that prohibit the greater use of component framing in the markets of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston. 

Wednesday kicked off with Zonda’s Chief Economist, Ali Wolf, who spent 90 minutes taking a very deep dive into all the factors impacting the current U.S. housing market. From demographics and economic growth to lot development and interest rates, Ali walked through a wealth of data from different sources pointing toward a market where single-family investment is steadily growing at a time when multi-family development is experiencing a short-term pause. The bottom line of Zonda’s forecast is that demographic demand, economic strength, and a lack of housing stock in most markets will provide a strong foundation for continued single-family growth and a mid-term return for multi-family once the current glut of inventory is absorbed.  

After Ali’s presentation, a panel of three component manufacturer design managers, Brian Rink at Mead Lumber, Sie Robinson at Louws Truss, and Tim Magnusen at R&D Thiel, shared their experience on a wide range of issues facing today’s design departments.  

Wednesday afternoon was filled with meetings of several standing committees including Membership, Advocacy, Marketing, Management, and Education. These committees are focused on providing guidance to staff on how to executive various activities and initiatives aimed at accomplishing the goals set forward in the association’s strategic plan. 

At the Board of Director’s meeting on Thursday morning, it was announced that registration is now open for the next SBCA OQM in Asheville, NC, May 14-16. To register for this meeting, click here. Rachel Hoops, Components & B2B Sales Manager for LMC, had her one-year term on the Board renewed by unanimous vote. The SBCA Foundation & Endowment continues to add donors and a significant starting principle has already been pledged and collected. It was also reported that the BCSI working group has made significant progress on reviewing and revising the current version and will soon be sharing their early work with a broader audience for review and feedback. 

BCMC and Framer Summit will be held in Milwaukee, WI, October 7-11, 2024, at the Baird Center. Registration is now open for exhibitors, and thus far 51 companies have registered to fill 42,000 square feet, which is on pace with registrations in 2023. SBCA is again offering the Innovation Grant to industry innovators and applications will be accepted April 1 through May 1. Early-bird registration for attendees will open on May 1. 

Finally, Norm McKenna of MiTek was recognized for being inducted into the SBCA Hall of Fame in 2023 and was honored for all his contributions to the association and to the industry. April Burt of Simpson Strong-Tie was also recognized for her longtime contributions and thanked as she departs the industry.