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March General Membership Meeting: Celebrity Chef is BACK!!

ASSOCIATES & AFFLIATES! Here’s your opportunity to showcase your
company, meet our Builders & enjoy culinary creations all in one evening!
Please bring your brochures, your business cards, elevator speech & appetite!

Click here to register
or click here for a pdf to Attend Celebrity Chef Event

Builders:  Sign up here to be a Celebrity Chef

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Four Steps to Becoming a Better Leader

published in Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Advisor Newsletter, 1/31/2012

Four Steps to Becoming a Better Leader

Entrepreneurs, as a whole, are natural risk-takers. They are confident and know what it takes to get the job done. Nothing gets in their way. But the character traits that lead them to go out on their own and conquer the world are also the ones holding them back.

Winning requires much, much more than talent and stick-to-it-tiveness. You have to be a leader your team wants to follow—the person who elevates everyone and makes them passionate about their jobs.

The good news is that leadership can be learned, no matter how hard-driving your personality. In fact, it’s a significant part of what Dave teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series. Here are a few of the principles he uses to inspire his team.

Look in the Mirror
Dave readily admits that when he first started his company, he wouldn’t have won any awards for his mad leadership skills. And then he realized what was holding him back was staring at him in the mirror—himself.

In fact, business/leadership author John Maxwell has given it an official name—the Law of the Lid. Your organization can’t grow beyond your leadership capabilities. You are the lid. Luckily, there’s a fix. “You can decide who you want to be and get about the business of becoming that person,” Dave says.

Hire Rock Stars
Great leaders know that they are nothing without an equally awesome team to back them up. To quote one of the world’s corniest songs, they are “the wind beneath your wings.” (Sorry, Bette!) That’s why it is so important to take your time when hiring. No matter how much you need someone, the cost of a bad hire far outweighs the time it takes to properly screen a candidate.

At Dave’s company, hiring is taken so seriously, each prospective team member is interviewed at least four times, including one meeting with his or her spouse. The candidate is also required to send a personal budget and take a personality test to ensure their style fits the job. Only rock stars are allowed.

What’s the best way to kill morale and boost discontent and anger? A failure to communicate. Always let your team know what’s going on, both good and bad. Intentionally create a culture of communication, and you’ll quickly see the rewards. As Dave says, “Don’t be a mushroom communicator, leaving your people in the dark and feeding them manure.” It stinks.

Treat Them Right
If you want a team that’s loyal, creative and willing to follow you to the ends of the earth, adhere to the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Simply put yourself in their shoes. When you would expect to be praised, praise. If there’s a problem you would want help with, lend a hand. If you would expect a pay hike, give it. No matter the situation, stop and think, How would I like someone to treat me?

John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” By following these basic principles, you will be well on your way to living up to Adam’s description, allowing you to win in business and in life.

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BC New Logo
January / February 2012
in this issue

Baby Boomers and Early Retirement

Civil Unions

Anyone Need …..

Do You Know?

Please Share


The Benefits Connection is the largest association
plan in Delaware. Since 1980, the Benefits
Connection has served the small and mid size
businesses by providing:

  • Group Healthcare
  • Group Dental
  • Group Vision
  • Group Term Life
  • Group Short Term Disability
  • Group Long Term Disability
  • Voluntary Products with AFLAC
  • Workers Compensation
  • Wellness Program

    Your Human Resource Director:
  • Beth Fisher
  • 302-294-2059
  • fisherb@ncccc.com

The Benefits Connection offers a Wellness program
that includes an individual Health Risk Assessment
and a website library that will provide information
regarding conditions, concerns, nutrition and so on.

More about the Benefits Connection’s Wellness Program…


  • Baby Boomers and Early Retirement
DOI Seal Logo

Our Insurance Commissioner has published information for the Baby Boomers. Persons born between 1946 and 1964.

Dover, DE – January 13, 2012, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart expressed concern for soon to retire “Baby Boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964), many of whom will face the uncertain prospect of finding alternative health insurance coverage until they reach the age of 65 when they are eligible for Medicare. The Commissioner said, “While for some in this age group, a lifetime of working means a good pension and benefits after concluding their careers. However because more and more companies are converting retirement benefits, too many in the ‘boomer generation’ are left in the precarious position of finding alternative health insurance coverage.” The Commissioner continued, “For those considering early retirement or need to consider retirement health insurance options, we at the Delaware Department of Insurance offer these options for where to look and what to consider in your decision.


  • Civil Unions

As persons enter into a Civil Union, their partners can be enrolled into the Benefits Connection programs within 30 days of their union. Please contact Beth Fisher for further information and enrollment forms.

  • Anyone Need …..
HR360 logo

  • An Employment Application
  • A W4 IRS Form for 2012
  • A I9 IRS Form for new employee
  • The standard mileage rate for 2012
  • The maximum contribution for HSAs for 2012

This is the kind of information our award winning website for Employee Benefits will provide our members, free of charge. Call or email us to request your unique logon. 302-654-8823 or allen@alleninsurance.com

You can visit their website at http://www.hr360.com

Here is a link to their most recent newsletter.

  • Do You Know?
Apple Jumping Rope

Which foods are heart healthy? Check out this video for heart health food information.

Foods For Heart Health

  • Please Share

This newsletter can be shared with others and should be shared with all members of the Benefits Connection. Thank you for ‘passing the word’.



The Importance of ONE Integrated Marketing Campaign!

Save the date for the next  HBADE Building Block Seminar Series Event:

You Have One New Message: Importance of  Integrated Marketing Campaign
March 7, 2012 * 3-4:30 PM (location:  pending)
Happy Hour to Follow 4:30—6 pm

This informative session will explain the importance of utilizing an Integrated Marketing Campaign in today’s competitive media environment.  Learn how to save money and increase your profits using the right message at the right time across various media platforms.  Let your customers hear your message loud and clear!

Presented by:

  • Laura Jury, The News Journal Media Group

Is 2012 the year to Change?

Well now that I have your attention…the time is upon us to book the band for 2012.  We have had The Strangers from Philadelphia for the past 3 years.  Why?  Because they are great!  But the question to all of you is:

Is it time to change?

The Strangers website

Housing experts back White House plans to help homeowners – The Hill’s On The Money

Housing experts back White House plans to help homeowners

By Vicki Needham – 01/26/12 03:18 PM ET

As the housing market shows signs of life, lawmakers and sector experts support plans by the Obama administration to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, although their ideas vary widely.

Some House Democrats are asking for much greater involvement from the federal government than President Obama proposed during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, while some housing experts warn that the plan is unlikely to provide much help.

Click link below to read the full article.

Housing experts back White House plans to help homeowners – The Hill’s On The Money.

Government Affairs Update 1-27-2012

The 146th Delaware General Assembly is back in session and the first few weeks have been busy.  At this time, the Legislature is in recess until mid-March.  During this time, the Joint Finance Committee will begin consideration of the Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Budget on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in the Joint Finance Hearing Room, Ground Floor, Legislative Hall. In addition, the Capital Improvement Program Public Hearing schedule will be begin at the end of February.

HBADE representatives attended several hearings this week, speaking on issues impacting our membership.

Housing & Community Affairs Committee:
 HB 227  sponsored by Rep Quinn Johnson was released Out of Committee despite our request for additional time to review the impact of this on our members.  This bill requires that bids for all newly constructed dwelling units using public financial assistance shall indicate the extent of the universal design standards in the proposal. Public financial assistance includes a contract with a state agency, real estate donated by the State, State tax credits, grant assistance from State funds, State loan guarantees, federal funds administered by the State or its agency, and funding from location governments and their agencies. In selecting a bid, the extent of universal designs use may form a basis to award the contract based on the best value, rather than lowest bidder. The bill sets up a 40-point scale covering the key elements of universal design.

Link to Bill

Please review this bill for recommended language changes or suggestions and send comments to GovAffairs@hbade.org

In addition, Fred Fortunato, HBADE President, attended the Small Business Caucus Meeting on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. in the House Majority Hearing Room on behalf of the HBADE and membership.   The guest speaker was DEDO Director Alan Levin who discussed pending economic development opportunities in the state, including the LIFT program, the DRIP program and provided handouts on the SSBCI (State Small Business Credit Initiative) Program which is a loan participation program, funded by $12.1 Million commitment from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative and provides eligible businesses access to critical private capital.  For more information on this program, contact DEDO at 302-739-4271.

Click the links below for complete listings of each days actions.


HBADE’s Member Rebate Program increases your bottom line

No one likes to leave money on the table. So, what would you think if you could get a rebate for your loyalty to many of the nation’s leading housing industry product suppliers? Well, now you can! HBADE’s Member Rebate Program increases your bottom line. For the minimal effort of informing us about the home construction products you use and when you close on a home or project, you’ll be putting money back in your pocket. Both Builder and Remodeler companies, no matter how large or small, qualify for the program, and you are not required to use products from every Manufacturer. Please note: Program is only available to current HBADE Members.

Benefit of participating

The biggest perk? Money. And all for just remaining loyal to many of the country’s leading Manufacturers you already use in all of your homes. Rebate checks are mailed quarterly.

No change needed in your business practices

Besides the money, the next-best part of the program is that it doesn’t change the way you do business. You are not required to submit receipts and you do not have to change how you purchase products. We do the paperwork, collect the money and mail you the quarterly rebate checks directly!

Steps to receive a Rebate Check:

1. Register Online once

2. Every Quarter if you have a completed home, remodeling project, or multi-family unit: Complete and submit the Current Rebate Claim Form

For more information, go to http://www.hbarebates.com/hbade.html

Jim McCulley Receives another NAHB Appointment for 2012

Congratulations to Jim McCulley, HBADE Associate VP and principal in Watershed Eco, for his recent appointment to NAHB’s Associates Committee, his second NAHB Committee appointment for 2012.  The one (1) year appointment term is effective at the conclusion of the 2012 Annual Convention and expires at the conclusion of the 2013 Annual Convention. These are reserved for only those members who demonstrate a personal commitment to actively participate in committee meetings held in conjunction with NAHB Board meetings.

This is a prestigious honor to be selected top serve and we want to thank Jim for his dedication and volunteerism on behalf of the HBADE. Thank you, Jim!

Green Building Megatrends for 2012

From: BUILDER 2012  Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:08:00 PM
By:Claire Easley

Dubbed “the godfather of green,” Jerry Yudelson discusses 10 trends bound for growth in the months ahead.

Jerry Yudelson is about as green as they come. In his more than 25 years of work in sustainability, he has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s board of directors, a LEED national faculty member, and is the co-founder and director of the Green Building Service consulting unit at Portland General Electric. Last year, Wired magazine dubbed him “the godfather of green.”

So what does the industry insider have to say about where things are going? “The construction industry is going to have modest growth this year,” Yudelson said Tuesday in a webinar on GreenExpo365. “It seems that most people have figured out that the sky isn’t going to fall in and they are going to get back to doing business … but with an emphasis on what I call ‘frugal green.’ In the past there was a feeling that you could spend money to add green features. I think today the real challenge for construction and design professionals is ‘How do I do this on the same budget?’ and I think that’s the core trend.”

Yudelson unveiled a list of 10 other green megatrends destined for growth in 2012, both in the U.S. and abroad. And while, like the rest of the home building industry, green building will certainly face headwinds in coming days—such as squeezed budgets among families and governments—the market is poised for growth, he says. “You make money if you go green. If you don’t go green, you’re at a marketplace disadvantage.”

10 Green Megatrends for 2012

U.S. Trends

1. Green Building Growth to Rebound

LEED project growth was slow in 2011, only gaining 3% for the year. But while LEED certification on new projects may take longer to gain much steam, the program’s retrofitting arm, LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM), is quickly gaining traction. EBOM project registrations were up 18% last year, and the EBOM project area exceeded the cumulative LEED-NC (New Construction) area for the first time, with 675 million square feet of EBOM versus 649 million square feet of NC. “That trend will continue this year,” Yudelson says, as more property owners realize that retrofitting to LEED standards is fairly painless when starting with a building that is already Energy Star–rated.

2. Federal Momentum Has Slowed

The Department of Defense recently stipulated that projects can’t spend any extra money on energy program certification, and while “that’s not necessarily a killer,” Yudelson says, “it is an indication that there is some backlash for spending extra money on anything.” Getting federal funding for green projects will be harder going forward, he says, especially given the recent Solandra scandal and the federal budget crunch. But while state and local governments aren’t faring much better, that’s where the action will be, he says, as existing buildings will need to be upgraded, projects in the pipeline will move forward, and schools—which are funded by bonds—will need to be built.

3. LEED-EBOM Will Gain Momentum

“We’re going to see this move to other sectors,” he says, particularly among hotels with strong convention and meeting businesses who want to be able to market their eco-friendliness. Grocery stores, hospitals, and retail centers are moving in the same direction, with features such as solar panels on top of Walmarts or department stores. “Last month, President Obama and former President Clinton announced the Better Buildings Initiative. It’s only $4 billion, so it’s not huge. But still, this is stuff that moves markets. When you have two presidents pushing something, it does get people’s attention. More and more building owners are realizing that they don’t want to be late to the party.”

4. Water Issues Grow in Importance

“Even the water-wet areas have water problems brought on by infrastructure problems and population growth,” Yudelson says. “Florida doesn’t have a place for a reservoir in the entire state, so even if you have a slight drought, you have big problems.” He predicts rainwater capture systems as well as graywater and blackwater on-site treatment capabilities will become more pervasive. “Instead of toilet to tap, we’re going toilet to toilet.”

5. Zero-Net-Energy to Gain Traction

“Zero-net-energy needs to be in your future,” Yudelson says, adding that it works best on two- to four-story buildings that only use between 30 and 35 kBTU per square foot per year. “If you do a good job with integrated design, you can reach that [30 to 35 kBTU] goal,” he says, adding that getting to net-zero should only add between 3% and 5% to building costs.

Global Trends

6. Green Building Movement Will Continue to Grow

There are currently more than 90 national Green Building Councils throughout the world, and LEED projects have been registered in 161 countries, Yudelson says. Last year, 44% of total LEED registrations were outside the U.S. “This is a movement that you have to pay attention to,” he says, adding that the “Big Three” energy rating systems—LEED, BREEAM, and Green Star—are already converging toward common carbon metrics and common rating concerns.

7. Performance Disclosure

Already popular in the European Union and Australia, requirements for buildings to disclose their energy use are gaining traction in the U.S. Beginning April 1 of this year, Seattle will require buildings of more than 10,000 square feet to disclose energy usage, and California will begin requiring disclosures starting next year, which Yudelson says will have a market impact, since prospective tenants will be able to compare what their energy costs will be between buildings. “This is going to happen everywhere, particularly in big cities, because it’s the easiest move to take politically. It doesn’t say you have to retrofit the building. It just says you have to disclose.”

8. Global Carbon Ratings

Carbon ratings that remain standard across countries are of particular interest to global property management companies. “If your company is committed to sustainability, you’re going to have to report this,” he says. It’s also an issue for property investments tied to pension funds. “Anyone that has sustainable interests and wants access to capital will have to deal with this,” he says.

9. Solar Power Stalls

“Solar power is kind of slowing down,” mostly due to the costs involved, Yudelson says, adding that focus is shifting instead to energy efficiency. “Solar is still happening. Lots of people like solar … because it’s visible and people want to see something for their money.” However, for those building new construction today, he suggests that the most responsible move would be to make it “PV ready,” so that as solar becomes more cost effective, it will be cheap and easy to install.

10. Building Management Goes Into the Cloud

As buildings get more complex, Yudelson says, “we’re seeing the need for software that allows us to manage buildings out of the cloud.” Thanks to wireless sensors and controls, it’s getting increasingly easier to better direct building managers and maintenance people to locate and fix problems, and to do so remotely.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.

back to HBADE Website


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