Since 1981, September has been designated as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Associate Member Appreciation Month — an annual celebration of our Associates’ contributions to Delaware, the NAHB federation and our nation’s building industry.
The Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBA/DE) really appreciates its Associate Members! Associate members provide support to HBA/DE at the local, state and national levels, they volunteer time, talent and treasure to help the association, and they serve on committees and councils, conveying valuable insight and business management tips. Therefore, designating September as Associate Appreciation Month is just one way of providing the much-deserved visibility and recognition to our invaluable Associate members.
As you know, each month the Builder Members of our Board of Directors nominates an Associate Member for the coveted, annual Associate of the Year Award, awarded annually each December. You can see a list of all the previous year recipients of the Associate of the Year Award, as well as this year’s nominees by clicking here.
In order to honor, and thank our Associates, HBA/DE will be highlighting a different Associate Member each week for this month. To start off the month, we have Jim McCulley, Owner of Watershed Eco LLC.
Jim is a HBA/DE Life Director, having been active on our Board for well over 15 years. Besides having served on our Board and Executive Committee, he is active in our Associates Council as well as a director on NAHB’s Board, representing Delaware, and their Environmental and Associate Committees. Businesswise, Jim is a professional wetlands scientist, only one of 8 in Delaware with the national title PWS designation.
We reached out to Jim to ask him a few questions about his experience with HBA/DE:
Q: When did you first join HBA/DE and what made you join?
A: I became active in 1989 when working for Kidde Consultants, now KCI Technologies. Wetlands were a brand new topic for home builders and Paul Robino urged me to get involved. I attended the Board Meetings every month as an adviser on what was going on with environmental rules and policies. Wetlands, debris pits, tree preservation and buffers all became hot topics for the Board to discuss in those first years and still are today.
Q: Why do you stay a member of HBA/DE?
A: I stayed a member throughout the years even after leaving Kidde and starting JCM Environmental and then Watershed Eco because it was a great way to help the industry and my clients. It gave everyone a bigger voice to try to find compromise positions with regulators and under Jeff Schwartz’s presidency we were able to start a debris pit fund at DNREC to address the debris pits without putting financial strains on any one particular builder. Alvin Schwartz, Steve Bomberger and Kevin Kelly urged me to get involved at the National level and that has also been a tremendous experience.
Q: What is your favorite HBA/DE Event and why?
A: Many of the events a great, and anywhere that the Builders and Associates get together and have time to talk and get to know each other is worth attending. Golf outing dinners, celebrity chef and the banquet probably stand out. I also enjoy the monthly Board Meetings and wish more members would attend and see what the Association is doing for them.
Q: What have you accomplished as a result of HBA/DE Membership?
A: I have made friends both in the State and at NAHB all over the country. I have had tremendous input in local and national environmental rules, regulations and policies. I think the biggest accomplishment is assisting builders in providing an affordable product while still protecting important environmental resources.
Q: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of HBA/DE Membership?
A: If you work in the industry in any capacity, the organization gives you an opportunity to interact with peers, potential clients and synergistic companies and keep up to date on all of the upcoming rules, regulations and policies affecting the way you do business.
From all of us here at HBA/DE, we would like to graciously thank Jim, as well as all of our Associate Members. Thank you for your continued support!