David Clark

It is said that what you learn early in life is what you remember longest and best. So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when I think about our industry, I remember something that I learned in elementary school. Shelter, like food, water, and clothing, is essential to life.

I’m very proud to be a member of the industry that provides one of the necessities of life, and I’m especially proud to be chairman of the association that helps enable the housing industry to meet that need. Because, make no mistake about it, without the NAHB, the job of housing America would be infinitely more difficult.

The NAHB is our advocate. It’s our voice in Washington, fighting every day for policies and programs to help stimulate the housing market and get our industry back on its feet. And it’s our champion at regulatory agencies, in the courts, and in hundreds of other important arenas. Most of all, it’s our lifeline, providing the products, tools, and services we need to survive the worst housing market in seven decades.

One of those essentials is knowledge. From e-newsletters to special reports, economic studies, members-only Web content and print publications, the NAHB provides information and analysis that is available nowhere else. Another essential is education to help members cope with the realities of the market, hone their skills, and prepare for better years ahead.

The NAHB also provides outstanding networking opportunities. Some of the most valuable information and advice I have ever received came from generous fellow members who were willing to share their expertise and let me learn from their successes and failures.

The International Builders’ Show (IBS) is our premier educational and networking event of the year, and we’re working hard to ensure that it meets members’ needs in today’s troubled market.

To make the IBS more accessible, we have changed the pricing structure for 2010 and are doing everything possible to make the show a valuable experience for both members and exhibitors.

We are using new technology to make many of our non-IBS education and information programs more cost-effective and accessible. Look for this trend to continue next year as the NAHB makes increasing use of technology that saves time and money by delivering essential information directly to your desktop.

Our association website, www.NAHB.org, is key to the effort to serve members better in smarter ways. It includes a wealth of information that is available only to members and was recently revamped to make it even more useful and informative.

If you’re not a member of your local builders association, I urge you to join (when you join at the local level, you automatically become a member of the NAHB). And if you’re already a member, I urge you to get active in your local association and take the best possible advantage of what the NAHB offers. After all, the bottom line is that the NAHB provides the essentials for people who produce one of the necessities of life.

Call to Action: Join the NAHB in the fight to extend and expand the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, which is set to expire on Dec. 1. Without an extension, the tentative recovery in housing could sputter to a stop. The resources you need to join this crucial effort are available at www.NAHB.org/ReviveHousingNow.