January 3, 2019

I want to wish a very Happy New Year to all of you. What an honor it is for me to be able to serve our organization this coming year in the role as President. I look forward to the coming months, as we continue to see growth and expand in areas that impact our industry.

I would be remiss if I did not thank our Past-President, Barclay Allen. The Fort Wayne HBA looks much different as I assume this role, than when Barclay first took office. The day-to-day operations have undergone a transformation with Beth, Lyndsi, a new website, and so much more. The greatest resource anyone has is that of time, and the HBA relied heavily on Barclay to give of his time in a year where our organization went through so much change, and which required more time than anyone could have imagined would be needed over the course of 12 months. Thank you, Barclay, for your leadership. We have benefitted from having you at the helm.

Ask anyone that knows me well, and they will tell you how so many of my personal interests involve sports teams. There probably isn’t a sport that I won’t watch, or read about in my spare time. But what I have probably learned about myself in the last couple of years is how much I love to see inspiration and togetherness come from sporting teams and events. Drawing parallels from the world of sports to life situations is something I often think about. Things like being coachable, communicating with team members, learning how to graciously win and lose, overcoming adversity; these are all things that apply to us in our day-to-day roles where we work.

A great example that comes to mind is when I was an assistant coach for the varsity baseball team at a local high school. I remember we had a pitcher who was struggling, and coach had someone warming up in our bullpen. The struggle continued with another batter reaching base, and coach looked at me and asked me to go check on our pitcher in the bullpen and see how he was doing. In my eagerness, I didn’t fully listen to what Coach had actually asked of me. I heard, “Check on the pitcher.” Keep in mind, mound visits at a high school level are usually done by the head coach, and this being my third year as an assistant I had never taken one. So, naturally, I quickly called time and sprinted out to the pitcher’s mound to check on our struggling pitcher. I realized I wasn’t supposed to be there, as soon as I reached the mound. The only way I knew to diffuse the situation was by inserting levity, but I also needed to try to not waste the visit I took. The team had come together on the mound, and I said to them, “Coach asked me to go check on the guy in the bullpen; I’m not supposed to be out here with you guys.” Pause. “You better pick it up out here, so I look like the pitcher whisperer.” Coach cut me some slack upon returning to the dugout, and somehow politely asked me to proceed with checking on our bullpen pitcher. I can get a good laugh from it today, and Coach may, or may not, remember that moment. But, looking back, it does remind me that I should always remember to fully listen to those around me.

I am excited to be a part of this team of board members at the HBA of Fort Wayne this year. We have great builders and associate members on the board. We have professionals from varying organizations who have volunteered their time to help grow and lead our industry in ways that don’t just benefit them or their company, but that affects all of us - even our competition. Thank you for volunteering the resource of your time to help make the Home Builders Association better for the coming year.

Best regards,
Tyler Kees
HBA President

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