This year, the scholarship program welcomed 20 ambitious young professionals to Orlando. After the show, they shared some of their most valuable takeaways.
The Multitude of Products on DisplayWith more than 1,500 manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe, the Show floor is a great place to meet vendors and discover new products.
“I got to see a new product launch from one of my main window lines — something I never would have seen if I hadn’t been at the show,” said scholarship recipient Zeke Keel of Southern Window Supply in Birmingham, Ala.
Education, the Centrals and CommunitiesPacked with more than 140 education sessions — in addition to the presentations found on the Show floor and inside niche-specific Centrals — IBS education is one of the greatest draws for young professionals, attendees said.
“There were a couple of education sessions where I felt like they were speaking to me. I was sitting there like, ‘Yes, this is what I want to hear!’” said Dana Spanjer of Spanjer Homes in Fort Collins, Colo.
“I definitely came away with a lot of good things that I can use in my work now and in the future. I specifically attended the Building Systems Council presentations and learned a lot about what’s going on around the country,” added Brandyn Deckinga, who works at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Networking, Connecting with OthersScholarship recipients spent considerable time networking, which they said is key to career-building and business-growth.
“You never know who you’re going to run into, what services you might share, what you might have in common or who knows who,” said Elenore Decos of MonGroup Properties Inc. in Shrewsbury, N.J.
“The stories you hear when talking to people are the best part because you can extract little bits and pieces that make sense for you and your market,” agreed Gabe DaSilva of DaSilva Group Inc. in Union County, N.J.
“My favorite thing about the show was interacting with fellow builders from across the country. I talked to builders about what they were doing with different financing programs, what software they were using and how they handled client selections. I also talked to people who weren’t builders about what they’re seeing in the industry,” said scholarship recipient Kristi Allen of WoodCastle Homes in Jordan, Utah.
NAHB members between the ages of 21-35 can get the IBS 2019 scholarship details now and must apply by June 15 to be considered.