NARI Names New Officers and Lobbyist

April 26, 2013

During its 2013 Spring Business Meeting, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry named Dean Herriges of Urban Herriges & Sons Inc., Mukwonago, Wis., as chairman of the board and elevated Art Donnelly of Legacy Builders & Remodelers Corp., Mount Sinai, N.Y., to the office of president.

NARI's immediate past president, Herriges enters his new position as chairman of the board of directors with a re-energized outlook on the industry, he states. "This has been a strong, transitional year for the remodeling industry, coming out of a challenging economic climate into a growth period. NARI has strengthened strategic alliances and launched a research program, and its continued representation in Washington is focused on sustaining future growth of NARI member businesses as the recovery continues."

Donnelly assumed the role of president after serving as president-elect and treasurer in the past year. His experience in NARI leadership includes currently serving on the NYC/LI NARI chapter board of directors for seven years. His national leadership dates back to 2007, serving as the vice chair of the Certification Board for two years, transitioning to chair from 2009 to 2011. Donnelly held both treasurer and secretary positions from 2011 to 2012, with the transition of the board of directors halfway through the year.

For the upcoming year, Donnelly is focused on refining NARI's direction and the direction of the industry, drawing from shifts in remodeling trends and technological advancements. "We're re-evaluating NARI's 2010 Strategic Plan to ensure full representation of our vision and goals in the new remodeling climate," he says. "In addition, NARI will encourage professionalism in the industry through increased awareness and commitment to the highest standards in members. Finally, I hope to continue to advance our legislative agenda and member participation to support our industry in a year of predicted growth."

The remaining officers, also elected and announced during the meeting in Kansas City, include: Kevin Anundson of Owner Assisted Remodeling in Elm Grove, Wis., as president elect; Judy Mozen of Handcrafted Homes Inc. in Roswell, Ga., as treasurer; and Dale Contant of Atlanta Design & Build, Marietta, Ga., as secretary.

New Lobbyist
In addition to new officers, NARI also named Chris Spear of Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough, LLP, based in Washington, D.C., as its new lobbyist.  He is succeeding Tom Sullivan, who has moved to a new job as general counsel of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Spear has a 20-year track record in government relations, working both domestically and internationally in the legislative and regulatory arenas. He started his career on Capitol Hill as professional staff in the U.S. Senate, responsible for the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, a role that included jurisdiction issues such as workplace education, training, safety, wages, hour laws and flexibility.
Spear put his experience from the subcommittee to good use, moving to the Department of Labor, as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy.

“I oversaw regulatory agencies such as the Wage & Hour Division of OSHA, learning the [process of] how rules promulgate under these agencies—insight beneficial to conveying NARI’s messages to these agencies,” Spear says.  Most recently, Spear spent time working as VP of emerging markets for Honeywell Process Solutions in the U.K.  “If there was one mandate we should have, it would require everyone [legislators] to spend time in the private sector and learn what it takes to manage a business and make your numbers each month,” Spear notes.

Spear's initial efforts for NARI will be working on legislative actions to add the opt-out provision back into the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.  “When regulatory agencies move in a concerning direction—as the EPA has—it creates uncertainty among the affected populations,” he says. “This uncertainty is not good for those being regulated, and NARI members need clarity in order to follow the rule as intended.”