Industry history will be made at this month's Remodelers' Show, as the leaders of the two major trade associations will announce an initiative to jointly promote their respective certifications.
The agreement between the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the NAHB Remodelors Council aims to steer more professionals toward the education programs, as well as make consumers aware of their existence. NARI offers the Certified Remodeler (CR) designation, and the NAHB Remodelors Council offers the Certified Graduate Remodelor (CGR) designation.
In addition to emphasizing the importance of education, both NARI president Mark Brick, CR, CGR, and Remodelors Council chair Mike Weiss, CGR, GMB, CAPS, noted that presenting a united front will benefit both organizations. Comparing the idea to national companies that do a lot of advertising, Brick said that before the agreement, "we were splitting apart where their dollars go. It makes more sense to have a common entity." Weiss says that the combined membership of the two groups "makes us a pretty big dog" as advocates for the industry.
The announcement should also serve to debunk the myth that the two organizations are rivals. "People assume that there is an adversarial relationship," Weiss says, quickly noting that this isn't the case. In fact, though this announcement is the first of its kind, the two associations have worked together in the past, on issues such as asbestos and lead paint.
The future leadership of both groups endorsed the announcement and expressed optimism for further progress in the coming years. "This is a positive step forward, and I hope that we continue to grow this relationship in the future," says Doug Sutton, CGR, CAPS, who, as vice chair of the Remodelors Council, will take over from Weiss next year. Joan Stephens, CR, president-elect of NARI, who will replace Brick in 2004, concurs, saying, "I'm willing to talk about anything."
Combined, the two associations boast more than 2,200 remodelers who hold either designation. The CR and CGR programs have similar focuses but ultimately have different expectations for remodelers attempting to earn them. There was no indication that this agreement would result in changing either program to make them more similar.