Atlantic Builders Convention 2011: Breaking New Grounds at ABC
By Eileen Monesson, ABC Committee Chair
The Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC) continues to be the largest builder and remodeler trade show for residential and commercial builders in the Northeast. Despite the challenging economy, the mood was up beat with many builders hopeful to break ground on new projects soon. More than 6,500 attendees and over 450 vendors participated in ABC 2011. Many new people attended the convention this year, including decision makers which enhanced the value of participating to exhibitors.
The goal of NJBA and the Convention Committee is to continuously refresh and enhance the convention. From the positive feedback received throughout the trade show, we achieved this goal. Attendees had many experiences at ABC 2011 – vendors selling products and services on the show floor, revised exhibit hall and educational program hours, a “Green” exhibit showcasing innovations in clean technology, and a 3-D demonstration of Team NJ’s ENJOY: Generation House which will represent the state of New Jersey in the U.S. Solar Decathlon this Fall in Washington, D.C.
We had fresh venues for the numerous networking receptions, a culinary classic at the Mari Gras Welcome Party featuring some of the best restaurants in Atlantic City; as well as a new format for the NJBA Awards Luncheon and President’s Installation Gala. Our speakers were leaders in their fields and numerous “special guests” delighted and enlightened participants.
The NJBA staff should be applauded for their commitment to making ABC 2011 a success. Their dedication and countless hours working with the Convention Committee and numerous sub-committees resulted in what many participants said was one of the best conventions in years. Damaris Zayas, Irene Opitz, Diane Nicolo-Pocino, Mike Bellina, as well as the entire NJBA team did a tremendous job.
Here are just a couple comments we’ve received about ABC 2011:
“CONGRATULATIONS on an outstanding convention. There clearly was a great deal of excitement and optimism in the air.”
Peter J. Hovnanian, Principal, J.S. Hovnanian & Sons
“The ABC Convention this year was more than well worth our time. As an NJBA Master Sponsor this year, I feel that my team has built some lasting business relationships, and brought some of our current relationships to another level. I am looking forward to ABC 2012.”
Lisa A. Carney, Special Projects Coordinator, Aflac
Mark your calendars for the 63rd Annual ABC show on March 28-30, 2012 at the Atlantic City Convention Center (Hall D). The host hotel will be the Taj Mahal.
Exhibit Registration Open:
More than 20% of the 2012 exhibit floor has already been reserved, so don’t delay. Visit the www.abconvention.com/floorplan/index.asp today for details on the NEW floor layout, available booths and reservation forms needed to select your prime location(s)! As they say, location is everything.
ABC is seeking committed members to volunteer for on-site responsibilities and the pre-planning of ABC 2012. Contact Damaris Zayas at 609-570-2153 or email@example.com for more details on how you can benefit from joining our creative team ASAP.
Professionals seeking continuing education credits and certifications took advantage of the numerous well-attended seminars including:
Featured Joel Naroff, President and Founder – Naroff Economic Advisors, Jeffrey Otteau, President – Otteau Valuation Group and Tim Touhey, CEO – NJBA. All those in attendance were informed of the current economic climate of the building industry and walked away with a wealth of information to help them shape tomorrow’s future.
Friday Morning Keynote Breakfast Event
This information packed event featured two separate programs:
Part One: Future of Housing in New Jersey
Key Legislative Leaders and representatives of the development community discussed how recent economic and environmental developments have impacted the housing market and how the State's policies affect housing opportunities for New Jersey residents. NJBA CEO Tim Touhey moderated the panel which included:
Part Two: Keynote Address by Carolyn Kepcher
Ms. Kepcher is the founder of Carolyn & Co. Media, former EVP of The Trump Organization, and co-star of NBC's The Apprentice. She spoke about the difficulties builders have today, as well as the management structure of the Trump Organization.
The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certification Maintenance (CM) Programs facilitated continuing education activities and events that provided CM credits approved by American Planning Association. ABC 2011 offered eight accredited courses:
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)offered nine seminars approved for AIA credit:
Continuing Legal Education (CLE)was available for lawyers. Eleven courses were offered which was approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board (approvals are pending for the NJ Board on Continuing Legal Education):
Go Green with Solar Farms, Wind Farms & Other Alternative Energy Sources– featured an on-site seminar and tour of the Atlantic City Utility Wind Farm. It was presented by an Accredited LEED Professional and approved for one CEU by the US Green Building Council (GBCI).
Sales and Marketing Seminars
Sales Mastery –- How to Make 2011 Your Best Sales Year Ever! Presented by: Eric Taylor, President & Chief Collaboration Officer Empowerment Group International. Author of the best-selling book: Mastering the World of Selling.
The Perfect 10 of Sales – Featured industry stars Greg Lentine, PRC Group; Lisa Macchi, Millennium Homes; Matt Roesch, Pulte Homes and Blair Severino, Severino Homes & Communities.
Seminars for Everyone
New Energy Subcode: 2009 IECC
Financial Strategies for Tough Times
New JerseySite Remediation & LSRPs
The Big Bang Theory – Diversifying Your Approach &
Strategies for Business Success
Meet the Director of Division Codes & Standards
Improve Your Bottom Line Using Wireless Technology
Town Square and the Welcome Ceremony
ABC 2011 attendees were greeted by a NJBA Immediate Past President, Thomas Critelli and President Dominick Paragano along with some of their fellow officers who welcomed attendees to the convention in a colorful ceremony that featured the Williamstown High School Band and Abigail Clouser singing the National Anthem.
A "Green Area*" was on display during the 3-day show. It was filled with innovative energy efficient products. This area also featured green exhibits. Vendors displayed products and services for all to learn about green building and clean technology.
Thank you to our Green House Sponsors:
*Green listing was based on vendor claims. Refer to vendor for supporting information.
Team NJ’s ENJOY: A Generation House Presentation
TeamNJ gave a 3-D demonstration of ENJOY House which will represent the state of New Jersey in the U.S. Solar Decathlon this Fall in Washington, D.C. The house is an example of the mass-market viability of solar homes to prospective buyers and builders with the design and construction of an affordable, functional, beautiful net-zero energy house suited to the climate of New Jersey. ENJOY House combines solar electric and solar thermal technologies with intelligent design. It will produce enough or more energy to power all standard appliances, produce hot water and maintain a healthy indoor living environment. Information on the project can be found at www.solarteamnewjersey.com.
Ask the Pros
The "Ask the Pros" area gave attendees the opportunity to speak one-on-one with industry professionals - NJBA’s Master Sponsors. Participants received complementary advice from lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers and representatives from the various building trades.
Demo Clinics at ABC
Parksite, one of the nation’s leading building product distributors, provided two separate product demonstrations in Workshop Area Two. The first showed how a residential deck can be built in one hour or less with SigmaDek (www.sigmadek.com). The second demonstration featured the Tiger Claw Installation Gun and the Tiger Jaw Installation Tool (www.deckfastener.com). Both of these products can be used to install decks quickly with the finished look of a fastener free appearance.
Contact Diane Nicolo-Pocino at 609-570-2155 to reserve a demo area at ABC 2012.
Attendees had the opportunity to relax, recharge and reconnect with business associates and friends in this calming area on the exhibit floor which featured:
2011 Exhibitor Awards
Congratulations to the Award of Excellence exhibit winners for their innovative booth designs:
Super Stud Building Products Inc./
RM Design Studio
Universal Forest Products
Fireside Hearth & Home
Embrace Home Loans
NJBA President’s Installation Gala
The "must attend" event of the convention was the NJBA’s President's Gala which was held at the Taj Mahal. Participants enjoyed an elegant, fun filled evening as they celebrated the end of Thomas F. Critelli’s tenure as NJBA President. Dominick L. Paragano was sworn in as President by his father Larry Paragano and the 2011-2012 Officers by Carol Ann Short. The NJBA Officers are:
President: Dominick L. Paragano, D. L. Paragano Homes, Inc.
Vice President: Winfield “Ziggy” Ziegenfuss, Jr., Daniel Gregory, Inc.
Treasurer: Robert J. Fallone, Fallone Properties, Inc.
Secretary: David Fisher, K. Hovnanian Homes
Builder Vice President: George Vallone, Hoboken Brownstone Company
Associate Vice President: Howard VanNatta, VanNatta Mechanical Corp.
Second Associate Vice President: James R. DeLand, Jr., Henderson and Bodwell, LLP
A Legend of Housing was not named this year.
Sales & Marketing Awards (SAM) Banquet
The SAM Award is the highest honor NJBA presents to sales and marketing professionals throughout the state of New Jersey. This prestigious and highly regarded award recognizes the accomplishments of builders and associates that are truly “Best in Class.” Each has the creative vision and market expertise to promote the value of buying a new home. Click here for a list of our 2011 SAM Award recipients. Congratulations to all the WINNERS!
The NJBA Annual Industry Awards
Congratulations and thank you to all the NJBA award winners who continue to support the building industry and NJBA. The support and involvement they give keeps the association strong. Awards during the event went to the following recipients:
|Michael Karmatz||Builder of the Year|
|Nicole Hantman||Associate of the Year|
|Donald Dobres||Remodeler of the Year|
|Stephen Patron||Builder Hall of Fame|
|Sean Olin||Associate Hall of Fame|
|Howard Van Natta|
|Glen Lumia||Remodeler Hall of Fame|
|Barbara Chiusano||Builder Continuing Service Award|
|Jeanne Tomlinson||Associate Continuing Service Award|
|Michael R. Fink||Silver Hammer|
|Robert M. Washburn||Silver Handshake Award|
|Senator Jeff Van Drew||Distinguished Service Award|
BLSJ Charitable Foundation
Marlene Spencer & Susan Thames
|Preservation of the American Dream|
Hill Wallack LLP
Thomas F. Carroll, III
Henry T. Chou
Community Investment Strategies
|Affordable Housing Award|
|Jason Schaeffer||Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Political Action|
The Canuso Foundation
|The Foundation for Housing Service Award|
Steve Patron presented the Distinguished Service Award to Senator Jeff Van Drew, District 1 who then presented Steve Patron with a Resolution.
Our featured speakers were Lori Grifa, Commissioner, Department of Community Affairs who gave an update on what is happening in Trenton and Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, who discussed the new $100M Loan Program.
Welcome “Mardi Gras” Party
Magic 100.1 - FM Radio Station rocked the Atrium of the Atlantic City Convention Center with the classic music that we all love. Food was provided by some of the finest restaurants in Atlantic City including:
EastBay Crab & Grill
IlMulino New York
Phillips Seafood Restaurant
Tropicana Casino and Resort
Congratulations to the Tropicana Casino and Resort for winning the ABC Attendees' Choice Award. Attendees of the Welcome Party voted their tasty lobster bisque as "favorite" menu item during this event.
This year’s Builders Reception celebrated the 22nd Anniversary of the Master Sponsor program. It was held at The House of Blues: Club Harlem at Showboat. Congratulations to the 5th Annual Sponsor’s Choice Award recipient Jason Kaplan, Kaplan Companies. This prestigious award is given to a firm who utilizes the most services and products offered by NJBA Master Sponsors.
For information on becoming a Master Sponsor, contact Irene Opitz, Master Sponsor Liaison, at 609-570-2158.
Click here to visit our Master Sponsors here.
Builders Dance Party
The Builder’s Dance Party, one of the hottest networking events of ABC was held at Casbah, the spectacular night club at the Taj Mahal. Attendees danced the night away while they connected with new, as well as established business associates.
Attendees and exhibitors met nightly at the Ego Lounge at the Taj Mahal to relax, network and build business relationships.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the Atlantic Builders Convention:
Other Convention Sponsors:
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
|K2 Hardware and Kwikset|
Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority
|Nahir Construction Services|
|NJ Law Journal|
Associa-Mamco Property Management
|Pennsylvania Builders Association|
Audrey Vasey Photography
Community Builders and Remodelers Association
|Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law|
Connell Foley LLP
|Sun Farm Network|
Greater Media Radio
iLevel by Weyerhaeuser
|Tyler & Carmeli, P.C.|
JON Web Designs
|Warshauer Electric Supply Co.|
Special Event Sponsors
SAM After-Party at the Casbah night club at the Taj Mahal
TeamNJ’s Presentation of ENJOY: Generation House:
Welcome “Mardi Gras” Party
Builders Dance Party
NJBA President’s Installation Gala
Thank you! Without your help and support, the ABC would not have been possible.
The 62nd annual Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC) culminated with a dynamic and informative panel discussion on the future of housing in New Jersey featuring Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Steve Oroho, and Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce and key members of the development community.
The panel largely focused on how the State’s economic and environmental policies impact the housing market and affect housing opportunities for New Jersey residents. Moderated by New Jersey Builders Association CEO Timothy J. Touhey, the panelists addressed the major issues facing the industry – home rule, property taxes, the state’s regulatory environment and affordable housing.
Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-3) said the time for action was now, citing a need to reduce the size and cost of government and the many obsolete and redundant regulations that hamper growth. To widespread applause, the Senate President also recognized the building community for its role in New Jersey’s economic future, stating, “I appreciate what you do. You try to create jobs and provide affordable housing. We truly do appreciate that and we need to do our job to try to make this place a little bit easier for you to do yours.”
Managing Partner of RoselandProperty Company, Carl Goldberg, also highlighted the close connection between economic growth and the housing industry.
“The issue is that you can never bring jobs and you never bring businesses into the state unless there is an affordable housing stock for the people who work for these companies,” Goldberg said. “We have to deal with affordable housing to make sure that there is an opportunity for every citizen in the state to have quality shelter, but the broader issue is housing affordability for all residents or we are never going to experience the kind of growth we need in New Jersey.”
Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce (R-26) echoed this sentiment, and noted that while the elimination of home rule is not likely, the regulatory reform efforts underway at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will go a long way in supporting the housing industry.
In agreement with the other panelists about ensuring New Jersey remains competitive with other states, Joseph Riggs, group president of K. Hovnanian Homes, cited high property taxes as the crux of what makes it so difficult to make progress in the current environment.
Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) also emphasized this point, stating, “What the legislators and elected officials of New Jersey need to do to stay competitive is keep our prices low, keep our taxes low, keep our fees low, make the cost of government lower, and make our regulatory reform consistent and predictable and simple.”
The concerns surrounding the state’s regulatory environment were perhaps best summed up by Ron Ladell, vice president of AvalonBay Communities. “We want predictability and flexibility. Tell us what the rules are. Tell us what the rules are. Tell us what the rules are and we will comply with them.”
To the delight of audience members, the legislative leaders each reaffirmed their commitment to the housing industry and vowed to work in tandem with the Christie Administration and the development community to advance a more vibrant, greener, and affordable housing market in New Jersey. As Senator Oroho concluded, “I am hopeful about the future.”
Join us at the 24th Annual New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) Golf Outing on Monday, July 25th, at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, New Jersey to enjoy a day on the links! Network with members and become a sponsor of the 2011 Golf Outing in support of our industry!
6:30 to 8:00 am
Tartan Grille Breakfast
Cocktail Reception/Awards Lunch
Golf outing fee includes: Green fees, golf cart, locker room, golf pro services, breakfast, beverages on the course, cocktail reception, buffet lunch, awards and prizes!
If golf is not your game, plan to attend the Cocktail Reception/Awards Lunch to capitalize on the networking opportunities!
Registration forms will be e-mailed in the near future and will be posted on the NJBA website. Sponsorships and golf packages also coming soon.