Looking back at her national involvement, she says it enabled her and her husband to tweak their business systems and provided motivation to improve. Equally important were the relationships she developed. “Today, if I have a question on anything related to the industry, I can make a phone call to someone, somewhere across the country who probably has the experience or knowledge to answer my question. Remodelers are incredibly willing to share and give advice when asked,” she says.
She started attending national meetings as an alternate from her local and, before long, wanted to become more involved. Not knowing the system, she asked an officer how to volunteer.
Sherry’s introduction into committee work was with the NAHB Membership Committee, where she served seven years, sharing information with state and local membership committees. As a result, her local membership director asked her to start a member-retention program. As local membership chair, Sherry oversaw a five-year plan that made the MBA of King and Snohomish Counties the largest local in the NAHB with more than 3,000 members, a distinction it still holds today.
Her involvement has paid dividends. “On every committee and every board position on the local, state and national level I’ve been involved in, I’ve met outstanding people and I’ve learned from the experience. Those experiences continue to help HCS improve its business model,” she says.
For Sherry, involvement in NAHB, nationally and locally, was more than just taking advantage of educational opportunities. “I never had a goal to be on the number of committees I’ve been on. I’m rather amazed myself to see the total over time,” she says.
“People say they don’t have time to get involved,” she comments. “I think if you want to improve your business skills, you will be involved because these are the things that impact your profitability.”
For Sherry, it’s not a matter of having the time; it’s a matter of making and taking the time. “Volunteering is my personal way of contributing to the industry, but it also keeps me informed,” she says. “Additionally, through interaction, I am energized to think creatively about applications and changes we can make to improve HCS.”
Sherry hasn’t stopped volunteering. She recently stepped into the position of second vice president of MBA of King and Snohomish Counties, when the previous officer, John Bratton, CGR, CAPS, passed away.
Relationships—whether they are with clients, trade partners or industry peers—are a common thread in much of what Sherry has achieved and are high on her list of best practices. She explains: “I can’t say the success of our company or anything I’ve accomplished is due solely to one thing I’ve done. It’s based on relationships with so many people who have supported us and have been there to help us satisfy our clients and establish the reputation we have.”
Sherry Schwab, CGR, CAPS, Is Involved
Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
- Second vice president
- Board of directors
- Finance Committee
- Long Range Planning
- Membership Committee, chair
- Membership retention chair
- MBA University board
of directors, Marketing Committee
- Executive member
- Home Tour committee
- Seattle magazine Committee
- Excellence Committee
- Cadre chair
Building Industry of Washington
- State representative
- National director
- Executive Committee
- Board of directors
- Membership Committee
- Remodelers Council member, vice chair and chair