NJBFAA votes to stay with NBFAA just a little bit longer

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

HOLMDEL, N.J.—Members of the New Jersey BFAA voted 33 for, 18 against, with one abstention to remain part of the national affiliate, the NBFAA, at a special meeting held here Aug. 11.

Emotions ran high on both sides in the weeks leading up to the meeting, but “cooler heads prevailed and the members voted to stay with national,” said Chris Mack, president at the NJBFAA.

The meeting was called in response to member concerns about the cost of the membership and concerns about the value of being part of the national organization. Click here for more background. 

The NBFAA dispatched both president Mike Miller and executive director Merlin Guilbeau here for last night’s meeting, where they did a “very nice and thorough” one-hour presentation to the members, according Mack.

“I think both sides had a chance to say their piece,” said Mack who characterized the meeting as very productive. While cost was a major concern going into the meeting, lack of communication “was the number one concern” expressed by both sides during the meeting. 

There was much discussion surrounding communication between the two entities during recent NJBFAA efforts to deal with IRC code issues. Mack said that both parties agreed that “New Jersey will have more presence at national meetings and national will get more involved with us at the state level, because it seems like a lot of things [such as recent problems with the IRC code] seem to start in New Jersey.”

Mack said that the biggest items upcoming in New Jersey would be training, since renewal for licenses will take place in August 2010. The NJBFAA and national may cooperate on some training, he said.

Guilbeau and Miller focused on the many benefits offered by NBFAA to chapter members during their presentation. While many states use benefits (insurance programs and coupons for example) to recruit members, “very few members in New Jersey are taking advantage of these,” Mack said. “These are benefits that will help members grow their businesses, save money and be more competitive. You’ll see us [the NJBFAA] working with national on this.”

Mike Miller concurred that more collaboration was needed between the two groups. In addition, he said he issued a challenge to New Jersey, which is one of the largest charter state associations. He said he'd like to see New Jersey membership take more of a leadership role in NBFAA. “They have a lot to offer and we could use their expertise in the government relations area, on different committees,” he said.

Mack said that members would be paying attention. “If something does happen [a legal, legislative or code problem for example] our members will be looking for them to really jump on it and get involved.”

Both sides are eager to repair relations, Mack said. “It will be a win-win for both organizations to do what they say,” Mack said. “I don’t think either party wants to go through this again next year.”