The New York chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry today voted to terminate its chapter agreement with NARI National. Of the members present during the deciding meeting (to which all local members were invited), the final tally was 67 in favor, one abstaining, and two voting against—one of whom was Robi Kirsic, both the recent board chairman and president of NARI National. New York is the third NARI chapter to break ties (or have ties broken) with National since late April.
"The executive board and board actually decided to leave NARI National in March," says Patrick Bentivegna, NARI NY's president and owner of Benco Construction. "As is written in our bylaws, we then gave notice to membership and needed at least a quarter to approve before we took the official vote to terminate our chapter agreement."
About half of membership weighed in, he says, and the decision was near unanimous. "Our membership tells us that where they find value in our association is in local benefits, like networking and education. The national benefits don't help. I think maybe five local members use the Home Depot benefit, and we could get that without National."
The Coalition Becomes An Association, "Maybe"
Moving forward, the New York organization intends to continue operations under the name Professional Remodeling Organization of New York—which by no coincidence follows the naming scheme adopted by former NARI chapters in EM NARI and NARI Metro DC (now called PRO New England and PRO Metro DC). It's part of a plan to work together, Bentivenga says.
"Starting off I believe we're intending to act as independent organizations, but we will be collaborating," he explains. "Maybe in time we could be a bigger organization. We will have to see how it goes."