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A Dispute at NARI: The Simple Facts

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A Dispute at NARI: The Simple Facts

Documents central to an internal dispute at NARI shed light on how concerns have been raised and met 

By By James F. McClister May 5, 2021
NARI dispute documents

There is a disagreement happening between certain NARI chapters and NARI’s executive leadership and National Board of Directors. For the people involved, emotions are high. One remodeler close to the situation, a NARI member since 1993 and former national committee chair, said that “'turmoil' puts it mildly” and admits that the relationship may be “irreparable.” It makes facts important, especially as nearly half of NARI’s overall membership may be impacted. 

Keeping that in mind, the following is a timeline of simple facts as we know them. 

15 Chapter-coaltion Delivers Letter of "Concerns" to NARI's Board 

On January 28, 2021, NARI’s National Board of Directors received a letter backed by the boards of 15 local association chapters—claiming to represent 45% of total membership—that detailed collective concerns including an ”unsustainable” $30 dues increase; “unrealistic” requirements for national involvement; a “limited path to directly seek fundamental reforms”; an “alarming” lack of transparency; “actions that conflict with Chapter Agreements”; and a lack of “strategic cohesion between National and local chapters.”

The letter “demanded” a response within “15 days after receipt.” 

NARI's Board Responds Requesting Additional Information

On February 26, NARI sent a response to the individual chapters that included an 11-part dissection of the concerns presented in the January 28 letter, with 21 corresponding requests in varying forms described as a measure to reach a “better understanding of each issue” and to “reasonably advance” the discussion prior to an “actionable resolution dialog”—which the Board explains would take place one chapter at a time rather than as a group. The letter concludes that once responses are “collected and examined … an open, honest dialogue, and solutions can be pursued.” 

Coalition Seemingly Ignores Request for Information, Invites NARI Board to Zoom Call

On March 12, 2021, Metro DC NARI sent a response seemingly on behalf of the coalition, saying, “As signers of the 1/28 letter, we are united in our quest for an ethical and transparent organization; we are not there today.” The letter doesn’t include responses to the 21 requests but instead invites the Board members to a Zoom meeting to be held on March 25, during which “each chapter that signed the original letter of 1/28 will deliver 2 minutes of prepared comments. Thereafter, there will be an open, moderated discussion up to 90 minutes, and the conversation will close - with action items - promptly at 1:00pm CST,” the letter reads. It concludes that registration for the event ends March 19. 

NARI Declines Invite, Asks NARI Metro DC for Decision on "Remaining a Chapter" 

On March 19, having not registered for the Zoom meeting, NARI’s Board sent a response reiterating it “would not respond to a group communication,” claiming to have “made earnest attempts to understand the concerns of your individual chapter.” Acknowledging that the chapters had not responded to its request for information, the letter goes on to officially decline the March 25th invitation and further suggests that if the “Chapter Agreement is too onerous” or if the direction and intentions of the “Chapter and the members” no longer “aligns” with NARI National then it may consider “providing your written notice to terminate the Agreement.” The Board requested NARI Metro DC give its decision on “remaining a NARI Chapter” by March 28, 2021, expressing a hope for the chapter to remain affiliated but adding, “we all need to focus our time and resources on attracting, engaging, and retaining members.” 

EM NARI Disaffiliates From NARI

On April 28, EM NARI sent a memo to its members officially announcing its disaffiliation from NARI National

This is an ongoing story and Professional Remodeler will continue to gather, verify, and publish the newsworthy facts as quickly as diligence allows.

If any readers have additional information relevant to this developing story they'd wish to share, we invite you to contact our managing editor at jmcclister@sgcmail.com.


written by

James F. McClister

James McClister is managing editor for Professional Remodeler.

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