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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 

May 05, 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 and can prove 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.

About the Author


About the Author


James McClister is managing editor for Professional Remodeler.

Comments

Comments

as someone who has worked closely with national i can say with much certainty that national does not care about its chapters. national only wants chapters to cough up their money for its members. national and their board do not care about the chapters complaints. they did not want to meet with the chapters in the first place because they do not want to do anymore work than what is required from them. they are not interested in listening to the chapters since they would have initiated some discussion with them earlier on had they actually cared. the ceo is highly unqualified for his position. his actions have proven time and time again that running an association is beyond his wisdom, but what can really be expected from a board who was only looking to quickly find a replacement for the association and ended up choosing this schmuck (what an embarrassment).

You look real credible anonymous commenter. None of what you say is true. You are clearly the schmuck and embarrassment. Go troll somewhere else.

David Pekel is the issue. You are absolutely right. And the “anonymous” responder to your posts is probably a Board Member. I too worked locally and nationally with NARI. Served in many positions locally and nationally. He organized in essence a Coup, like Castro did. For his own self interests.

Would love to see what his compensation plan is, and for sure there is a “Golden Parachute” waiting for him to pull the cord when he feels the heat. He probably has himself set for life with the Chapters dues he is asking them to pay.

i must know enough to provoke you to comment anonymously. practice what you preach.

It pains me to see the organization fracture, but as a member I feel I get the most value from the local chapter than I get from the national association. The networking with members, mentoring and forming relationships over the years has meant more to my business than the NARI logo on my website. And all that took place at the local chapter. I take pride in my certifications, but outside of NARI they have no meaning to the consumers I sit face to face with. I proudly advertise ourselves as a NARI member, but again the consumers I sit face to face with have no idea what it means. With millions in reserve, in order to be "attracting, engaging, and retaining members", the name NARI must mean something to the consumers that hire our companies.
I hope these issues can be resolved because we are stronger together, but if not, I go where our chapter goes.

Anonymous, is correct, the troll appears to be the 2nd person who posted as Anonymous

David Pekel is the real reason for this discord. He, while a member of the board, President to be exact, forced out the CEO Fred. “Convenient” for NARI that David Pekel “stepped up” and was Interim CEO while there was a “search” foe a replacement. Miraculously David was a “perfect fit”. He then proceeded to implement his own agenda and is currently driving NARI into the ground. He is inept, nor experienced in running a non-profit organization like NARI. The staff in HQ, the current Board and several chapters are content to be David’s puppets, and he be the puppet master. Nobody is attending their shows. Just look at membership numbers.

It is very sad to see NARI fall apart, though not unexpected. The writing has been in the wall for years that a reinvention for NARI was needed. The best suggestion would be to do one of two things: 1) dissolve the National NARI and each chapter do their own thing in their respective areas or 2) join forces with NAHBR, National Association of Home Builders Remodelers.

There is NO away for NARI to continue as is and succeed. No ifs, ands or buts. It must fire David Pekel, and bring in an experienced CEO, and take one of the two above mentioned routes.

As many of you know, David Pekel and past president of NARI, Doug King were discussing chapter removal with each other and an email that got out due to reckless typing. The amount of name calling and rude remarks are unacceptable for someone on the board at NARI. If anyone wants to read this email from Doug King intended for Pekel, here’s the link to my twitter.

These are unacceptable actions by “leaders” and the attempted “apology” falls short of addressing the situation.

Pekel and King deserve nothing but the worst. I’m coming for it all. I will not be silenced.

-LM

whats the link?

You have to search twitter

Lazlo MaholyNagy
@LMaholynagy

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