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NARI Announces Departure of CEO

NARI's Board of Directors announces a new CEO search is underway

November 03, 2021
nari ceo

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) announced today the departure of CEO David Pekel.

The organization’s Board of Directors have already begun a new CEO search, using a professional firm to aid the interim and new CEO selections, according to association officials.

“David was instrumental in building a strong core of directors and staff that assembled support programs for chapters and members across the country,” said NARI Board Chair Doug King in the official NARI news release.

Looking toward the future, the association says its focus will be on engaging chapters and members in its “strategic planning process,” as it describes. The planning will include renewed focus on NARI priorities, enhancing members’ businesses through education, marketing, and its accreditation program.

This announcement comes at a time of some dispute between NARI national and local branches. 


RELATED: A Dispute at NARI: The Simple Facts


In January this year, 15 NARI chapters sent NARI national a letter of “concerns” outlining issues with rising association dues and a lack of transparency. Since then, six NARI chapters have severed ties with the organization and formed a new industry association, PRO.

“This happened under [Pekel’s] watch and him leaving opens the door to making amends and possibly rebuilding relationships with those folks who left the organization,” says Michael Anschel of Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build, an active NARI Minnesota member and upcoming local board member. 

Members are encouraged to contact NARI COO Elsie Iturralde for correspondence intended for the CEO. Despite this change, NARI ensures the same programs and operations will occur as intended in the association’s 2021-2022 work plan.
 

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The PRO affiliates that left NARI had 2 requests, a new CEO and Strategic Planning that addressed the leadership path to national office. This is so late and it took the threat of losing another chapter to open some eyes. I'm glad NARI is finally paying attention.

If NARI is serious about listening to its members, past and present, a strategic plan must address the role of chapters and their representation at a national level. There must be a clear democratic path to serving as a national board member that equally represents all chapters.

PRO is a serious organization, we have learned so much about how to do it openly, intelligently and differently than NARI. Each PRO affiliate has an equal say. We have strategic partners that are giving us their full support. There is a better way to serve the needs of the remodeling industry if we approach this with an open mind and look for new solutions.

The PRO and NARI affiliates and chapters are the back bone of both organizations, without these local groups of passionate members there is nothing. The voice and individual participation of each member company is essential to the success of any local and national organization. A national organization should promote the health and growth of its chapters instead of withdrawing their charter!

We need a start over.

Well said, David. We need to clear the air and start over. National forgot that it exists to serve the chapters, not the other way around. What you have done with PRO is impressive, but not unexpected. After all DC was one of the chapters that helped build and shape NARI in the first place. I'm hopeful that amends can be made, but I think there is also value in having PRO, and hope that NARI National understands that and considers the possibility of a friendly relationship with PRO.

After being a NARI member for many years and earning two accreditations I decided to sever ties last year. The NARI HOME SHOW attendance had plummeted, there was no ROI for being an active member and the local Cleveland, OH chapter was doing nothing to help it’s members succeed.
I’m hoping NARI’s new CEO will turn things around by focusing on the reason NARI exists which is to help members be successful through education, marketing and unique programs.

Glad to see that NARI National has taken the correct first step of removing David Pekel as CEO. Now it is time for Doug King's removal/resignation, and a completely new Board of Directors. Otherwise the same people who would not attend a town hall, who removed their most successful chapter WITHOUT A MEETING, WITHOUT A PHONE CALL, will still be driving the bus. And this bus has run over members, even whole chapters, FOR WHAT? The Pekel sycophants have got to go as well, otherwise the snake will grow a new head and be back to their same old ways. They have already said they will ensure that the same programs and operations will continue under Pekel's work plan going forward. This was disastrous, so let's stay with that plan? Makes no sense! So is this going to be a new day for NARI, or just more of the same? Real reform comes with new voices, and I will not believe it is a new day until there is completely new leadership at NARI National.

As a NARI life time award recipients and a former member of NARI Metro DC, this announcement appears to place responsibility on Mr. Peckle for the communication errors and chapters leaving. A reminder is our chapter had no choice as our charter was rescinded by the NARI National Board Of Director and not by an employee of NARI. It was the board who chose not to attend town halls.

If the future is to change then the board needs to change and not pass on the errors of the past onto someone you allowed to stay an employee.

Also, it wasn’t David who slandered our executive director it was a board member who happens to be quoted in the press release claiming David made our association stronger. I would beg to differ.

I wish our remodeling community the best as our clients expect professionals leading the way.

As a NARI life time award recipients and a former member of NARI Metro DC, this announcement appears to place responsibility on Mr. Peckle for the communication errors and chapters leaving. A reminder is our chapter had no choice as our charter was rescinded by the NARI National Board Of Director and not by an employee of NARI. It was the board who chose not to attend town halls.
If the future is to change then the board needs to change and not pass on the errors of the past onto someone you allowed to stay an employee.
Also, it wasn’t David who slandered our executive director it was a board member who happens to be quoted in the press release claiming David made our association stronger. I would beg to differ.
I wish our remodeling community the best as our clients expect professionals leading the way.

Its just a real shame...NARI has been a fine organization for a long, long time. I have been a member at both the local and national level for close to thirty years but the recent autocratic, blind and lying behavior of David Pekel and...more importantly...the Board of Directors...has been astonishing to witness. What in the world happened to the idea of listening and working with the local chapters to strengthen and promote NARI? The founders would be both shocked and saddened. I am glad that Mr. Pekel is gone...but the problems are deeper than that. Here is hoping that the Board sees the error of its ways and makes some significant and serious changes...you have a tough job ahead of you. Good luck...

Regarding this news on the departure of David Pekel as CEO of NARI, the Board of Directors of PRO, on behalf of the six PRO Affiliates, wish to clarify a couple of statements in the article from the PRO point of view. As to ‘looking forward to the future, the association says its focus will be on engaging chapters and members in its ‘strategic process’” - this is exactly what the 15 chapters tried to get NARI Leadership to do last winter and spring, to no avail. What was sought was more involvement in how decisions were made, more transparency in how NARI conducted its business – both operationally and financially – and more respect for chapter leadership and Executive Directors. In regard to ‘building a strong core of directors’, it was this same ‘core’ of officers and directors who refused to respond as requested to the 15 chapters concerns, and this same ‘core’ of officers that signed off on a letter inviting the chapters to terminate their chapter agreements and leave rather than continue to seek dialogue and reform. Within the new PRO network, a community has developed that embodies trust, transparency, and mutual respect. We have created a space that honors and values the affiliated organizations, leverages the talent of each to benefit the whole, and supports a collaborative effort to grow together and best serve the remodeling industry. The fact that our six PRO Affiliates left NARI is not solely based on the leadership of Mr. Pekel, but also on failed leadership and an unsustainable strategic direction put forth and supported by the NARI Officers and Board of Directors. That leadership team remains in place today.

The PRO Board of Directors

PRO is built so that every member has a say, has a conduit to what happens nationally.

PRO will soon be the remodeling association to belong to, as it is built on competence and confidence, and is already salted with a bunch of the great people that made the old Nari great and is the resource you will need in the future for education, networking, and awards. Plus our parties are awesome.

Join PRO!

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