NARI David Pekel

David Pekel, CEO of NARI, discusses the pros of NARI membership. Including pros you can find through NARI!

Guest: David Pekel – CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry,


3 Points for Success – Devid Pekel:

  1. Join! Belong to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. You’re saying to your consumers and you’re saying to yourself and those that you work with that you are a professional within this industry.
  2. Engage yourself in certification and education. Be the smartest guy in the room when it comes to your industry.
  3. Abide by our strong code of ethics that say, “I am a good business person. I represent strong business practices and quality craftsmanship, and it’s important to me.”

Podcast Transcript

James: [00:00:00] I’m James and it’s great to have you with us on another edition of CareyBrosPros.

Morris: [00:00:04] And I’m Morris. And, yes we are professional contractors and brothers.

James: [00:00:09] When you think about building your construction business does joining a professional organization come to mind? Well it should! And today we’re talking about how the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, that’s NARI, can help you become a better educated contractor and network with your professional peers.

Morris: [00:00:32] And that’s why we’ve invited David Pekel, CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, to join us. Welcome back to Carey Brothers, David!

David: [00:00:44] Morris, James thank you for having me.

James: [00:00:47] And thank you, also for hosting our pro podcast from your exhibit here at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

David: [00:00:55] It’s a pleasure. It’s great to see you here.

James: [00:00:57] They report by the way, according to the show officials, that this is the most robust show expressed in attendance in exhibit sales since 2008 – 11 years. It’s well exceeded everyone’s projections.

David: [00:01:16] It’s fantastic. You know people’s time is very leveraged these days. And this event, as large as it is, has become a destination for professionals in the home improvement and construction industry.

James: [00:01:28] So David for our pro audience listening who may not be familiar with NARI, and I can’t think that there’s anyone that is not, tell them a little bit about NARI, the history, and the Mission.

David: [00:01:42] Sure. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure to talk about the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is, as you know, is the only professional trade association specifically dedicated to the home improvement industry. We serve many different constituents from design build remodelers to single line contractors such as tile installers and drywallers and roofers and electricians and people who install siding and do masonry work and painting work. If you’re engaged in the home improvement or remodeling industry this is an association that you would like to be affiliated with.

James: [00:02:17] Lenders.

David: [00:02:17] We have lenders. We have people who underwrite insurance.

James: [00:02:21] Home warranties!

David: [00:02:22] Home warranties, windows suppliers, door suppliers, the full gamut.

James: [00:02:27] It’s wonderful. And I will tell you that that’s the opportunity. That the NARI chapter meetings provide where you get together with your peers who are competing in the same market. Who you want to compete with, by the way, rather than the underground economy and those who don’t have the licensing, those that don’t have the education, those that don’t have the accreditation. So you want to compete with your pro peers, but you also want to network with all of the para-professionals that you just mentioned because they’re great resources for strengthening your business whether it’s a shower door installer or a tile contractor or a lender who may help you close that deal by getting your client financed.

David: [00:03:12] James, you make such a powerful point in mentioning that.

James: [00:03:16] You know that’s my job, David.

David: [00:03:18] Making powerful points?

Morris: [00:03:19] He’s been operating that software for about ten years.

David: [00:03:23] PowerPoint.


Morris: [00:03:26] Microsoft PowerPoint. Yeah. [laughs]

David: [00:03:26] So, with that with that being said, what a lot of our members have told us are that that engagement that happens at their local chapter meetings has allowed them to build relationships that literally have lasted decades. Many of their co-workers if you will they’re subcontracted trades are also NARI members. It helps to build your brand and to instill quality, when you’re dealing with other likeminded individuals. The other thing that the networking opportunity brings for people that are looking to enhance the successfulness of their business is that we all come to the table at different points in our business maturity. Some of us are old saws and we’re just there to sharpen the teeth. Others are new people coming into the industry who are thirsty for knowledge and want to learn.

James: [00:04:14] And then there are contractors like Morris who have no teeth anyway. [laughs]

Morris: [00:04:20] [laughs]

James: [00:04:21] I get your point. I get your point. What you’re saying is the association can really provide specific value to various segments of the building community.

David: [00:04:34] Precisely.

James: [00:04:35] Yeah.

Morris: [00:04:35] And you know I know that education is a big part of NARI. Can you address the various types of education that go on within the organization?

David: [00:04:46] We have a significant amount of education not only education that helps you as I like to say sharpen the saw, keep you current with with trends, keep you current with technologies, but we also offer an enhanced level of education called our certifications, and we have eight individuals certified programs for remodeling professionals. Becoming a NARI Certified Professional differentiates you from everyone else in the room. It really says I am the smartest guy or person in the space. It gives the consumer added confidence that they’ve hired the very best. We liken it to hiring a CPA or doing your taxes on Turbo Tax.

James: [00:05:23] Exactly. Boy, that’s a terrific analogy. That really is. That makes it easy to understand for someone like me by the way. All right. I want to talk a little bit about a certification. We’ve talked about benefits to builders, builders, builders. I think that there is a benefit to the consumer that I’d like for you to address but that comes right around and acts as a benefit to the NARI certified NARI member contractor and even better with an accreditation or a certification.

David: [00:05:58] Okay. And thank you for that. So in the context of how to communicate this to people who aren’t familiar with certification, there’s a lot of people that get involved and are remodeling space. There are people that kind of like to do it and they’ve got a ladder rack and a credit card for one of the big box stores. So they are a contractor. There are others like yourselves that have been engaged in the business for a very long time and really are the consummate professionals. There are individuals in the homebuilding community that sort of dabble in and dabble out of remodeling as well. And I like to say this: a heart surgeon and a brain surgeon are both what?

Morris: [00:06:40] Specialists?

David: [00:06:42] Doctors.

James: [00:06:43] Oh. Right.

Morris: [00:06:44] They’re both doctors.

David: [00:06:45] But would you go to one for the other?

James: [00:06:49] No. Well not me.

David: [00:06:51] Of course most people wouldn’t. So the moral of the story is a certified professional says I am a specialist.

Morris: [00:06:57] I am specialist.

David: [00:06:58] I am a specialist. I know what I’m doing. I have the credentials I have the I have developed my chops and I have been vetted by a third party that says you know what this person knows what they’re doing.

James: [00:07:10] Boy that’s phenomenal. All right. I’m interested. We see trends changing. And we see a terrific shortage of skilled tradespeople in the United States. Lot of parents pushing their kids to go to college and become an accountant and attorney whatever. And we don’t see as many young people making their way into the trades. I know certainly that NARI is aware of that. Is there any specific way in which you were involved with trying to turn that around and create some interest among young people and getting into skilled trades?

David: [00:07:50] We absolutely are. Many of our local chapters engage in outreach to the middle schools the high schools, talking to the guidance counselor,s talking to the parents, talking to the students to show them the exciting opportunities that exist for them in the trades. Not everybody is college bound not everybody. And those that are maybe even shouldn’t be.

James: [00:08:13] Exactly.

David: [00:08:14] So what do they do. They wander around the campus for four years.

James: [00:08:18] Spending their parents money.

David: [00:08:19] Or spending their own money and then when they’re all done.

James: [00:08:22] A huge debt.

David: [00:08:23] They have an enormous amount of debt and have to stay with their folks so that they can afford to pay down those loans and things of that nature, whereas someone who enters into the trades get paid on the job training.

James: [00:08:34] Sure.

David: [00:08:34] As you go and the more you know, the more you grow, and the more you grow, the more that you earn. So in terms of what is NARI doing we’ve developed strategic alliances with the skilled labor one which is an alliance between the National Association of Home Builders, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, NAIRI (the National Association of the Remodeling Industry), and SGC Horizon publisher of Professional Builder Magazine. And we engage in fundraising activities and produce grants for various schools and opportunities that cater to the advancement of the knowledge of the trades to young people.

James: [00:09:11] I want to also say, and we’re glad you’re doing that. That’s awfully important that. Listen remodeling is a multibillion dollar industry and so much of what we do is affected by codes and government regulations. I know from our history as NARI members that NARI advocates for the industry in Washington D.C. and even on the state level yes?

David: [00:09:37] It’s extremely important to us to provide that level of advocacy for our members and for the industry. We are the knowledgeable experts, in terms of what happens in the remodeling space and our legislators. By and large we find want to do the right thing but they need to be coached in terms of what the right thing is.

James: [00:09:55] Right.

David: [00:09:56] So NARI invests substantially in advocacy, representing our members on the Hill, and as such representing the industry on the hill as well.

James: [00:10:04] That’s wonderful.

Morris: [00:10:05] So David, how would a contractor go about finding their nearest NARI chapter?

David: [00:10:13] That’s a great question. The most important tool and probably what we like to call the Staples easy button for for someone interested in learning more about the National Association of the Remodeling Industry is to go to the website. Which is And there you can find all of the information that you would possibly want about NARI from how to join to the various certification and education opportunities that we have available. Of course, on the NARI website, consumers can utilize that as a resource as well. They can actually use that as a tool to find a contractor by simply entering their zip code.

James: [00:10:46] And I should say that you offer terrific communication for members through the NARI newswatch e-newsletter which comes out I think on a weekly basis and there are special communication. We received a lead the other day through the NARI website for a project in our neck of the woods, which is wonderful. So it’s certainly a good business decision and a lead generation tool not only in as much as using the NARI logo in our advertising to establish credibility but also to take advantage of the lead generation resources available to us as a contractor. Okay David, we’ve reached the end of the rope as it were and we typically ask our guests to share with us three points for success that they’d like to leave our pro audience with.

David: [00:11:38] Thank you. Three points for success that I’d like to leave with you are join belong to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. You’re saying to your consumers and you’re saying to yourself and those that you work with that I am a professional within this industry. Engage yourself in certification and education. Be the smartest guy in the room when it comes to your industry, and by being a member abide by our strong code of ethics that say I am a good business person. I represent strong business practices and quality craftsmanship, and it’s important to me. So it’s important to you as a all more.

James: [00:12:15] Perfect.

Morris: [00:12:16] Our thanks to David Pelel, CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, for spending time with us on this episode of CareyBrosPros. You can learn more about their products and services at their website That’s

James: [00:12:38] But remember if you’re looking for information about any of our guests including David as well as other podcasts videos and articles just check out our website at Thank you David.

Morris: [00:12:52] Thanks David!

David: [00:12:52] Thank you kindly.

About The Author James Carey

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