October 30, 2009
On Wednesday, I attended a conference hosted by the Florida Home Builders Association. The Florida Home Builders Association is a Tallahassee-based trade association representing more than 10,000 corporate members involved in Florida's home building, remodeling and commercial construction industry.
I was eager to address the audience, consisting almost entirely of licensed contractors, particularly since the construction industry needs as much support as possible from DBPR right now. Fast licensure, strong unlicensed activity enforcement and exemplary customer service are essential to supporting the industry.
I've repeatedly heard from the construction industry that during this economic downturn, we need to increase our unlicensed activity efforts. We have heard our licensees, and I was pleased to share with the crowd that we've increased efforts by more than 60 percent from last year to this year.
It was also a great opportunity to share some other changes at DBPR—faster response times from the Customer Contact Center; improved application processing from 50 days two years ago to just around seven days now; an application streamlining project called "EZ Apply;" and an internal campaign called "You Save the Day."
Listening to our licensees was even better than sharing department news. By listening to industry members' questions and concerns, I was able to gain a different perspective on the licensing and regulatory functions of DBPR. Customer feedback helps me identify where we can make improvements and generates new ideas.
I am grateful to Jay Carlson, President of the FHBA, and his team for putting together a great conference. They brought together a dynamic group. Other attendees included U.S. Attorney for the Middle District A. Brian Albritton, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Sen. Dave Aronberg, and Sen. Carey Baker.
Congratulations to John "Chuck" Fowke, a Valrico home builder, and Judy James, a Tampa-area land use attorney, who will be the new FHBA President and Second Vice President, respectively.
Meeting with the people we serve is one of my favorite parts of this job. If you're a member of an association and are interested in meeting, please let me know.
Charles W. Drago
UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS
November 2, 2009