Hard to believe we’re into August. Here is our Sandmark mid year update for 2020.
We closed out November and December of 2019 with several exciting events including The North Carolina Home Builders Association Planning Retreat held right here on the beach. The Sanderling Resort were gracious hosts and the resort allowed us space to spread out and start planning the upcoming year. Sandy spearheaded a combination pig pickin’, low country boil, oyster roast, all rolled into one event on the sound in Kitty Hawk. Thank you to all of you that participated and worked tirelessly to make that night an incredibly special one for all of us. It was very heartwarming to have so many friends, colleagues, and yes competitors there with us.
Christmas in Pinehurst is always a beautiful place to spend a few days. NCHBA held Mark’s installation dinner there. Again, we were blessed to have so many people from the Outer Banks travel almost 5 hours to be there for the installation. It was a big night for all of us. Our family traveled down to be with us for that night. It was good to have everyone together and we didn’t have to cook. It was a very special time and one we will always remember.
January 2020 started off with a bang and it didn’t let up. Little did we know how unbelievable 2020 would turn out to be for everyone.
Our daughter Amanda and her husband Rocky took off for a month to Nicaragua. We took care of their two dogs, Andy and Zoey until we left for Vegas to attend the International Builders Show and NAHB meetings. It is always a fun time with our NAHB and NCHBA families, especially in Vegas. North Carolina was well represented with over 400 people attending the show. However, Sandy got sick early into the trip and spent most of the time in our lovely hotel room at the Wynn, thinking she had a bad case of the flu, now looking back at her symptoms, she thinks she may have had COVID19. Mark being so much younger is immune to COVID!
In February, which right now seems like an exceptionally long time ago, Sandy jumped right into the most amazing Outer Banks Hospital 2020 “Cheers to 15 Years” Gala which was a wonderful evening raising a lot of money for the hospital.
Mark was back in Pinehurst for the NCHBA Second Quarter meetings and he also made a trip to Fayetteville for a Build Pac fundraiser, and a trip in early March to the mountains of Ashe County for their local meeting. Little did we know those might be the only local’s Mark gets to go during his year as President.
March was scheduled to be a busy travel month with the Home Building First Tour around the state slated to kick off in the third week of the month. Mark and Tim Minton, the Assistant Executive Officer of NCHBA had to make the call to cancel the NCHBA Town Hall Tour. At that time, we didn’t know much about COVID19 but knew that traveling from city to city, staying in a different hotel each night, eating all meals at different restaurants and meeting with large groups of people was not the right thing to do since we didn’t know much at the time about this virus. A week later we held our first virtual conference call with everyone that was slated to attend the town hall during the previous week. It was a huge success, so we continued those calls for a couple of months with a total of 9 calls. We brought in speakers ranging from our NAHB Chief Economist, our Chief Lobbyist, Attorneys, marketing specialists, etc to discuss the relevant issues of the week. These calls helped our members stay up to speed with the absolute latest directives, protocols, and procedures that were necessary to keep our members working safely.
Also, in March we had to cancel the NCHBA Scholarship Golf Tournament. While no one got to play golf, the participants all donated their entry fees to the NCHBA Educational and Charitable Foundation which allowed us to award a total of 4 scholarships of $3,000.00 each to 4 deserving recipients that are children of NCBHA members.
On a personal side, our daughter Amanda who is an ICU nurse had taken 2020 off to travel and start a new business. She decided she wanted to take a travel nurse assignment in a newly formed COVID ward at a hospital in New Jersey. Within 3 days of making that decision, she and her husband Rocky packed what they needed, rented their house out for a couple of months, and headed to their new temporary home. There was a lot of worry and concern for the two months she spent up there working and saw so much more than any 26 year old ever thought she would. She learned firsthand this virus is not something to be taken lightly especially for those at high risk.
Our son, Sam who is the chef at Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen and Brewery in Roanoke, VA quickly adapted a new “To Go Menu” and luckily in Virginia they could deliver some awesome Three Notch’d Beer with the delicious food he was preparing.
April saw a lot of changes on our job sites and how we conducted business. We had to make sure we were allowing fewer people on our projects at any one time. There was a lot of cleaning going on many times a day on all of our projects. Materials and supplies were harder to get in a timely fashion. Many suppliers and distributors would shut down or reduce staff periodically to comply with state directives and protocols and to sanitize their centers every time someone tested positive for the virus. Dare and Currituck Counties shut down entry into the beach areas to keep the virus from spreading throughout our community. That staying in effect until the middle of May.
In May we continued to work on finishing up projects even though we thought it was never going to stop raining. We were very thankful to have Amanda and Rocky back in North Carolina after their two months in New Jersey.
June arrived and so did all the second homeowners and visitors. Rental companies saw recording-breaking bookings for homes all over the beach. The real estate market went crazy as many people decided they wanted their own piece of paradise! They could now work from home and they wanted the Outer Banks to be home. We have received many calls for people inquiring about building and renovating.
We had originally planned to be out of town for almost 3 weeks attending three major Conferences. Our NCHBA Second Quarter Board Meeting went virtual and our Legislative Reception in Raleigh was canceled due to COVID-19. The following week was spent on the computer with homebuilders across the country in virtual meetings for NAHB discussing the impacts of COVID on our industry and coming up with solutions to lessen the impact of COVID on our industry. The final event was supposed to be part work and part mini-vacation at our annual Builders Mutual Agent Appreciation Event in Charleston, South Carolina. Of course, that was canceled as well.
We have spent July and early August meeting with people looking to start projects in the fall. Sandmark is working hard getting those projects ready for a fall start. We are blessed to have amazing clients and are thankful for our dedicated subcontractors.