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Last Update: Friday September 17, 2021

Key Idea: Win An Award

Whenever there is an opportunity, submit your work for peer review within your national trade association.

Key Question:


Win a prestigious award.

Q: Should your small business, like Oregon Log Homes, seek recognition for excellence from its trade association?

There are lots of benefits to trade association membership. The opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs in the same business but different markets, market research, trade publications and conventions, and quick and easy access to the latest trends in product development and innovation in your industry.

You’ve heard us recommend trade association many times for all of these reasons. The opportunity to compete for local, regional, and national recognition is one of the biggest benefits. If you are not a member in any trade association, find one and become a member. If they do not have an awards program, recommend it and offer to coordinate it.

Think about it

How would your customers, your employees and your vendors react if you were recognized as an industry leader? Do you think going after that recognition is worth the effort it would take to get it?

Clip from: Oregon Log Homes - they're building beauty.

National Home Builders'  "Best in America" Award

Oregon: As a young ski instructor on Mount Hood, Mike Neary built his first log home for himself.  When friends and family all bragged on it and wanted a log home too, he knew he had stumbled on to his life's work.

Today his company, Oregon Log Homes, builds the most beautiful log homes in the world.  The National Home Builders Association gave it "The Best In American Living" award and that won the attention of Disney.  Oregon Log Home was given the opportunity to build the Fort Wilderness Lodge in Orlando.

While much of the work is done by hand, Mike invented a way to automate some of the process which keeps the company competitive while still thoroughly unique.

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Oregon Log Homes, Inc.

Mike Neary, CEO, founder

1399 N. Highway 197
Maupin, OR 97037

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Win An Award

JEFF: I do the sales.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Today Mike has a sales and customer service team. In fact, both Jeff and Ted ran their own businesses, but now work for Mike.

TED: This is my first job I've had in 30 years. And you would think it would really be difficult, but I'm probably working as hard as I ever had just because of the environment. If you talk to Jeff, he operates here with all the freedom that his talents allow him, so you would think you were talking to the owner.

HATTIE: One good decision you said you made was to locate your business on the highway where we were. And I think we're sitting in your next brilliant decision.

MIKE: As it turned out, it was a good decision, and it's something that was fun to do.

HATTIE: All right, tell me about how you building this house for you to live in impacted your business.

MIKE: Basically gave us a model that we could show. You know, we could show some of the ideas that we have that we were never able to sell to a customer. Well, at the time, we hadn't done a lot of character logs in a house, similar to this one, you know, with the lightning strike in it or a knot. See the indented knot there? When they see it, they like it.

Every five years National Home Builders puts on a contest, which we entered. We were given a form, we entered that. And they looked at pictures of the home, came out and looked at the home, we sent them a blueprint, you know, the floor layout. And it was--one day, we got a card in the mail saying that we had won an award. And they wouldn't tell us which award or what we had won. Well, as it ended up, it was the National Home Builders Best in American Living Award. So we went to Las Vegas to receive that award, and it was incredible. When we went--we were sitting at a table and they were showing these homes that had won on this gigantic screen and there was a fairly good reaction from the crowd on the stick-built homes.

(Voiceover) But when they showed this home, everybody just went, `Ah.' You know, just this big `Ah.'

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Perfect.

MIKE: (Voiceover) Oh, I melted in the chair. And from that time on, once we had won that award, our business just catapulted.

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