The History of the Building Industry Employers of New York State
On October 17, 1895, while attending the National Association of Builders convention in Baltimore, Maryland, a group of contractors from New York State decided to form a state-wide association of builders. As a result, Building Industry Employers of New York State was conceived on October 17, 1895.
On December 11, 1895, a meeting was held at the Building Trades Club in New York City. Three contractor groups were represented: The Builders Exchange, Buffalo; The Builders and Building Supply Dealers Exchange, Rochester; and the Mechanics and Trades Exchange, New York City.
At the first Annual Meeting of the New York State Association of Builders held in New York City on December 11, 1895, the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association were created and adopted based on the following remarks presented during the convention:
"In all affairs of life, social and business or otherwise, we find great complication. In our affairs as builders, and as businessmen, there is probably as much complication as in any other calling or profession, for we have all of the intricacies of the labor problems staring us in the face in the first place, which is one of the most difficult and dangerous problems to solve and we come closer to it than probably almost any other branch of businessmen, and we have in addition to that the serious complications arising in relations between general contractors and subcontractors, subcontractors and dealers in materials and so forth which are constantly threatening the welfare of every community of builders, and in addition to that we have the other complication arising from the improper demands and expectations of owners and their agents…the architects. These, as you can readily see, require the attention not of immature and careless minds but of the most intelligent men we have in our midst. Therefore, we must insist that local bodies which come into our State Association must be formed upon principles that are safe and wise, else neither the local or state organization can continue to exist in an efficient and desirable form."
As time progressed, and the original reasons for forming the state association became even more complicated, it was felt that a full-time staff was needed to run the association. It was also felt that a name change for the association be considered so that industry representatives, and the general public, didn't perceive the association to be a "builders only" organization. In 1944, Mr. William J. Picard was retained as the first full-time paid, Executive Secretary of the Association. Also, in 1944 at the 49th Annual Convention of the Association held in Buffalo, the name of the association was changed to "Building Industry Employers of New York State" (BIE).
Over the next 40 years, BIE became instrumental throughout the construction industry in New York State, providing the commitment and devotion to the industry employers in an effort to adhere to the objectives of the founding members. Frank Snyder was Managing Director. From 1965 through 1987, when Jack Endryck became Managing Director in 1987 via The Endryck Group.
The next 25 years produced remarkable changes, not only in the construction industry but also in all industries throughout New York State. Consolidation and streamlining became the trend, and that trend continues even today. In an effort to meet the challenges of the years ahead, BIE Board of Directors re-wrote the Constitution and By-Laws allowing local affiliated associations to have more say in setting BIE policy. Today, Association Managers of BIE affiliates play a more active role in BIE affairs and are heavily relied upon by the BIE Board of Directors to develop programs and services for use by construction industry employers throughout New York State.