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Losey to lead builders group

The new year brought new leadership to the Olympia-based Building Industry Association of Washington, which represents 16 building associations in the state.

Jeff Losey, executive officer of the Home Builders of Tri-Cities, will lead the BIAW, at least for the interim while its senior officers search for a new executive vice president. Tom McCabe resigned from the job in December.

Losey said in his position with HBA of Tri-Cities he had established "a relationship with the current senior officers, and they feel comfortable having me in here running the new ship until they can find a replacement."

In the meantime, he said, many changes are on their way after a recent election in which Patrick McBride of King County was installed as president of BIAW and other senior officers elected.

While McCabe was executive vice president, BIAW membership climbed to more than 10,000 builders. He also turned the organization into a lobbying force that was active on state campaigns -- including Supreme Court races in 2002 and 2006 and both of Dino Rossi's Republican campaigns for governor.

This year it also launched Initiative 1082 to open the state worker compensation program to competition by private insurers, according to The Olympian newspaper. The BIAW also agreed to pay $240,000 in fines related to allegations it hid contributions in 2007 that were destined for the 2008 Rossi campaign.

"Everyone has their own style and way of doing things. With myself in here and new senior officers now, the positions and principles that have guided the building industry are all still paramount -- affordable housing, property rights and less regulation -- and will be the primary position of BIAW," Losey said. "There will simply be a more professional approach."

In addition to McBride, BIAW's other 2011 volunteer senior officers are First Vice President Kevin Patrick of Yakima, Second Vice President Scott Rainwater of Burlington, Treasurer Audrey Borders of Bellingham, Secretary Jim Blair of Wenatchee and Immediate Past President Matthew Clarkson of Vancouver.

Losey said he will continue as executive officer of the HBA of Tri-Cities.

"Obviously I can't be in Olympia (in the BIAW office) five days a week and do that too, so I've asked Art Castle to be my assistant," he said. Losey explained that he and the senior officers of BIAW created the position for Castle, who recently retired as executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County. He will carry the title of interim assistant executive vice president of BIAW.

As the state Legislature starts a new session Monday, one of the major changes will be the BIAW's lobbyist lineup.

"I can assure everyone the state association will have a lobbyist presence before the legislature," Losey said.

For more information on the BIAW, go to www.biaw.com. Or call, 800-228-4229.

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