Scott Sedam is the president of TrueNorth Development and Contributing Editor for Professional Builder Magazine. A former
VP with a national builder, Scott launched TrueNorth in 1997 to serve the
process improvement, production enhancement and organizational needs of the
building industry. Scott is a frequent speaker at industry and builder events,
and a board member and volunteer pilot with Wings of Mercy, flying
patients-in-need to medical procedures throughout the Midwest.
Scott will present two sessions at the NAHB International
Builders’ Show® (IBS) in January: A Master Session, “Labor
Shortage: Proactive Ideas for Solving Your Trade Gap,” as well as “Why
We Still Have Scheduling Challenges, Despite the Best Software Money Can Buy.”
We caught up with Scott to get a sneak peek into his
sessions and a few fun tidbits, too.
hangout spot at IBS?
SCOTT: Just walking the
aisles of both the show and the education area. You always run into old friends
and colleagues, and that leads to great conversations.
NAHB: How did
you become so involved in the construction labor shortage issue? What sparked
critical nature of the trades and how they should be treated was impressed on
me directly by Bill Pulte. Over the years, it only grew, as in the more than
200 builders I have worked with clearly demonstrate the inarguable benefit of
having not only the best suppliers and trades but also the best crews. By 2009
when we were well into the housing crash, I began writing about the trade
shortage to come and the debilitating consequences that would result, and at
the time, no one paid much attention. Now people think I am a soothsayer—but
the issue was a clear and present danger to anyone paying attention. I greatly
admire the skills and abilities of the trades, and too many kids are being
pointed to traditional 4-year colleges when trade and technical schools are
often a better fit and present great opportunities.
industry trends are you most excited about?
of hope on the trade development front and applications of manufacturing
technology to the building process.
Detroit, what’s a “must see” spot you’d recommend to out-of-town visitors?
Detroit Metro area is one of the hottest places in North America to be these
days, as the city is experiencing a monumental turnaround. World-class museums,
great sports teams, beautiful waterfront and the food scene is just exploding. But
if I had to name just one place, I’d say the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield
Village. Non-stop visual delights and astounding history.
your favorite vacation spot?
SCOTT: In the
summer, it’s Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern
Michigan. During the winter months, any ski mountain that is not too crowded (but
my favorite is Whitefish, MT).
NAHB: If you
are a stranded traveler during the next Polar Vortex, what three items do you
want with you?
SCOTT: An Eddie Bauer parka,
Kindle Reader and Starbucks Gold Card with free delivery.
book read in the last year?
SCOTT: Fiction: The
Dog Stars by Peter Heller. A post-apocalyptic novel (a flu pandemic has
killed 98% of the population) that is both enthralling and challenging as the
protagonist searches for signs of life in his old Cessna. You are constantly
presented with the “what would you do?” questions as you are simultaneously
thrilled about and very apprehensive over every encounter he makes with other
survivors. Non-Fiction: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
This is the single most authoritative biography ever written on the men who
pioneered flight, containing in-depth information I had never read in any of
the many previous accounts of their lives. Currently Reading: Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty by Charles Leerhsen. This is an incredibly
well-researched biography that gets at the real truth (and dispels the myths)
about the greatest baseball player in history.
NAHB: Fill in
the blank: Favorite ____ .
team—The Detroit Redwings and their 25-consecutive-year playoff run (the next
longest in the NHL is 11 years). This happens to coincide with the year the
Sedam family moved to Detroit.
NAHB: What TV
show do you consider binge-worthy?
SCOTT: A few:
Deadwood and Justified are both fantastic, and I recently binge-watched Fargo,
Season 1 while flying out to San Francisco and back. It was excellent.
NAHB: In three
words or less, describe your prediction of the building industry in 2017.
Get complete details of Scott’s sessions here.