What's in a name? 

As we turned 25 this year, with a new ED, many new board members, and a new Advisory Council, we decided at our Board retreat to dig deeply into not just how our organization functions, but why? We have done a lot of work this past year on our systems, our communications, and our network, but these are all about "what" we do. We decided at our retreat to take a closer look at "why" we do what we do. 

As we have gone through our process since we realized that who we are and why we do what we do are not so much about decon and reuse themselves, but rather about the effects that these activities have on our communities; the environmental impacts, the embodied value of materials staying within local economies, and the local jobs created. In essence we realized that why most of us do what we do is because we believe that reuse builds opportunities within our local communities! And we do it for the sake of the people within those communities.  

The BMRA started years ago as a small band of decon professionals getting together to build an industry, but even then it was about these broader goals. And we have since expanded into much, much, more. We have become an extremely broad group of reuse professionals who care about our world in a very special way. We care about keeping the wealth of our communities, which are embodied in our buildings and their materials, within those communities rather than seeing them wasted. 

So with that realization came the thought that our language as an org, indeed our very name, has not kept pace with our growth as a community. From the outside we still look very much like a small trade association. As the voice of the org I see this every day; people do not connect with why we do what we do. 

So over the last few months we have been looking at how to update our brand, our language, and how folks see us. We have spoken with many of you, reached out to a few professionals for advice, and talked with folks outside our industry. And we came up with some ways to move forward. 

And so we have decided the first step is to create a new name that reflects more of who we are, sounds less like a trade association, and can attract supporters from outside our industry who believe in our cause. Because that is what we are, we are a cause/mission based organization! We care about reuse and deconstruction because they are our tools for creating change within our communities! And that realization can help us grow our support, and our cause. 

We want to grow because the need is great, and growing exponentially as our world changes. And because more and more communities are looking at reuse and decon as valuable tools to help them with the issues they face locally. 

So, starting with this announcement we will be rolling out our new name 

"Build Reuse"

We feel this name expresses the dynamic nature of our work, points to the action we are all involved in, and at the same time is a call to action to all those who agree that reuse is an essential part of the work we all need to do to keep our communities vibrant. We will keep BMRA as our official name, as our legal entity, but our face to the world will change. Our tag line, logo and mission statement will be updated to reflect these values as well. 

Some of you may ask which Brand Agency we hired, how we intent to roll this out with a punch, and where is our marketing plan? Good questions. We asked them too. The truth is we believe we need to start this change now, ourselves, with the simple tools we have always depended on; ourselves. We do not have the resources to hire a Brand Agency, but we do have amazing resources and a lot of experience within our Membership, our Board, our Staff and our Volunteers. Since we do not have vast resources beyond these we will do it what we can with what we have, which is a great deal. We also believe that everything we do lines up with this already, so we do not need to reinvent our organization, just speak about it a bit differently.  

We feel strongly that these changes will allow us to attract more support and resources. Our hope is that this shift will help funders and individual supporters see us for who we really are, a committed group of diverse people dedicated to promoting change in our communities, and thus inspire them to join our cause. And that support will enable us to invest in promoting our new focus and our name in a way we have never been able to do before. 

So we will role this out slowly as our resources allow. But we believe the momentum will gather behind us quickly and help us build this organization to meet the needs we see all around us. There is an old proverb that says that to move quickly travel alone, but to move far travel together. We have moved alone so far, and built a small but vibrant industry. We now need to gather a lot more support to go much further than we have previously dared to imagine. 
We hope you will journey with us.

Thanks for all the support over the years, we hope you all will continue to support "Build Reuse" as we move forward. 

Joe and the Build Reuse Board of Directors


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BMRA News is published monthly, typically in the first half of the month.  Submission deadline for articles and member notes is the 25th of the month preceding publication.  Submissions and commentary should be addressed to editor Dirk Wassink at
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