Reasons for Pride

Earlier this month I attended the National Association of Home Builders’ board meetings in Chicago. The Sheraton on the Chicago River was filled with builders from every part of the country. Most of these builders told tales of struggle, but they also shared stories of survival. It’s no surprise that these builders who have successfully managed their businesses through the housing downturn are in leadership positions within NAHB.

One of these builders, David Werschay from Minnesota, recently was able to secure financial backing for a new spec home by being persistent and creative. He tells the short version of his story in a video in the Readers Speak Up section of our video library at

The day before I shot the spec home video, I recorded Tony Crasi, president of a design/build firm in Ohio, telling me how his ability to design and build has kept him in business. A client was ready to postpone a project until the spring, but Tony pulled out a piece of paper and drew a solution on the spot that resulted in moving forward on a $100,000 project.

Another builder, Mary Schroeder of Miller Homes in Wisconsin, was telling me the various ways she has adapted her business to survive. She mentioned the smaller projects she is tackling, and the creative networking that is keeping her in business.

When looking for good people to be proud of, you don’t need to look further than the designers and builders volunteering their time to serve the housing market through the NAHB. Learn more about joining the NAHB at

2009 Business Excellence Awards winners named

We are proud to present the winners of the Residential Design & Build 2009 Business Excellence Awards, beginning on page 22 of this issue. Three firms were chosen for their excellence in business administration and community involvement.

Groninger Custom Homes in Winter Park, Fla., realized it needed a better system for managing the flow of project information. A simple yet effective system was created to increase efficiency and therefore profit.

Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction is a full-service design/build firm in Austin, Texas, that exudes class at every stage of the custom home process. As an architect-led design/build firm, Jauregui offers clients exceptional drawings, real-time costs, selections during design, and furnishings, too. Nothing is left to chance.

Charles Ross Homes in Williamsburg, Va., takes community involvement seriously. This team found a way to bring developers and conservationists together in a fruitful effort. A new community was created that both preserves the character of the region and provides housing that enhances the area’s value.

Congratulations to this year’s winners.