2006 Excellence Awards

The qualities they share include accepting a helping hand at their beginnings, having a vision of where they want their businesses positioned in five or 10 years, an interest in home building and architecture from an early stage in life, and the recognition that technology is more than just a necessity for running a business; it helps businesses grow.

Many of the Excellence Award winners see problems as opportunities to showcase their problem-solving abilities. Others thrive by recognizing market shifts and adjusting their business plans to position themselves to take advantage. For example, John Cannon, president of John Cannon Homes in Florida, knew he wanted to build homes as a career, but understood early in the game that the design/build process can help him maximize profits in the custom home market. So he shifted gears from building model homes one after another, and is investing in the business to create stunning custom homes, and profits.

Another winner, Jeff Cline of the Cline Design Group in Colorado, became frustrated with the design constraints he faced while building in the suburbs. So he changed his target to the city where the large number of old, inefficient homes in need of replacement provides ample opportunity to improve neighborhoods with creative design. Cline now designs the styles he wants, where he wants, while raising the value of the properties nearby.

In North Carolina, Rick Helton of Helton Homes attends the economic forecast events put on by the local home builders association. This has allowed him to spot trends and make the necessary moves to stay ahead, and on top. And finally, back in Florida, dissatisfied with off-the-shelf software programs, David Lesser of Windstar Homes designed his own software that automates, integrates and organizes his company’s entire design/build process, as a way to improve his business, and profits.

Other Excellence Award winners survived despite multiple deaths in the family business, legal attacks that left them almost broke, accounting problems and technology deficiencies. Rather than accepting defeat, they applied what they learned to improving their business. As the housing market softens in the United States, it will be these Excellence Award winners, and business owners like them, who not only survive, but prosper.

10 Excellence Award Winners are:

Finding Strength in Numbers
Right Move at the Right Time
In Search of Design Freedom
Building with Eyes on Research
Keeping the Future in Sight
Lean, Mean and Legally Clean
Taking the Practical Approach
Committed to Design Intent
Growing with Technology
Driven to Improve Business