Making the Most of an Industry

by Jon Minnick, Qualified Remodeler Managing Editor The March 2011 NAHB Remodeler of the Month is Katz Builders Inc. of Austin, Texas. Headed by a husband and wife team, Joel and Lucy Katz have taken the time to run a business and be involved in the industry that supports them. This duo has sat on committees, taken leadership positions, written articles and won awards along the way. While reporting on Katz Builders in the March 2011 issue of Qualified Remodeler, I realized there was no way I could do justice in showing how rich their involvement has truly been, so I’ve decided to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about them. Before becoming remodelers and custom home builders, Joel and Lucy had a diverse history of learning. “In the 70s we were in the restaurant business running a New York style delicatessen in Texas,†says Joel. “I’m a CPA by education and spent years working in that industry prior to the restaurant. I got involved in the remodeling and home building business in the early 80s during the first big housing bust and I needed to find work. I worked with the banks to take over unfinished houses and finish them. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.†Lucy has just as abundant of a history. She has worked in sales and marketing, was an executive recruiter, a human resources consultant and a food broker. “I also reengineered myself a number of times, like Joel,†explains Lucy. When I asked the couple to send me a resume of their remodeling experience, what I received was a 12 1/2 page document showing just how they’ve immersed themselves in their career. These are the credentials that Katz Builders touts to potential clients to obtain new business. Because of this copious list, I asked them to pick out the top three or four items that they felt most proud of in relationship to their business and the industry. This is what they chose: Joel: Working with Habitat for Humanity as a board member for ten years and president for two Building relationships with trade contractors, suppliers and homeowners while building and remodeling award-winning green and sustainable homes Work with local, state and national associations to help builders/remodelers improve their business and technical skills through training and mentoring A founding member of the Custom Builders Council of our local HBA Lucy: Empowering women in construction as well as other industries to break the glass ceiling as well as working smart to create opportunities that we never thought were possible for ourselves and other women As a child Holocaust survivor, speaking around the country about the importance of appreciating diversity and accepting each other through a positive perspective in spite of challenging times and issues Helping clients see potential in their home and blending form, function and life style together while creating the best end for great value To see how Katz Builders extensively showcases their experience on its Web site, visit or you can see their full professional resume here: