2014 Professional Builder 40 Under 40 Awards

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A chicken-and-goat farmer, a former children’s clothing model, a major in the National Guard, and a one-time Chicago Cubs draft pick are among this year’s young superstars of home building named as 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Professional Builder.

A chicken-and-goat farmer, a former children’s clothing model, a major in the National Guard, and a one-time Chicago Cubs draft pick are among this year’s young superstars of home building named as 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Professional Builder. The 40 individuals featured here—all under the age of 40 and already very accomplished—represent the next generation of leadership and innovation in home building. We proudly present our 40 Under 40 class for 2014.

(Note: Each page displays five winners. If after clicking one of the links below, you do not see the person you are seeking, please scroll down the page.)

Honor Roll

Adam Aschmann, Director, Governmental Relations/Legal Compliance, Tilson Home Corporation, Houston

Shelly Basso, President, Aspen Homes, Pewaukee, Wisc.

Robert Carroll, Owner, Edward Carroll Construction, Clinton, La.

Kent Dahl, Director, Estimating and Design, Ideal Homes, Norman, Okla.

Brandon David, VP, Construction, Skycastle Construction, Boulder, Colo.

Matt Devereaux, Director of Operations, Southwest Florida, Lennar Homes, Miami, Fla.

Heather Dosch, President/CEO, John Buchan Homes, Bellevue, Wash.

Richard Foster, Managing Member, Foster Signature Homes, Norman, Okla.

Jamie Godwin, VP, Operations, H&H Homes, Fayetteville, N.C.

Jason Grupe, CFO, Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, Lancaster, Pa.

Daniel Heyl, Construction Manager, Heyl Homes, Austin, Texas

Kevin Tyler Hill, Managing Principal/Architect, DCi2, Moore, Okla.

Bryan Hitt, President/CEO, Hudson Valley Home Source, LLC, Goshen, N.Y.

Lindsey Hughes, VP, Product, Jagoe Homes, Owensboro, Ky.

Ryan Jackson, VP, Sales and Marketing, Streetman Homes, Austin, Texas

Jake Jorgenson, Managing Partner, Jorgenson Builders, Midway, Utah

Mike Kalis, CEO, Marketplace Homes, Livonia, Mich.

James Kegley, Co-owner, The BOLD Company, Union, Ky.

Zalman M. Kohen, SVP, COO, Summit Custom Homes, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

T. Justin MacDonald, Executive Vice President, MacDonald Companies, Kerrville, Texas

Frank McKee, Jr., VP, Sales and Marketing, McKee Builders, Springfield, Pa.

Justin Moffett, Co-owner, Old Town Design Group and Old Town Development, Carmel, Ind.

Chad Moldenhauer, Owner, K & L Homes, Bismarck, N.D.

Jake Oates, CFO, Miller and Smith, McLean, Va.

Ted Otero, Owner, Otero Signature Homes, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Rob Owens, President, VTS Homes, Huntsville, Ala.

Kevin Powell, Operations Officer, Rubicon Construction, Bloomington, Ind.

James E. Pratt, III, President, Pratt & Associates, LLC, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Eric Render, President, Render Construction, Gaylord, Mich.

Chris Risher, Principal, RisherMartin Fine Homes, Austin, Texas

Scott Roberts, Vice President, J. Lyne Roberts & Sons Inc., Provo, Utah

Jason Ruebl, Vice President, Ruebl Builders, East Troy, Wisc.

Scott Schaeperkoetter, President/Owner, Signature Homes, Jefferson City, Mo.

Peter Scholl, President/Owner, Scholl Construction, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Garrett Strong, President, Tall Pines Construction, Park City, Utah

Scott Sudik, Principal, Godden | Sudik Architects, Centennial, Colo.

Steven Varneckas, SVP, Director of Development, Woodmont Properties, Fairfield, N.J.

Todd Waguespack, Managing Partner, Level Homes, Baton Rouge, La.

Patrick Zalupski, President/Owner, Dream Finders Homes, Orange Park, Fla.

Isaac Zuercher, President/Owner, Zurich Homes and Zurich Homes Realty, Crossville, Tenn.

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Jake Oates, 37
CFO
Miller and Smith
McLean, Va.

Education

• BS, Accountancy, Bentley University
• MBA, University of Maryland

Professional Credentials

• CPA in Connecticut and Virginia

Accomplishments

• Recapitalized One Loudoun project during downturn by securing new equity and debt and purchasing debt from prior lender
• Worked with capital sources to find creative ways to ensure projects kept moving during downturn and emerged with strong balance sheet
• Became partner at Miller and Smith in 2012

Extracurricular

• Member, Real Estate Finance Committee, Northern Virginia BIA

Off the clock

• Hobbies: playing with his kids—football, baseball, video games, or any game they make up
• Favorite flick: “Braveheart”
• Favorite food: “Nothing beats a good steak.”

Secret life

• Played cornerback on the Bentley football team and finished with nine interceptions in his career
 

Isaac Zuercher, 31
President/Owner
Zurich Homes and Zurich Homes Realty
Crossville, Tenn.


Education

• BS, Business Administration, Tennessee Tech University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed general contractor

Accomplishments

• Co-founded Zurich Homes at age 22 while still in college and became president at 27
• Became one of the first Energy Star builders in Tenneessee and helped local Habitat for Humanity build its first Energy Star home 
• Continued to provide work for his contractors during downturn despite 75-percent drop-off in local market 
• Developed distinguishing brand for company in terms of architectural style and customer service

Off the clock

• Hobbies: mountaineering, running, snowboarding
• Favorite flick: “Grosse Point Blank”
• Can’t live without: morning coffee and NPR news
• Favorite read: “Mindset” by Carol Dweck

Secret life

• Traveled to Cuba when he was 21
 

Lindsey Hughes, 33
VP, Product
Jagoe Homes
Owensboro, Ky.

Education

• BS, University of Kentucky 
• MBA, Vanderbilt University

Accomplishments

• Increased sales of inventory homes through strategic competitive analysis and enhancing inventory-home management
• Chosen from 300 employees to earn prestigious Staff Excellence Courage Award for using creativity and innovation to increase sales when faced with challenges
• Increased sales revenue 400 percent in 12-month period

Extracurricular

• Member, Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: nutrition and exercise, cooking delicious and healthy meals, browsing Houzz.com
• Can live without: television
• Favorite reads: “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, plus “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

Secret life

• Sang “Barbara Ann” and played tambourine on stage with the Beach Boys in concert
 

Kent Dahl, 34
Director, Estimating and Design
Ideal Homes
Norman, Okla.

Education

• BS, Construction Management, John Brown University

Accomplishments

• Managed material orders with less than 1.05-percent average in variances for $67 million company with more than 400 home sales/year 
• Led leverage of technology that reduced plan-creation time by more than 50 percent on 400-plus plans/year 
• Transitioned estimating process to handle 142-percent increase in personalized option sales since 2006

Extracurricular

• Has raised $25,000 for American Cancer Society Relay for Life campaign

Off the clock

• Hobbies: mountain biking, weight lifting, woodworking, anything sports or outdoors
• Favorite food: steak and potatoes—“I’m a southern boy; it’s what I was raised on.”
• Getaway spot: Hawaii

Secret life

• Started dating his wife when they were 16 years old
 

Chad Moldenhauer, 31
Owner
K & L Homes
Bismarck, N.D.

Education

• BA, Concordia College
• JD, University of North Dakota

Professional Credentials

• Licensed real estate broker

Accomplishments

• In 2012 named local Builder of the Year by Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association and State Builder of the Year by North Dakota Association of Builders
• In 2013 recognized as one of Top 40 North Dakota Business Professionals Under the Age of 40
• In 2012 K & L Homes received Mike Fink award for steady community growth

Extracurricular

• Board member, Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association; Chamber of Commerce

Off the clock

• Hobbies: “In the fall you will find me checking trail cameras in pursuit of white-tailed deer.”
• Favorite food: “Anything I can enjoy with my wife on a quiet night out.”
• Favorite flick: “Legends of the Fall”

Secret life

• Grandmother has five grandchildren—four have law degrees, one has doctorate
 
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Bryan Hitt, 38
President/CEO
Hudson Valley Home Source, LLC
Goshen, N.Y.


Education

• AS, Business, Orange County Community College, Middletown, N.Y.

Professional Credentials

• NAHB Certified Green Professional

Accomplishments

• Founded company at age 23 and used that experience to start HVHS in 2002 and grow to include corporate office and design center
• In 2012 won Pinnacle Award from Builders Association of Hudson Valley for Best Modular Home in Hudson Valley
• Has built more than 200 homes over the last 11 years

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; NAHB Building Systems Council; New York State Builders Association; Builders Association of Hudson Valley

Off the clock

• Hobbies: snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, cars, and golf
• Favorite flick: “The Avengers”
• Favorite food: filet mignon

Secret life

• Modeled for children’s clothing magazines as a kid
 

Brandon David, 35
VP, Construction
Skycastle Construction
Boulder, Colo.

Education

• BA, Environmental Design in Architecture, University of Colorado at Boulder

Professional Credentials

• AIA
• LEED AP
• EPA Certified

Accomplishments

• Bridged full-service architecture firm and new-construction company into full-service design-build company
• Became vice president of construction for six-person firm whose annual revenues exceed $3 million 
• Designed, implemented, and managed innovative step-by-step process to walk clients and business team members through full design-build process

Off the clock

• Hobbies: carpentry, snowboarding, hiking 
• Favorite flick: “Fight Club”—“The violence in the movie serves not to promote or glorify physical contact, but rather for people to have feelings in a society where they otherwise feel numb.” 
• Favorite food: prime rib

Secret life

• Grew up in a small rural cowboy town with 800 people
 

Adam Aschmann, 37
Director, Governmental Relations/Legal Compliance
Tilson Home Corporation
Houston, Texas

Education

• BA, University at Albany 
• Candidate, JD, South Texas College of Law

Accomplishments

• Served as presidential appointee to U.S. Department of Transportation at age 23 
• Helped foster understanding within Greater Houston Builders Association about importance of government policy and how it affects the industry
• Leads effort at Tilson to bring governmental affairs in-house and expanded role to include legal compliance

Off the clock

• Hobbies: spending time with his kids, cycling, attending Rice University baseball games, watching his beloved New York Mets 
• Favorite flick: “Major League”
• Getaway spot: Jersey Shore—“I grew up going to the shore and now love taking my kids up most summers.”

Secret life

• Grandfather took Eleanor Roosevelt on tour of his educational operation in post-WWII Germany
 

Garrett Strong, 37
President
Tall Pines Construction
Park City, Utah

Professional Credentials

• NAHB Certified Green Professional

Accomplishments

• Built first LEED Platinum home in Utah, located between Silver Creek and The Preserve; featured in 2010 Park City Area Showcase of Homes
• Continues to stay active in Park City Home Builders Association and has served as its president
• Created well-respected company that remained successful during housing downturn

Extracurricular

• Past president, Park City Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: snowboarding in winter, cycling in summer
• Favorite flick: “Rocky”—“I like to root for the underdog.”
• Favorite food: Indian—“My favorite dish is Lamb Coconut Korma.” 
• Getaway spot: South Pacific

Secret life

• Has 25 chickens and three goats that must be milked twice a day—“I make cheese and yogurt from the milk and give it to friends and family.”
 

Frank McKee, Jr., 29
VP, sales and marketing
McKee Builders
Springfield, Pa.

Education

• BS, Entrepreneurship, Drexel University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed Realtor in Pennsylvania

Accomplishments

• Assisted with design and launch of new McKee Builders website
• Started sales event that raises funds and awareness for homeless pets in the area
• Earned position as vice president of sales and marketing through five years of hard work on the sales floor and in land acquisitions

Extracurricular

• Board of Trustees, NAHB 50+ Housing Council
• Member, National Association of Realtors

Off the clock

• Hobbies: fishing, swimming, boating, skeet shooting, skiing
• Can’t live without: iced coffee, even in winter 
• Favorite flick: “A Few Good Men”
• Favorite food: Philly cheesesteak

Secret life

• Originally pursued photography major in college
 
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Eric Render, 34
President
Render Construction
Gaylord, Mich.

Accomplishments

• Became member of NAHB Builder 20 Club #1—“The Hammers”—which has provided support and guidance to take his company to next level 
• Became licensed contractor at age 19 and transitioned from carpentry subcontractor to general contractor at 24
• Completed two custom homes ($2.1 million and $1.5 million) at age 26 and has closed more than 20 projects since 2012

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB Builder 20 Club; Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: snow skiing, fly fishing, waterskiing, hockey 
• Favorite food: fresh seafood
• Getaway spot: Jackson, Wyoming
• Favorite reads: “The Synergist” by Les McKeown and “Winning” by Jack Welsh
• Relaxing activity: plays guitar

Secret life

• Has photographic memory of numbers—“I cannot forget them if I try.”
 

Chris Risher, 39
Principal, RisherMartin Fine Homes
Austin, Texas

Education

• BA, Finance, The University of Texas at Austin

Professional Credentials

• NARI Certified Remodeler

Accomplishments

• Started company with college friend after working for two large national home builders
• Left comfort of 9-to-5 job for entrepreneurial opportunity in land development industry and became partner in several real estate ventures
• Managed on-site construction of hundreds of homes, planned large-scale communities, secured development rights, and put teams together for award-winning projects

Extracurricular

• Board member and president-at-large, NARI Austin
• Member, Home Builders Association of Greater Austin 
• Remodelers Advantage

Off the clock

• Hobbies: golf, furniture building, hunting
• Can’t live without: caffeine
• Favorite food: sushi

Secret life

• His weekend car is a 1961 Buick LeSabre convertible
 

Jamie Godwin, 37
VP, Operations
H&H Homes
Fayetteville, N.C.

Education

• BS, Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed general contractor

Accomplishments

• Promoted to vice president of operations at H&H Homes six years after being hired
• Took lead in initiating production improvements that reduced costs and increased quality control while constructing more than 2,800 homes 
• Implementing auto scheduling, vendor notifications, and auto pay to reduce average build time by 45 days

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Off the clock

• Hobbies: riding four-wheelers, hunting, golfing, assisting son with Cub Scouts 
• Favorite food: pizza
• Getaway spot: White Lake, N.C

Secret life

• Awarded the Bronze Star Medal for one of his deployments to Baghdad as major in the Army National Guard
 

Jason Grupe, 35
CFO
Charter Homes & Neighborhoods
Lancaster, Pa.

Education

• Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Michigan

Professional Credentials

• Certified Public Accountant

Accomplishments

• At age 33 was named CFO for several Charter-affiliated companies while also leading the Neighborhood Development function of the business
• In first two years as CFO guided company to 70-percent revenue growth 
• Contributed in many aspects that earned Charter the nation’s only National Housing Quality Gold Award for 2013

Extracurricular

• Member, Residential Council, Urban Land Institute

Off the clock

• Hobbies: playing with his children, traveling, golfing
• Favorite food: Lebanese cuisine
• Getaway spot: Traverse City or Mackinac Island, Mich.

Secret life

• Can hold right foot in left hand and jump left foot through without releasing right foot
 

James Kegley, 31
Co-owner
The BOLD Company
Union, Ky.

Education

• BS, Construction, Bradley University

Professional Credentials

• Certified Sales Professional
• Residential Construction Specialist
• Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist
• Certified Green Professional
• Certified Graduate Builder

Accomplishments

• Recently worked with national charity to provide fully accessible home for severely disabled veteran
• Currently serves as president of Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, which his great grandfather helped establish
• Was instrumental in launching commercial division that specializes in business and medical office space after he returned home from college

Off the clock

• Hobbies: home improvement projects, camping, gardening 
• Favorite flick: “Office Space”
• Getaway spot: Great Smoky Mountains

Secret life

• Has the ability to fix nearly anything
 
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Jake Jorgenson, 34
Managing Partner
Jorgenson Builders
Midway, Utah

Education

• BS, Construction Management, Brigham Young University

Professional Credentials

• NAHB Certified Green Professional

Accomplishments

• Started his own business during the worst economic times he’s ever seen 
• Learned how to sell despite having no sales background and now it’s his favorite part of the business
• Graduated from BYU with degree in construction management and minor in business management

Extracurricular

• Board of Directors, Park City Area Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: mountain biking, skiing
• Favorite food: Chinese dumplings
• Getaway spot: Lake Powell—“I love to waterski and just float around on the boat in the summer.”

Secret life

• Excels at looking into the future and scheduling projects
 

Justin Moffett, 34
Co-owner
Old Town Design Group and Old Town Development
Carmel, Ind.

Accomplishments

• Launched home building company in 2009 and made it out of recession as leader in local custom home market
• Pioneered infill residential redevelopment in old downtown area and helped create one of hottest residential markets in central Indiana
• Company contributes percentage of profits to build homes for impoverished families around the world and last year funded six homes for families in Central America

Extracurricular

• Member, Carmel Historic Preservation Commission

Off the clock

• Hobbies: running, hiking, any kind of skiing (snow, water, barefoot)
• Favorite flick: “Lord of the Rings” trilogy
• Getaway spot: Litchfield Beach, S.C. 
• Favorite food: “Fresh walleye eaten at the end of a long day of fishing in Canada.”

Secret life

• Went to one year of high school before starting college and studying ministry and business management at Indiana Wesleyan
 

Jason Ruebl, 36
Vice President
Ruebl Builders
East Troy, Wisc.

Professional Credentials

• Certified builder in Wisconsin

Accomplishments

• Named vice president of custom-home family business in 2010 at age 32; grandfather Frank started company in 1949 and father Bill serves as president • Helped grow sales $2 million each year from 2010 to 2013 • Built homes featured in Parade of Homes with award-winning designs ranging from mountain and rustic to French Provincial and cottage style

Extracurricular

• Member, Wisconsin Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: hunting, skiing, biking, fishing, hiking, watching racing and football • Favorite flick: “Jeremiah Johnson” • Getaway spot: Vail, Colo. • Favorite food: steak and wild mushrooms

Secret life

• Grandfather ran marathons—including the Boston Marathon—into his 90s despite not starting until his 50s
 

Heather Dosch, 39
President/CEO
John Buchan Homes
Bellevue, Wash.

Professional Credentials

• Licensed designated broker

Accomplishments

• Took over company as president in October 2008 and managed sale of more than 200 lots and homes in spec home division during recession
• Increased business 1,512 percent between 2010 and 2012 
• Ranked in 2013 by Puget Sound Business Journal as No. 1 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Company in Washington State

Extracurricular

• Member, National Association of Realtors 
• Founding member, Liberty Road Foundation
• Chair, NAHB Builder 20 Club #27—”The Highenders”

Off the clock

• Hobbies: cooking, baking, scuba diving
• Favorite flick: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” 
• Favorite food: “Does coffee count?”

Secret life

• Owned and successfully operated a bakery in her early 20s
 

James E. Pratt, III, 38
President
Pratt & Associates, LLC
Chattanooga, Tenn.

Education

• BS, University of Tennessee

Professional Credentials

• Licensed contractor

Accomplishments

• Co-founded Pratt & Associates at age 23 without any prior home building experience and has grown to $33-million-plus company 
• Has given more than $3 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through Dream Home program
• Has built more than 1,000 homes with 90-percent-plus customer satisfaction rating

Extracurricular

• Vice president, Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Off the clock

• Hobbies: hunting, boating, watching his kids play competitive sports
• Favorite flick: “Airplane!”
• Favorite food: Mississippi Delta hot tamales

Secret life

• Grandfather-in-law caught world-record 854-pound Bluefin tuna in 1938 off the coast of Shelburne Harbor in Nova Scotia
 
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Matt Devereaux, 35
Director of Operations, Southwest Florida
Lennar Homes
Miami, Fla.

Accomplishments

• Led highly productive real-estate sales team through downturn and continued to sell homes in one of hardest-hit markets in the country 
• Named a vice president of sales at Lennar, one of the largest home builders in the nation, at age 25 
• Assembled team of 40-plus associates who care about what they do as well as their customers’ well-being

Extracurricular

• Member, National Association of Realtors

Off the clock

• Hobbies: golf, cycling, exercising, racquetball, cars
• Can’t live without: competition
• Favorite food: blackened fish, pulled pork, peanuts, and eggs
• Getaway spot: ski resort with fresh snow and sunshine
• Favorite reads: magazines

Secret life

• Lost 80 pounds in seven months after graduating from high school and has been into fitness and staying in shape ever since
 

Scott Sudik, 39
Principal
Godden | Sudik Architects
Centennial, Colo.

Education

• BA, Environmental Design, University of Colorado

Professional Credentials

• AIA
• Licensed architect in Colorado
• NCARB

Accomplishments

• Became business owner at age 30
• Got through economic downturn without having to close shop
• Leads design-focused business that isn’t just a drafting service

Extracurricular

• Board of Directors and Gifting Committee, Home Builders Foundation of Metro Denver
• Member, Custom Residential Architects Network
• Associate member, Denver Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: traveling, doing yard work, playing sports with his two boys, tinkering in his garage workshop, watching movies
• Favorite food: Tony Roma’s BBQ ribs in Madrid, Spain
• Getaway spot: Grand Wailea Resort in Maui

Secret life

• Plays guitar and is a huge Van Halen fan
 

Patrick Zalupski, 33
President/Owner
Dream Finders Homes
Orange Park, Fla.

Education

• BS, Finance, Stetson University

Accomplishments

• In 2012 ranked by Inc. Magazine as the No. 3 Fastest Growing Construction Company in the nation, according to the Inc. 500
• In 2013 ranked as Jacksonville’s largest privately owned home builder (by closing volume)
• Dream Finders receives nearly 75 percent of its sales through referrals, a testament to its commitment to customer satisfaction and quality construction

Extracurricular

• Member, Jacksonville Business Exchange

Off the clock

• Hobbies: wine collecting 
• Can’t live without: Internet
• Favorite food: rib eye steak
• Getaway spot: Park City, Utah
• Favorite read: “Tap Dancing to Work” by Warren Buffett

Secret life

• Went to high school in Brussels, Belgium, at the International School of Brussels
 

Kevin Tyler Hill, 36
Managing Principal/Architect
DCi2—Design and Construction Innovation Industries
Moore, Okla.

Education

• BS, Architecture, University of Texas
• MS, Construction Administration; MArch, University of Oklahoma

Professional Credentials

• AIA
• Licensed architect 
• LEED AP, BD+C
• NCARB

Accomplishments

• Started own architecture, investment, and construction firm
• Provided architectural and building services to people displaced by May 2013 tornadoes in Moore
• Invited to serve on Moore’s post-tornado building code review committee

Extracurricular

• Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Off the clock

• Hobbies: golf, fly fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, volunteering, flying airplanes
• Favorite actor: Clint Eastwood
• Relaxing activity: listens to opera

Secret life

• “If I wasn’t an architect I would be a pilot flying for humanitarian organizations and assisting with their efforts and causes.”
 

Robert Carroll, 32
Owner
Edward Carroll Construction
Clinton, La.

Education

• BS, Construction Management, Louisiana State University

Accomplishments

• In 2010 selected as youngest builder ever to construct raffle home for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital and raised nearly $700,000
• Selected to serve as 2015 president of Capital Region Builders Association
• Named 2013 Builder of the Year by CRBA

Extracurricular

• President-elect, Capital Region Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: homesteading—“I enjoy my backyard organic garden and fresh eggs from our free-range chickens.” 
• Favorite food: Raisin Bran cereal
• Getaway spot: “any cabin rental in the woods with a nearby river”

Secret life

• Originally pursued degree in music education—“I learned a lot, but I’m glad I made the decision to change course!”
 
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Richard Foster, 36
Managing Member
Foster Signature Homes
Norman, Okla.

Education

• BS, Accounting, Finance, University of Oklahoma

Professional Credentials

• Certified builder

Accomplishments

• Co-founded company with father at age 28 and grew business into one of biggest builders in Oklahoma City
• In 2012 ranked as one of top 10 largest home builders in Oklahoma City metro area
• Recognized as 11th fastest-growing private company and fastest-growing home builder in Oklahoma City

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: running and exercising, going to the lake, fly fishing
• Favorite food: “A great steak that I’ve grilled after being on the lake.”
• Favorite reads: currently has “Eleven Rings” by Phil Jackson on his nightstand

Secret life

• Grandmother was nationally acclaimed expert in utilizing Rorschach test to study NFL players
 

Peter Scholl, 39
President/Owner
Scholl Construction
Crystal Lake, Ill.

Education

• BA, Business Management, Southern Illinois University

Accomplishments

• Worked as carpenter in high school and college before becoming project manager for several large developers
• Managed some of biggest job sites in Chicago area and has helped complete more than 3,000 projects in his career
• Started his own firm in 2002 and builds primarily custom homes 
• Weathered downturn by establishing diversity among residential, commercial, new construction, and remodels

Off the clock

• Hobbies: anything outdoors
• Favorite flick: “Popeye the Sailor”
• Can’t live without: air conditioning
• Favorite food: shellfish
• Getaway spot: “anywhere away from email and cellphone service”

Secret life

• His mother was only person he could find to work for free when he started his own company. “I couldn’t have gotten through those start-up years without her.”
 

Mike Kalis, 32
CEO
Marketplace Homes
Livonia, Mich.

Education

• Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing/Marketing Management, Michigan State University

Accomplishments

• Worked in sales at Pulte Homes before joining Marketplace Homes in 2007 
• Purchased company in 2008 for $25,000 and in four years expanded into 30 markets, hired nearly 100 employees, and grew revenues to $20 million
• Helped sell more than 1,000 new homes in one year
• Ranked No. 99 by Inc. Magazine on its 2013 Inc. 500 List
• In 2013 named fastest-growing private company in Michigan by Inc. Magazine despite being in one of hardest-hit states during housing crash

Off the clock

• Hobbies: water sports, music, relaxing
• Favorite food: lasagna
• Getaway spot: Grand Haven, Mich. 
• Favorite reads: anything by Malcolm Gladwell

Secret life

• Played volleyball while attending Michigan State
 

Shelly Basso, 39
President
Aspen Homes
Pewaukee, Wisc.

Professional Credentials

• Licensed home builder 
• Licensed broker

Accomplishments

• Started custom home building company at age 19 and grew it into mid-size business that grosses nearly $7 million annually 
• Works closely with local HBA and is an elected local and national board member, and has served as chair of ethics and arbitration
• Assists with Pewaukee Community Connection, a committee that provides support and supplements other nonprofits whose mission is to help needy families in the area

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; Metropolitan Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: skiing with family, cooking, riding 2010 Harley-Davidson Heritage Deluxe motorcycle
• Favorite flick: “Forrest Gump”
• Getaway spot: Florida Keys

Secret life

• Mother’s cousin was stationed with Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army
 

Scott Roberts, 34
Vice President
J. Lyne Roberts & Sons Inc.
Provo, Utah

Education

• BS, Construction Management, Brigham Young University

Professional Credentials

• General building contractor
• Engineering contractor

Accomplishments

• Runs family company that has been in business for 102 years and saw it through the downturn 
• Helped design and build indoor-entertainment center (Provo Beach Resort) with FlowRider, bowling, croquet, rope course, and multiple playgrounds
• Works with father and brother in managing family business and remains best of friends

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB Utah; Committee chair, inspections

Off the clock

• Hobbies: snowmobiling, dirt biking, four-wheeling, hunting
• Favorite food: Mexican
• Favorite read: “Last of the Breed” by Louis L’Amour

Secret life

• Has worked in Scouting organizations for years
 
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Ryan Jackson, 32
VP, sales and marketing
Streetman Homes
Austin, Texas

Education

• BA, Liberal Studies, Louisiana Tech University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed real estate broker

Accomplishments

• Set company record for quickest completion of home at 18 days from lot takedown to buyer signoff for 2,002-sq.ft., three-bedroom house with 100-percent masonry veneer
• Played major role in obtaining the company’s highest pre-tax net income in its 20-year history in 2013
• In 2010 Streetman named HBA Austin Builder of the Year; Jackson named Sales Manager of the Year in 2009 and 2010

Extracurricular

• Member, Home Builders Association of Greater Austin; Austin Board of Realtors

Off the clock

• Hobbies: exercising, lifting weights, playing sports 
• Favorite flick: “Bull Durham” 
• Getaway spot: Disney World

Secret life

• Was selected by Chicago Cubs in 1999 Major League Baseball amateur draft
 

Rob Owens, 39
President
VTS Homes
Huntsville, Ala.

Education

• BS, Mathematics, Marquette University

Accomplishments

• Started first company at age 22 despite knowing very little about running a business but learned from mentors and trade partners
• Founded VTS Homes in 2010 during downturn with virtually no capital and only one pre-sold house but grew company to more than $6 million in revenue in just over two years
• Since October 2010 has been making donations to Food For The Poor on behalf of Homes for Haiti to build houses there in honor of VTS homeowners

Extracurricular

• Past president, local Home Builders Association

Off the clock

• Hobbies: traveling, barbecuing, volunteering
• Favorite flick: “The Blind Side”
• Getaway spots: Orlando and Sarasota, Fla. 
• Favorite food: pizza

Secret life

• Mother was born in Germany and grew up there during WWII
 

Zalman M. Kohen, 35
SVP, COO
Summit Custom Homes
Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Education

• Bachelor of Business Administration and Management, Ottawa University, Kansas
• MBA, Webster University

Professional Credentials

• Certified Green Professional

Accomplishments

• Runs and operates company that turned $65.5 million in revenue in 2013 and expects to close more than $75 million in 2014
• Built St. Jude Dream Home last three years, raising more than $3 million, and will build Dream Home again in 2014
• Helped company grow from 10 employees in 2011 to 32 in 2013

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City

Off the clock

• Hobbies: watching/playing sports (particularly soccer), reading and learning about cars (especially sports cars) 
• Favorite flick: “The Godfather”
• Getaway spot: Israel

Secret life

• Learned how to cut hair in his mother’s salon as a teenager to earn spending money
 

Steven Varneckas, 37
SVP, Director of Development
Woodmont Properties
Fairfield, N.J.

Education

• BS, Civil Engineering, Penn State University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed professional engineer
• Licensed real estate salesperson

Accomplishments

• Managed approvals and permitting for projects that have market value in excess of $380 million
• Designed sites across New Jersey that now contain thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of commercial space
• Oversaw closure of former landfill and redeveloped site, which now contains hotel and large distribution facility

Extracurricular

• Member, National Society of Professional Engineers

Off the clock

• Hobbies: playing with his three boys, skiing, watching sports
• Favorite food: pizza with hot peppers and fresh garlic 
• Getaway spot: Aruba 
• Favorite reads: nonfiction

Secret life

• Went bungee jumping in high school
 

T. Justin MacDonald, 31
Executive Vice President
MacDonald Companies
Kerrville, Texas

Education

• BA, Angelo State University
• MBA, University of Texas at San Antonio

Professional Credentials

• Certified Graduate Builder

Accomplishments

• Served as youngest and second-youngest president of local HBA in two nonconsecutive terms
• Chosen by city of Kerrville to co-chair team that helped repair many broken relationships between the city and local builders and developers
• Elected to Kerrville City Council just before 30th birthday and was selected as Kerrville’s Under 40 Person of the Year in 2011

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; Hill County Builders Association; Texas Association of Builders

Off the clock

• Hobbies: brewing his own beer, hunting, spending time on ranch
• Can live without: his cellphone
• Favorite food: Blue Bell ice cream

Secret life

• Played trombone in college marching band
 
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Scott Schaeperkoetter, 35
President/Owner
Signature Homes
Jefferson City, Mo.

Education

• BS, Business Administration and Management, University of Missouri

Professional Credentials

• Certified Green Professional

Accomplishments

• Serves as project manager for Building for America’s Bravest, which helps construct homes for the most-catastrophically wounded soldiers from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
• Repeated as winner of local awards for best builder by Jefferson City Magazine and News Tribune
• Served as president of local Home Builders Association in 2012 and 2013

Extracurricular

• Past president, HBA of Central Missouri

Off the clock

• Hobbies: spending time with family, playing golf and ping pong
• Favorite food: hot wings
• Getaway spot: “anywhere warm with a beach”

Secret life

• Was once a member of the Screen Actors Guild for his involvement in a Super Bowl commercial
 

Daniel Heyl, 31
Construction Manager
Heyl Homes
Austin, Texas

Education

• Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship, Baylor University

Accomplishments

• Designed and implemented cloud-based procurement and budgeting software that connects builders in field with staff in office and is compatible with their cellphones
• Has helped Heyl Homes complete more than 200 projects
• Has assisted multiple trades in going out and starting their own companies

Off the clock

• Hobbies: boating and camping
• Favorite flick: “Die Hard: With a Vengeance”—“Probably because the plot is so far-fetched but the action does a great job of making you want to believe it.” 
• Can’t live without: his dogs 
• Favorite food: “Camarones a la Mexicana from Las Palomas, which is Austin’s best-kept secret for interior Mexican cuisine.”

Secret life

• Grandfather was general manager of United Fruit Company in Latin America
 

Kevin Powell, 36
Operations Officer
Rubicon Construction
Bloomington, Ind.

Education

• BS, Business Management; MBA, Indiana Wesleyan University

Professional Credentials

• Certified Green Professional
• EPA Lead Renovator 
• Licensed broker

Accomplishments

• Started Rubicon and other investment companies with friend and business partner Michael Eaton and watched them grow from concepts to successful organizations
• Works with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for families in need
• Rubicon won multiple awards in 2013 including Builder of the Year from the Herald Times and four awards in Monroe County Building Association Parade of Homes

Off the clock

• Hobbies: snow skiing, boating, soccer, CrossFit, photography
• Favorite flick: “Avatar” 
• Favorite food: Jamaican jerk chicken and lobster

Secret life

• Was member of National Ski Patrol for nine years and worked at various ski areas
 

Todd Waguespack, 39
Managing Partner
Level Homes
Baton Rouge, La.

Education

• BS, Business Management, Louisiana State University

Accomplishments

• Founded Level Homes as managing partner and has helped grow revenues 30 percent each year since 2010
• Helped company expand into Carolinas last year 
• Recognized as 2014 Young Businessperson of the Year by the Baton Rouge Business Report

Extracurricular

• Member, NAHB; Baton Rouge Good Growth Coalition

Off the clock

• Hobbies: fishing for marlin, hunting
• Favorite flick: “Any Given Sunday” 
• Getaway spot: One & Only Palmilla at Los Cabos, Mexico, on the tip of the Baja Peninsula 
• Favorite reads: “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell; “The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth” by W. Randall Jones

Secret life

• Grandfather designed world’s first successful drive-thru bank
 

Ted Otero, 37
Owner
Otero Signature Homes
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Education

• BS, Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
• MBA, Cleveland State University

Professional Credentials

• Certified Green Builder

Accomplishments

• Started first-generation building company in 2004 and now owns two additional businesses, Otero Group (real estate) and Ovation Interior Design
• Builds only pre-sold homes with contract values ranging from $350,000 to $2 million
• Became Certified Green Builder and incorporates energy-efficient methods into all of his homes

Extracurricular

• Secretary, Home Buillders Association of Greater Cleveland

Off the clock

• Hobbies: exercising, vacationing, boating in Traverse City, Mich.
• Can live without: talk radio
• Favorite food: “a good steak, short ribs, and anything with a lot of cheese in it”

Secret life

• Grandfather built dams and bridges in Puerto Rico
 
PB

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