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The past few years have been excruciating for the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show.

“I’ve got a 40-page company policy and about 40 Hispanic employees. Any advice when it comes to translation?”



The courtyard, an ancient concept for bringing natural light into homes while preserving privacy, is in full flower in America today as lots get tighter and the popularity of outdoor rooms increases. Courtyard homes have been around for years in those parts of the U.S.

Wanted: Woman who could get me out of a third world prison.

This is how Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, articulated what he was looking for in a wife. Before this explanation, he started with the adjective “resourceful.”  

Last June, Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative was launched as part of the Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Challenge.

As I travel the country working with builders I am always on the lookout for emerging trends. There is a hot one cooking right now—decorative ceilings.

In 2008 the Dallas Cowboys were the featured team on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Hard Knocks is the reality documentary series that takes you behind the scenes during an NFL training camp.

Yesterday I attended a Construction and Safety Expo outside Chicago. General contractors, Sub-contractors and Safety Suppliers were dishing on their skills, networking and drinking by noon.  

A little off the beaten path—but well worth the drive—is Mason City, Iowa, home to the last standing Frank Lloyd Wright hotel. My partner and I had the pleasure of staying at the Historic Park Inn last week.

Do you remember the last time you received a piece of personal U.S. mail (not counting bills)? According to a recent study, the average American receives a piece of personalized U.S. Mail every six to seven weeks – and this includes birthday, holiday and other family generated cards.

A question that regularly arises is how to sustain quality management or to put it another way, what are the reasons for quality management failing?  There have been two significant studies on this issue and their findings cited the following obstacles.

Lack of leadership for quality

As a self-confessed Frank Lloyd Wright dork, you would think I already knew about the Historic Park Inn in Mason City, Iowa—the last remaining Wright-designed hotel on the planet.

As we closed the books on 2012, many readers reported to Professional Remodeler that business has been picking up steam, according to a survey conducted in late 2012.

In late October, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the Eastern Seaboard.

A good friend of mine who is also a 40-year veteran of the construction industry has taught me a lot about relationships over the past few years.

This past summer, staff members of Professional Remodeler convened in a conference room on the outskirts of Chicago to review this year’s Design Awards.

Many of you are looking at this editorial page and probably wondering: Where’s Jonathan? And who is this new guy?

You probably missed it. 

Nearly everyone did.

Sept. 201977, was the day that I breathlessly awaited the conclusion of the shark-jumping episode of "Happy Days." All week long I had fretted about Fonzie’s mid-air cliff hanger.

In your personal and professional life, being easy to talk to is a skill worth developing. But good conversationalists are rare. 

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