Editorial Director Paul Deffenbaugh talks about how Professional Builder's Benchmark conference digs into the details of the best systems for operating a quality home-building company.

By Paul Deffenbaugh | June 30, 2006




One of the great things about home builders is the amount of information they share. In some industries, that would be viewed as corporate madness, but builders view it as a way of doing business.

This year, the Professional Builder Benchmark conference digs into the details of the best systems for operating a quality home-building company.

The conference kicks off with a dynamic presentation on leadership from Patrick Lencioni. His best-selling books are leadership fables that address team dysfunctions, CEO temptations and meeting overload.

Keith Harrell, our second-day keynote speaker, takes a more personal and less structural approach to success. He has a unique ability to get people focused on what's most important.

Every good conference has strong keynote speakers, of course, but Benchmark has a tradition of digging into the details. Following the National Housing Quality Award's process, we have divided the conference into six operational areas. Each of those areas will feature an overview by an industry leader followed by a breakout session with members of the speaker's company. You'll get a top line view and the specifics on why the company excels.

  • Leadership. Larry Webb, CEO of John Laing Homes, will address the topic of leadership and how his company executes a culture of leadership.
  • Strategic Planning. Mark Hodges, senior vice president of corporate operations for K. Hovnanian Companies Northeast, will demonstrate how strategic planning can drive improvement.
  • Human Resources. Mark Upton, executive vice president of the western region for Technical Olympic USA, has a plan that puts people at the center of any successful growth strategy.
  • Trade Relations. Bryan Binney, vice president of operations for Shea Homes, worked with his team to develop dynamic trade relations.
  • Performance Management. Bill Saint, CFO and director of Simonini Builders, delivers a superb level of performance, which helped the company become PB's 2006 Builder of the Year.
  • Construction Quality. Charlie Scott, executive vice president of The Estridge Companies, helps direct a company known for benchmark levels of customer satisfaction. A linchpin to that is the consistency the company delivers construction quality.

Add a housing tour, golf, team-building exercises, National Housing Quality Award Dinner and an NRS Customer Satisfaction Award Lunch, and the plate will be full at the 2006 Benchmark Conference.



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