Paying Dividends

You once needed the guidance and respect of others more than anything else. They were the ones who validated that you were OK. They were the ones there for you when you needed to know the right way.

By Dean Horowitz, Publisher | October 31, 2001
Dean Horowitz, Publisher

You once needed the guidance and respect of others more than anything else. They were the ones who validated that you were OK. They were the ones there for you when you needed to know the right way.

I had those people in my life, too. Each day I’m grateful to them and aware that I must give the same to others in some way.

This past year I learned of the loss of two friends who were always there for me: Steve Perotti and Loretta Lisankie. One was like the closest of brothers, and the other was the sister of my childhood best friend. I have found myself grappling with what I can do to honor their memories, the profound benefit they were to my life. There is an obligation to take their investment and multiply it with my positive actions.

This is not unlike what our nation is experiencing now. A great number of people want to give more than just a check to a charity.

The team at Professional Builder decided to use the International Builders’ Show in Atlanta (February 2002) as an opportunity to invite the entire residential construction industry together for a bigger purpose. This year we are asking you to arrive in Atlanta a few days early and participate in a large build outside the convention center in honor of Habitat for Humanity’s 25th anniversary.

Habitat for Humanity is about making quality housing available for those who cannot normally afford it. It is a great example of the vision thing meeting reality. Impressive annual housing starts nationally and internationally make Habitat one of the industry’s giants. Its building process is about employing the hearts of the most unskilled labor force for the creation of a fundamental American value. Incredible stuff.

The Cahners Residential Group (Professional Builder, Professional Remodeler, Luxury Home Builder and has rented space in the parking lot outside the Georgia World Congress Center for this one-week build and festival. Each day will be set up for food, fun, building and the creation of friends for life. During and after show hours there will be amazing block parties around and in the houses built.

At the end, the homes will be moved by Habitat affiliates in the Atlanta area so families can take on the responsibility and pride of homeownership.

We are calling this project Habitat @ 25. To participate, please e-mail me or go to You will receive regular e-mails and other relevant data to assist in your participation.

While coming together for charitable work is significant, so is the investment in becoming better at our jobs. One of the friends I mentioned earlier, Steve Perotti, was also my boss more than 15 years ago. One of the many things he taught me was that you have a responsibility to continue to grow and improve in your chosen career. Never be stagnant in your learning, and never stop trying to be the absolute best there is at your job. Strive to make your work invaluable to your company and the market you serve.

Nowhere is Steve’s challenge better displayed than at Professional Builder’s annual Benchmark conference. Moved from a Sept. 30 start to Dec. 2 this year because participants asked us to reschedule it to a time when they feel it will be safer for travel, Benchmark is even more relevant today.

The attendees are leaders who hunger for improvement and new ideas. It is one of the best symbols of what our team believes in and what the leaders in our industry desire. If you are not scheduled to attend, please make it a priority and call Susan Beck at 847/390-2004 to register.

In some ways this is a time for idealistic actions and thoughts and for coming together for a greater good. Or maybe it is simply a time to prove to ourselves that the ones who invested their time and spirit in us didn’t expend wasted efforts.


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