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Remembering Ralph Drees: Housing Icon, Former Drees Homes CEO, President, Chairman

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Remembering Ralph Drees: Housing Icon, Former Drees Homes CEO, President, Chairman

March 30, 2021
Drees Home Exterior
The Grantley by Drees Custom Homes is a spacious, 4,000-square-foot, two-story home selling in the $700s | Photo: courtesy Drees Homes

Ralph Drees, former CEO, president, and chairman of the board for Drees Homes, died on March 27, 2021. His leadership role with Drees Homes began in 1965 and his company garnered many industry awards over the decades since. His impact on the housing industry rippled through his Kentucky community where he held several leadership positions. Pro Builder presented Drees with its Builder of the Year title in 1991 and Drees was a National Housing Quality gold award winner in 1994. In 2014, Builder Partnerships founder and Lee Evans Awards administrator Chuck Shinn presented Drees with the Lee Evans Pinnacle of Management Excellence Award for his lifetime achievement for “superior management practices and visionary leadership.” 

Read More About Ralph Drees:

Ralph Drees
Ralph Drees

REMEMBERING AND HONORING RALPH DREES The Drees Company Reflects on the Legacy of a Beloved National Home Builder 

FORT MITCHELL, KENTUCKY – Ralph Drees, former CEO, President and Chairman of the Board for Drees Homes, an award-winning national home builder headquartered in Northern Kentucky, passed  away on Saturday, March 27, 2021. Ralph was instrumental in the development of The Drees  Company, taking over for his father and founder Theodore Drees in 1965.

It was Ralph's philosophy of diversification and industry leadership that took Drees into new markets and spurred an era of exponential growth. Under his leadership, Drees gained national attention and  was named "America's Best Builder" by Builder Magazine and "National Builder of the Year" by  Professional Builder Magazine. During his tenure, the company also earned the “National Housing  Quality Award" from the National Association of Home Builders.  

In addition to blazing a path in the industry, Ralph was also an influential thread throughout the local  community. From 2004 to 2010, he served as Kenton County Judge Executive. He also held positions  with the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, the Kenton County Airport Board, the  Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More  University. Ralph has been recognized for his charitable giving on a national level, earning the  Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award. Additionally, he has been named to the Cincinnati Business  Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Carl H. Linder Award for Entrepreneurial and Civic Spirit as  well as the Kenton County Pioneer Award.  

Current President and CEO David Drees shared, “Ralph was a bold innovator, forging the company to  new heights, but on the other hand, he was also my father, a loving, devoted family man and an exceptional role model who will be missed by many.” A private memorial service will be held for the  family. Memorial contributions can be made to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky. 

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