President’s Message: GHBA Year in Review

Don KleinMember News, President's Message

I couldn’t believe a year could pass this quickly, but with so much happening at our association, I should not have been surprised. What a year! There have been so many accomplishments that stand out, and memories that I’ll take away with me, it seems fitting to recap what I’ve seen and experienced.

While this may seem a bit ‘Trumpish’ the Installation Celebration was the best attended and raised the most money of any installation event in previous memory. A huge ‘shout-out’ to Mel Audain, who was the spirit, planner, doer, talent, and brains behind the entire event. I know she didn’t do it alone. She had help and support from other GHBA staff members. Many thanks to all who participated.

The BABA Fishing Tournament, in its fifth year, was a smashing success. The ‘big one’ did not get away. It also set a record in attendance with 71 teams participating and in fundraising. Thank you Patrick Mayhan and Peggy Means for all of your hard work and dedication helping to make this event one of the best at the GHBA. Also impressive was the 17th annual Associate Council BBQ Cookoff that had an increase in booths this year from 34 to 41, and in spite of the cold, wet weather, nearly 2,000 wrist bands were sold. The numbers for EXPO were also impressive with 560 builders/remodelers attending the contract seminars vs. 499 last year. The annual RMC Charity Garage Sale, an event that is always popular with the general public, grossed $27,000.


The year would not be complete without mentioning the best attended, highest money raiser, and best-dressed event of the year. PRISM continues to grow, both in attendance and in number of entries. One comment I heard several times was that next year the venue would need to change because there wasn’t enough room for everyone that wanted to attend. Kudos to Gigi Lilly, Carrie Roehling, and again Mel Audain for their tireless efforts putting the program together.

The golf tournament sponsored by the Montgomery County Builders and Developers Division took another big swing in attendance and fundraising. A special thanks goes out to Alex Kamkar, division president, and Michael McNall for all their help in making this successful.

From the advocacy perspective, both Casey Morgan and Bradley Pepper continued to work wonders on the political front. Their biggest win of the year was helping raise funds (over $280,000) to help pass the Harris County $2.5 billion Flood Mitigation Bond Issue. The bond issue passed with a whopping 85 percent of voters voting ‘YES.’

Administrating the GHBA is no small task, but as our membership knows, it is done professionally and efficiently with a small group of dedicated staff. Special thanks to Janet Todd for keeping everyone in line and Griff Godwin and Lincoya Ferguson for the timely, accurate completion of financial records and managing the day to day accounting. The GHBA is in the best financial condition it’s ever been. It is anticipated that income for the year will be the highest ever. The thanks for this achievement goes to those who’ve worked on GHBA events and those who have brought in new members.

Speaking of membership, a special thanks goes to Cynthia Fagan, Vilma Bonilla, and D’Ann Brown for their dedication in bringing in 1,763 new members, another GHBA record. We are still the third largest local chapter in the NAHB.

Finally, the GHBA, like any organization is only as strong as its leadership. I’d especially like to thank the Executive Committee and Finance Committee members who’ve helped all year: Adam Ashmann, Bo Butler, Ian Faria, Rocky Flores, Rob Hellyer, Jennifer Keller, John Madsen, Lindy Oliva and John Williams. And a very, VERY special thanks to Casey Morgan for doing all the hard stuff and making my job easy. It’s been a fun and rewarding year.

PS: Thank you Terry Swenson for editing (and sometimes writing) these editorials so people can read them. I really appreciate your expertise – and you.

About the Author

Don Klein

Don Klein serves as the 2018 GHBA President. CEO of Chesmar Homes, Don has over 35 years of homebuilding experience with national and private homebuilders. He rose to city president both times with two national homebuilders and is well respected in the building and development industries. Don started Chesmar Homes in 2005 and has overseen Chesmar’s growth into five markets with over 5,000 Chesmar Homes. Don would tell you that the absolute best part of the building business is the satisfaction that he feels when he knows that people are realizing their dream of homeownership and that he was a small part of helping that dream come true. Of all the adventures that Don has taken in his personal life, he would tell you that Chesmar is the most exciting.