We Are Family

Rob HellyerCustom Builders, President's Message, Remodelers

This past week we lost a member of our GHBA family, one who I considered not only an important member of the team at Premier Remodeling, but a friend. Tom Claussen with McCoy’s Building Products passed away unexpectedly. There is nothing like the sudden passing of a friend that makes us pause a moment to reflect on what is important in life.

WE, the GHBA membership, are family. Just like with our actual families, we have a common bond (industry rather than blood), a variety of backgrounds and beliefs—sometimes agreeing, sometimes not. But we are family, and we know we can rely on each other.

I have always firmly believed that there is a kinship among the construction industry, especially in residential construction. There is something about building or remodeling homes that bonds you to others in the industry.
I remember fondly participating in Habitat for Humanity’s 2006 Builders Blitz. The Remodelers Council and Custom Builders Council, along with a few volume builder members built nine homes for Habitat in one hot week in June 2006. Nationwide the effort totaled nearly 400 homes.


I had the privilege of chairing the committee for the Remodelers Council but the team working on the project made my job easy.

Builders Blitz 2006

On day one, several owners and key employees of remodeling company members joined in to start the construction. Beginning with only a foundation in place, we had it dried in by the end of the day.

The balance of the week, with the efforts and donations of multiple associate members, was spent bringing the project to completion. Thanks to the generosity of these members, we built a house that likely was the envy of the community with features not typically included in a Habitat house such as granite countertops. On the last day of the build, we had arranged a barbecue lunch for all involved in the construction of the nine houses.

I don’t think I’m the only one that felt it, that kindred spirit. Everyone I spoke with talked about the feeling of camaraderie and accomplishment. Working side by side with the eventual owner of the house and seeing her gratitude was all the reward any of us needed.

Prior to my career as a remodeler, I spent 27 years engineering and building refineries, petrochemical plans, pipelines and the like—never as rewarding as this career that I feel defines me.

As the song by Sister Sledge says: “We Are Family.”

About the Author

Rob Hellyer

2020 GHBA Board President Rob Hellyer, CGR, GMB, CAPS, is a local remodeler and president of Premier Remodeling & Construction, LP.