NAHB recently honored five emerging leaders as 2018 Young Professionals of the Year
. The awards — presented at the 2019 International Builders’ Show
in Las Vegas — acknowledge the winners' hard work and successes, performance and dedication, and outstanding potential as they begin to serve as leaders in the home building industry.
The awards honor an industry professional under the age of 45 in each of five regions.
– Christopher Cowan
, Senior Manager, CohnReznick, LLP, Eatontown, N.J. – As an accountant focusing his practice on real estate, Cowan is a member of the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey
. He was one of the founding members of his local HBA’s Young Professionals Committee and currently serves as the chairman. Cowan’s Young Professionals Committee has created outreach programs like "First Time Homebuyer," and has been working with local vocational schools, high schools and colleges to provide guidance to students about careers in the home building industry. He also serves on several other committees on the local and state levels.
– Joshua B. Mauney,
Paragon Building Group, Inc.,
Raleigh, N.C. – Mauney is a Graduate Master Builder
who began his home building company at age 26. He has chaired the Remodelers Council at the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County
and won a President’s Award from the HBA in 2015 for his work on The Green Chair project, which assists area families. Mauney also sits on the Advisory Council for the Vernon Malone College & Career Academy, the area’s first career and technical education high school, where students can participate in certificate and diploma programs in HVAC, Electrical Systems, Plumbing, Welding and OSHA Certification.
– Jamie Humes
, VP of Marketing, Traditions Building & Development Group, Cincinnati, Ohio – Humes started out as an intern and moved quickly up the ranks to become the youngest VP in her company’s history. She was charged with leading and implementing a company rebrand while maintaining its presence as a well-established high-quality developer and builder in the Greater Cincinnati area. Humes has served the past two years as a Board Member of the Local Sales & Marketing Council at the HBA of Greater Cincinnati
. She also was involved in creating the Next Generation Council at the HBA. Humes serves as the only female and youngest Board Member for the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati.
– Megan Kiella,
Temple, Texas – Kiella started out on the sales team and within two years had sold $16 million in new home inventory. Moving into a management role, she streamlined the sales process through costs, standardized specifications, negotiated contracts and managed the company’s design center. She and her team have managed to increase sales by 22% in the past year. Kiella is a very active member of the Temple Area Builders Association
, serving on virtually every committee and the Board of Directors. She was one of only three women to serve as the President of the HBA.
– Joseph Irons,
Irons Brothers Construction, Inc.,
Shoreline, Wash. – Irons is a long-time member of the Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties
and has held many leadership positions in his time there with a strong focus on Young Professionals and the impact they can make on the industry. He is working to create and enhance programs to improve and educate the work force for future generations by lobbying for continued funding of trade and skill labs in local schools and communities. Irons is a believer in constant education; he implemented a budget that allows for all his team members to attend at least one local conference per year across all disciplines in the business.
"These emerging leaders are already making quite the impact on the home building industry," said Rich Robinson, 2018 chair of the NAHB Young Professionals Committee. "We are thrilled to showcase these young professionals and look forward to seeing their continued growth and contributions to the industry."
In addition to the Young Professionals of the Year, six other emerging leaders were identified as "Ones to Watch" at IBS by their respective committees:
55+ – Zac Thompson
is the division president of Gatherings by Beazer Homes and is responsible for the growth and execution of the brand nationwide. These responsibilities include site selection oversight, purchasing, architecture, construction and marketing. As division president, Zac is responsible for ensuring a seamless introduction of a new brand and new product into each Beazer Home division.
Custom Builders – Casey Cloward
is the owner of Raykon Construction in Salem, Utah, and is the president of the Utah Valley Home Builders Association
. He chairs the Cougar House, a program that has $1.3 million in endowed scholarship money towards the Brigham Young University Construction Management program. to being the general contractor for 10-14,000 square foot homes valuing $2-4 million.
Green Building – Anthony Maschmedt
is the principal at Dwell Development + Design/Build in Seattle and a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
(MBAKS). Maschmedt serves on the board of Built Green, MBAKS's residential green building program, and is constantly offering his time to speak at various events.
Multifamily – Kyle Bach
is the CEO of The Annex Group in Indianapolis, which provides student housing in underserved campus markets and affordable housing in large university communities. He oversees the company’s Strategy, Capital and Leadership platforms for all the companies under The Annex Group umbrella.
Professional Women in Building – Cassy Lynn Mathis
is a junior interior designer with Haven Design Works in Suwanee, Ga., and a member of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
(GAHBA). In 2015, Mathis was instrumental in helping to form an under 40 segment of the GAHBA called ELEVATE. The group continued to grow under Mathis's leadership and was eventually added into the GAHBA as its own council.
Sales and Marketing – Anya Chrisanthon
is the Wayne, Pa.-based host of New Construction Marketing Podcast. As an immigrant from the former Soviet Union to the U.S., Anya knows what it feels like to struggle and overcome challenges. She experienced food shortages and hunger, and then moved to a country where she didn’t speak the language. Going through these challenges and others made her empathic and generous toward others.
Student Chapters – Myles Cardenas
is a construction manager at Lennar in the Atlanta area. He has been involved in NAHB Student Chapters for years, first as a student chapter president at Kennesaw State University and serving on its Student Competition team, and now as a mentor for KSU construction students. Cardenas is Vice Chairman of the Greater Atlanta HBA Young Professionals Group and is active within the HBA.
Christopher Cowan, winner the Young Professional of the Year for Region A, also was identified as One to Watch by the Associate Members Committee.