Standout EOs and HBAs Recognized at Association Management Conference

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This post has been updated. The individual winners of the 2018 Association Excellence Awards and Membership Cup winner were announced during the 2019 Association Management Conference at the annual awards luncheon on July 24 in Baltimore. Sarah Schultz, Beth Johnson, Phil Crone and Renee Zentz were honored in four distinct award categories for their career achievements and dedication to the home building industry. Small Office Honor: This award is traditionally presented to an executive officer (EO) from a small association whose accomplishments far outweigh their limited resources. This year’s honoree is Sarah Schultz of the HBA of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Sarah’s talent for fundraising has benefited the local association in numerous ways, including organizing a wild game feed, Builders Show, golf outing and an Expo for Building UP Women. She also single-handedly started the Professional Women in Building Council in the Upper Peninsula area, as well as 12 student chapters throughout local high schools. Sarah serves as the 2019 Michigan Executive Officers Council (EOC) president and as a member of the Audit and Budget Committees, leads the Membership Committee, and is the 2019 co-chair for Strength in Numbers Statewide Membership Campaign. Click here to watch her awards video. New Executive Officer Award: This is presented to an EO who has served no more than three years in an association management position, but has made major contributions to the profession during that time. This year’s award recognizes Beth Johnson of the HBA of Fort Wayne in Indiana. Replacing a long-tenured EO is never an easy task, but Beth was able to make the transition impeccably seamless. In less than a year, Beth’s influence was exactly what the HBA of Fort Wayne needed to start gaining young professionals and increase the awareness of the association. With a healthy budget, upgraded software, and new and re-invigorated events, the association saw increases in both student chapter and general membership, implemented social media into its public relations, and made both charitable and PAC contributions. Beth has made state and national involvement a priority. Of the state’s 26 executive directors, Beth was elected as one of three to Indiana’s EOC for 2019. Beth is a member of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana and is currently serving on its Community Impact committee. At the regional level, she has implemented a dual General Membership Meeting with a smaller HBA, spotlighting partnerships amongst local associations. Click here to watch her awards video. Executive Officer of the Year: This award honors a dedicated EO whose actions, commitments and accomplishments in a single year have been truly exceptional. This year’s winner is Phil Crone of the Dallas Builders Association in Texas. Phil is a tremendous advocate for the Dallas Builders Association, and has made numerous contributions to the local and state associations, and the industry overall. For example, using his law degree, he refined numerous local ordinances, including the Dallas parkland dedication ordinance and gold card program, and developed state legislation that saved developers hundreds of thousands in tree mitigation fees. Phil also coordinated efforts with the NAHB government affairs team, the Texas Association of Builders and Texas Sen. John Cornyn pertaining to FEMA regulations for local pre- and post-disaster funding. Phil is an active participant at NAHB and the Texas EOC, where he served as president and immediate past president in 2018. He also serves as a regional director of the NAHB Executive Officers Council. As Texas EOC president, Phil helped organize a professional development seminar for executive officers around the state and pertinent education courses. During that year, he also led the effort to start a new construction management program at a local community college. Phil has contributed to several articles published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg focused on topics such as the state of the housing market, labor shortage and immigration. Click here to watch his awards video. Career Achievement: This award pays tribute to EOs who exemplify the highest level of dedication, loyalty, and commitment and is the highest recognition that can be awarded in the EOC. This year’s award honors Renee Zentz of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs in Colorado. For the past 15 years, Renee has served as the CEO of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colo. She has been instrumental in developing a culture of collaboration with community organizations and government entities — from establishing monthly leadership meetings with head public officials to forging partnerships with industry leaders. It is this collaborative advocacy that helps to strengthen the HBA’s position as the authoritative voice and information source for housing to the government, general public and housing consumer in El Paso County. Career highlights include:
  • Re-establishing HBA Cares, the philanthropic arm of the association, which partners with other non-profits to engage industry resources to support transitional and accessible housing, and connect the needs of the community to the skills and abilities of the housing and building industry
  • Leading an incredible community outreach program, where the residential industry was able to provide resources for those who lost their homes, during the devastating fires in Colorado Springs in 2014
  • Spearheading, along with four key members, an effort to put skilled trades back into high schools. What began with 18 students in one classroom has grown to 500+ enrolled students in six high schools, all using the HBI curriculum
Other industry, community and civic organizations in which Renee serves include past NAHB EOC board member, EOC board of directors and chair, Home Builders Institute Advisory Council, and board member at the Pikes Peak Community College Foundation and Regional Business Alliance of Colorado Springs. Click here to watch her awards video. Phil Crone also took home the 2018 Membership Cup on behalf of the Dallas Builders Association. In 2018, the Dallas BA saw one of its best years in recent memory, including the acquisition of the Texoma Builders Association. The BA boasts more than 1,000 members (as of Dec. 31, 2018), and has won Association Excellence Awards in the Revenue, Education, Operations, and Membership pillars under Crone’s leadership. [bc_video video_id="6066816996001" account_id="260701690001" player_id="BJMWPKF2" embed="in-page" padding_top="56%" autoplay="" min_width="0px" max_width="600px" mute="" width="100%" height="100%" ]   Find out more on the Association Excellence Awards on

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