HBA Leaders Recognized at 2021 Association Management Conference


Local and state associations are the backbone of the Federation, and Executive Officers (EOs) are a critical part of their success. To recognize their contributions, the individual winners of the 2020 Association Excellence Awards were announced during the 2021 Association Management Conference in Minneapolis, Aug. 3-5. Katie Hanning, Bob Penrose, Joel White and Mike Carpenter were honored in four distinct award categories for their career achievements and dedication to the home building industry.

Small Office Honor Award

This award is traditionally presented to an EO from a small association whose accomplishments far outweigh their limited resources. This year’s honoree is Katie Hanning of the HBA of Great Falls (Montana).

Katie is an innovator, promoter, orchestrator and a person that the HBA relies on to represent them within the community. She is well respected by the Montana state and local associations, and is recognized as a leader. Her knowledge of policies, procedures and principles is unmatched. Members rave about how much fun they have at HBA events. Katie puts on the Home and Garden Show in the state, and continues to impress attendees and vendors. And she is more than willing to step in where needed.

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 Bob Penrose of the HBA of St. Joseph Valley (Indiana).

As soon as Bob joined the HBA, he was making an immediate positive impact on the organization. The day-to-day association operations became more professional, more inclusive and fiscally responsible. He didn’t wait for the membership to find the association; he took the association out to find the members. Bob reimagined events and led outreach efforts to the building trades in Indiana. He initiated a dual virtual/live Showcase of Homes in June 2020, resulting in record attendance and viewership when many other local chapters were forced to cancel their event.

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 Joel White of the HBA of Spokane (Washington).

Throughout his tenure, the HBA has benefited from his leadership and during the middle of a pandemic, it was no different. When the local industry was shut down in late March 2020, Joel took the lead in his community to advocate for restarting construction. Working closely with the BIA of Washington, Joel organized local officials to lobby the governor and constantly communicated with members. His efforts helped convince the governor to authorize construction to restart after just four weeks, well ahead of any other industry. Driven by dedication, he managed to maneuver a 10% budget surplus in 2020 when many other associations had significant losses.

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 Executive Officers Council. This year’s award honors Mike Carpenter of the North Carolina HBA (NCHBA).

When the HBA created an in-house government affairs program, they hired Mike to run it. Beginning with the 1990 short session, a foundation was laid for what became perhaps the most remarkable advocacy “turn around” in the state’s history. Mike’s fingerprints remain on many of NCHBA’s key legislative and regulatory victories.

Over the next 20 years, Mike led NCHBA to new heights. In addition to assisting NCHBA in achieving the federation’s largest statewide membership (currently more than 14,250 members), Mike has held a successful regional trade show for 18 years. He created the Home Builders Education Fund, Inc., which has become a major force in electing pro-housing candidates to the General Assembly. He also created both the NCHBA’s Legal Action Fund and the NCHBA Issues Mobilization Fund.

Mike has assembled and retained outstanding staff. Most of the current staff members have been in place for years and are experts in their fields. The member service provided by NCHBA is first class.

Find out more on the Association Excellence Awards on nahb.org.

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