NAHB’s Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council honored two individuals and three councils for strong leadership, innovation and community service at the 2023 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas last month. The awards are sponsored by Cornerstone Building Brands.
The NAHB Woman of the Year is PWB’s most prestigious award. The 2022 recipient, Nora Spencer, demonstrates dedication to her association, her profession and her community, as well as expertise in her field.
Spencer is the Founder & CEO of Hope Renovations, a nonprofit created to educate women to enter careers in construction, including helping women get out of low-wage jobs. Hope Renovations also give seniors a dedicated workforce to complete necessary repairs and renovations in order to stay in their homes. Spencer, a North Carolina licensed building contractor and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, is an active member of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties and serves as their 2022/2023 PWB Chair.
The 2022 Member of the Year, which recognizes the achievements of a PWB member at the local and state level, is Mollie Elkman. She is the owner and president of Group Two, a home building marketing agency, and visionary and author behind The House That She Built, the true story of a team of women from around the country who came together to build a one-of-a-kind home in Utah. Elkman is an active member of the Home Builders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties. She also is a frequent speaker on subjects pertaining to builder sales and marketing as well as the advancement of women in the industry.
In addition to Spencer and Elkman, Council of the Year awards were presented in three size categories for their overall excellence.
The Outstanding Council of the Year award in the small-sized (1-10 person) category is the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) PWB Council and its 2022 chair, Allie Jackson. CBIA’s return to in-person events included a brunch that featured an all-women panel from Utah PWB’s The House That She Built team. The House That She Built books, generously donated by sponsors, were given to each attendee. The event, which connected members across the country virtually, led to a significant number of sponsorships and helped provide scholarships for students and professionals to further their studies in the home building industry.
The Council of the Year award in the medium-sized (11-39 person) category is the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans PWB Council and its 2022 chair, Rebecca Livaudais.The group held its first Coffee and King Cake breakfast, raising more than $500 for scholarships while promoting a ladies-only Mardi Gras Krewe called the Krewe of Muses. The group also hosted a tour of the Home Builders Institute’s BuildStrong Academy in Kenner, La. The academy, funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Drew Brees Dream Foundation, provides OSHA and HBI Carpentry Certification that includes more than 500 hours of free, hands-on training to students 18 and older. The council also awarded a scholarship to a female student for tools and materials, hosted a cookoff that attracted more than 150 attendees and raised scholarship funds, and held a recent election-related “Taco Tuesday” to help fill senior leadership vacancy seats.
The large-sized (more than 40 person) Council of the Year award was presented to the Wichita Area Builders Association (WABA) PWB Council and its 2022 chair, Ann Allaire. WABA participated in two membership drives in 2022, and hosted mixers and meetings to recruit and retain members. The PWB booth at the WABA Home Show was used for member recruitment and education, while a Wine, Whiskey and Whimsey event hosted more than 250 attendees. Two playhouses, one of which was built by PWB members, and other items were auctioned off at the event. The council also raised money for trades scholarships in 2022.
NAHB’s PWB Council also awards scholarships to members and students for building-related courses or training. During 2022, the council awarded nearly $12,000 in scholarships to high school students across the country.
The PWB Awards are sponsored by: