2016 Designee and Educator of the Year Award Winners

NAHB honored 12 housing professionals for their outstanding service in elevating the image of NAHB designations. The 2016 Designee of the Year and Educator of the Year award winners were recognized during the 2017 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando.

“These home building industry professionals definitely ‘walk the walk,’” said 2016 NAHB Education Chair William L. Shaw Jr., GMR, CGR, GMB, CAPS and CGP, a Houston remodeler and NAHB instructor.

“These leaders don’t just talk about the importance of education. They also work to stay current and even ahead of industry trends so they can set an example for the home builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who make up our great Federation.” 

The 2016 honorees are:


Designees of the Year


Tom Ashley

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) of the Year

Tom Ashley Jr., CAPS, CGP, CGR, is president of Expand Inc. in Denham Springs, La. Past chair of the NAHB CAPS Board of Governors in 2014, Ashley earned his CAPS in 2004, the second designee in Louisiana. Since then, Ashley and his family-owned business, Expand Inc., have used this designation to help families enjoy the full potential of their homes. From children living with disabilities to men and women simply wanting to age comfortably in their homes, the Expand Inc. team has worked with occupational therapists, designers and other professionals to create a safe environment for families in the place they call home. Expand Inc. received the Homes for Life Award in 2009 and Ashley has been a constant advocate for CAPS by promoting and networking with other professionals of all fields, teaching seminars in multiple regions and working with his incredible Expand Inc. team to put his words into action.

Diane Gote

Certified Graduate Associate (CGA) of the Year

Diane Goté, CGA is the founder and principle of Design Works, Inc. in Summit, N.J., an award-winning interior designer with a long list of industry accolades and career highlights to her name. Goté received her design education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in Environmental Design. She also serves on the N.J. State Board of Architects (1 term each as vice president and as president), is the liaison to the N.J. Interior Design Exam and Evaluation Committee, and is the state voting representative to the Council of Interior Design Qualification. Goté also founded the coalition that lead to state legislation providing for the certification of interior designers. In 2016, Goté was presented with the Award of Excellence by Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey as Designer in the 3 Million+ category and she is also a two-time winner of the association’s Best Kitchen and Bath awards.

Kenneth Adams

Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) of the Year

Kenneth R. Adams Jr., CGB, CGP, CSP, is owner and president of Integrity Builders Inc. in Mandeville, La., specializing in residential construction as well as land development. Through his love of building, Adams has served community and industry alike by serving as life director and past president of the Northshore HBA (2010- 2011), co-chairman of the Parade of Homes, board director and PAC chair for the Louisiana HBA as well asserving on the Board of Trustees for the St. Tammany Home Builders Charitable Trust. Adams is also the builder of the 2012 St. Tammany HBA “Raising the Roof for Charity” raffle house. In 2007, Adams authored “Grace Through The Storm,” (Xulon Press) a novel which chronicles his growth and experience in his personal life and the corporate world. It has been an inspiration to many worldwide.    

Sean Sullivan

Certified Green Professional™ (CGP) of the Year

Sean Sullivan, CAPS, CGP, is the owner and president of Living Stone Construction Inc. in Black Mountain, N.C., known for its quality, designs and innovation in “green” applications.  While earning his Unlimited Building License and Accredited Master Builder certifications, he became the president of the Asheville HBA in 2008. During his term, he oversaw 30% growth in the association. He served as an Asheville HBA board member for five years, membership chairman, public relations chairman, state director and national director. Sullivan has won awards at the Asheville HBA Parade of Homes for over 10 years, been featured on the cover three times and elected “Builder of the Year” twice by his peers.

Scott Sevon

Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) of the Year

Scott R. Sevon, CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMB, GMR, is a partner in MAW LLC, a firm specializing in renovation in Chicago. While Sevon is known primarily for his design/build custom homes, there is an ever-growing design/build remodel division that takes on projects of any size. The HBA of Greater Chicago awarded Sevon Builder of the Year in 2004 and Remodeler of the Year in 2006. Sevon was also awarded 2006 NAHB Graduate Master Builder of the Year and 2010 NAHB Graduate Master Remodeler of the Year. He has also been involved in NAHB in many capacities: as trustee on the NAHB Remodelers Board, as chairman of NAHB Remodelers Membership & Communications and Green subcommittees, as chairman of NAHB Remodelers, as chairman of the Certified Graduate Remodeler Board of Governors, as chairman of the CAPS Board of Governors and as an NAHB Build-Pac trustee.

Tony Foust

Graduate Master Builder (GMB) of the Year

Tony Foust, CAPS, CGB, CGP, GMB, Master CGP, is the owner and chief executive of DaVinci Homes in Norman, Okla. A home builder with over two decades of building experience, Foust is a leader in the professional home building industry at the local, state and national level. Among his previous NAHB leadership positions, Foust is the newly elected Oklahoma state representative to NAHB. Serving as an NAHB BuildPAC trustee for several years, Foust now serves as BuildPAC chairman and trustee for the state of Oklahoma. Foust served as the 2015 chair of the CGB Board of Governors and is also an NAHB-approved Instructor.

Sharon Harper

Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP) of the Year

Sharon Harper Ivey, HCCP, is the vice president of compliance for Concord Management Limited in Maitland, Fla. She oversees affordable housing compliance for a portfolio of more than 20,000 affordable housing units in four states. Property financing includes LIHTC, Tax–Exempt Bond, SAIL, SHIP, TCAP, 1602 and HOME. Ivey also acts as Concord’s fair housing coordinator and is responsible for processing all reasonable accommodation and modification requests and for responding to all fair housing complaints. She is one of the co-inventors of Yardi Systems’ HOUSINGCafé, an online application and compliance management system, and worked with the Yardi Team on development of HOUSINGCafé for the past five years.  

Meredith Oliver

Master in Residential Marketing (MIRM) of the Year

Meredith Oliver, CMP, CSP, Master CSP, MIRM, is a sales and marketing strategist, professional speaker, consultant and founder of Meredith Communications, a digital marketing agency in Raleigh, N.C. Meredith Communications is in its 15th year delivering digital marketing solutions such as website design, search engine optimization and social media marketing. As a professional speaker, Oliver has spoken to audiences from 10 to 2,000 at prominent industry events such as the International Builders’ Show.  In 2016, Oliver was honored by the NAHB Professional Women in Building Council as the PWB National Member of the Year. She was honored in 2015 with the Bill Molster Award for Outstanding Service & Lifetime Achievement by the NAHB National Sales and Marketing Council. In 2013, Oliver was named Chapter Member of the Year by the NSA Carolinas Chapter.  



Educator of the Year


Tom Stephani

Builder/Remodeler Educator of the Year

Tom Stephani, CAPS, CGB, CGP, CGR, CMP, CSP, GMB, Master CSP, MIRM
, is president of Stephani Enterprises LLC and Custom Construction Concepts Inc. in Crystal Lake, Ill. Stephani Enterprises has developed commercial and residential land and constructed light commercial projects, custom homes and traditional neighborhood infill projects. Stephani is an internationally recognized speaker and trainer on issues relating to the residential construction industry. He also participates in the development and writing of NAHB designation classes and writes for industry magazines. Stephani was the 2015 chairman of the NAHB Education Committee and 2009 chairman of the National Sales & Marketing Council. He also serves on the NAHB International Global Opportunities Board and on the Single Family Builder Committee. He is a Senior Life Director of NAHB. Stephani was president of McHenry County HBA in 1999, has chaired many committees and was named its Builder of the Year in 2000 and 2002.

Curt Kiriu

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) Educator of the Year

Curt Kiriu, CAPS, CGP, CGR, is the owner of C.K. Independent Living Builders in Mililani, Hawaii. Kiriu, a construction industry veteran with more than 26 years of experience, has been designing and building barrier-free accessible residential projects, including bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and more since 2009. A true advocate for those who are aging in place, Kiriu has developed an educational program that he presents around the state at no cost to various groups of construction, real estate and medical professionals as well as nonprofits, clubs and the general public. As an NAHB approved instructor, he has taught CAPS courses at his local HBA. In addition, he serves on the board of the Hawaii HBA.

John Barrows

Green Building Educator of the Year

John Barrows, CGB, CGP, GMB, Master CGP, is owner and founder of P3 Builder Group Inc. in Wainscott, N.Y., dedicated to bringing cost-effective, energy-efficient practices to the housing market. He is also a founding partner of Performance Path Solutions LLC, a company that brings innovative building practices to the building industry through educational programs and products, and provides green and energy conservation consulting services in New York. Barrows has provided construction services, general contracting, construction management and consultation services for over 30 years with projects that include historic renovation, remodeling and new construction; incorporating sustainable and high performance practices. In 2010, NAHB awarded Barrows with the Green Building Individual Advocate of the Year Award. Barrows is also a licensed instructor for NAHB’s education courses. Barrows serves on the NAHB Board of Directors and the executive board of the Long Island Builders Institute.

Chuck Miller

Sales and Marketing/Institute of Residential Marketing Educator of the Year

Chuck Miller, CAPS, CGB, CGP, CGR, CMP, CSP, GMB, Master CSP, MIRM, of Chuck Miller Construction, Inc. in Boise, Idaho, is an active member of the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho (BCASWI). He is a past president and Life Director and the current chairman of the BCASWI’s Ethics and Arbitration Committee, Sales and Marketing Council and Education Committee. He also serves on the BCASWI’s Political Action Committee. BCASWI recognized Miller as the 2003 Builder of the Year for his service to the association, the building industry, and the community. Miller is an active member and Life Director of the Idaho Building Contractors Association. Miller believes in life-long learning earning, nine NAHB professional designations, and is a licensed instructor for NAHB’s education courses.

2017 Designee and Educator of the Year Awards Information.