Why They Attend

Brad Simons
President
Cottage Homes Corporation
NAHB Board Member representing Utah Valley HBA
www.cottage-homes.com

What I Get Out of NAHB?
I’ve been serving on the NAHB board for eleven years, and it’s been an excellent way to support the industry. Personally, it’s also been a great way to stay at the top of my game, and connect and become friends with other builders and associates. I can glean a lot about what’s going on in the industry from these connections, which in turn helps me make better business decisions.

How I Got My Start?
I started out in my early 20s working for Woodside Homes Corporation. I began in sales, later moved to production, and then to managements serving seven years as Utah Division president. About nine years ago, my brother and I bought the company our father had founded in 1973, Cottage Homes.

Early Business Lessons that Stayed with Me?
Woodside’s owner, Ezra Nilson, almost immediately had me attend IBS, which I’ve been doing ever since. As a young employee, it was a great experience to spend several days learning best practices about the industry and seeing new products. He also didn’t micromanage, and let his people do their jobs — and that was a major lesson I took away.

Life Outside Work?
I have fun hanging out with my family, and also like to volunteer with the Boy Scouts.

Looking Ahead?
I think that the challenges we’ve had in Utah are starting to calm down, and expect things will begin to rebound later this year or in 2011.


Tony Crasi
President
The Crasi Company
www.crasicompany.com

Why I Attend IBS?
The show gives me great exposure. As a presenter and industry expert, I often walk away with new work from people in the audience. IBS is also the place where you learn. Every show I pick up some invaluable tidbits of information.

How I Got My Start?
I grew up in a family of builders, and I’ve been in the business for almost 40 years. My dad and my uncles started building homes, and I worked for them as a carpenter. Then I went to college, got my degree in architecture and, in 1992, went into construction on my own.

Best Business Advice I’ve Received?
A builder in the Cleveland area taught me to use design as a competitive advantage, and that’s served me well. Another guy once advised me: “Don’t try to hit a home run every time. Be fair with everyone, and you’ll get business.

Dealing With a Challenging Economy?
Our average home used to be $1.3 million. Then everything stopped. To survive, we had to adapt. Today we do a lot more renovations and inner city housing. We worked with federal stimulus money and learned to build for less - over the last three years, we have learned to build for almost $100 per square foot less. Still, the ability to provide good design has kept us in business over the last couple of years.

Life Outside Work?
I spend 90 percent of my free time with my family. I coach my 10-year-old daughter’s softball team. I ride my bike. I play guitar. Family makes me happy.


Barry Glantz
President
Glantz and Associates Architects, Inc.
www.glantzarchitects.com

The IBS Experience?
I’ve attended IBS for at least the last 20 years. The educational programming is invaluable. The ability to see new products firsthand is an important aspect of my business. And I’m always learning something new from the show’s expert presenters - some are incredible motivational speakers.

How I Got My Start?
You might say that architecture is in my genes, since my father is an architect. In fact, he started the company in 1956, and I joined the business 30 years later. My father always encouraged me to get involved in the industry at the local HBA level. Eventually, I took a leadership role in my local HBA here in St. Louis, which I still hold today. And now I’m also involved at the national level.

Lessons Learned in the Industry?
The biggest mistake I see young architects making is spending too much time drawing and not enough time out in the field to see their results. I learned this important lesson early on. To produce successful results, especially for builder clients, you need hands-on experience and an understanding of the crucial connection between your design and what is practical to implement.

My Life Outside Architecture?
I enjoy golf, tennis, travel and photography. Honestly, I have no idea what I would do if I weren’t in this business. Maybe I’d be an architectural photographer. Architecture has been in the family for over 50 years, so it’s become part of who I am.