Paul Evans, CGA, CGP, is national vice president of Millwork for BMC, one of the nation’s leading providers of diversified building products and services to builders and contractors in the residential market. He has been a hands-on instructor and speaker for the building industry for more than 30 years. He is proud off his strong customer service knowledge and how to train sales staff to provide it well. He was named NAHB’s Educator of the Year in 2015 and is a licensed general contractor in 12 states, giving Evans the know-how and background for what he’s teaching.
What is your favorite thing about being an NAHB instructor?
Passing on the years of experience that I have to share. Also getting the most out of each student and showing them that they have just as much to offer the class as I do. I ask them as many or more questions than they ask me.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Never be afraid to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand. Be professional and always be honest in any and all shortcomings. Be confident, but not cocky.
What was your first job in the building industry?
I worked in my family’s cabinet business installing cabinets in single-family homes. Then after college (my dad wanted me out of the construction industry, it didn’t take) I started selling millwork to builders.
What is your favorite course to teach?
It has always been Customer Service, because I feel in our society we have lost the sense of true customer service. I would also like to work with NAHB to update the course to include some tips for millennials. Next is Basics of Building. I also love the new Marketing and Sales and the new way we teach it. So maybe that is my new No. 1.
What drew you to the building industry?
Born into it. Stayed because I really enjoy the down-to-earth people in it. Hard workers.
What TV show do you consider binge-worthy?
Tough one for me. I don’t watch much. I like to catch Building off the Grid and those type of shows – showing what folks do to make their dreams a reality. I am concerned that some of the “flip” shows are giving the public the idea that this building stuff is easy and anyone can do it. They provide a false sense of what it really takes.
What are some of your hobbies when you’re not building or teaching?
My wife and I live on a sustainable farm. Being a trained engineer, she always has projects for me there, usually building something. In my younger days I was a decent race driver. So for fun, I instruct young people how to drive evasively, meaning how to stay out of trouble in their cars. I am also the stunt driver in all of the Mayhem commercials that you see on TV. It’s far cry from the building industry.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I would say the Davis Mountains in far West Texas.
What’s your favorite movie?
I have two: Big Jake with John Wayne. And Patton with George C. Scott. Both movies portray true leaders who have a direction.
Dog person or cat person?
Both. I love to have a cat in the house to keep me company. But I love my two outside dogs that follow my every move when I’m on the farm.
What’s your favorite sports team?
I would say the TCU Horned Frogs. I really like college football. You never know who will win.
What is one thing in your career you could go back and change if you could?
I would put more money back and invest differently so I could now, in my 60s, help the younger folks invest in their future. I really believe there are youngsters who with a bit of financial help could change the world.
I’m a busy builder with a lot on my plate. Why should I make time for education?
Because if you don’t, a younger, more aggressive builder will take your business away from you. You cannot be stale – you must never stop learning. I still go to other classes in my area to learn every chance I get.