Maryland Woman Honored as NAHB’s Best in Green Young Professional of the Year

January 20, 2016

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today named Karen Benner, Director of Architecture for The Communities of EYA, as the 2015 Best in Green (BIG) Young Professional of the Year. The award was given at the Best in Green Awards event held today during the International Builders’ Show.

The annual award recognizes up-and-coming green and sustainable professionals in the building industry.

Nominated by the Maryland Building Industry Association, Benner was honored for her dedication to the advancement of sustainable green building practices. She inspires others to get involved by holding the seat as Green Building Council President of Maryland BIA. With an advanced architectural engineering degree, LEED AP credential and Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation, Benner pioneered the green building strategy at EYA, leading the company to certify nearly 1,000 green homes in the past five years.


“Karen is a true leader in the green and sustainable building industry,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder and developer from Blue Springs, Mo. “She has shown great leadership in her company and in her local association, bringing together key stakeholders within the industry to champion sustainable building practices.”

Other finalists in this category included:

  • Nathan Verning of Oasis Construction in Troy, Ill. (Nominated by the HBA of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri)
  • Andy Ellis of Halfmoon Construction Company in Clifton Park, N.Y. (Nominated by the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association)
  • Luis Imery of Imery & Co, LLC DBA Imery Group in Athens, Ga. (Nominated by the Athens Area HBA)
  • Andy Michels of Bob Michels Construction in North Oaks, Minn. (Nominated by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities)

See additional information about the BIG awards at