Awards and announcement of new board of directors all part of the annual Builders Ball

ANDREW ROLES - The scene at the Tiffany Center in downtown Portland at the 2017 Oregon Home Builders Association Builders Ball.

The Oregon Home Builders Association holds its annual award in December to tap into holiday spirit but also because if there is a lull in construction, it's in the wet and dark days of December. The Portland metro area has been going gangbusters this last year with demand for single family homes outstripping supply.

The OHBA met Dec. 1 for an awards show for top producers, and also to honor the 2017 board of directors and usher in the 2018 board. The sold-out event at the Tiffany Center in downtown Portland brought together executives and office staff with blue collar workers.

"It was a very successful night," said Becky Post the HBAP events coordinator. Dressed-up association members were greeted by the jazz duet Basso a Deux. The event follows the same format each year, with an introduction, dinner and awards. This year, with the move to the Tiffany Center, they added two hours of a DJ and dancing.

"It's a pretty big thing to win, it's like winning an Oscar. There's some bragging rights and you always display them in your office."

HBA Members win awards on the basis of leadership and participation in the HBA, support of the industry, and community involvement. At the end of October,the OHBA has over 280 Builder members. There are 104 remodeler members.

ANDREW ROLES - Jason Behunin, his brother and Nate Bond at the 2017 Oregon Home Builders Association Builders Ball.

The winners:

Builder of the Year

This award went to Kelly Ritz of Stone Bridge Homes NW.

Ritz has over 20 years of experience in real estate, land development and new home building. Her service record includes being a two-time NW Natural Street of Dreams builder, serving on HBA's Government Relations Committee, the Professional Women in Building Council, and serving as a State Director. She will also become HBA's First Vice-President, and its chief lobbyist, as chair of OHBA's Government Relations Committee.

Remodeler of the Year Mountainwood Homes, Inc.

Robert Wood and Alicia de Costa, both of Mountainwood Homes have become HBAP regulars. Wood also served as a Builder Captain this year on HBF's Good Neighbor Center project. In 2018, he will be Chair of the Home & Garden Shows.

Alicia de Costa chaired the Tour of Remodeled Homes this year, and will serve in that same position next year. She is also involved with the Professional Remodelers Organization.

Trade Contractor of the Year

Jason Behunin, PROBuild

Behunin is the 2017 Home Builders Foundation Board President, which raises money for good causes. He also serves on the HBF Executive Committee and Scholarship Committee. ProBuild regularly supports HBF Projects and sponsors the HBF's Building Hope Gala & Auction. He helps bring in sponsors to BuildRight, Builders Ball, and the Street of Dreams.

Associate of the Year

Brenda Hartzog, NW Natural

Hartzog has relationships with developers and builders, trade allies, real estate professionals, title companies, designers, engineers and multiple jurisdictions. She is a founding member of the Professional Women in Building Council.

HBF Volunteer of the Year

Tom Melia

In 2017, Tom Melia contributed hundreds of hours to shelter projects, including the Village of Hope project for Clackamas Women's Services. He helped secure donations and discounted labor and materials from dozens of companies and individuals, saving the shelter projects hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction costs with his vast network across the home building industry.

HBF Company of the Year

Shelter Solutions LLC

Shelter Solutions oversaw roof replacements at Smith House and Jordan House, both operated by Youth Progress. Shelter Solutions worked with its subcontractors to include gutter replacements and siding repairs to both facilities. It served as Builder Captain for the Village of Hope domestic violence shelter.

Spike of the Year (The person who brought in the most new members)

John Gooley

John is a longtime member and leader in the Marion-Polk HBA who became more involved in the HBA of Metro Portland a couple years ago. He brought in ten new members as top membership recruiter for 2017.

ANDREW ROLES - Organizer of the 2017 Oregon Home Builders Association Builders Ball.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

Fred VanNatta started Public Affairs, Inc. (now VanNatta Public Relations) and primarily focused on public relations and political strategies for candidates and issues. VanNatta kept busy as the 1968 Reagan for President campaign's Western Regional Director and served as Chief of Staff for the 1968 Republican Governor's Conference

in Palm Springs, where California Governor Ronald Reagan served as Conference Chair. In Salem, his first client was the Association of Engineering Employees (AEE), his second was the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA). VanNatta worked for the OHBA from 1969 through 2003, serving as both the Executive Vice President and chief lobbyist during most of his tenure. In the latter years, he lobbied and transferred administrative duties to others. Under VanNatta's management, OHBA won awards for its outstanding membership drives, member involvement, and innovative and successful Political Action Committee (PAC). During his time with the Home Builders, VanNatta recruited and helped elect two past state presidents (Dennis Luke and Bob Repine) to the legislature and assisted many other members to achieve public office election at both the state and local level. VanNatta has been a dedicated beekeeper for 56 years.

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