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Homebuilders tap Kent Lay as 2018 president

The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association and its HomeAid Southern Nevada chapter installed their 2018 slate of officers and directors during the Installation and Awards Luncheon, sponsored by CAMCO, on Dec. 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Effective Jan. 1, Kent Lay, division president of Woodside Homes of Nevada, is president of the 450-plus member trade group.

He said he sees about 5 percent to 7 percent growth in the local homebuilding industry in 2018, about the same as this year.

“That’s stable growth,” he said. “Good growth.”

Some of the factors that will continue to affect the industry, he said, are the rising cost of labor, land and regulation. Another factor that could affect sales is the specter of rising interest rates. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a point. It was the third increase this year.

One other point he made at the annual celebration is keeping Chapter 40, the piece of legislation that addresses construction defect, the way it is. Before the state law was rewritten insurance premiums skyrocketed for the homebuilders. Since it was reworked in 2015, it’s made it harder for builders to be sued, and so insurance rates went back down. That’s one of the reasons, Lay said, that builders can afford to create more multifamily projects.

“Don’t give anybody a reason to change the law,” he said. “Just take care of the customers.”

Lay was born in Cincinnati. The family moved to Phoenix when Lay was 12. He earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from Arizona State University in 1984. After graduating, he worked for Pulte Homes for eight years in Phoenix and Las Vegas. He also worked briefly on commercial construction in Arizona, California and Nevada.

In 1992, Pulte Homes transferred Lay, who was vice president of construction and land, and another Pulte executive to Las Vegas, to establish the builder’s Las Vegas division. In 1996, Richmond American Homes hired Lay as division president. He worked there approximately one year before joining Beazer Homes as division president. He worked at Beazer Homes for 13 years, rising to the position of regional president. Five years ago, he joined Woodside Homes of Nevada as division president.

Lay joined the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association in 1993. He serves on the association’s board of directors and Executive Committee, which govern the association, and served on the association’s Codes Committee. Also, Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Lay in 2015 to represent the residential construction industry on the Nevada State Contractors Board, the state agency that regulates the construction industry in Nevada.

More than 350 association members and special guests attended the SNHBA/HomeAid Installation and Awards Luncheon.

Amy Thill, vice president of sales and marketing for Warmington Residential, was installed as 2018 president of HomeAid Southern Nevada, the official outreach partner of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.

In addition, SNHBA Executive Director Nat Hodgson presented a gold watch to Public Affairs Director Monica Caruso for 37 years of service to the association. Hodgson announced that Caruso has accepted the position of executive director of the Southern Nevada chapter of the International Code Council, effective Jan. 2.

Other officers are: Janet Love of StoryBook Homes, first vice president; Brian Walsh of Richmond American Homes, second vice president; Darren Wilson of Sierra Air Conditioning and Heating, associate vice president; Tom Warden of The Howard Hughes Corp., treasurer; and Scott Donnelly of Cooper Roofing and Solar, secretary.

The other builder members on the board of directors for 2018 are: Rick Barron, Century Communities; Nicole Bloom, Richmond American Homes; Bonnie Hernandez, American West Homes; Brian Kunec, KB Home; Brandon Laughter, Pulte Homes; Tom McCormick, Touchstone Living; Brian Plaster, Signature Homes; Dana Rogers, CalAtlantic Homes; Nathan White, Summit Homes; and Carlos Zuluaga, Pardee Homes.

The other associate members on the board are: Rusty Carson, Desert Truss; Greg Combs, Cal Pac Painting of Nevada; Claire DeJesus, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas New Homes Guide; Scott Donnelly, Cooper Roofing and Solar; Chad Hirschi, Hirschi Masonry; Rebecca Merrihew, Red Rock Insulation; Todd Steadham, Slater Hanifan Group; James Stein, Southwest Gas Corp.; and Melissa Williams, CAMCO.

These elected board members, along with the officers, the senior directors and past presidents, constitute the board of directors.

The association also honored its members who are involved in the association-sponsored Southern Nevada chapter of HomeAid, a nonprofit organization that builds and renovates shelter and provides other provisions for homeless men, women, children, families and veterans in metropolitan Las Vegas.

Plaques of appreciation were presented to the Choice Center Leadership University, Credit One Bank, the Nevada State Apartment Association, the Findlay Automotive Group and the Southern Nevada chapter of the International Code Council for outstanding support of HomeAid Southern Nevada.

Also, plaques of appreciation were presented to Century Communities for overseeing significant renovation work at the Calcaterra apartment complex, which provides transitional housing for formerly homeless families; and Pardee Homes for overseeing remodeling at the Family to Family community center.

During the event, SNHBA Executive Director Nat Hodgson presented several awards.

The Builder Member of the Year Award went to Rick Barron of Century Communities, and the Associate Member of the Year Award went to Brian Gordon of Applied Analysis/SalesTraq, for “outstanding service to the association and the industry.”

The association presented a special award to First American Title Co. for 50 years of continuous membership in the association — the longest continuous membership of any member.

Hodgson presented Outstanding Member awards to Mike Cuddy of D R Horton and Trevor Brilman of Security National Mortgage Co. A Leadership Award went to Amy Thill of Warmington Residential. Elizabeth Hanson of New American Funding received an Outstanding New Member award.

Founded in 1953 by 12 local homebuilders and incorporated with the state of Nevada in 1954, the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association ranks as the oldest and largest local trade organization representing the residential construction industry in Nevada. Its members work in all facets of the home building industry.

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