The IBS Scholarship Program offers NAHB members between the ages of 21-35 the opportunity to attend the building industry’s biggest event. This is part two of a three-part series.
Twenty-two ambitious young professionals have been awarded a scholarship to attend the 2020 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) in Las Vegas this coming January. Many have never attended before. All are eager to learn more about the building industry by exploring new products, connecting with other industry pros and attending the many education sessions available. Here are their stories.
Kristen Fowler | Home Builders Association of Metro Denver
Kristen is an architect for KGA Studio Architects, PC located in Louisville, Colorado. She developed a love for architecture at a young age by first drawing homes and cityscapes and building with Legos®. Later her passion for design grew as she followed a foreman around her parents’ basement (while it was being finished) and asking him question after question about how things fit together. From there, she went on to attend California Polytechnic State University and earned her B.A. in Architecture Design. She is looking forward to attending IBS to see the emerging technologies, new products and network with others. “IBS seems like such a great way to continue my professional development and further my knowledge.”
Ramy Hanna | Northern Virginia Builders Industry Association
Ramy is the leader of the architecture department for Golden Rule Builders, Inc., a design/build firm located in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. He started his career in 2009 as an assistant professor in Egypt and later worked as an architect in Kuwait, where he managed commercial projects across the Middle East and Europe. In 2014, he moved to the United States but found getting a job as an architect difficult due to the different materials used in construction. This did not deter him, however, and he studied to earn his U.S. architecture credentials while working other jobs before joining Golden Rule Builders in 2017. One of the items he’ll concentrate on while at IBS is eco-friendly and universal design. “The exciting thing about attending IBS is seeing materials available firsthand so you can help ensure that the clients are educated about eco-friendly and innovative product options for their houses.”
Brady Johanson | Greater San Antonio Builders Association
Brady is the owner and president of Brady Colt Custom Homes located in San Antonio, Texas. At the age of 14, he spent his summers sweeping floors for his uncle’s construction company. It didn’t take him long to realize that building was what he was meant to do. After earning his degree in construction science and management, he went to work for a nationwide commercial construction firm. But after a few years, he realized his passion was in residential building and started his company in 2013. Brady is always looking for educational opportunities so he has several goals for attending IBS 2020, including seeking out project management and purchasing advice, and finding new products that will help differentiate his homes from others. “I know I have lots of things to work on and learn, and I look forward to doing so at IBS 2020.”
Jacob Kaplan | Home Builders Association of Raleigh & Wake County
Jake is the controller for Garman Homes and Fresh Paint by Garman based in Cary, North Carolina. He is new to the home building industry, but acquired a strong negotiations background by running a pawn shop and later serving others in the art of real estate. Looking for his passion, he joined the leadership team of the owner’s previous real estate school where he increased the head count by 500%. While at IBS, he wants to talk to other big builders to hear some of their recommendations for efficiently tracking projects and how those ideas can be applied to the Garman operations. “IBS is home to some of the best speakers in the nation and the top leadership in home building. It excites me to sit among my peers—networking with them—and determine how we can help one another.”
Amanda Kurt | Lakeland Builders Association
Amanda is a project manager and second-generation owner of Kurk, Inc. located in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Her company specializes in custom home foundations as well as commercial, retail and light industrial foundation and excavation work. Amanda earned her B.S. in Structural Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Working in a small family business, she has a variety of responsibilities, including daily operations, project design, bidding, employee management and marketing. She has three areas of business that she’s working on this year: attracting and retaining young talent and introducing the youth to jobs in the construction industry, jobsite safety and marketing to custom home builders. “Through the IBS education sessions, I plan to attend those that are relevant to the challenges I face at my company.”
Kevin Lovoy | Association of Home Builders of Greater Birmingham
Kevin is a project manager for ELM Construction, LLC, a residential design/build remodeling company located in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Both of his grandfathers were in the construction industry, and he also worked for a residential home framer growing up—all of which sparked his interest in construction. Kevin feels that the Remodelers Central will be a great place for him to network and learn from others in the remodeling industry, as that’s about 90% of ELM Construction’s business. “Attending IBS will allow me to interact and bounce around ideas with others in our niche, which will benefit both me and our company.”
Cameron Medlin | Home Builders Association of Raleigh & Wake County
Cameron is a sales manager for Garman Homes and Fresh Paint by Garman located in the Raleigh area. In her role, she is focused on recruiting and developing the most talented sales team in the industry, which will support the impending growth and expansion of the company. Both of Cameron’s parents are licensed Realtors® so she developed a passion for the industry at an early age. She knows that attending IBS for the first time this coming January will have a big impact on her professionally. “I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to grow my knowledge of this industry that I have loved my entire life.”
Learn more about the IBS 2020 scholarship recipients and the program.