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 the final part of a 3-part series. Get caught up with part 1 and part 2 of this 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.
Lauren Merritt | Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
Lauren is co-owner of Loren Homes, Inc., a home building company in the Atlanta area. She comes from a multi-generational family of home builders, including her father who founded his first home building company Loren Construction Company, Inc. in 1984. In 2017, Lauren and her brother Andrew launched Loren Homes, Inc. to continue the legacy established by their father. Together, they are taking the company in a new direction—with a focus on custom building and remodeling. “Attending the Builders’ Show will give me exposure to a lot of education in a short amount of time, which will have a great impact on planning for next year and the years to come.”
Aaron Park | Dallas Builders Association
Aaron is an outside salesman with Main Street Lumber & Millwork, located in Denison, Texas. In his role, he enjoys working with custom builders and focusing on how to deliver a superior product while providing the highest level of customer service. Aaron knows that there is much information to learn by attending shows such as IBS. In addition to building relationships with others in the industry, he’s looking forward to learning through others’ experiences. “You hear about the challenges that builders and dealers are facing in today’s market, and through sharing, you have the opportunity to figure out how to overcome those challenges.”
Brady Ramsey | Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association
Brady is the owner of Brady Built Homes, located in Oklahoma City. While his company is only a few years old, he’s been working in the construction industry for more than 15 years. In 2017, he took a leap of faith and purchased his first lot for a spec build, which he completed while still employed by a commercial contractor. In January 2018, he had the opportunity to build a custom home, and he decided to pursue his dream of building homes full time. Brady knows he’s early into his homebuilding career, so he’s eager to connect with others at the show. “I’m looking forward to learning how to better navigate business management issues, such as contracts, financing and profit margins so I can apply them to my business.”
Kenzie Reynolds | Home Builders Association of Spokane
Kenzie is the youngest employee at Strohmaier Construction, Inc. located in Spokane, Washington. Strohmaier focuses on renovations and custom homes. Over the course of working with them, Kenzie has grown to love the characteristics of older homes and seeing the joy on clients’ faces when the renovation is complete. In addition to managing the office and company’s social media efforts, she also works with clients on selections. “I’m excited to see and learn about all of the new products that are available—windows, flooring, faucets and smart home technology gadgets that are making people’s lives easier.”
Lou Salge | Builders Association of Northeast Indiana
Lou is the co-owner of Four Seasons Design & Remodeling based in Angola, Indiana. His company specializes in design/build remodeling on lake homes, and they have created a diverse project portfolio. He has attended the Builders’ Show in the past and enjoys being able to introduce new products to the community, as it does give him a competitive edge. For IBS 2020, he has identified two areas where he’d like to focus. “The first is the labor shortage. As I look ahead 10 years, I see many of our team at or near their retirement, so I’d like to learn how to recruit new employees and train them effectively. The second is how to increase efficiencies within our current team.”
Nick Scroggs | Asheville Home Builders Association
Nick is the vice president of operations and co-owner of Scroggs Construction Services, LLC, a design/build firm in Asheville, North Carolina. Throughout his childhood, he worked with his father building and remodeling homes, but after high school, he moved to Chicago and earned his master’s degree in Business Administration and Finance. He returned to Asheville, where he co-founded Scroggs Construction Services with his father. Nick is looking forward to seeing new, innovative products while at IBS 2020. “We are interested in learning more about green building products and techniques, and IBS always has a lot of new products available that you wouldn’t hear about otherwise.”
Rachel Sparks | Home Builders Association of Metro Portland
Rachel is an interior designer at THE Remodel Group, a design-build firm in Portland, Oregon. The Portland area is unique in that there isn’t a lot of new construction, so much of her work focuses on residential remodeling. She greatly enjoys helping a client blend their vision with her knowledge of design and products to make their living space more functional and enjoyable. In addition to networking with others and hearing top speakers in the industry, Rachel has specific goals when she attends IBS 2020. “I want to learn more about tiny houses, green building products, design and community planning, industry trends and emerging issues.”
Ryan Spencer | Home Builders Association of the Upper Peninsula
Ryan is a project manager and dealer representative at Dickinson Homes, a leading designer and builder of custom modular homes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota. Even though the company has been in business for nearly 50 years, he notes that it is in a new “startup mode” right now—with the integration of new products, techniques, technologies and design into modular construction. “I am hoping to learn about new building processes, sales psychology, market research and structural techniques. I know all of those can be found at IBS. It’s the only place to further my lifelong education in the building industry.”
Learn more about the IBS 2020 scholarship recipients and the program.