Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Home Show Seminars Offer Expert Advice On A Wide Range Of Homeowner Topics

By Wayne Moore
2011 HBA President

A full lineup of free educational seminars will be a part of the 50th annual Southern Home & Garden Show, giving attendees the opportunity to learn more about a wide range of topics. Consumer education is an important part of our mission at the Home Builders Association of Greenville and the Southern Home & Garden Show is the perfect forum to offer homeowners and potential homeowners expert advice on kitchen and bath design, interior design, green building and remodeling, gardens and ponds, and a lot more.

For example, the seminar schedule includes a panel discussion on Trends in the Kitchen & Bath Industry featuring members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association. NKBA professionals will cover cabinets, countertops, appliances, interior color trends, construction, installation and organization tips, as well as Aging-in-Place and accessibility issues.

We hope to see you at the March 4-6 Southern Home & Garden Show at Carolina First Center and encourage you to take advantage of this free seminar series:

1 p.m. InSinkErator: The Environmental Benefits of Food Disposers
Presenter: Wes Ingram, CSA Inc.
2 p.m. Eternal Tankless Water Heaters - A Green Product
Presenter: Robert Pelkey, RK Sales LLC
3 p.m. Flower Power: The Art of Design
Presenter: BI-LO Floral Designer
4 p.m. Something Old, Something New: Mixing Traditional & Contemporary Interiors
Presenters: Ivet Ivanona, BOGARI European Contemporary Desgin & Valia Warren, The Galleries of Brian Brigham
5 p.m. A Yard For All Seasons: Seasonal Growing Tips
Presenter: Mills Grant, Carolina Fresh Farms
6 p.m. Fire Science, Fire Safety
Presenter: Steve Kruzner, NitroStrike™
7 p.m. Build Green, Save Green: Green Building & Remodeling
Presenter: Todd Usher, GMB, Addison Homes LLC

11 a.m. Panel Discussion: Trends In The Kitchen & Bath Industry
Presenters: National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Professionals
12 p.m. So You're Thinking About A Pond?
Presenter: Joe Zawistowski, Green Hill Landscaping LLC
1 p.m. A Yard For All Seasons: Seasonal Growing Tips
Presenters: Mills Grant, Carolina Fresh Farms
2 p.m. Lettuce Create Great Kitchens
Presenter: Marc Yops, CKD, IIDA, National Kitchen & Bath Association
3 p.m. Flower Power: The Art of Design
Presenter: BI-LO Floral Designer
4 p.m. Going Green With Repurposed Interiors
Presenter: Valia Warren, The Galleries of Brian Brigham
5 p.m. Build Green, Save Green: Green Building & Remodeling
Presenter: Todd Usher, GMB, Addison Homes LLC
6 p.m. Fire Science, Fire Safety
Presenter: Steve Kruzner, NitroStrike™
7 p.m. Water Gardening 101
Presenter: Joe Zawistowski, Green Hill Landscaping LLC

2 p.m. Pond Myths Destroyed
Presenter: Joe Zawistowski, Green Hill Landscaping LLC
3 p.m. Build Green, Save Green: Green Building & Remodeling
Presenter: Todd Usher, GMB, Addison Homes LLC
4 p.m. Going Green With Repurposed Interiors
Presenter: Valia Warren, The Galleries of Brian Brigham

For more information on the Southern Home & Garden Show, visit

HBA Seeks Construction Veterans for New Mentoring Program--Find Out More

With its new Construction-Coaching Opportunities to Reach Employment Opportunities (C-CORE) program, the Home Builders Institute (HBI) is putting a twist on an age-old tradition of passing trade skills down from one generation to the next.

HBI C-CORE — a three-year program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice — matches teens aged 16-18 with adult mentors who encourage them to consider careers in the home building industry and coach them toward success.

Anyone involved in the home building industry is eligible to be a C-CORE mentor. Your HBA of Greenville is hosting an informational forum about the C-CORE program:

What: C-CORE Mentoring Program Informational Forum
Where: HBA of Greenville Office
When: March 24, 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

To register for the C-CORE Mentoring Program Informational Forum, click here.

HBI currently is recruiting mentors for the program, which was launched in October with the goal of matching 5,000 youths with 1,600 mentors in the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and Florida.

So far, 45 coaches and 127 youths have signed up for the C-CORE program at 16 sites, including partnerships with the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia, the Home Builders Association of Greenville, and the Builders Association of Northern Nevada.

The South Carolina program is centered on Greenville and Columbia and is being administered by Cory Lorick, on staff at the Greater Columbia Home Builders Association. You can reach Cory at 803-256-6238 or

The program will be expanded by 11 more sites in 2011.

“I encourage my fellow NAHB members to become coaches for the C-CORE program,” said NAHB Chairman-elect Robert Nielsen, president of Shelter Properties Inc. in Reno, Nev. “The commitment requires a time investment of only a few hours a month for such a great impact on a young person’s life. You’ll not only help tap their potential, you will gain a sense of personal and professional satisfaction from the experience.”

How it works:
Mentors are matched with a group of three youths with whom they spend as little as two hours per week helping and advising them in a supportive team environment with other HBI C-C-CORE mentors and youth.

HBI provides volunteer mentors with training that explains their roles and responsibilities, gives them insight into how to build their mentoring relationships, and builds their skills in effective communication and problem-solving. Continued advice and resources are available after the initial training.

Because building a trusting relationship between a mentor and a young person takes time, HBI C-CORE asks mentors to commit a minimum of one year to the program.

Earl McLeod, executive director of the HBA of Greater Columbia and a member of the HBI Board of Trustees, has signed up to become a mentor, and he looks forward to what he calls a “feel-good, do-good opportunity” to engage young people in the residential construction trades and make a positive difference in their lives.

“I encourage my colleagues to become mentors for the HBI C-CORE program,” McLeod said. “You will influence these young people with your caring and guidance, and you will be helping to develop the next generation of trades people for the residential construction industry. ”

Franqee Higgins, Texas/Northern Louisiana regional coordinator for C-CORE, was 19 and ready to change his life when he met his mentor, Philip Orr, an HBI electrical instructor at Guthrie (Okla.) Job Corps Center. Higgins studied the electrical and plumbing trades at Guthrie, winning the NAHB Chairman’s Award at the 2007 International Builders’ Show. He eventually became an HBI Job Corps electrical instructor at the Clearfield Job Corps Center in Utah, where he was named “Rookie Instructor of the Year.”

“Phil told me that if I would do what he said, my life would change,” Higgins said. “I kept up with him — whenever I took a college course or won an award. When I became a Job Corps instructor, it was the culmination of what Phil means to me because I knew then that I could make a difference in a young person’s life too.”

Higgins now matches young people interested in the home building industry with C-CORE mentors from his Dallas office. “Many of our youths do not come from the most positive of situations,” he said. “C-CORE mentors not only guide them on the path to success by showing them the ropes of the home building industry, they help them shape a positive outlook on life.”

For more information about how you can become an HBI C-CORE mentor, contact Cory Lorick at 803-256-6238 or

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dillard-Jones Builders Named 2011 Southern Living Builder Of The Year

Dillard-Jones Builders LLC has been named the 2011 Southern Living Builder of the Year by the magazine’s Custom Builder Program – the only company in the program’s 18-year history to receive the award twice. Dillard-Jones was the 2009 Southern Living Custom Builder of the Year, which marked the first time a South Carolina home builder had won the prestigious national award.

The Southern Living Custom Builder Program is an invitation-only network of more than 100 custom home builders throughout the South. Members are selected based on: their reputation among local businesses and consumers; strength of presence in their respective markets; superior quality and attention to detail; and innovative style. Builders are required to re-apply each year and are evaluated by Southern Living to assure they have met the standards.

A member of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program since 2007, Dillard-Jones Builders received the 2011 Builder of the Year award for its successful presentation of the 2010 Southern Living Showcase held November 5 through December 19 in Greenville’s Claremont community. The award was presented during the Southern Living Builder Conference held February 25-26 at Wild Dunes Resort near Charleston.

“Not only does Dillard-Jones build beautiful homes, but they have great customer service and a great approach to the way they do business,” said Kristen Payne, Executive Director of the Southern Living Homes Group. “They typify the quality of craftsmanship, and Southern design and architecture that you see when you open the pages of Southern Living.”

Southern Living, a premier lifestyle and entertainment magazine of the South, is among the largest monthly consumer magazine in the United States, reaching nearly 16 million readers each month with a circulation of about 2.8 million.

Dillard-Jones Builders, LLC specializes in custom residential construction ranging from the $500,000’s to more than $2 million. The Greer, SC-based company presently is building in several Upstate communities including The Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Mountain Park, Gary Players Estates, The Cliffs at Falls South, Claremont, and Rockwood At Augusta.