The HomeAid America National Board of Directors is a diverse and committed group of business and community leaders who support the mission of HomeAid – building new lives for America's homeless through housing and community outreach.
Sheryl Palmer is Chairman and CEO of Taylor Morrison, a leading national homebuilder and developer based in Scottsdale, Arizona since 2007. With more than 25 years of hands-on building experience, including leadership in land acquisition, sales and marketing, development and operations management, Ms. Palmer has led Taylor Morrison into the top ranks of America’s largest public homebuilders, following the company’s IPO in 2013. In recent years, Ms. Palmer successfully oversaw the company’s entrance into several new major metropolitan markets. Ms. Palmer has spent most of her career in the Arizona, California and Nevada real estate markets. Prior to Taylor Morrison, Ms. Palmer was a division president at Blackhawk Corporation, a builder of active adult communities based in northern California. In addition, she served with Pulte Homes for more than five years, beginning in the Phoenix market and ultimately serving as Nevada area president, supervising all aspects of operations for its Del Webb and Pulte communities.
Jeff is responsible for overseeing the homebuilding operations in the West Region. Jeff joined Lennar in January 1996. He started and managed Lennar's Orange County Division, which was the foundation for Lennar's expansion in California.
Jeff has been involved in the homebuilding and construction industry for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Lennar, Jeff headed Bramalea California, Inc. and was responsible for the homebuilding activities, financial restructuring and subsequent sale of the company's Southern California Division to Lennar in 1996.
Jeff helped found the Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation in 2001 which serves as a financial vehicle to assist homebuilders with the opportunity to help meet our country's significant homeless problem and allows homeowners to provide funds to support organizations that assist the transitionally homeless.
Tom Farrell is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of real estate finance experience across most geographies and layers of the capital stack. His current position is SVP/Division Manager of Umpqua Bank’s Homebuilder Finance Division. Umpqua Bank is a $26B commercial bank headquartered in Portland, OR. Prior to Umpqua Bank, Tom was Director of Business Development for Landmark Capital Advisors. Landmark sources debt and equity for commercial and residential real estate developers throughout the U.S. Before Landmark, Tom was with Sabal Financial Group as the Director of Home Builder Finance, where he formed a start-up homebuilder finance group providing non-recourse A&D and construction loans to homebuilders nationally. He was able to successfully take advantage of the gap created when commercial banks largely deserted the space during the housing downturn. Prior to Sabal, Tom was at Bank of America for 25 years in a number of positions of increasing responsibility in the Commercial Real Estate Bank. His last position at Bank of America was Division Executive in charge of the Homebuilder Division, which was the largest provider of financing to homebuilders nationally with over $13 billion in commitments. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his MBA from Pepperdine University. He is a member of ULI, NAHB, CBIA, HomeAid America (Treasurer), and the Cornell University Real Estate Council.
Karen Robertson, Esq. has focused on growth initiatives and forward thinking in the title industry for more than 15 years. Working her way from the ground up, Karen’s background includes various title, underwriting, and management roles. She now oversees national commercial and builder operations in California and Seattle as Senior Vice President, National Operations Manager at Fidelity National Title. Karen works with her team to tailor Fidelity’s services to each client’s unique needs. She holds a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Real Estate and is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Executive Senior Principal, President & CFO Lifescapes International, Inc.
Executive Senior Principal, President and CFO of Lifescapes International, Inc., Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs has been active in the construction industry since 1975. Her 40 years’ experience is focused on guiding, managing and seeing the growth of the results-oriented landscape architectural firm. She is a frequent guest speaker, lecturer and author on design and marketing-related issues for the industry. A graduate of Cal State University, Sonoma, Julie is actively involved in organizations such as Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers and is cofounder of HomeAid Orange County and HomeAid America (the national board) and is active on the Executive Committee. She is also a board member of the Southern Nevada HomeAid chapter.
Melissa brings expertise and 17 years’ experience in non-profit management, sales, governmental affairs, and community relations. After graduating from Southwestern University with degrees in Communications Studies and Sociology, Melissa has worked relentlessly in both the non-profit and corporate sectors. Her passion lies in building relationships and connecting individuals with a cause that will strengthen their communities.
Before joining HomeAid, Melissa served as Executive Director for Back on My Feet Austin, which combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. There, she led the fundraising efforts for the chapter and oversaw both program and development operations.
Prior to her time at Back on My Feet, Melissa launched the Hays County edition of Community Impact Newspaper. In this role, she was the face of the business journal, connecting business leaders and dignitaries with readers via quality editorial and advertising.
Previously, Melissa held positions as the Director of Program Services for Make-A-Wish of Central & South Texas, Campaign Manager for the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Youth Director for the Texas Quarter Horse Association. At each non-profit, she successfully increased fundraising and services by leveraging her contacts and resources in the community.
Melissa and her husband, Graham, reside in San Marcos with their two daughters, Adelaide and Isla, where they enjoy spending time in nature. They are frequent visitors to the San Marcos River as well as the greenbelt that backs up to their property. A former collegiate swimmer, Melissa now enjoys swimming both competitively on triathlon relay teams and recreationally with her family.
After serving on the Board of Directors of HomeAid Northern California for over 4 years, Cheryl stepped into the leadership role as Executive Director of HomeAid Northern California in 2011. Most recently, O’Connor served as Chief Executive Officer of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of the Bay Area and Regional Chairman of the BIA in 2008. Cheryl has thirty-five years of experience in marketing and selling new home communities in Northern California. In her career, she has held senior level management positions with Summerhill Homes, Warmington Homes, Taylor Woodrow, Ponderosa Homes and The O’Brien Group. Cheryl is a green building and affordable housing advocate and is a LEED Accredited Professional and holds a California Real Estate Broker’s license. Cheryl was inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame in 2016. She also serves on several Boards including Eden Housing and BIA Bay Area.
Bert Selva is president and CEO of Shea Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in America operating in nine states. Shea Homes was awarded Builder of the Year Award by Professional Builder Magazine and named one of America’s Best Builders by Builder Magazine.
Bert holds a Business degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from UCLA. He is also fluent in Spanish.
Bert was inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame in 2010 and received CEO of the Year by Builder and Big Builder magazines. Bert also received the Hearthstone Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award, which included a $100,000 donation to the charity of his choice.
Bert is currently an Executive Committee member of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He previously served as a member of St. Ignatius College Prep Board of Regents in San Francisco, National Vice President, MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association)/Augie’s Quest and Chairman of the Board for HomeAid America.
Chuck Stein has been the President and CEO of Environmental Stoneworks since 2009. Prior to that, he worked for Owens Corning for 12 years where he held several senior management roles including: VP Marketing, Building Materials; President, Cultured Stone; and President, Services and Solutions. He has over 20 years’ experience in the building materials industry. Stein earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Scott D. Stowell is the Retired Executive Chairman of the Board for CalAtlantic Group, Inc. one of the nation's leading publicly traded homebuilders. Stowell was instrumental in the creation of CalAtlantic Group Inc. which was formed through the merging of industry icons Standard Pacific Corp. and Ryland Group, Inc. and also for the recent merger with Lennar Homes.
For almost three decades, he has contributed to the achievements that distinguished Standard Pacific Homes as an industry leader. Stowell was named Director, Chief Executive Officer and President in January 2012. He was named President in March 2011. Prior to that he served as Chief Operating Officer from May 2007 to March 2011, President of the Southern California Region from September 2002 to May 2007 and President of our Orange County division from April 1996 to September 2002.
Stowell's distinguished academic career includes graduating Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in Organizational Communications. He obtained his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California at Irvine.
Ken joined Ashton Woods in 2009 as Executive Vice President - Operations for Dallas, Houston and Phoenix, and was soon promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer for the entire company. Prior to Ashton Woods, Ken worked for 16 years with Centex Homes, serving in every financial position up to Vice President of Finance, along with other senior executive roles in Land Acquisitions, Entitlement and Development, Division President and Regional Executive Vice President. Ken graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BS in Finance
SVP of Operations Northwest Region Builders FirstSource
Jason Behunin has over 30 years of leadership experience in the building industry. He began his career in 1990 building his own business as a reputable general contractor. Prior to joining Builders FirstSource in 2010 as the Director of Sales for Region 8, Jason served as the Director of Sales for The Parr Company, a regional LBM dealer. Jason’s vast industry knowledge, business aptitude and acumen were earned through years of hard work and relentless study. His unique perspective and insight have resulted in many leadership roles and career achievements encompassing the areas of Sales, Operations, Manufacturing, Installed Sales, and Training.
Cindy has been in the homebuilding industry for over 30 years. She recently became the Executive Director of HomeAid Colorado, which is the charity of choice for the Colorado Association of Homebuilders. The mission of HomeAid Colorado is to build new lives for Colorado’s homeless through housing and community outreach.
Cindy’s career in the industry began in the early 1990s in the Colorado Springs market, working for the HBA as Director of Sales and Marketing and then later as Director of Government Affairs, experiencing all aspects of the industry. During that time, she was also heavily involved in the Colorado Association of Home Builders.
Cindy spent a period of time in southern California working for HomeAid Orange County and assisted with the formation of HomeAid America. She served on the Board of Directors for HomeAid Colorado and now is very proud to be the Executive Director. The generosity extreme kindness of the home building industry has impressed her and impacted her career choices.
As a longtime volunteer for the Denver Metro HBA Cindy was the 2018 of the Professional Women in Building Council and Past Chair of the North Metro Building Council and has been a member of the HBA Associate Member Council.
Ms. Bennett manages Wells Fargo’s institutional homebuilding group that delivers banking services to both publicly traded residential homebuilders and a select group of larger, regionally focused private homebuilders headquartered across North America. Ms. Bennett’s career has spanned over 25 years in the financial services industry with the majority of her time spent in real estate. Prior to joining Wells Fargo she held a variety of banking and investment banking roles with national and money center banks focused on real estate lending and capital raising in the Western U.S. including Bank of America and Bank One. Ms. Bennett has a BA in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her professional and personal affiliations include HomeAid America, the Building Industry Association, Women’s Housing Leadership Group, Boy Scouts of America and the Presbyterian Church, USA.
Russ Beymer joined HomeAid in December 2019 as the founding Executive Director for the Orlando chapter. He comes to the non-profit world after a 30-plus year career in homebuilding across the eastern half of the U.S. His experience includes field and staff roles in construction, sales, administration, and marketing. In addition to owning his own business for 5 years, he has worked for Ryan Homes, Fischer Homes, and Beazer Homes. Always active in local HBA’s, it was his leadership on committees for the Greater Orlando Builders Association that led to the connections that helped create HomeAid Orlando and build a strong local board of directors. Russ has led charitable campaigns for builders with veterans’ projects and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s “Dream Home” program.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Russ is a graduate of Duquesne University and lives just north of “the most magical place” in Orlando with his wife and “extended” family. They love everything about the Florida lifestyle and are a very passionate bunch for ice hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
President Winchester Homes, A Member of the TRI Pointe Group
Brad Blank is the President of Winchester Homes, a member of the TRI Pointe Group. Brad joined TRI Pointe Group in 2014 as the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary during which time he provided guidance to the company’s Board of Directors and Senior Management Team, and played a critical role in the company’s strategic growth following the Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO) merger. Prior to joining TRI Pointe Group, Brad served as Corporate Counsel for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, working with a variety of public and private companies focusing on mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, securities offerings and general corporate advice.
Brad received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Pepperdine University and earned his law degree from the University of San Diego.
With more than 30 years of experience in the kitchen and bath industry, including 25 years at Delta Faucet Company, Jon brings extensive knowledge to his role as vice president of sales. Previously held positions within Delta include, vice president of trade sales, vice president of sales strategy as well as sales manager. Jon has served on The HomeAid Board of Directors for 4 years and also served on several industry advisory committees to assist wholesalers, builders and K&B dealers drive their strategies forward. Jon is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and currently lives in Indianapolis, IN. He enjoys golfing, bicycling and spending time with his wife and three sons.
Brian Davidson started working with Van Metre Homes as an entry-level accountant right out of college, and he takes great pride in the extensive experience he has gained as a “lifer” at the Van Metre Companies. With over 30 years' experience in the Washington, DC housing market, Brian is a member of various homebuilder associations in Virginia. He is the current Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) President, Second Vice President for the Home Builders Association of Virginia, and a Past President and Life Director for HomeAid Northern Virginia.
Randy Florence is Builder Division manager for US Bank Home Mortgage since 2013. Randy has over 30 years’ experience in Mortgage Lending with specialty in supporting new home Builders. His career has included roles of Senior Leadership, oversight of credit risk, secondary markets and fulfillment. He is an accomplished trainer and public speaker.
Randy is currently on the Executive committee of CVEP (the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership) as well as being a Board member of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. He is also a previous executive committee member of HomeAid/Inland Empire chapter.
Adrian Foley is President and COO of Brookfield Residential. Prior to that he ran the company's Western operations as the Western Region President of Brookfield Homes Los Angeles. Adrian Foley is responsible for strategic planning oversight and management direction for the compnay, one of the most creative and dynamic homebuilding teams in North America.
Prior to joining Brookfield Homes Los Angeles in 1996 Foley held the position of Senior Development Manager for Taylor Woodrow Homes, where he played a major role in the development of numerous award-winning neighborhoods in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. Born and raised in England, Adrian holds a BS degree in Building. He has been married to his wife, Lisa, since 1990 and they have one son, Austin.
Mike, as Chief Operating Officer for Landsea Holdings Corporation, is responsible for overseeing the company’s US homebuilding operations. He also assists in the development of the company’s overall strategic initiatives, including market expansions and company acquisitions, while providing guidance and support on the integration of the company’s domestic and international business. Prior to joining Landsea, Mike spent over 30 years in the homebuilding industry as a senior level executive at national homebuilders KB Home, CalAtlantic (Ryland Homes) and Taylor Morrison.
In addition, Mike, as a founding partner, worked with two of the US most notable Blue-Chip private equity firms, Starwood Capital Group and Colony Capital, in creating two of the nation’s largest specialized residential land platforms. Mike received his BS from Arizona State University. He currently resides in Laguna Beach, CA, with his wife Sheila. They have 3 grown children.
Head of Commercial Real Estate Banking Bank of America / Merrill Lynch
Katy Gnapp leads the client management team responsible for delivering a broad set of financial solutions to professional commercial real estate investors serviced by the Commercial Real Estate Banking (CREB) division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Based in Chicago, Katy has been with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, related subsidiaries, and predecessor institutions since 1982 serving the commercial real estate industry.
She is past President of the Real Estate Lenders Association and a member of the Real Estate Networking Trust, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Katy also serves on the Board of HomeAid America.
Katy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Mitchell Goodman joined Resmark in 2003. As Chief Operating Officer, he oversees Resmark’s Capital Markets (both debt and equity), and manages Resmark’s banking relationships, loan originations, lines of credit, business development, and strategic planning initiatives and execution. In addition, he is responsible for cash management and treasury function, as well as administrative activities.
Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasurer, and began his career at Resmark as an Asset Manager overseeing a 3,000-unit portfolio of geographically and product diversified assets located in California, Arizona, and Florida.
Mr. Goodman is a member of the Board of Directors of HomeAid America, the National Association of Home Builders Multifamily Leadership Board, and the Executive Committee of the Board of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. In addition, he sits on the Anti-Defamation League’s National Commission and the Board of the organization’s Pacific Southwest Region. He attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Business Administration.
Dan Hanson is widely recognized in the mortgage industry and represents the industry at numerous public speaking events such as Mastermind, PCBC and NAR. Currently, Dan is the CPO for loanDepot, the fifth largest mortgage provider in America. In addition to Dan’s professional resume, he is an active member of several boards: University of Redlands, HomeAid America, Free Wheelchair Mission and Hope International.
Mr. Jaffe is the Co-CEO and Co-President of Lennar Corporation? of Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN). In 1995, Mr. Jaffe moved to California to lead the company’s expansion into that state and the West. He spearheaded efforts to acquire land, other homebuilders and developers including such companies/entities as Bramalea Homes, Pacific Greystone Homes, Coto de Caza, Stevenson Ranch and CalAtlantic Homes. Additionally, he oversees Lennar’s acquisition of Mare Island, Hunters Point, El Toro and Treasure Island. These acquisitions helped transition Lennar into the nation’s leading homebuilder.
Mr. Jaffe serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Lennar Corporation as well as Five Point Holdings, Opendoor and True Anthem.
He received an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Florida and pursued graduate studies in the same field at Georgia Tech University before joining Lennar in 1983.
Executive Director Home Builders Foundation-HomeAid Portland
Brenda is originally from Alaska, and has lived in the Portland area for over twenty years. She attended Boise State University and Portland State University and in 2016 completed the PSU Project Management Certificate Program.
Brenda is the Executive Director of Home Builders Foundation-HomeAid Portland where she started in 2011. During her time with HBF, we have increased the number and size of our shelter development projects, improved our overall in-kind donations as well as dramatically increased our cash grants to our shelter projects. In addition, we have excelled at building relationships between the service provider community, the building industry and local jurisdictions.
Brenda’s community involvement outside of work has focused on work in her local neighborhood and local schools, serving as a Vice President on the Portland Council PTA Board of Directors, and starting, implementing and maintaining a food backpack program for students facing food insecurity at two low income schools. Brenda was honored for her work and dedication to families and students with the prestigious Oregon PTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Brenda and her husband Dave have been married for 27 years, and have two kids, Andrew and Abigail, a foster daughter, and enjoy cycling, skiing, hiking, camping and backpacking, traveling and spending time with their neighbors.
AIA, Senior Principal, director of Design Bassenian/Lagoni Architects
As Director of Design, Dave leads the firm’s architectural efforts. With more than 30 years of experience in the residential arena, Dave combines a wealth of knowledge with excitement and energy and serves as relationship manager with a number of our builder-developer clients. In addition, Dave leads the practice’s charrette process – a week-long design session that provides clients with creative input and expedited completion of new plans and elevations. As Senior Principal, Dave helps develop talent in the design department. His expertise extends to the industry as a whole as well; Dave is an active member of the American Institute of Architects. He has devoted his time and talent to charitable efforts as well, leading the design on numerous HomeAid Project Playhouse submissions. A licensed architect, Dave has been with Bassenian Lagoni since 1986. He received his degree in architecture from Kent State University. He is licensed in California, Arizona, Nevada and Massachusetts.
Alim Malik is President of Jackson Tidus and Chair of its Litigation Services Group. He has extensive experience in litigating complex business cases before federal and state courts, as well as before administrative agencies. He has represented numerous corporate entities on trade secret protection strategies, trade secret litigation, cyber intrusion risk reduction strategies, and litigation under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and its state companion, the California Penal Code Section 502. Mr. Malik has handled numerous real estate suits relating to large-scale developments including partnership, accounting, and environmental matters. Mr. Malik has significant experience in litigating and resolving financial disputes.
Chief Executive Officer Hanley Wood | Meyers Research
Mr. Meyers has been an industry leader in market research for 30 years. With the recent merger of Meyers Research and Hanley Wood/Metrostudy, he now oversees the dominant research, media, and consulting company in the industry.
Jeff specializes in on-going advisory services and manages all consulting assignments for several top ten public home builders through his direct involvement with land acquisition strategies, product development, segmentation, and positioning. Highly regarded as an industry expert for real estate trends and issues, Mr. Meyers is quoted frequently in several national publications including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. His recent speaking engagements include the National Association of Home Builders Council, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the Southern California Building Industry Association, and the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Meyers is highly accomplished and regarded as the leading expert on residential trends in the real estate market.
John currently works as a General Manager at a Maryland Division of NVHomes, an NVR, Inc. company and top five national homebuilder. Previous to his current role, John spent 22 years with Winchester Homes, Inc as Executive Vice President for Winchester Homes, Inc, a Bethesda, MD based subsidiary of The TRI Pointe Group, Inc. He is currently an active board member of HomeAid Northern Virginia, HomeAid America's local chapter that builds and renovates homeless shelters and transitional housing for Northern Virginia care providers who serve homeless families and individuals. Monacci has served on this board for over a decade, serving as Board President in 2011. He received the organization’s President’s Award in 2014. He is also an active Board member of the Evan Foundation, an organization which funds research for Pediatric cancer.
He received a B.A. from Providence College, a Graduate Legal Certificate from Georgetown University, and an M.S. in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University.
Jay Moss is the Chief Marketing Officer for Woodside Homes. Jay joined the team in 2010 where he was responsible for re-branding Woodside Homes under new management. Jay is responsible for sales management, new products, merchandising and market positioning. In addition, Jay sits on the Land Committee making collaborative decisions with regards to land acquisitions and new market strategies. As an integral part of the Woodside executive team, Jay was deeply involved in the acquisition by Sekisui House, Ltd. of Woodside Homes in 2017. Sekisui House is Japan’s largest homebuilder with operations worldwide including Australia, Singapore, China and the United States.
Jay Moss is a thirty-five year veteran of the homebuilding industry. Prior to joining Woodside Homes, Jay held multiple senior leadership roles at KB Home. Jay and his wife, Diana, are longtime supporters of many local and national charitable organizations. Jay has previously taught Real Estate Economics at University of California, San Diego, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University.
Vice President, National Accounts The Sherwin-Williams Company
Michael leads Sherwin-Williams' National Accounts organization, which is a dedicated, nationwide team offering innovative solutions for strategic clients in the residential, multi-family, commeercial, hospitality, healthcare and government market segments. His team works to align the significant resources at Sherwin-Williams with key client stakeholders, often through exclusive partnerships with many of the country's leading companies. Mike's 30-year career includes the last 22 with Sherwin-Williams, joining the organization as part of the Duron Paint acquisition in 2004. Mike is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Mike is a proud Eagle Scout and supporter of scouting.
Aiko Tan, MBA brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the helm of HomeAid Los Angeles. As a Founding Director and Board Officer of Illumination Foundation, Aiko helped lead the non-profit from its inception to a $9 million organization serving hundreds of homeless individuals per year in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. As Director of Recuperative Care, Executive Director of Healthcare Services, and finally Director of Special Projects, her leadership was essential to building recuperative care into an anchor program in the homeless healthcare safety net in 3 counties. Under her leadership, the Foundation treated more than 2,500 clients in dire need of health services, and the organization continually expanded to serve greater numbers of Southern California’s most vulnerable.
In addition to her decade of experience in the non-profit sector, Aiko also worked as a Senior Research Associate at UCLA for 15 years, developing and implementing new neurobiological research methods that have since become cornerstone techniques. Focusing on subjects such as Virology, Micro-surgery, and Molecular Biology, her work has been published in more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles. Following her work in the lab, she then earned her MBA at UC Irvine.
Senior Vice President First American Title Insurance Company
Joe Tavarez is Senior Vice President of First American Title Insurance Company’s Homebuilder Services Division where he develops and manages all First American homebuilder business nationwide, including administrating service levels, overseeing all sales, and production of new business and products.
Tavarez began his career in the financial services industry with positions at C.I.T. Corporation, Commercial Credit Business Loans, and GlenFed Mortgage. Beginning in 1990, he served as President of Spring Mountain Escrow and later, its sister company, Pioneer Savings and Loan. Tavarez worked at WMC Mortgage Company and Fidelity National Title Company in similar capacities prior to joining First American in 2000.
Tavarez received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and attended the University of San Francisco School of Law. He is active in the Building Industry Association, Rancheros Visitadores and El Viaje de Portola and serves on the boards of HomeAid America and the Lott Award.
As President of Westwood Insurance Agency, Alan is responsible for the overall performance and management of the agency including strategic direction, partnership development, sales, customer service, and operations. During his nearly 30-year tenure with Westwood, he has developed and maintained procedures and servicing standards managed insurance company relationships and has driven substantial agency growth by leveraging its homegrown talent, technology, and operational efficiencies, all focused on pursuing new insurance markets and distribution channels. Under Alan’s leadership, the agency has grown to nearly 450,000 policyholders with premiums in excess of $435 million and consistently ranked in the Top 30 of Insurance Journal’s Top 100 P&C Agencies since 2017. Westwood has a national footprint with operation centers in CA, TX, and IA, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of QBE, a global insurer, and reinsurer. Alan holds a Property and Casualty license and Surplus Lines license in all 50 states and an MGA license in TX.
He attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California, and De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines.
Alan’s personal time is spent enjoying the company of his family and close friends which in pre-COVID times included frequent visits to the Philippines. He looks forward to resuming travel and his tradition of annual visits to London and Paris – two cities he loves immensely.
Director of Business Development CORE Construction
David Ellis, CAE, has served as Executive Director for a number of successful Home Builders Associations over the years. Most recently, he is the Florida Director of Business Development for CORE Construction. He previously served as the Executive Vice President of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and has served over 25 years as an executive with other local building industry organizations. David has been recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as the best new Executive Officer in the nation and was honored in 2003 as NAHB’s Executive Officer of the Year. He is a past President of the Home Builders Association of Georgia Executive Officers Council and the NAHB Executive Officers Council. In 2014, he was recognized by the NAHB Professional Women in Building as the Executive Officer of the Year. David graduated cum laude from Furman University with a B.A. degree in History.