BIA Online Magazine - April

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April 2022

Southern California

BUILDER The Magazine of the Building Industry Association of Southern California

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT Maryam Brown President, SoCalGas

Nicole Burdette President, SoCal Land & Housing, Brookfield Properties Donna Deutchman President & CEO Homes 4 Families: Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods Get Ready for BIASC’s 100th Anniversary

DESIGNED BY


HELP SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH DUAL-ENERGY DESIGN California is a global leader in the effort to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that affect our climate. Renewable natural gas (RNG) can play a key role in helping to achieve the state’s GHG emissions reductions goals. RNG is made by capturing methane from organic sources like dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants and processing it for everyday use just like traditional natural gas. Since methane is twenty-five times more potent than carbon dioxide as a GHG1, capturing the methane and using it as a source of energy is significantly better than letting it escape into the atmosphere. In fact, a 2018 study by Navigant Consulting showed that replacing 20 percent of the natural gas supply with RNG would accomplish the same level of GHG emissions reductions as converting all new and existing buildings to electric-only energy.2 SoCalGas has a goal of providing RNG to 20 percent of our core natural gas supply by 2030. For today’s builder, that means constructing next-generation new homes with dual-energy design can both appeal to customer preferences for natural gas appliances and be a part of California’s GHG reduction strategy. Plus, rebates and incentives are available now to builders of new single-family and multi-family homes who equip their projects with qualifying energy-efficient natural gas appliances and controller devices through the Energy Efficient New Homes Program. For information on program requirements and how to apply, visit: socalgas.com/eenh SoCalGas® — Your Partner in the Clean Energy Future All photos are for informational purposes. SoCalGas is currently practicing all safety protocols consistent with local and health agency guidelines. 1 IPCC (2007). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2 Navigant Consulting, based on its 2018 report, “Gas Strategies for a Low-Carbon California Future.” The analysis from the original published report has been updated to reflect the 2030 60 percent RPS goal established in SB 100. The Energy Efficient New Homes Program is funded by Southern California Gas Gompany (SoCalGas) customers and administered by SoCalGas, under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Program funds, including any funds utilized for rebates or incentives, will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until such funds are no longer available. This program may be modified or terminated without prior notice. The selection, purchase, and ownership of goods and/or services are the sole responsibility of customer. SoCalGas makes no warranty, whether express or implied, including the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, of goods or services selected by customer. SoCalGas does not endorse, qualify, or guarantee the work of any third party. Eligibility requirements apply; see the program conditions for details.

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Southern California

© 2022 Southern California Gas Company. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights Reserved. N22J062A 0319

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April 2022


What’s Inside BIASC Chairman Message Dave Bartlett

5

Governing Board

6

BIASC President Message Jeff Montejano

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New Members

8

Letter From Editor Craig Foster

9

BIA Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter Economic Forecast & Housing Summit

10-11

BIASC 100th Anniversary Kick Off

12-13

BIASC 2023 Rose Parade Participation

15-17

Building Industry Show 2022

18

Inside Edition: Empowerment

19-53

BIASC Team Roster

54

BIA Staff Spotlight: De’Andre Valencia

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BIA Staff Spotlight: Christen Carter

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Renewing Members

60-61

GSMC Upcoming Events

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Southern California

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April 2022

Southern California

BUILDER April 2022 Chief Editor Craig Foster Chief Operating Officer/ Executive Vice President Editor & Production Coordinator Karissa DiStefano BIASC Director of Public Affairs Production Editors Randy Carver Elain Ng Kovach Marketing BIASC Reporter Laer Pearce 2022 BIASC Chairman Dave Bartlett Brookfield Residential Vice President, Land BIASC CEO Jeff Montejano Chief Executive Officer

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BUILDER is a copyrighted publication produced by the Building Association of Southern California. Advertising and editorial inquiries and materials should be emailed to: kwillette@biasc.org. All publication rights are fully reserved.

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Southern California

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April 2022


BI A S C Chairman Message:

Dave Bartlett

2022 BIASC Chairman VP, Land Entitlement, Land & Housing Development, Brookfield Residential Like Robert Frost’s traveler who came upon two roads, Southern California and our state leadership and governance must choose the road ahead that will make – as he wrote – all the difference. But which way will we go? Abraham Lincoln said: The best way to predict the future is to create it. Let’s create our best future. But let’s not be unrealistic about what is between us now and where we need to go.

Recently, we brought this message to Sacramento and to the state leaders that are, at times, both obstacle and ally. A specific point that I think is taking hold in the State Capitol is this: It may be 2022, but the fact is advocates like us are still talking about many of the same obstacles as 1992: CEQA, transportation, housing attainability, taxes, regulations, and other mandates. We didn’t need a time machine to have a 30-year-old conversation. We just had to realize that Sacramento is still wrestling with some very old challenges.

To promote economic development, make the case for housing and infrastructure development, create an environment for new jobs, to make stronger communities and an even greater place for our people, our children, to live, play, work, raise a family…in Orange County and in California is a challenge...regionally, governmentally, environmentally. Navigating this is not going to be a straight line.

But this time what we said seemed to make an impact.

Housing supply and attainability is the #1 crisis in California outside the pandemic. And there are lots of challenges at every level, including, for example, SCAG’s Greenprint - which, if implemented, would be a disaster for housing production in southern California.

We can do far more than ask state officials to change with the times and reform old rules. We can lead. We can build. We can grow.

I sensed a spark of necessity in the Capitol, as well as a better understanding that our region and our industries are primed to lead, invested in ideas, driven by discovery – and absolutely essential to not just Southern California’s future…but California’s future.

In short, we can show everybody that we mean business.

There’s no other way to say it. There are obstacles between us and the We know what we’re up against. These aren’t just difficult days in our road ahead. quest to supply workforce housing in the region. They are truly tough times with headwinds. I strongly believe that what is inside every obstacle is the chance to improve our condition. What stands in the way isn’t a sign for a But tough times make strong leaders. And strong leaders make great U-Turn. times. What stands in the way becomes the way. Ryan Holiday said this in his book…The Obstacle Is The Way. How are we going to do this? It’s going to take all of us, and it’s going to take everything we’ve got.

And the strong leaders we need - the ones I’ll stand with and stand for - are right here with us, serving on our BIASC Governing Board, Chapter Boards, and councils. Thank you for being on this journey together.

These are the stakes: To build the future and build the communities to First in line for the fight are the two organizations I help represent: The build the neighborhoods and homes that Southern California families Orange County Business Council and the Building Industry Association dream of, and aspire to, and have a right to claim as their own. of Southern California. Not one us should ever forget that collectively we are the voice of No longer parallel parts, the axis of these two amazing organizations this region. We are the voice of our friends and neighbors. We are the is united in mission, in spirit, and in purpose. Housing, infrastructure, voice of our children. We are indispensable to their dreams. workforce development, innovation. We are aligned - and our message is clear. Now let’s get to work.

Southern California

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Thank you. 

April 2022

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BIA of Southern California

GOVERNING BOARD MEET THE 2022 BIASC GOVERNING BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DAVE BARTLETT

TOM GRABLE

ALAN BOUDREAU

BIASC CHAIRMAN

BIASC IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN

BIASC SECRETARY & TREASURER

BIASC EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

BIASC VICE CHAIRS

CHRIS EDGAR

MIKE GARTLAN

NICOLE MURRAY

JEREMY PARNESS

JEFF MONTEJANO

CRAIG FOSTER

PULTE GROUP

KB HOME

SHEA HOMES

LENNAR

BIASC CEO

BIASC COO

BIASC GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS

MIKE BALSAMO

MICHAEL BATTAGLIA

CHARLES GALE

VALERIE HARDMAN

JENNIFER HERNANDEZ

MARK HIMMELSTEIN

RANCHO MISSION VIEJO

THE NEW HOME COMPANY

METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT

OUTDOOR DIMENSIONS

HOLLAND & KNIGHT

NEWMEYER DILLION

DAVE LITTLE

GREG MCWILLIAMS

ERREN O’LEARY

RANDY RICHARDS

LEWIS GROUP OF COMPANIES

RELIABLE WHOLESALE LUMBER

WES KEUSDER

SUNTI KUMJIM

KEUSDER HOMES

MBK RENTAL LIVING

WILLIAMS HOMES

ALI SAHABI

STEVE SCHUYLER

GREG SHAIA

MIKE TAYLOR

IRVINE COMPANY

RICHMOND AMERICAN HOMES

TRI POINTE HOMES

OPTIMUM GROUP

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BIASC.ORG

FIVE POINT

PETER VANEK INTEGRAL COMMUNITIES

Southern California

JONATHAN WELDY MERIDIAN LAND DEVEOPMENT COMPANY

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April 2022


BI A S C President Message:

Jeff Montejano

BIASC Chief Executive Officer

BIASC continues to grow as a regional leader for housing and businesses in Southern California. The successful strategic execution of our advocacy, events, and educational programs throughout the Coronavirus pandemic is a true testament to the strength and resiliency of our members. Our Baldy View, Los Angeles/Ventura, Orange County, and Riverside Chapters are stronger thanks to their respective Governing Boards and their ability to engage, collaborate and deliver results for our members. Of course, this could not happen without the full support and guidance of BIASC’s Regional Governing Board, which continues to lead us in the effort to achieve a more sustainable future for the long term. BIASC staff will continue to support our members across the region and beyond, helping to advance our mission. Our team’s collective talent, work ethic, and commitment to our members will help ensure that great opportunities will continue to lie ahead. Over the next few months, BIASC will be announcing several new programs and advocacy initiatives that will help our industry strategically mobilize while also creating new pathways for networking and business opportunities. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from newly announced guest speaker Governor Gray Davis (RET. 37th Governor of California), and our exclusive Land & Development Panel featuring Randall Lewis (Lewis Group of Companies), Greg McWilliams (FivePoint), Paul Johnson (Rancho Mission Viejo), and Nicole Murray, (Shea Homes) at our upcoming BIA Los Angeles/Ventura Housing Summit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on April 27th. We are very proud of the leaders featured in this issue showcasing women and diversity in our industry, including Maryam Brown (President, Southern California Gas Company), Nicole Burdette (President, SoCal Land & Housing, Brookfield Properties), Donna Deutchman (CEO, Homes 4 Families/Hero’s for Homes), Lisa Fjelstad (Division President, Taylor Morrison), Anne Leets (Leets Consortium) and Joan Marcus Webb (BIAOC 2015 Past President, BIAOC Women’s Leadership Conference Founder, California Homebuilding Foundation Lifetime Trustee). Additionally, join me in congratulating our own BIASC Chair, Dave Bartlett, who was installed as the 2022 Orange County Business Council Chair. 

Southern California

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April 2022

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WELCOME

PLEASE WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS

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Learn More at biasc.org/membership Southern California BUILDER | April 2022


BI A S C Letter from the Editor:

The BIASC Team’s Pledge

TO OUR VALUED MEMBERS I have the honor, along with BIASC’s staff and consultants, to work for one of the most respected and effective industry associations in California, the Building Industry Association of Southern California. We are proud to serve our members and help advocate for one of the most fundamental of human needs – shelter. Our goal is to help our members in any way we can as you strive to provide Southern Californians with greater housing opportunities. It is amazing to think that next year will mark the 100th year that BIA has been the collective voice for the regional homebuilding industry. That tells us that even in the 1920s there were enough challenges facing homebuilders to merit the creation of a local industry association – and the challenges have increased exponentially since then. Today, BIASC’s staff works with our members on the Herculean task of making homebuilding feasible and profitable despite California’s overly complex and litigious regulatory environment. Wherever homebuilders need a respected voice – be it with city staff, regulatory agencies, local government, the media or elected representatives in Sacramento or Washington DC – BIASC is a recognized brand that stands for knowledge, integrity, and creative solutions as a voice for California’s homebuilders and the Californians who aspire to homeownership. Sometimes keeping up with and responding to all the proposed and new laws, policies, and procedures that could affect our industry is like drinking from a fire hose, which is why we never forget that it is also important to relax from time to time and enjoy the companionship of others in the industry. Your Association has staff members that excel in both of these areas – and others that excel in supporting them as they excel. One of the first things a new staff member learns here is that our members are our first priority, so we work together to ensure that we deliver the best possible services to you.

Southern California

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April 2022

Craig Foster

Chief Operating Officer/ Executive Vice President

This was true even in the most discouraging months of the pandemic. We might not have been able to work in close proximity to each other back then, but that didn’t stop us from working closely together, first, to make sure homebuilding was considered an essential service and second, that our members had the tools they needed to comply with the new workplace regulations. I recently reminded our staff of BIASC’s vision, which is to be a leading advocate for thousands of building industry leaders who are committed to a better future for California by building communities, creating jobs and ensuring housing opportunities for everyone. I told them it might be easy for them to lose sight of how their job fit into such a big vision, but it does because BIASC’s big picture is actually a mosaic. Every job we do is a tile in the mosaic – every member service, every issue paper, every event, every dues statement, every phone call with a member is an essential part of the whole. It’s the same at your company, and we are a successful industry because even though there is plenty of competition, we all work together towards common goals. In response to the unprecedented challenges the industry faces in BIASC’s 99th year, we have undertaken the greatest advocacy effort in the Association’s history. In our Perfect Storm webinar series and our electronic advocacy efforts, we are engaging our builder members, our associate members, their employees and their service providers to leverage this industry’s combined power to protect the homebuilding industry from unreasonable laws and regulations that threaten homebuilding in California. It feels great to see the industry’s people come together as never before, so if you haven’t joined us yet, please do so by going through the Perfect Storm portal at www.biasc.org. All of us at BIASC are proud to be a part of this industry, and we thank you, our members, for giving us the opportunity to facilitate our industry’s mutual and productive cooperation. 

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2022 | 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM SPEAKER

MODERATOR

OPENING REMARKS

CHRISTOPHER THORNBERG

BILL MCREYNOLDS BIA/LAV CHAPTER PRESIDENT,

LOS ANGELES SUPERVISOR KATHRYN BARGER,

WARMINGTON RESIDENTIAL

5TH DISTRICT

FOUNDER, BEACON ECONOMICS, LLC.

SPEAKER

SPEAKER

GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS ( RET.) 37TH GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

GOVERNOR PETE WILSON (RET.) 36TH GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

SCHEDULE 3:00 – 5:30 PM

LIBRARY TOUR (OPEN TO MEMBERS)

4:00 – 5:30 PM

ALL REGIONS BOARD MEETING (OPEN TO MEMBERS)

5:30 – 6:00 PM VIP RECEPTION

6:00 - 8:00 PM PROGRAM

You're invited to BIA of Southern California's Housing Strategy Summit & VIP Reception at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with BIASC Leadership, Chapter Presidents, and special guests panels featuring local elected Southern Sponsorships available. representatives. Network with Southern California's top builders and landowners. April 2022

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California

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*All views and opinions expressed by BIA Southern California are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library


LAND & DEVELOPMENT PANEL

GREG S. BIELLI

PAUL JOHNSON

PRESIDENT & CEO, TEJON RANCH

EVP - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, RANCHO MISSION VIEJO

RANDALL LEWIS

NICOLE MURRAY

GREG MCWILLIAMS

SENIOR EVP - MARKETING, LEWIS GROUP OF COMPANIES

DIVISION PRESIDENT, SHEA HOMES

CHIEF POLICY OFFICER & VP, FIVEPOINT

EVENT LOCATION:

RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY 40 PRESIDENTIAL DR, SIMI VALLEY, CA 93065

Southern California

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April 2022

TO SPONSOR PLEASE CONTACT LAURA BARBER LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

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Southern California

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April 2022


BIASC

100 Anniversary th

Kick Off:

Looking Back and Looking Forward WE ARE 99 years ago, the Building Industry Association of Southern California was first formed. A lot can change over 100 years – including the median price for a new home, which was around $6,296. Today, BIASC remains the leading advocate for thousands of building industry leaders who are committed to a better future for California by building communities, creating jobs and ensuring housing opportunities for everyone.

The BIASC is one of the largest of its kind in the United States. Our 1,000 members include the smallest to the largest home builders, developers, contractors, suppliers and skilled labor representing over 1 million employees and 10 billion in annual revenues, making us one of the largest building industry associations in the United States.

Our services are essential to the success of our members. For almost 99 years, we have provided a collective voice in the public policy arena helping builders continue to do business in California’s complex regulatory environment including front-line knowledge of proposed/new laws, policies, and procedures that could directly affect your business.

Join Us as We Celebrate a Century of BIA This year we invite you to join the kickoff to our 100th year anniversary through a variety of celebrations to commemorate this exciting milestone beginning with our new 99-year anniversary logo. We also have some exiting kickoff events and new programs planned for this year, so stay tuned. Additionally, we will continue celebrating our anniversary through special features in this magazine for the remainder of the year. Most exciting of all, we will ring in the new year 2023 by showcasing a float – designed and decorated by BIASC members – in the 2023 Rose Parade. We’re ready to get the party started – so we hope you are too!

New BIASC Celebratory 99 Year Logo This year, to kick off our approaching 100th Anniversary, our classic BIA logo has been swapped out for a new logo celebrating our 99 years as an association. We may sound old, but we feel young – because the celebrations are only just beginning! 

Southern California

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April 2022

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Special Announcement:

Building Industry of Southern California Slated to Participate in 2023 Rose Parade Southern California

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April 2022

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Southern California

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April 2022


Building Industry of Southern California Slated to Participate in

2023 Rose Parade

The Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC) is pleased to announce its participation in the 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. BIASC will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in conjunction with the parade. Soon to be in its 100th year, the Building Industry of Southern California is a leading advocate for thousands of building industry leaders who are committed to building communities, creating jobs, and ensuring housing opportunities for everyone through advocacy, education, and networking programs. Offering four-chapter locations, members are made up of home builders, developers, contractors, suppliers and skilled labor. The BIASC network represents thousands of employees making BIASC one of the largest building industry associations in the United States. BIASC previously sponsored floats in past Rose Parades: •

1998 “No place like home” Ruby Slippers

1999 “3 Pigs” 1998 75th Anniversary

2000 Cinderella Castle and Gold Slippers “Home is your Castle”

2001 Tree House “Builders Care”

2002 Bird House “Builders Care”

While BIASC has not yet announced their float design concept, the theme for the 134th Rose Parade presented by Honda is “Turning the Corner.” In conjunction with their parade participation, BIASC is excited to host not-yet-announced events and celebrations surrounding their 100th Anniversary. “Our industry represents a multi-generational legacy of women and men who have worked together to help build communities and much needed housing for Southern California,” said BIASC CEO Jeff Montejano. “As we embark on our organization’s centennial anniversary, our participation in the most iconic parade will enable us to share our history and how we’re embracing change for the future while sharing the pride and responsibility of our homebuilding industry. Like many industries, we have persevered through adversity and thrived as a collective organization - it’s time to celebrate.” Please stay tuned for information and exciting opportunities to be announced leading up the BIA of Southern California’s 100th Year Celebration in the 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Southern California

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April 2022

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SEPTEMBER 14-15, 2022

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You’re invited to the most anticipated event of the year! Save the Date for BIS 2022 - September 14-15, 2022! Learn More at www.buildingindustryshow.com Southern California

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April 2022 BIASC.ORG


EMPOWERMENT

Maryam Brown

President, SoCalGas

Nicole Burdette

Division President, Taylor Morrison

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Donna Deutchman

President, SoCal Land & Housing, President & CEO Brookfield Properties Homes 4 Families: Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods

Lisa Fjelstad

Southern California

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

: n o i t i d E e d i Ins

April 2022

Anne Leets

CEO/Executive Coach/ Professional Speaker

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

APRIL BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER ECONOMIC FORECAST & HOUSING SUMMIT RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY APRIL 27, 2022

MAY BIASC GREATER SALES & MARKETING COUNCIL (GSMC) SPRING MODEL TOUR ORANGE COUNTY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY OR INLAND EMPIRE MAY 4, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER TEQUILA TASTING SHOPOFF REALTY INVESTMENTS MAY 5, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER 55TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT COTO DE CAZA GOLF CLUB MAY 9, 2022

CSBC 2022 OUTLOOK BREAKFAST GREEN RIVER GOLF CLUB MAY 18, 2022

BIASC COUNCIL ON SAGE BREAKFAST TO BE ANNOUNCED MAY 19, 2022

BIA RIVERSIDE CHAPTER GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS WORKSHOP TO BE ANNOUNCED MAY 19, 2022

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QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

Southern

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R E G I S T E R & S P O N S O R A T B I A S C . OCalifornia RG/EVENTS

April 2022


Leadership Conference

Joan Webb

BIAOC Past President, BIAOC Women’s Leadership Conference Founder, California Homebuilding Foundation Lifetime Trustee

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

BIAOC Women’s

In my thirty-five years in homebuilding, I’ve never been more optimistic than I am today about women in our industry. When I founded the BIA/OC Women’s Leadership Conference in 2015, I could count on one hand women in c-suite positions in Southern California homebuilding. Fast forward seven years and one pandemic later, and just look at the stories of success of the women who are featured in this magazine, and it is not just senior leadership that was ripe for disruption, but every facet of our business has been enriched by the growth in the numbers of women in our ranks. Let’s pivot to the elephants in our conference rooms….diversity, equity, and inclusion. Yes, gender is part of this broader discussion, but people of color, differing ethnicities, and sexual orientation are woefully underrepresented in our industry. We simply cannot reach our potential of understanding our customers and what they need and desire in their homes until we ourselves become more diverse. It starts with your next interview and hire. It grows by nurturing an inclusive culture in your company. It succeeds with pay equity. I’m so proud that BIASC recognizes the work that has been accomplished - and all that the work that still needs to be achieved by dedicating this issue to women, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each of you can make a difference by sharing your stories, finding your own voice, and taking action today. Joan Marcus Webb Past President, BIA/OC 2015 Founder, BIA/OC Women’s Leadership Conference California Homebuilding Foundation, Lifetime Trustee

Southern California

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April 2022

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

JUNE BIA COACHELLA VALLEY S-CHAPTER HOUSING SUMMIT WESTIN RANCHO MIRAGE JUNE 2, 2022

BIA COACHELLA VALLEY S-CHAPTER GOLF TOURNAMENT TO BE ANNOUNCED JUNE 3, 2022

BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER MECHANICS LIEN SEMINAR ONLINE EVENT JUNE 3, 2022

BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT MOORPARK GOLF COURSE JUNE 20, 2022

BIASC SWIG HALL OF FAME CELEBRATION AT PCBC SWIG - SAN FRANCISCO JUNE 21, 2022

BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER & BIA RIVERSIDE CHAPTER BBQ TO BE ANNOUNCED JUNE 29, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER MODEL HOME TOUR LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

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QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

Southern

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R E G I S T E R & S P O N S O R A T B I A S C . OCalifornia RG/EVENTS

April 2022


In 2019, Maryam Brown was named the President of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), one of BIASC’s most active members and industry partners. She previously served as SoCalGas’ Vice President of Federal Government Affairs following positions in Washington D.C. including Senior Energy and Environment Counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Energy Chief Counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Policy Counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Republican Policy Committee. In this wide-ranging interview with Southern California Builder, she discusses SoCalGas’ close ties with the building industry and its many incentive programs, and how the company and its products can support California’s climate change goals. Southern California Builder: Let’s start with the basics. Tell us about SoCalGas – its history, its mission, its services, and its service area. Maryam Brown: Sure. Every day, SoCalGas delivers safe, affordable, and increasingly clean energy to 22 million Californians. SoCalGas’ mission is to build the cleanest, safest, most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, we employ 8,000 people across Southern Californian. SoCalGas’ roots go back over 150 years, all the way to 1867, when the Los Angeles Gas Company, a forerunner of SoCalGas, introduced gas lamps to downtown Los Angeles. Over the years, the company’s focus shifted to providing natural gas to residential customers for cooking and heating, and to supplying natural gas for electric generation, manufacturing, and more recently, transportation. As California’s population grew, SoCalGas’ service territory expanded to cover 24,000 square miles, reaching from Visalia in the north all the way down to San Diego. SoCalGas and the Building Industry Association of Southern California are long-time partners. With the Building Industry Association of Southern California about to celebrate its

Southern California

BUILDER |

April 2022

Maryam Brown

President, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas)

100th year, we are grateful to have worked with the BIASC for decades. It is because of builders that Southern California is a great place to live, and SoCalGas looks forward to continuing to work with builders to keep the California dream alive and well.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

Q&A with Maryam Brown

SCB: A Google search of “SoCalGas builder incentive programs” turns up information on multiple programs you are offering to homebuilders. Can you recap your current programs and tell us about the importance of new homes in SoCalGas’ business strategy? MB: Since 2015, SoCalGas has paid over $20.7 million in incentives and rebates across various programs to builders for their new construction energy-efficiency projects. These energy-efficiency projects have resulted in significant costs savings for our customers and builders, as well as improvements in air quality and GHG emissions reductions. One of the main programs is the Energy Efficient New Homes program (EENH). This program incentivizes builders of new homes to install energy-efficient natural gas appliances and equipment that exceeds the minimum requirements of California’s building codes. Builders can get up to $3,500 per unit for a single-family home. Some builders are getting over $150,000 on a large multi-home project. There are also cash bonuses for projects that are eligible for Green Program Certifications through US Green Building Council LEED and EPA WaterSense-Labeled Home. Here is what’s most exciting about this program: it demonstrates great alignment between SoCalGas and the building industry to use energy more sustainably. In 2021, 214 agreements with a total of 16,300 new single-family residential and multi-family units/lots enrolled in this program, allowing homebuilders to increase the energy-efficiency of a home at a lower cost. Once constructed, these enrollments from 2021 are expected to result in $14.5 M in direct incentive payments to participating homebuilders, equivalent energy

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

JULY BIASC COUNCIL ON SAGE TOUR TO BE ANNOUNCED JULY 20, 2022

BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER TOP GOLF TOP GOLF - ONTARIO JULY 21, 2022

BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER TOP GOLF TOP GOLF - EL SEGUNDO JULY 27, 2022

CSBC BREAKFAST

TO BE ANNOUNCED JULY 27, 2022

AUGUST BIA RIVERSIDE CHAPTER TASTE OF TEMECULA WILSON CREEK WINERY AUGUST 4, 2022 BIASC GREATER SALES & MARKETING COUNCIL (GSMC) EVENT TO BE ANNOUNCED AUGUST 10, 2022 BIASC SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WATER CONFERENCE ONTARIO DOUBLETREE HOTEL AUGUST 12, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER ANGELS GAME NIGHT ANGELS STADIUM AUGUST 31, 2022

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QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

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But we don’t just provide appliance incentives for builders. SoCalGas recognizes that time is money in the construction world, and we want builders to be able to easily work with us and have insight into the work we’re responsible for to connect their projects to our system. In response to this, the company recently created a new organization called “New Business” that will continue supporting end-to-end performance improvements, with an emphasis on improving the overall new business experience for builders and affordable housing developers. We have also recently rolled out an Enhanced Builder Services webpage (www.socalgas.com/new-construction) to make it easier for builders to submit more than one application for the same tract/project location. For large residential builders, SoCalGas provides a New Business Liaison to answer questions and provide support with planning to construction phases for projects. Additionally, to improve the service we offer builders, in 2021 SoCalGas launched the online New Construction Status Tracker (NCST) Portfolio as a pilot program for customers and their utility consultants to track the status of their SoCalGas new construction projects and view project details, like houseline release received dates for each meter and due dates for items needed from builders. Finally, to make sure we’re accountable to builders and delivering good service, SoCalGas developed a Builder Health Scorecard. The Builder Health Scorecard helps us improve our performance and shorten project timelines based on residential home builders’ feedback at key new construction milestones: pre-application, planning, construction, meter set and contract reconciliation.

SCB: Our homebuilders want to provide homebuyers with the appliances, water heaters, and HVAC systems they want. Recently, speakers at some public hearings on new projects have asked City Councils to prohibit the use of natural gas in new homes because it is a carbon fuel. Before getting into the larger implications of this, do you have information on consumer preference on natural gas versus electricity for cooking and heating? MB: Many home chefs prefer cooking on natural gas stoves because they offer great temperature control and speed of cooking. The heart of it all is consumer choice. If consumers want all-electric, that is an option, but buyers often prefer gas, which is why a survey by the Energy Solutions Center showed that homes with gas hookups sell for 6% more than homes without them. SCB: What is your response to this anti-natural gas point of view, and what is your perspective on the future of natural gas as an option for new homes?

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

savings to reducing over 7.7 metric tons of C02 and reducing $2.4M in utility bills. All told, over 6,500 homes have been built through this program, delivering $4.7 million in builder incentives.

MB: The State has set aggressive climate change goals. To help support these goals and strive to keep energy affordable, SoCalGas is working with the Public Utilities Commission to increase the amount of renewable natural gas in our residential and small commercial supply. Renewable natural gas is net negative for greenhouse gas emissions and our voluntary goal is for renewable natural gas to comprise 20% of our throughput to these customers by 2030. We’re also working with the Commission to test the safe blending of hydrogen into our pipelines because when hydrogen is combusted, it doesn’t release greenhouse gases. Both of these clean fuels can deliver energy reliably and can help California reach its climate goals. There is a broad consensus that leveraging the existing gas infrastructure system is one of the most cost-effective tools to advance climate change priorities. SCB: How is Southern California Gas positioning itself in response to California’s goal of having carbon-neutral energy by 2045? MB: We support California’s climate goals and are acting quickly to support the State achieving them. Last year SoCalGas announced ASPIRE 2045, an initiative that includes to striving to be net zero for greenhouse gases in all that we do by 2045. This includes achieving net zero in the energy we use and the energy we deliver to customers. By 2035 our goal is for the company’s fleet of vehicles to be 100% zero emissions, and we just purchased about 50 Toyota Mirais that run on hydrogen fuel cell engines. We’ll also be buying electric Ford-150s, a

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

AUGUST CONT. BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER CRAFTS & CARS LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER DODGERS GAME NIGHT DODGERS STADIUM DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

SEPTEMBER BIASC COUNCIL ON SAGE BREAKFAST TO BE ANNOUNCED SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER ANNUAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT IRVINE GREAT PARK SEPTEMBER 9, 2022

BIS KICK OFF PARTY HOUSE OF BLUES SEPTEMBER 14, 2022

2022 BUILDING INDUSTRY SHOW ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER SEPTEMBER 14-15, 2022

CSBC BREAKFAST GREEN RIVER GOLF CLUB SEPTEMBER 21, 2022

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QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

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We recently made a major announcement about a green hydrogen infrastructure initiative called Angeles Link, which aims to deliver green hydrogen for manufacturing, transportation, and electric generation in the Los Angeles Basin. This infrastructure project could allow the conversion of natural gas power plants to green hydrogen, resulting in up to a 25% reduction in the amount of natural gas combusted in California. SCB: Southern California Gas has made a massive investment in pipeline infrastructure so it can provide 22 million customers in a 24,000 square-mile area with reliable natural gas supplies. Does this pipeline system figure into your concept for how California can best achieve its carbon neutrality goals? MB: We need an energy system that achieves carbon neutrality in a way that is reliable and affordable. Our pipeline system fits into a carbon neutral California because the cleanest, most reliable, most affordable energy system combines the strengths of renewable wind, solar, and hydro with the strengths of clean gases like renewable natural gas and green hydrogen. This is because wind, solar, and hydro are great at generating electricity, and gases excel at storing energy and dispatching it when needed. SCB: Can you share anything about other new technologies you’re researching? MB: We have a very exciting demonstration project being unveiled later this year called The Hydrogen Home. The home, being built in Downey, is a nearly 2,000 square-foot home that features solar panels, a battery, an electrolyzer to convert solar energy to hydrogen, and a fuel cell to supply electricity for the home. Hydrogen will be blended up to 20% with natural gas and used in the home’s tank-less water heater, clothes dryer, gas stove, fireplace and BBQ grill. The home, which is being constructed to LEED Platinum standards, will function and feel exactly like a regular home, all while using reliable and clean energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. SCB: BIASC recently formed a Women and Diversity Council to provide women and members of underrepresented communities with training, networking, and support so they can enter Association leadership. Can you talk about your experience as a woman who has had a series of high-profile positions, and how having

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something like a Women and Diversity Council might have helped you in your own career? MB: SoCalGas is an inclusive company, this is intentional. Because there is no finish line to progress, we are driving forward internally and externally to make sure our company and the vendors we work with are representative of our service territory. I wish when I was starting out there had been something like a Women and Diversity Council, because the mentorship and training that it sounds like it fosters is very helpful to women advancing in construction. Congratulations on a great initiative.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

vehicle that may be right for meeting builders’ needs as well. On top of that our facilities have begun the switch to 100% renewable power.

SCB: What advice would you give to young women and members of under-represented communities who are beginning their careers? MB: For women just starting your careers: Stretch. Be flexible. Challenge yourself. Allow yourself to be surprised by what you might discover. You can’t know yet what you are good at, what you excel at, and what truly quickens your pulse and makes you want to get up every morning and go to work. It’s also important to advocate for yourself and go after what you want. Hanging back, waiting to be offered opportunities will not move your career forward. You have to ask for opportunities to advance and be ready to make your case for why you’re the right person. SCB: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like to discuss? MB: I’d just like to thank builders for what you do for California. You are so important to our quality of life here in California. We value your work and are committed to being your partner. The more we help you, the smoother the path is to creating a future in which energy is clean and affordable -- whether that’s natural gas and renewable naturas gas now, or green hydrogen down the line. Builders and SoCalGas share a lot of the same interests, and because of your contributions to a better California we want to work with you as much as possible. 

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

OCTOBER SOCAL MAME AWARDS WESTIN ANAHEIM OCTOBER 1, 2022

BIA COACHELLA VALLEY S-CHAPTER EVENT TO BE ANNOUNCED OCTOBER 3, 2022

BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER ADVANCED MECHANICS LIEN SEMINAR ONLINE EVENT OCTOBER 7, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER BITA WINE EVENT SUB-ZERO, WOLF, AND COVE SHOWROOM OCTOBER 13, 2022

BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER ANNUAL TRAP & SKEET SHOOT OAK TREE GUN CLUB OCTOBER 24, 2022

NOVEMBER BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER CHILI COOK OFF TO BE ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 2, 2022

BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER INSTALLATION GALA TO BE ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 4, 2022

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QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

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in Homebuilding:

Q&A with Nicole Burdette

Nicole Burdette

President, SoCal Land & Housing, Brookfield Properties

In 2000, fresh out of college with a degree in communications, Nicole Burdette took a job as a receptionist at Brookfield Residential’s Southern California Division. Twenty years later, she became the Division’s president after rising from Analyst to Manager to Director in Brookfield’s land acquisition group, then Senior Director to Vice President to Senior Vice President of Business Strategies.

Brookfield’s investment in my growth, in combination with the work I was and am willing to put in, that helped me get to where I’m at today.

A storybook career? No, it’s more the story of a person with a strong work ethic at a company in an industry that encourages growth and diversity. Nicole spoke to Southern California Builder from Arizona, where she is leading Brookfield’s homebuilding start-up operations in the Grand Canyon State.

NB: Acquisitions is important both to a division’s future and to the morale of the team because it’s at the front end and everyone is thinking, “What’s the next deal? Where am I going to be when this neighborhood finishes?” So, it’s about the continuity of your business at a time when there are no deals being presented on a platter. Fortunately, we are in a unique position because our competitive advantage is in the complex opportunities. The last couple of deals that we have secured had been around for a long time and had been through a lot of suitors. We were able to come in, form a relationship, gain the trust of the sellers and create a structure that helped get

Southern California Builder: Let’s start with your inspirational career path at Brookfield. What is it about the company – and about you – that made your rise to President of Southern California operations happen?

SCB: With your experience in land acquisition, what is your perspective on the challenges of the tight land market, and on how best to deal with these challenges?

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

Building a Career

Nicole Burdette: This has always been a difficult question for me – but not the Brookfield part. Brookfield takes chances on people and puts a lot of effort and intention around growing our team members from within. We understand that it’s the quality and dedication of the people that makes a difference, so we are very focused on developing the best in the members of our team. As for the part about me, it’s such an uncomfortable question that I have always avoided. But, not too long ago, a newer team member from another Brookfield office who was just at the start of their career asked me what was the most important thing that contributed to my growth here, and I said, “I get asked that all the time and really don’t know.” He then turned to Adrian Foley (President and CEO of Brookfield Properties Development) and asked him. Adrian immediately responded, “work ethic.” That totally resonated with me. It’s

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2022 BIASC & CHAPTER EVENTS REGISTER & SPONSOR AT BIASC.ORG/EVENTS

NOVEMBER CONT. GREATER SALES & MARKETING COUNCIL (GSMC) EVENT TO BE ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 9, 2022

BIA RIVERSIDE CHAPTER INSTALLATION GALA MISSION INN NOVEMBER 18, 2022

DECEMBER BIA LOS ANGLES/VENTURA CHAPTER INSTALLATION GALA TO BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2022

BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER INSTALLATION GALA VICTORIA GARDENS CULTURAL CENTER DECEMBER 9, 2022

BIASC ROSE PARADE FLOAT DECORATING PASADENA

DECEMBER 2022

TENTATIVE CALENDAR - DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. EMAIL ASANTOS@BIASC.ORG TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY EVENTS EMAIL UPDATE. STAY TUNED FOR MANY EXCITING ADDITIONAL UPCOMING BIASC AND CHAPTER EVENTS! QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT BIASC VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS LAURA BARBER AT LBARBER@BIASC.ORG

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SCB: The building industry has been very traditionally structured historically. From your perspective, how is the industry doing at keeping pace with our changing society? NB: I feel an openness from our industry, that we are leaning in, and are on the journey, but collectively we do still have a lot of work left to do. It’s all about being intentional and not becoming complacent because we’ve gone “so far” when we haven’t yet gone far enough. It’s increased diversity that is going to move us forward and drive the innovation that our industry needs. We are very focused on diversity, equity and belonging at Brookfield and have a team dedicated to exploring the many ways that we can grow diversity in our business. One of our recent partnerships is with Project Destined. Their 10-week virtual internship program partners college students with developer teams to help introduce many aspects of real

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estate to those who might not ever have been exposed to the opportunities within our industry. The program offers students a chance to participate in a competition around a deal with mentorship from our group. That is another kind of diversity that we need to move forward on – bringing people into our industry who, for example, had families that never owned a home. It’s exciting! SCB: This year, BIASC is forming its new Women’s and Diversity Council. Do you have any suggestions for the Council’s incoming Board about what they should focus on and emphasize? NB: It would be good for them to start by understanding the metrics of where we are at within our region. We should begin our focus more on where we have the most opportunity for improvement. It will be important to seek out people from the groups that are under-represented and hear their stories about how they got into this business and what obstacles they’ve faced. That’s going to help drive better outcomes going forward. Let’s make sure we don’t leave any group behind.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

them to where they want to be while also making the deal work from our perspective. The fact that we can look at things differently and have great access to capital is a big plus for how we’re approaching the current market.

SCB: Brookfield Residential is very involved in BIASC. How about your own BIA experience?

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SCB: This year, you are leading Brookfield Residential expansion into other markets, including Arizona. How is Brookfield approaching that? NB: Along with our SoCal housing leadership team I am leading the expansion of homebuilding into Arizona, where we already have a tremendous land development team with some great assets. We entered Arizona in 2012 through a joint venture with DMB Development on the Eastmark masterplan in Mesa. Our team has grown from there and we have added other master-planned communities in the market but do not have a homebuilding team there. Because we own and control a significant amount of land and the local expertise in community development, we are growing our homebuilding business there with our Southern California housing leadership team leading the way. The biggest thing for me has been how much starting from scratch in Arizona is helping our Southern California team grow our thought processes. All of a sudden, we’re asking ourselves, “Why do we do it that way?” or “Why do we think about it that way?” I’m super-excited because by learning a new market we are going to start seeing some new ways of looking at things and thinking about our business. SCB: Is part of reasoning behind expanding into other states a reaction to the increasing challenges of California’s regulatory environment? NB: No, not at all. We are fully invested California and are not shifting our focus from California. Yes, the challenges are increasing, but they’re increasing everywhere, and you

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can see elements of California following into other states. I am concerned about the environment in California, but it’s concern for us as people. We have an obligation to the people to provide more housing opportunities, and it appears that the various parties are colliding instead of cooperating to do the best we can to house the people of California.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

NB: Early in my career, I was one of the original members of BIAOC’s NextGen, which was a great opportunity for me to meet people in our industry with similar career paths. At the time I was also on the Board of BIAOC as the NextGen representative, so BIA has been a formative and supportive organization for me. As I’ve grown my career and my family, I had to re-prioritize so instead of formal involvement I’m working more on initiatives that need my support and in making sure our team is empowered to participate and represent us. We have a lot of team members that are very active. Dave Bartlett is the BIASC Chair this year, Tim Roberts is president of the Baldy View board, John O’Brien is on the Orange County board and Derek Spalding represents us on the LA/Ventura board. We also are big supporters of the NextGen committee and recently had 20 team members attend the Women’s Conference!

SCB: Brookfield Residential is doing exciting things in Southern California. Tell us about the new projects you’re working on now. NB: We are at a most exciting time. We have four new neighborhoods opening up between now and June, including three in Tustin Legacy at The Landing. The location, the product mix – from one-bedroom flats to 3,000 square-foot single family homes – and the execution by our team is all fantastic and I just could not be more proud of what they accomplished. We started in the depths of COVID, so we were navigating a path without knowing exactly what our destination would look like when we got there. It’s been a massive effort requiring new strategies and new ways of doing things during one of the most turbulent times our industry has ever faced. We are just so proud of our team’s resilience and the icing on the cake is that we have a great number of team members who are purchasing there and will call The Landing home. The other upcoming neighborhood is Villas at Los Coyotes in Buena Park. The owners of Los Coyotes Country Club worked with another builder to entitle a five-acre site adjacent to their clubhouse. When it didn’t move forward, we worked with them through a structure that would get them comfortable, and the result is a beautiful product. We can’t take credit for the design, but it will be lovely, with four stories, 10foot plates, elevator-served larger flats – in Buena Park, not Newport Beach! It will be a hidden gem. 

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TEAM Build Build Team Spirit Build Team Morale Build a Veteran’s Home

Join a H4F TeamBuild Homes4Families TEAMBuild is a team building program for

corporate and association groups. For a selected contribution to fit your needs, participants have an opportunity to help build a home at our Palmdale build site of our organization. The day includes group bonding and empowerment activities that leave your members feeling challenged, vital, and a part of a bigger important team – your caring corporation.

TEAMBuild Levels

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21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 610 ● Woodland Hills, CA 91364 ● (818) 884-8808 ● www.Homes4Families.org Southern | April 2022 California

BUILDER


Q&A with Donna Deutchman Donna Deutchman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Homes 4 Families, which develops affordable veteran neighborhoods that incorporate comprehensive services to empower low-income veterans and their families to move up. A BIALAV Board member, she was previously CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. As Homes 4 Families nears the start of its 400th home, Donna talked with Southern California Builder about the special challenges of building homes for very low-income veterans and the rewards that come from seeing these veterans and their families become empowered. Southern California Builder: Tell us about Homes 4 Families and the families you serve. Donna Deutchman: The mission of Homes 4 Families is to move veterans up the economic ladder. We do that through full-equity home ownership at an affordable price and the Enriched Neighborhood array of services we offer that have been proven to promote selfsufficiency and help veterans to not only retain jobs but improve their jobs, their financial literacy, and their social welfare, and deal with trauma. This helps them and their whole family feel happier and more hopeful about their ability to move up the economic ladder together. Another way to say it is that we work to make up for the things that they lost when they were in their twenties in the Armed Services, when the rest of us were getting started and learning by trial and error. SCB: Is full-equity home ownership a pivotal part of the successes Homes 4 Families achieves?

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Donna Deutchman

President & CEO Homes 4 Families: Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods

DD: Absolutely! So many social service housing programs frankly don’t work. Section 8, for example, is the concrete ceiling for families because it says that if you try to do better, you’ll lose your housing – and even worse, if you are making enough to disqualify you from Section 8, you’re not making enough to afford appropriate housing. That gap keeps people from wanting a raise, is demoralizing, and sets a horrible example for the child who experiences it. By providing affordable home ownership where the mortgage never changes as you do better, we can change an entire family’s life trajectory. They can put extra money towards their children’s education or their own education, get better job opportunities and move up the economic ladder.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

Homes for All:

SCB: How are your projects funded? DD: Under our model, the veterans pay at most what a one-bedroom apartment costs. No one pays more than 35 percent of their monthly income for their mortgage, insurance, HOA dues, taxes and utilities. This is accomplished through a public-private partnership. CalVet provides the first mortgage with a very low interest rate, which is helped by the fact that we’ve only had one default in over 380 homes. Cities often provide the land, as the cities of Palmdale and Los Angeles are doing now, and also often provide a silent second that sits on the land. For example, Palmdale is providing $50,000 a home, forgiven at one-forty-fifth per year for 45 years. Through CalHome, the state is providing a loan that’s also silent, and then we cover the balance through our public fundraising. We work to contain construction costs by not charging a developer’s fee or a contractor’s fee, and with the veterans providing sweat equity by helping build the house if they’re physically able.

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DD: It’s different because we’re working in cooperation with jurisdictions that have their affordable housing requirements to fill. The NIMBYs are a problem throughout the state of California, but when you have veterans, those issues are treated differently. Everyone has a veteran they care about, so they understand the issue, want to help, and trust the veterans. So many low-income kids grew up wanting to do better, to be better and change their circumstances, and chose the military as the way to do that. Their service helped to keep our American Dream alive, so even most NIMBYs want to help make the American Dream possible for them. SCB: How important is it for these veterans to live in a community of veterans? DD: Veterans want to live with other veterans. Here’s a story that shows how that can help them to heal and function well: We have a woman in one of our communities who worked in the motor yard at a base in Iraq. To her husband and parents, it seemed like a very safe job. She didn’t want to talk to them about what she did there because the truth was that every day she would send out the vehicles and at night, she would clean the ones that came back – which meant sometimes she had to clean her friends’ remains out of a HUMVEE or JLTV. She didn’t want to change the image of herself to her husband, so being able to come home to a community where her neighbors understood that gave her such relief. SCB: Do the homes you build include special ADA or other building modifications for veterans? DD: All of our homes have some modification, whether it’s ADA or not. We are dealing with people who have some level of PTSD or brain injury or have tinnitus from being around gunfire and explosions. Our lighting design takes that into account, as do our doors, drawers and cupboards, which are all silent-closing, plus we have extra soundproofing, all to avoid surprise sounds. Our doorknobs can be opened in about five different ways, and because Army veterans carried packs that weighed 100 pounds or more and have suffered significant

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damage to their backs and knees, all our plugs and switches are at ADA height. Finally, even though these are production houses to save costs, we do offer six master bath options in response to different physical requirements.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

SCB: Do you experience the same sort of challenges getting approvals as the private sector builders face?

SCB: On your website there is language about how Homes 4 Families empowers veterans and their families. Tell us what empowerment means to them, and what it does for them. DD: First, there’s the empowerment that comes from being able to live and move independently in their homes. And then, there’s the understanding that they earned these homes – it’s their military service that gave them equity in these homes. This is something they earned for their families through their service; it is not a hand-out. That’s a massive empowerment. The other empowerment comes from our services. People talk about giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish, but there’s a secret nobody talks about: The children of middle- and upper-class families are also told where the best fishing holes are. Let me explain. If a veteran from a middle- or upper-class family had to get a service and got no answers after going to the VA three times, they would know to go to their congressional representative’s veterans service specialist. Somebody from the lower economic strata doesn’t know they can do that, doesn’t feel empowered to do that, and doesn’t know how to speak the words when they do that. So, part of our program is to give them those powers.

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DD: This is where women come and learn how to use tools. Men are welcome, but they’re the helpers who get the supplies and bring the water. This year, the women are going to be raising walls on six new houses, will be doing the Landscape Management District work and through that will learn new skills so they’re empowered to care for their own homes. They’ll also have the opportunity meet legislators and business owners who are women who will be coming out to build with them. SCB: Your own career has been very successful. What advice would you give to people just starting off in the building industry, especially women and people from traditionally under-represented communities? DD: I would tell them to get whatever certification or education that is appropriate, because the more you know about what people are speaking about, the better

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off you are. I definitely think that being a part of the BIA is critical because it will help them understand the fabric of the building industry, which is important no matter what job you’re in. And finally, former L.A. City Council member Laura Chick said this a long time ago but I’ll repeat it: Always wear flat shoes! Men do a lot of business walking fast and you should keep up with them instead of worrying about your heels! SCB: If someone reading this has been moved to help you, what can they do? DD: They can start by understanding that the only difference between us and a conventional builder is that we are selling houses way below market value, and that when the cost of building goes up, we can’t raise our prices. We’re selling our houses for $250,000, and our government funding totals less than that, so we have to raise the difference from the private sector. It’s our biggest challenge, so think about how you can help us as we work to give more veteran families the benefits of home ownership. 

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

SCB: In May, Homes 4 Families will be holding its tenth annual Women’s Empowerment Build Week. Tell us about that event and what it does to empowers women.

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Q&A with Lisa Fjelstad When Lisa Fjelstad left teaching to join the homebuilding industry in 2004, she found a satisfying combination of exciting work, empowerment and fun. On March 31 this year, she was promoted from Vice President of Operations to President of Taylor Morrison’s Southern California Division. She talked with Southern California about how her starting position in new home sales still influences her thinking and how greater diversity offers the industry an extra advantage: Providing a way to creatively address the industry’s labor shortage problems. Southern California Builder: How did you find your way to the homebuilding industry, and what was your career path to your current position as President of Taylor Morrison’s Southern California Division? Lisa Fjelstad: I started in homebuilding in 2004, with a recommendation by a family friend who had been an attorney but left practicing law to become a homebuilder. I didn’t know anything about homebuilding because I was teaching math and social studies, but I knew I wanted something different. He said I would love the industry because it’s fun, you get to build houses and work on a team. I wasn’t at all sure, but he said I would be a great fit, so I interviewed with a company and got a job in sales, and I just fell in love. I loved it, every minute of it. I loved my team, I loved putting customers in homes, I loved meeting families – it was the best!

Lisa Fjelstad

Division President, Taylor Morrison

who encouraged me and said, “You don’t have to leave the field – in fact, I wish more of our managers spent more time in the field.” So, I took the next step, becoming an area sales manager, and I loved doing that because I was still out in the field, and then I eventually moved into senior sales management roles, then was promoted to operations.

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Thinking Out of the Box:

SCB: Does your background in sales influence your approach to leading the Southern California Division? LF: That’s an interesting question, because my team always says, “Oh, you’re thinking about the customer,” and of course I’m thinking about the customer! Coming from sales has made me very grounded in my operations role, in how I think about our future communities, the positioning of the neighborhoods and what the customer’s overall experience is going to be. When you’re in sales, you’re the product of everything that came before you, and you are the one that gets to tie the bow at the end. Now, in operations, from the very conception with the purchase of a piece of dirt, I’m thinking about how are we going to make this right for the customer. Of course, I also think about how many units can we get on this piece of land, but that also means thinking about the customer every step of the way.

When I interviewed for my first job in the industry, my boss, who is a mentor to me to this day, said to me, “You know, Lisa, selling a new home is a lot like teaching. You have to show people how to buy a new home – how do you get a mortgage, how do you pick options, what do you do on closing day – and as a teacher, you’ll be really good at it.” I took the leap and was in sales for ten years, loving it. I didn’t have a strong desire to go into management because I thought it would take me away from the customers, but I had a mentor

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April 2022


LF: We look at supply chain issues across our organization. When we buy a piece of land, we think about the timing of it and make sure we’re putting enough conservatism in there in case there is a supply chain issue. We think about where it’s located, how much infrastructure is going to be needed. We ask for materials much sooner and try to contract much sooner. We talk about that daily. On the vertical side, we’re creating curated packages because we don’t have as much flexibility on options as we had previously. We are being flexible where we need to offer alterative materials, but we control the variety of options because of supply uncertainty. When buyers do want to change something significant, we will sell them a home that’s farther out to give us more time to work with them to customize their house. It doesn’t seem like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so we are being really, really tight on our process, so we know we can get the products we need and we can report to our company and Wall Street that delivery issues won’t keep us from meeting our closings goals. We need to assume that “getting better” in terms of the supply chain means “getting better at dealing with it.” If we don’t continuously work on it internally, we risk not being able to deliver homes on time. With our approach, we met our numbers last year and in the just-closed quarter. SCB: How, and with who’s support. did you gain confidence and personal empowerment?

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LF: I was fortunate to be raised in a household where my parents were very encouraging, telling me I could do whatever I wanted to do, but also telling me to make sure I did something that would make me happy. When I was deciding to leave teaching, my biggest mentor was my former principal, who, like my parents, said I will find success if I do something that makes me happy. They helped me to not doubt my capabilities, and also showed me how important it is to take opportunities that would fulfill me. When I came to Taylor Morrison, I found a very inclusive culture that contributed to my success because they always want to know everyone’s perspective. There has never been a time in my seven and a half years here that I didn’t that feel I could share my opinion or ask if I could learn something. That’s a very important thing, not having the fear of wanting to learn and knowing that if you ask, it will be received. I’m always encouraged as a leader here to be thinking about our internal and external customer, and their focus on wanting to do the right thing for everyone empowers me to make sure that we’re running an equal opportunity division.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

SCB: When you were VP of Operations, you were in the middle of the current supply chain issues. How has Taylor Morrison dealt with these challenges and what do you see ahead?

SCB: Did you find support at BIA as you grew in your career? LF: BIA has done great things for me. Coming in knowing nothing about homebuilding – because it’s not a wellrecognized industry until you’ve discovered it – they provided huge support. Through BIA, I’ve had opportunities to meet people and learn about the industry. Every time I go to a BIA event, I learn something. People say our industry is so small; well, it’s the BIA that makes it feel small by making it close and friendly.

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Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT SCB: How are you responding to the tight job market? LF: It is so competitive now – everyone is talking about it! From the trade supply all the way up to the leadership there just aren’t enough people for what we’re doing. I feel there’s a gap from the most recent crash, when a lot of people didn’t get back into homebuilding, so there’s something of a missing decade when we’re looking for talent. We are definitely looking outside the industry and there are good things that come with that – new perspectives, new ideas, new technology – but of course we have to be able to transition them to get the work done. SCB: From your experience as a woman who has climbed up the ranks, how do you feel the building industry is doing at empowering women and minorities? LF: I have been in this business for nearly two decades, and its diversity and inclusiveness have come a long way. Twenty years ago, I would have only identified one executive leader in the western United States who was a woman – that was Sheryl Palmer prior to her coming to Taylor Morrison – and now I can point out several. From that perspective, I can see the industry has more diversity with women, but there is a lot of opportunity still to be realized. I think that diversity makes us better so I hope that homebuilders will continue to see that bringing on more minorities and women in leadership, along with men, will make us more well-rounded so we can meet buyer expectations.

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SCB: What suggestions do you have for the incoming leaders of BIASC’s new Women’s and Diversity Council regarding what they should focus on and emphasize? LF: There is a lot of opportunity for homebuilding outside of homebuilding. We need to advertise it, to say that this is an industry to move into, to be attracted to; that it isn’t the stereotype that it was 20 years ago. There’s a huge opportunity for the Council in recruitment, by making people feel that homebuilding is an industry that everyone can go to, that everyone can be a part of. We need to begin changing the perception of what it is, because now many feel that you can’t get into it unless you’ve been in it. SCB: Taylor Morrison is creating such diverse products throughout Southern California. Tell us about the projects that you are the most excited about. LF: We are working on a 500-home master-plan in French Valley, with four different products, both attached and detached. We will be using our Project Library that will allow efficiencies with the reuse of product throughout the four neighborhoods. We are also doing a three-story townhome project in a very good location in Santa Ana, centrally located, affordable – I like that it’s a start-to-finish project and that we’re building something that people can afford to live in. We are also looking forward to opening our new community at the Great Park in August of 2022. 

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April 2022


Greater Diversity:

Q&A with Anne Leets To discuss how the building industry is doing on the diversity front and look at the benefits of greater diversity, Southern California Builder turned to Anne Leets, the CEO of The Leets Consortium (TLC), a woman-owned consulting firm with extensive experience in leadership development, change management and cultural transformation. TLC was recently hired by BIASC to assist with bringing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to the forefront of BIASC’s mission and goals. Anne talked with Southern California Builder about her team’s excitement as they begin working with BIASC. Southern California Builder: BIASC represents an industry that has been very traditional historically but has been transforming itself. What are your initial impressions about our industry’s and our association’s success at keeping pace with social change? Anne Leets: While my relationship with BIASC is relatively new, I can certainly share my first impressions with you. One of the key elements for success with diversity initiatives is the commitment and engagement of the top leaders, and I can tell you that both Jeff(Montejano) and Craig (Foster) are all in. I applaud them. Most think of 2020 as the year of COVID, but it was also a year when racial and social injustice issues came to the surface. As a result, leaders across all industries recognized that today’s environment demands changes in the way many do business. In today’s workplace, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are critically important to developing an effective team and a meaningful culture. Leaders must actively work to influence these behaviors and make them part of an organization’s fabric.

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Anne Leets

CEO/Executive Coach/ Professional Speaker, Leets Consortium

How effectively organizations respond is going to determine their success in the future, so I was very impressed when I met with Jeff (Montejano) and Craig (Foster) and learned their organization and their industry are embracing this concept. They recognize that if businesses are successful in diversity, they are more likely to be successful overall. I commend them for recognizing what leaders across all industries are recognizing: There’s a high statistical correlation between corporate diversity and business performance.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

Laying the Foundation for

The building industry, like many others, is facing labor shortages, and it’s clear that BIA is tuned in to one of the very specific needs that the building industry is facing today. As Baby Boomers retire, companies must think about how they’re going to operate successfully. Clearly, technology and automation offer some solutions, but the biggest opportunities will come from becoming more diverse in who they are recruiting and developing. It will also be important to provide an environment that makes new people feel like they “fit” and become willing to stay. SCB: Tell us about how your life story, your career path and your experience at TLC as a corporate coach have influenced your view of the need for cultural transformation and change management, and our society’s acceptance of it. AL: My mother was a single parent working two or three jobs. We lived in a neighborhood that was very diverse and I went to schools that reflected our community. I grew up in an environment that encouraged me to appreciate many cultures. My career path was in Fortune 500 companies where I started in an entry position and worked my way up to the board room…almost always the only woman at the table. And when I say entry level, I’m not kidding… I was dusting product and cleaning shelves! So, I grew up as a woman in business who

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Throughout my career, I’ve always felt that I was in the “people business”, and my success was dependent on how well I could support the success of others. That’s been the “North Star” of my life and the guiding principle in my career. When I joined TLC, the firm my husband, Peter, founded in 2003, I was delighted to find at The Leets Consortium, we’re most definitely in the “people business.” We support the success of people, initiatives that transform cultures and the growth of organizations in everything we do. In the past few years, our clients have been asking for help in developing and retaining a more a diverse workforce and leading the corresponding changes needed. We have 700 talented consultants in our firm, and many of them are quite experienced and proficient in the Diversity, Equity and

place they feel the culture works for them, and where they are offered the growth, learning and development needed to be successful. How comfortable they feel will determine how long they stay and how successful they are. Smart Industry leaders will consistently practice and prioritize inclusion, focusing on their most important asset, their people. Losing this focus and not embracing greater diversity will limit their potential, their chances of success, their relevance and longevity. In the future, they will need to attract younger workers who care about diversity, equity and inclusion. The Council should help their companies to stay relevant and embrace today’s opportunities because the keys to success are different than they were five or ten years ago. SCB: Will TLC’s work with BIASC also be an empowerment enhancer? AL: The Association is very aware of the importance of people as a resource, especially as many companies are experiencing what’s called “The Great Resignation.” It’s becoming increasing difficult to retain the talent that we want to retain, especially with all the personal and career reevaluations that occurred during the pandemic. These considerations weren’t about “I want a better job and more money.” They were, according to people who left jobs voluntarily, about leaders who didn’t care, lack of professional leadership development and lack of career advancement potential.

Inclusion space, including Mitsy Wilson and Gerald Alcantar, who will lead our BIASC team. These cultural changes are gaining momentum as studies show organizations with more diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers, and have higher profits. One study found that for every 10 percent increase in gender diversity, EBITA rose by 3.5 percent. This is definitely an opportunity to enhance teams, culture and the bottom line.

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

was clearly in the minority, and I have a great appreciation for what it took for businesses to empower me with opportunities.

So, if you think of people as your most important resource, the high cost of turn-over, and this trend of people resigning and moving on, it becomes incredibly important for the people of the building industry, and all industries, to create cultures that engage employees and empower them, so they stay to empower others. The TLC team is grateful to BIASC for giving us the opportunity to partner with them on this important work! 

SCB: What are your thoughts about the direction BIASC has taken in forming a Women’s and Diversity Council? AL: BIA is taking a very comprehensive approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we look forward to the impact of Women’s and Diversity Council as well as other dynamic initiatives in the future. The Council is a very strong and creative start to attracting, retaining and developing more diverse talent. Future success will also be enhanced if we can effectively immerse young people who are just entering the industry. It is very important they enter their career in a

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Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT 50

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April 2022


Event Recap: 2022 BIAOC Women’s Leadership Conference On March 25, 2022, the Building Industry Association Orange County Chapter hosted the 7th Annual Orange County Women’s Leadership Conference at the City National Grove of Anaheim. This annual event was set into motion under the idea of providing a regular opportunity for men and women in homebuilding to gather, share ideas, work together, and ensure that the homebuilding industry remains inclusive and welcoming to all in the years to come. This year was an especially successful conference, with over 500 attendees and three incredibly inspiring keynote speakers. Continue reading for more information on the keynote speakers and their chosen topics: Natalie Grumet has cheated death not once, but twice. After being in remission for over 10 years from a highly aggressive

form of breast cancer, Natalie was nearly killed at the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, taking a bullet to the face. However, rather than giving in to either of these hardships, she now focuses on sharing the coping mechanisms she has developed over the last decade to help others break down walls, realize their full potential, and overcoming adversity, mechanisms she shared with the attendees of the conference. Another cancer survivor, Hayley Arceneaux served as the Chief Medical Officer on Inspiration4, making her the first person with a prosthesis, the first pediatric cancer survivor, and the youngest American to ever go to space. In addition to her already inspiring life story, Hayley also spoke about how her space mission succeeded in raising over $240 million for St. Jude Hospital.

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“What’s Next?”

Pictured from Left to Right: Valerie Hardman, Joan Marcus Webb, Ali Wolf and Lisa Parrish.

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“We were thrilled to return to an in-person event with a powerful morning filled with inspiration and insight. The collective spirit and vibe was so wonderful, that you could feel the positivity throughout the crowd. This event continues to be a bright light for the industry.” Lisa Parrish, Executive Producer, Team PMP Dr. J.P. Pawliw-Fry is an emotional intelligence keynote speaker, leadership thought leader, peak performance expert, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Performing Under Pressure. As he is an expert in this field, Dr. Pawliw-Fry spoke regarding emotional intelligence in the workplace. His presentation also included a hands-on approach like openended exercises with breaks for attendees to interact with one another. “I could not be more pleased with how this conference came together and the impact that it made,” said Eric Nelson, President of BIA Orange County Chapter. “Having incredible keynote speakers with such compelling stories really inspired everyone and set a wonderful example and tone as we move forward through this year.” “I had the honor of being on this committee and see the fruition of a years’ worth of planning and thought go into what has become a standard for the state and country,” said Wendy Bucknum, Mayor of the City of Mission Viejo and BIA Orange County Chapter Board of Directors Member. “The speakers were diverse, bringing varying perspectives to facing the challenges and opportunities facing us and really making us think about and prepare for What’s Next!” Final Thoughts from BIAOC Women’s Conference Committee 2022 Co-Chairs

“I believe it is critical to encourage and support the women of our homebuilding industry, whether they are seasoned or part of our next generation. Women thrive and succeed in environments when they are nurtured and mentored, and it is my passion to try to lift up women in all walks of life to give them the greatest opportunities to maximize their own potential. I am so honored and proud to have served as a co-chair for the Women in Leadership Conference for the last seven years for just that reason. I am at a stage in my life where I recognize the importance of giving back to this industry in ways in which I have learned and been mentored by the women before and alongside me.” Valerie Hardman, Vice President, Outdoor Dimensions

Inside Edition: EMPOWERMENT

– Joan Marcus Webb, Past President, BIA/OC 2015, Founder, BIA/OC Women’s Leadership Conference, California Homebuilding Foundation, Lifetime Trustee

“The annual Women’s Leadership Conference holds a special place in the heart of many women (and men) in our local homebuilding community. This year was ultra-special because it was our first time getting everyone back together in person to keep the conversations about women in leadership going. The event started with two powerful speakers who have overcome adversity and learned the power of gratitude, a positive attitude, and a strong support network. Our third presenter gave us practical advice on working with a team and figuring out ways to control our emotions. The combination was everything we hoped for – an event that was motivational, inspirational, and educational.” 

“Every year, our committee takes a fresh look at what is happening locally and nationally and puts effort into identifying inspirational stories that can touch and relate to our particular membership. We are constantly trying to raise our own bar in making the conference special and worthwhile. This year was no different, and I loved all of our presenters; but personally, I was most touched by Natalie Grummet, a truly exceptional example of courage and from a woman who has lived and worked (and bought homes) right here in Orange County. I do believe I will carry her story of bravery in my heart forever!“

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BIA of Southern California

CURRENT TEAM ROSTER MEET THE BIASC EXECUTIVE TEAM

JEFF MONTEJANO

CRAIG FOSTER

LAURA BARBER

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BIASC

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER BIASC

VICE PRESIDENT EVENTS/HR BIASC

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

BRIAN NESTANDE

DE'ANDRE VALENCIA

ADAM WOOD

JORDAN BRANDMAN

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT BIA COACHELLA VALLEY SUB-CHAPTER

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT BIA LOS ANGELES/VENTURA CHAPTER

VICE PRESIDENT BIA ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER & BILD CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR

DIRECTOR OF LABOR RELATIONS BIASC

BIASC CHIEF POLICY OFFICER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER

LOU MONVILLE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT BIA RIVERSIDE CHAPTER

MEET THE BIASC TEAM

CHRISTEN CARTER

KARISSA DISTEFANO

DR. MARK GREY

ANA GROMIS

LISA LUNDRIGAN

EVENTS & MARKETING COORDINATOR

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

BUILDING INDUSTRY SHOW SALES MANAGER

CLAUDIA MU ACCOUNTANT

MICHELLE PETERSON SIGN OPERATIONS MANAGER

KAITLIN RADCLIFF DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP

DAISY REYES

ANREA SANTOS

DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTING

EVENTS & MARKETING COORDINATOR

LISA MEADOWS MEMBER SERVICES MANAGER

MARC TROAST DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHP COACHELLA VALLEY

BIASC ADVISORS

MATT CATE BIASC WATER POLICY ANALYST

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RICH LAMBROS BIASC LABOR RELATIONS

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FELIPE FUENTES BIASC LA ADVOCACY

CHUCK HAHN BIASC DIGITAL ADVOCACY & CAMPAIGNS

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MATT PETTERUTO BIASC ADVOCACY & COMMUNICATIONS

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ROB REDWITZ BIASC CONTROLLER

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JENNIFER HERNANDEZ

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BIASC LEGAL (BILD)

*

DAG WILKINSON BIASC GENERAL COUNSEL

*

QUESTIONS?

CHRIS KHAN BIASC SACRAMENTO GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

*

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Learn more about BIASC at BIASC.ORG

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April 2022


BIA StaffSpotlight: Advocacy and policy expert De’Andre Valencia was thrilled to return home and rejoin the Building Industry Association of Southern California in March 2022 as Senior Vice President & Legal Policy Officer leading the association’s Los Angeles/ Ventura Chapter. He will guide his team to continue their fight in advocating to solve California’s housing affordability crisis, while also paving the path to the American dream of home ownership for more everyday Californians. De’Andre previously served BIASC’s Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter as Director of Government Affairs, managing all legislative and policy issues that affected residential development and affordability throughout Los Angeles County. He built relationships with coalition partners to leverage influence, developed the chapter’s political action strategic plan, and managed various committees focused on sustainability, political resources, Asian development, and emerging leaders of tomorrow. In September 2017, De’Andre’s hard-charging advocacy work earned him the opportunity to join the Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed,” one of the region’s largest business advocacy groups. Today, the grassroots business alliance represents more than 415,000 companies with that employ 5 million Californians. As BizFed’s Chief Advocacy Officer, De’Andre led his policy team to secure key legislative victories across all policy areas: housing, energy, water, anti-poverty, responsible governance, infrastructure, transportation, health care, education, and broadband, to name a few. These wins

resulted in numerous positive outcomes for the broad business community and all Southern California residents. De’Andre also worked tirelessly to shepherd state bills through the legislative process. His efforts resulted in policies that streamlined housing production, ensured water quality for all, and uplifted small business owners. During his tenure with BizFed, De’Andre was also tapped to serve as President of the BizFed Political Action Committee. BizFed PAC is the only business political action committee that is laser-focused on local elections across all 88 cities in Los Angeles County. De’Andre and his team identified and supported moderate, business-friendly, pro-jobs candidates who are committed to protecting and promoting the health of our economy. Under De’Andre’s leadership, BizFed PAC supported nearly 60 successful candidates who were elected to office. De’Andre previously held the position of President/CEO of Valencia & Associates, overseeing the firm’s daily operations and cultivating relationships with key legislators and staffers throughout the San Gabriel Valley and the Greater Los Angeles area to support the goals of his clients. De’Andre was successful in winning 21 out of 27 political campaigns. De’Andre stays active in the community and civic spheres. He has served on various commissions for the city of Pomona, including the Planning, Vehicle Parking District, and Charter Review commissions. He is a proud graduate of the University of La Verne, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science. 

De’Andre Valencia Senior Vice President & Legal Policy Officer BIA Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter

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BIA StaffSpotlight:

Christen Carter has worked in the association industry since 2015, having worked with associations such as Building Owners and Managers Association of Orange County, International Facility Management Association of Orange County, Meeting Professionals International of Orange County and Financial Executives International of Orange County. She has assisted as part of the events team with other associations such as Institute of Real Estate Management of

Orange County and The American Society of Civil Engineers of Orange County and Los Angeles through her previous employment. Her love of event planning, attention to detail, and desire to create fun and unique experiences is what she hopes will make her an asset to the BIASC team - and she looks forward to meeting you all at our next event! 

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