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The official magazine of the Home Builders Association of Virginia

VIRGINIA builder

Celebrating more than 50 years of service to housing in Virginia

Vol. 22, No. 1 January/February 2009

Meet Rand Sompayrac: A winning guy for the team

Your floor is my floor Budget shortfall to dominate short session

PRSRT STD US Postage PAID MWi

January/February 2009

Virginia Builder   23


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VIRGINIA builder

Vol. 23, No. 1  

January/February 2009

2009 HBAV officers E. Rand Sompayrac, president Michael D. Newsom, first vice president  treasurer C. Richard Bogese Jr., second vice president Kevin DeChristopher, associate vice president Robin S. Newhouse, vice president-secretary Regional vice presidents Region I: Robert J. Flynn Region II: Hugh Mitchell Region III: Chip Hudnall Region IV: David Blalock Region V: Richard Coleman Region VI: David Hepler State representative John D. Stokely Jr. (Northern Virginia) HBAV staff Michael L. Toalson, executive vice president Barrett Hardiman, vice president/director of regulatory affairs Kathy M. Harley, director of administration and finance/education director James D. Bonnell, director of member benefits services Barb Preddy, administrative assistant Rhonda Allison, administrative assistant 707 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 643-2797 www.hbav.com Editorial inquiries can be directed to: Stacey Enesey Klemenc E-mail: staceyklemenc@cox.net 2112 Flowerdew Ct. Virginia Beach, Va. 23454, (757) 427-6355 Advertising inquiries can be directed to: Lisa Nixon E-mail: vabuilderads@yahoo.com  2213 South Brook Drive, Orange Park, FL 32003, (877) 449-2535 Published by Association Publishing Inc. www.associationpublishinginc.com Sandra K. Amidon, Joyce F. Hearn APR   2117 Smith Ave., Chesapeake, Va. 23320   (757) 420-2434 Advertising sales assistant Valerie Myers Graphic designer Paige Takach To change your address (804) 643-2797 Virginia Builder mails copies of the magazine to names supplied by the Home Builders Association of Virginia. To correct your address, please contact HBAV at the number above. Nonmember subscriptions are available from the publisher for $27 a year.   Virginia Builder (ISSN 1552-8715) is published nine times a year for members of the Home Builders Association of Virginia and is edited according to AP style. Acceptance of advertising in Virginia Builder does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the Home Builders Association of Virginia. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and people quoted and not necessarily those of the Home Builders Association of Virginia. Mention of specific products or services in editorial content does not imply endorsement by Virginia Builder or the Home Builders Association of Virginia. No material may be reproduced for further publication without the express permission of the association and the publisher.

Affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders.

January/February 2009

Brilliant and brightly colored carpet that will stay that way for years is a popular choice today among some homeowners. (Photo courtesy of Mohawk.)

departments  2 HBAV Build-PAC Honor Roll 3 President’s Perspective 10 Picture this: Determined group shines at 2009 Installation 16 In the limelight: Shenandoah Valley Builders Association 18 Stateline 19 Advertisers’ Index 20 Membership Benefits Update

FEATURES  4

HBAV prepares 2009 legislative agenda 6 HBAV welcomes its 2009 officers 8 Meet Rand Sompayrac: A winning guy for the team 13 Builder and associate of the year: Clatterbuck, 2-10 share 2008 spotlight 14 Your floor is my floor On the cover: Rand Sompayrac of Fredericksburg steps up to the plate to serve as HBAV’s president for 2009. (Photo by Jay Paul.) Virginia Builder   1

w h at ’ s i n s i d e

The official magazine of the Home Builders Association of Virginia


2008 HBAV Build-PAC Honor Roll (as of Dec. 1, 2008)

build-pac

Governor’s Club Jeffery Ainslie Ainslie-Widener Tidewater BA Jules Elliott Olde Colony Homes Inc. Fredericksburg Area BA Douglas R. Fahl Dewberry Northern VA BIA W.E. Goode Jr. & Sr. Colonial Homecrafters Ltd. HBA of Richmond Thomas Jordan Carrhomes Inc. Northern VA BIA Mak Koebig Peak Construction Co. Inc. Shenandoah Valley BA/ Piedmont BIA C. Richard Napier Personal HBA of Richmond Robin Newhouse Dominion Virginia Power Fredericksburg Area BA /Pam Pekrun Tidewater BA Henry H. Stephens Personal Peninsula H&BA Scott Sterling IDI Group Cos. Northern VA BIA John D. Stokely Jr. Personal Northern VA BIA Tidewater Builders Association Tidewater BA Tidewater BA Linda Worrell Silver Cos. Fredericksburg Area BA

General Assembly Club Jeff Ainslie/John Ainslie Ainslie Group Tidewater BA Clem Carlisle East West Partners HBA of Richmond Dave Carson PRO-Build Tidewater BA Anthony Clatterbuck Graystone Homes Inc. Piedmont VA BIA Richard A. Coleman Coleman Homes Inc. Fredericksburg Area BA Sam Craig Craig Builders Blue Ridge HBA Gary Garczynski National Capital Land & Development Northern VA BIA Benjamin Graham The Graham Cos. Northern VA BIA Craig Havenner/John Regan/ The Christopher Cos. Northern VA BIA Debbie Rosenstein William Lauer Tetra Partnerships Northern VA BIA R. Brian Mullins Quality Homes Peninsula H&BA Vincent Napolitano Napolitano Homes Tidewater BA Ginger Slavic-Jones Craig Builders Blue Ridge HBA Rand Sompayrac Personal Fredericksburg Area BA Jamie Spence Church Hill Homes Blue Ridge HBA Debbie Stoddard Finer Homes HBA of Richmond William G. Thomas/ Reed Smith. LLP Northern VA BIA Maureen Stinger

Capitol Club Rick Beyer RL Beyer Construction Blue Ridge HBA David Blalock FSK Management Peninsula H&BA Jeanie Bode Personal HBA of Richmond C. Richard Bogese Jr. Personal HBA of Southside VA James L. Carver James L. Carver Builder Fredericksburg Area BA Clemens Gailliot Sr. Hilltop Sand & Gravel Co. Northern VA BIA Louis V. Genuario Jr. Genuario Cos. Northern VA BIA Mark Granville-Smith Personal Northern VA BIA Vernon McClure Personal HBA of Richmond Hugh T. Mitchell Personal BA of Southern VA Frederick Napolitano/ Pembroke Enterprises Inc. Tidewater BA Richard Olivieri Michael Newsome Clark Whitehill Co. Tidewater BA John Peterson Terry Peterson Residential Cos. Tidewater BA Milton Peterson The Peterson Cos. Northern VA BIA Stephen L. Pettler Jr. Harrison & Johnston, PLC Top of VA BA Danny Plucinik Cardan Homes HBA of Southside VA Ivan Snapp OakCrest Builders Inc. Top of VA BA Preston Stallings Personal Blue Ridge HBA Kenneth O. Thompson Ken Thompson & Associates Inc. Northern VA BIA Armpy Traynham Shen-Valley Door & Accessory Augusta HBA Michael West R.D. Wade Builder Inc. Blue Ridge HBA

Century Club Donald O. Allen D.O. Allen Homes HBA of Richmond Dick Ashe American Eastern Inc. Peninsula H&BA Frank Ballif Southern Development Blue Ridge HBA Roy O. Beckner S.W. Rodgers Co. Inc. Northern VA BIA Pam Comstock/Gilbert Martin Gilbert C. Martin Co. Inc. HBA of Southside VA 2   Virginia Builder

Kevin DeChristopher Mid-South Building Supply Top of VA BA Richard Entsminger Personal Northern VA BIA Bob Flynn Personal Roanoke Regional HBA Bill Garrett W.B. Garrett Inc. HBA of Richmond Chip Hudnall Chip Hudnall Custom Building HBA of Rappahannock Clark Massie Tetra Corp. Northern VA BIA Charles Miller Miller Custom Homes Tidewater BA James D. Oliver Highlander Construction & Development New River Valley HBA John Olivieri Associated Development Mgmt. Corp. Tidewater BA James Petrine Enirtep Inc. Roanoke Regional HBA Henry L. Singleton Personal Peninsula H&BA J.M. Snell II Valley Renovations Inc. Shenandoah Valley BA Roland Specter Specter Construction HBA of Southside VA Clement “Kim” Tingley Tingley Construction Co. Inc. HBA of Richmond James S. Williams Persona Northern VA BIA

Partners Club Patrick M. Annessa Personal HBA of Richmond C. Eugene Baker C.E. Baker Construction Inc. Peninsula H&BA Bruce Berlage Beck & Berlage Real Estate Northern VA BIA Michael Bogese Jr. Bogese LC HBA of Richmond David Bomgardner Personal Northern VA BIA Rob & Amanda Brown Best Bilt Homes, LLC Piedmont VA BIA Richard Costello AES Consulting Engineers Peninsula H&BA Ralph Costen Jr. Costen Floors Inc. HBA of Richmond Claudia K. Cotton Personal Tidewater BA Tom Donaldson SugarOak Corp. Northern VA BIA Ricky Edgerton Edgerton Contracting Inc. Peninsula H&BA Peter Fields Fields Construction Inc. Roanoke Regional HBA William Halprin Personal Tidewater BA Chris Hargis Kitchen & Bath Ideas Builders & Associates of Central VA Casey Hastings Tiger Fuel Co. Blue Ridge HBA Catherine Hayes Personal Peninsula H&BA Walt Hopkins Cave Hill Corp. Shenandoah Valley BA Chip Iulliano Area Builders of Tidewater Tidewater BA Jim Jackson Superior Equipment Sales Inc. Tidewater BA Joe Jacobs Personal Northern VA BIA James C. Kirk NuCom Builders BA of Central VA Paul & Christine Koppel Personal Piedmont VA BIA Pete Kotarides Kotarides Developers LLC Tidewater BA Steve Lawson The Lawson Cos. Tidewater BA Scott McGeary Washington Gas Northern VA BIA David Meadows Personal Piedmont VA BIA Joe Miller EJ Miller Construction Co. Roanoke Regional HBA David & Judy Milstead Milstead Construction Shenandoah County HBA James D. Oliver Personal New River Valley HBA Gary W. Parker Personal Fredericksburg Area BA Kenneth Patterson D.K. Patterson Construction Shenandoah Valley BA Steven Quick Stephen Alexander Homes LLC Tidewater BA Michael Rashkind Dam Neck Properties Tidewater BA Katherine Renn The Kicotan Co. Inc. Peninsula H&BA Ed Sadler Sadler Building Corp. Tidewater BA Perry Schultz Perry’s Appliance Inc. Shenandoah Valley BA Tommy Shields Jr. Shield’s Construction Co. Inc. Augusta HBA Gray Stettinius Tuckahoe Creek Construction Inc. HBA of Richmond Zach Straits PRO-Build Augusta/Shenandoah Valley BA G.H. Sturtevant Wel-Vant Construction Tidewater BA Billy Talbott Talbott Construction Inc. B&A of Southern VA Edwin L. Tamkin Tamkin Construction Shenandoah County HBA Jack Todd Todd Brothers General Contracting Augusta HBA Robert W. Wells Elite Insulation Top of VA BA Wendell A. White Personal Tidewater BA Don Williams Alexander Builders Inc. Tidewater BA Melody Williams Personal Roanoke Regional HBA

Thank You for Your Help!

January/February 2009


I

By Rand Sompayrac, 2009 HBAV president

would like to offer my most sincere appreciation to Henry Stephens, HBAV’s 2008 president, for successfully leading us through a very difficult year. He has been a tremendous leader for our association, and we are most grateful for his dedicated service and steady leadership. Stephens has made many lasting contributions to HBAV and our success. His leadership began by implementing a very conservative 2008 budget and, as a result, HBAV will continue to Rand Sompayrac be well positioned to offer its many wonderful member services well into the future. He also insisted on HBAV’s continued support for the EarthCraft House, a green building program. As a result, HBAV has

simple way for members to enhance their support of HBAV and the organization’s representation of the industry before state lawmakers and state regulators. The most important initiative of Stephen’s administration was the very constructive and sincere proffer reform legislation also known as Senate Bill 768. This proposed legislation is a work in progress and continues to be studied by the General Assembly. I pledge to continue the fight on the proffer reform legislation and all the above issues that HBAV and Stephens so successfully championed. With the holidays a recent memory and a new beginning upon us, 2009 promises to be a very challenging year. At the national level, we welcome the installation of a new president who has promised change. Positive change is necessary but without increased government regulation and burdensome oversight. What is needed is a monetary stimulus package that, unlike the $7,500 tax credit (or loan) that needs to be repaid, would be a substantial amount I pledge to continue the fight on the proffer and would be a true tax credit reform legislation and all the issues that HBAV without payback. What would also be very helpful to the housing and Stephens so successfully championed. industry would be a low — very low — 30-year fixed-rate been recognized for its early commitloan program available to home buyers for ment to energy conservation by its many a short period of time. Please check out constituencies, including key members of www.fixhousingfirst.com for details. the state legislature. To date, more than As a state trade association, we monitor 1,100 builders in Virginia have attended a the business activity of all six regions of our day-long class to learn about the energystate. It is widely reported across the state efficient construction techniques of an that there has been a severe contraction EarthCraft home. in home sales and associated home price In 2008, Stephens encouraged HBAV to declines due to the credit crisis. Therefore, embrace and support Virginia’s EasyLiving it is conflicting to me how local and state Home program. That program encourages elected leaders cannot understand the home builders in Virginia to build accessible correlation between the housing slowdown and visitable housing for our aging and and the decreased revenue stream they disabled population. That program is the are experiencing. right program for the coming marketplace These leaders should relieve our industry and Virginia’s home builders will provide the of the most burdensome regulations that housing stock to meet that demand. inhibit growth and the excess fees that state Stephens also created a formal annual and county governments so freely place on sponsorship program. The program, which our industry. We have been saying for years consists of four levels of sponsorships, that growth is beneficial and the current includes many valuable benefits for both state of the Commonwealth reflects the builder and associate members. It creates a failed policies of the no-growth crowd. January/February 2009

With a national stimulus package tailored to aid potential home buyers and builder-friendly localities, I’m confident that 2009 will be the year that our industry resumes creating jobs and generating wealth. VAB

This liTTle piggy wenT To help some people who reAlly neeDeD iT.

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Virginia Builder   3

president’s perspective Sponsored by Dominion

To rev up the industry National stimulus package would go a long way


HBAV prepares 2009 legislative agenda

Budget shortfall, election-year antics to dominate the short session

T

he Home Builders Association of Virginia Legislative Committee, led by HBA of Richmond past president Bill Garrett, has completed developing HBAV’s agenda for the 2009 session of the state legislature, a so-called short session. The state legislature will convene Jan. 14 and adjourn Feb. 28, just 45 days later. During that period, more than 3,000 bills and resolutions will be considered by the 140 members of the Virginia General Assembly. Two significant factors heavily influenced the makeup of the final package of four bills introduced at HBAV’s request. First and very important, it was clear to the committee, any measures introduced to the 2009 General Assembly could not carry a fiscal impact on the resources of the Commonwealth. The state legislature is facing a $3.0 to $3.5 billion budget deficit and will not seriously consider any legislation

4   Virginia Builder

that might add to the deficit. The 100 members of the House of Delegates and the 40 members of the Virginia Senate will consider significant cuts to core state services (public education, higher education and public health) this session. They made it clear long before the session convened that any new demands on state resources would not be well received. A second factor in the development of the 2009 HBAV agenda was the fact that 2009 is an election year for the 100 members of the House of Delegates and the three statewide offices — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — and much political or election-year posturing would occur. Such election-year antics often influence the legislative path of otherwise good state policy. Election-year politics may be embellished this year, as state democrats attempt a serious run at taking control of the republican

majority lower chamber. In the 2007 elections, the democrats took majority control of the state Senate. Each of the HBAV legislative priorities is designed to reduce costs for the industry in this time of crisis or better position the industry for a recovery, when the demand for new housing returns to many parts of Virginia. Statewide housing starts in the Commonwealth have declined from approximately 49,500 in 2005 to approximately 18,500 in 2008. First up: An extension The first bill on the HBAV agenda is a plan validity extension. It would extend the validity of any proffer, subdivision plat, plot, preliminary plan, final plan, conditional use permit, special use permit, special exception, construction plan, public improvement plan, site plan, or any other land-use document or action that’s valid and outstanding as of Jan. 1, 2009, for a period of five years from its current expiration date. Also any deadline or scheduled event specified in such document or action is extended for a period of five years, regardless of whether such expiration or schedule exists by operation of statute, proffer, permit, local ordinance or local custom. Many landowners or developers geared up their production of lots for new single-family detached home construction in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007, anticipating the demand for building lots would continue. The process of taking land from an undeveloped stage to a stage that landowners can actually sell lots to home builders in most localities is not months, it is years. As the demand for new housing waned, many preliminary plans and final plans were continuing through the plan approval process because of the substantial time and costs involved. Most preliminary plans, final plans and other land development-related approvals have a statutory period of validity of five years, provided certain land development activities continue. Now, with the significant downturn in the demand for new housing, many of those previously approved actions of local governments will likely expire before the January/February 2009


demand for new housing returns, now anticipated in late 2010. If that occurs, millions of dollars of land development cost will be lost. More importantly, when the demand for new housing returns, there could be a shortage of building lots to construct new homes, causing prices to skyrocket. Next: Reduce bond fee The second measure requested by HBAV would “temporarily” reduce the 25 percent bond administrative fee to 10 percent above the estimated construction cost. This legislation will reduce a landowner’s cost and increase his borrowing capacity. The Code of Virginia allows localities, through the mandatory provisions of a subdivision ordinance, to require a landowner to furnish a surety bond or letter of credit equal to the amount of estimated construction of streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drainage or systems, water lines that are to be part of a public system and other public facilities. The amount of the bond or letter of credit shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost of the construction. The bond or LOC ensures the developers guarantee that the expansion or improvements to public facilities meet the localities’ standards of quality. The statute also allows localities to increase the bond or LOC by an amount not to exceed 25 percent for administrative costs, inflation and potential damage to existing roads or utilities. Bonds or LOCs and the additional allowance are expensive to landowners and are required to be displayed as a liability on a landowner’s financial statement. That stated liability also limits his borrowing capacity. With the much slower economy, landowners also must continue the bond or LOC beyond the issuer’s original term, further increasing the cost. Alternative wastewater treatment systems The third measure the HBAV Legislative Committee requested would not allow a locality to prohibit the use of alternative or nonconventional on-site wastewater treatment systems approved for use by the Department of Health. The legislation would also prohibit localities from imposing maintenance requirements on such systems more stringent than required by the Department of Health or, in their absence, manufacturer’s recommendations. Innovation and improvement has led to the development of alternative or nonconventional on-site septic systems. These systems are reviewed and approved for use by the Virginia Department of Health through sewage and disposal regulations and numerous guidance memoranda and policy that are interpretations of the regulations. Alternative on-site sewage treatment systems are generally preferred over conventional systems because: • They are better at removing solid pollutants from wastewater before it goes to the soil absorption system. • They can be expected to have a longer life. January/February 2009

• They can provide for advanced treatment, which reduces the wastewater content and enhances the quality of the effluent. • They are better for the environment. Since less land is required for their soil absorption systems, they can be used in applications not suited to conventional systems and they have a time-proven record of performance. The Virginia Department of Health has the expertise and the knowledge to regulate these systems for their use and benefits. Yet, some localities have recently attempted to prohibit the use of such systems or placed maintenance requirements on them so far beyond manufacturer’s recommendations or the requirements of the Department of Health that the maintenance cost becomes prohibitive. Amending existing proffers And finally, the HBAV Legislative Committee recommended introducing a measure that would allow a local government to waive the requirement for a public hearing in its consideration of an amendment to an existing proffer. Such a waiver could significantly decrease the time required to approve such an amendment. Many proffers that have been volunteered to local governments in conjunction with a rezoning or other land-use decision have dates or triggers that either require a payment to be made or some other action to take place. Most of those dates or triggers in many proffers were volunteered at a time in the Virginia economy when there was high demand for new housing and that demand had been forecast to continue far into the future. The current economic climate in Virginia and the nation has changed significantly since many of those timed proffers were volunteered. Housing starts, for example, have declined by more than 60 percent in most every market in Virginia. As a result and in some cases for good reason, banks have significantly reduced the ability of landowners to make draws to continue proffered land development activities or pay cash proffers. In other cases, it would be poor business judgment to dedicate limited financial resources to projects where there is no demand for the product. Most local governments already have the ability to waive a public hearing on noncontroversial land-use matters. Like with both houses of the state legislature, they are often referred to as a “consent calendar” or noncontroversial order of business. This measure would simply allow the same process for an amendment to an existing proffer. HBAV would forecast that only noncontroversial amendments to proffers would be considered on a consent calendar. This legislation gives the local government the option of waiving the public hearing requirement for these types of amendments. HBAV members may follow the path of the four measures introduced at the request of HBAV and the efforts of HBAV to kill anti-housing bills at www. hbav.com. A Legislative Bulletin will be posted on that site every Friday afternoon during the 45-day session of the Virginia General Assembly. VAB Virginia Builder   5


2009

s

s John Stokely Jr. leads the applause welcoming the 2009 area vice presidents to their posts, (from left) Bob Flynn, Hugh Mitchell, Chip Hudnall, David Blalock, Richard Coleman and David Hepler. John Stokely Jr. has the honor of affixing the presidential pin on the lapel of his good friend Rand Sompayrac, 2009 HBAV president.

HBAV welcomes its officers

The Home Builders Association of Virginia installed its 2009 officers in a ceremony Nov. 7 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. E. Rand Sompayrac, of the Fredericksburg Area Builders Association, succeeds Henry H. Stephens, of the Peninsula Housing & Builders Association, as president. Brief bios of the senior officers follow: President E. Rand Sompayrac (Fredericksburg) is an active member and a two-term past president of the Fredericksburg Area Builders Association. He has served on FABA’s board of directors since 1997. A distinguished member of his community, he has recently served as a Sompayrac member of the HBAV Executive Committee, board of directors and Legislative Committee, and has held the post of regional vice president. He heartily supports the HBAV Build-PAC and was instrumental in having the FABA board adopt a 100 percent participation goal with the state PAC. Sompayrac resides in Fredericksburg with his wife, Rose, and two sons, Win and Jackson.

Newsome

First vice president/ treasurer Michael D. Newsome (Tidewater) has been elected to serve as HBAV first vice president/

6   Virginia Builder

treasurer. Newsome, executive vice president of Clark Whitehill Enterprises of Virginia Beach, has been involved with Tidewater Builders Association for the past 24 years. He’s been a member of TBA’s board since 1988, served as TBA president in 1995 and has headed a variety of committees. At the state level, Newsome has served four years as a legislative representative and chaired HBAV’s Legislative Committee in 2006 and 2007. He has served HBAV as a builder director, multifamily representative and regional vice president. In 2007, HBAV named him Builder of the Year. On the national level, Newsome has served as NAHB alternate director and director. He achieved NAHB life director status in 2001. Newsome resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Bonnie. They have two children, Stevie and Brandon.

Bogese

Second vice president C. Richard Bogese Jr. (Southside) has been elected to serve as HBAV second vice president. He is president of Richard Bogese Builder Inc. and

s The 2009 executive officers Michael Newsome, Richard Bogese Jr., Kevin DeChristopher and Robin S. Newhouse stand ready to serve after being installed.

has been in the construction business for more than 40 years. An active member and a two-term president of the HBA of Southside Virginia, Bogese has served on the HBAV Executive Committee, board of directors, Legislative Committee and as regional vice president. On the national level, he has served on the NAHB executive board. He is a national director and life director. He actively supports both the NAHB and HBAV Build-PACs. Bogese resides in Chester with his wife, JoAnn. They have one daughter and three sons. January/February 2009


In addition to the senior officers, six regional vice presidents also were installed:

Associate vice president Kevin DeChristopher (Top of Virginia) has been elected to serve as HBAV associate vice president. He is a leader at the Mid South Building Supply Co. and a long-time director and officer for the Top of Virginia BA. He has twice served as DeChristopher associate vice president for his local and has chaired many committees, including its Parade of Homes. DeChristopher has been an active member of the HBAV Associates Committee for the last couple of years. He and his wife, Danielle, live in Winchester. Vice president/secretary Robin S. Newhouse (Fredericksburg) has been elected to serve as HBAV vice president/secretary. Newhouse, employed with Dominion Virginia Power as a trade relations specialist for nearly 24 years, is very active at the local, state and national levels. Newhouse Her involvement at the Fredericksburg Area BA, Blue Ridge HBA, HBA of Richmond and the Northern Virginia BIA includes serving on the Parade of Homes, Green Building and Associates committees. For the past 10 years, Newhouse has served on the board of directors as an associate director for three of the local associations. In that time, she also has served HBAV as an associate director, was inducted into the HBAV Hall of Fame in 2006 and accepted an appointment as the NAHB associate director representing HBAV. She also has chaired the HBAV Associates Committee. In 2008, Newhouse was NAHB’s associate vice president and received life director status in January. She is a member of the Society of Honored Associates and was nationally awarded Associate of the Year in 2005. Newhouse resides in Spotsylvania with her husband, Nelson, and daughters, Ellis and Madeline. VAB January/February 2009

Flynn

Mitchell

Hudnall

Blalock

Coleman

Hepler

REGION I VICE PRESIDENT – Robert J. Flynn (Roanoke) of Fralin and Waldron Inc. has been elected to serve as Region I vice president. He will represent Roanoke and New River Valley. REGION II VICE PRESIDENT – Hugh Mitchell (Southern VA) of Virginia Homes has been elected to serve as Region II vice president. He will represent Central and Southern Virginia. REGION III VICE PRESIDENT – Chip Hudnall (Rappahannock) of Chip Hudnall Custom Building has been elected to serve as Region III vice president. He will represent Richmond, Southside and Rappahannock. REGION IV VICE PRESIDENT – David Blalock (Peninsula) of FSK Property Management has been elected Region IV vice president. He will represent Peninsula and Tidewater. REGION V VICE PRESIDENT – Richard Coleman (Fredericksburg) of Coleman Homes Inc. has been elected Region V vice president. He will represent Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg. REGION VI VICE PRESIDENT – David Hepler (Top of VA) of Hepler Construction Co. Inc. has been elected Region VI vice president. He will represent Augusta, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Shenandoah Valley and Top of Virginia.

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Rand

Meet

Sompayrac

A winning guy for the team

T

By Robin Brinkley

he new president of the Home Builders Association of Sompayrac served two years as the state’s Region V vice Virginia is a fiscal conservative who is more comfortable president and then took a year off. He climbed onto the HBAV at a negotiating table than in front of a camera. ladder in 2006, reaching the top rung this year. “I like to work behind the scenes, quietly getting things done,” says Edwin “Rand” Sompayrac. Affordable housing is front and center Sompayrac, 54, is president of Rand Land Inc. in FredericksHis motivation to serve, he says, is fueled by a heartfelt belief burg. The business deals with all aspects of development, from in affordable housing. negotiating land purchases and finished lot delivery to successful “The three necessities in life are food, clothing and shelter. sales programs. Everyone ought to have a His term as president decent, affordable place to coincides with a significant go at night,” he says. downturn in the economy Dave Kitterman, a forthat has unsettled all aspects mer executive officer of the of the real estate industry. Fredericksburg Area BuildSompayrac says he will be ers Association, has followed working closely with the NaSompayrac’s rise with pride tional Association of Home and admiration. Builders to get Congress to “Rand developed into a pass a stimulus package for very active and dedicated prospective home buyers. member during my tenure,” The initiative, called fixhousKitterman says. “He’s a leader, ingfirst.com, seeks tax credits a gentleman and dedicated to of $10,000 to $20,000 for new the business. home buyers and, for a limited “He has an excellent handle time, historically low interest on the issues, from the building rates to stimulate purchases as well as the development of existing inventory. side. He’s a smart guy and “We’re pushing hard at the does everything in a professional manner.” state level and in Washington,” Sompayrac says. “I’m talking Rand Sompayrac and his wife, Rose, enjoy a quiet moment in their presidential about a true tax credit, not suite at The Jefferson before Rand was officially sworn in as the 2009 president In his younger years of the Home Builders Association of Virginia. (Photo by Stacey Enesey Klemenc.) a loan.” Sompayrac was born in At the state level, SomHartsville, S.C., and his family moved to South Boston, Va., payrac promises to carefully when he was 10. manage HBAV’s budget while supporting efforts to broaden the “As teenagers we use to jokingly say that we were taught membership base. Quarterly meetings previously held in Richmond the three Rs in high school: reading, riting and the road to will be farmed out to Fredericksburg (first quarter) and WilliamsRichmond.” burg (third quarter) in 2009. The Richmond part referred to the lack of job prospects Sompayrac, a self-professed political junkie, methodically worked available in Halifax County in the mid 1970s. his way up to HBAV president. He was president of the FrederSompayrac played one year of football and then golf at VMI. icksburg association in 2001 and 2002 when a friend and colleague A soft economy coupled with South Boston’s dependence on the suggested he seek an active role in the state association. tobacco and textile industries steered him toward Fredericksburg “I had done most everything I could in Fredericksburg, and I after graduation from VMI in 1976. enjoyed going to Richmond. It was sort of like going from Triple-A “My roommate was from there and his father owned a seato the big league,” he says. 8   Virginia Builder

January/February 2009


food restaurant,” he says. “The pay was horrible, but his sales pitch closed the deal. His exact words were ‘we aren’t making any money, but all of our waitresses are students from Mary Washington College and we’re having a great time.’ “After spending four years at a military college that hadn’t admitted women yet, I made the only logical decision a 21-year-old boy could make. I left South Boston the next day for Fredericksburg.” One for the team Sompayrac has lived there since then with the exception of a couple stints during which he traveled for work. He currently resides in the Lee’s Hill subdivision of Spotsylvania County — the first project he worked on after entering the real estate business — with his wife, Rose, and their two sons, Win, 10, and Jackson, 8. Rand and Rose met on a golf course and before having children they traveled and played on courses from Scotland and Ireland to Hawaii. Weekends now, however, are largely occupied watching Win play soccer. “We are still encouraging Jackson to find his teamwork sport,” Rand says. “We both feel it is critical that children need to experience the team concept — everyone pulling in the same direction to achieve a common goal. Consequently, our golf games have suffered, but we are thoroughly enjoying our boys and their activities.” Real estate and Rand Sompayrac didn’t enter real estate development until 1995. He ran a restaurant and banquet facility in Virginia Beach for a while and did contract work for the government on weapons systems. “Secret stuff,” he says. A friend steered him to real estate and a job as director of residential sales and marketing for Hazel Land Cos. While there, he successfully marketed two of the largest master-planned communities in the Fredericksburg area — Lee’s Hill of Virginia and Salem Fields — while increasing yearover-year sales by double digits every year from 1995 to 2002. He left Hazel and started Belmont at Carmel Church LLC, which developed a 300-unit community between Richmond and Fredericksburg that sold out in four years. He followed that by starting his own company, Rand Land Inc., a land acquisition and development company. “It’s a small operation,” he says, “but January/February 2009

I hope to continue what I’ve been doing — everything from purchasing land and rezoning to delivering improved lots and buildings.” There is no reason to think he won’t be successful, despite the challenging economy. Sompayrac has faced adversity before and turned it in his favor. As president of FABA in 2001, he rallied the local building industry troops when Stafford County sought to stymie growth by limiting reviews of building permits to two a day. That resulted in a four-month

backup. Sompayrac’s response was to hold a barbeque in the courthouse parking lot for builders and their subcontractors. “The turnout was unbelievable,” he says. “When it came time to enter the public hearing, the fire marshal had to restrict admission.” The county finally reversed course. “We won,” Sompayrac says. And he’s been winning ever since. (Robin Brinkley is a free-lance writer and educator living in Virginia Beach.) VAB

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Virginia Builder   9


Determined group shines (Photos are identified from left to right unless otherwise noted.)

s

s Southside’s Tish and Hoy Beverley and Beth Yourich gather with 2009 Second Vice President Richard Bogese Jr. and his son-in-law, Angel Martinez, to commemorate an evening to remember. Bonnie and Michael Newsome, HBAV’s president in 2010, take a spin on the dance floor.

s Rand and Rose Sompayrac share a laugh. t Susan and Scot Sompayrac gather for a family photo with Rose and Scot‘s brother Rand.

s The men from Top of Virginia — David Hepler and Kevin and Robert DeChristopher. Hepler was installed as Region VI vice president and Kevin, associate vice president.

s Lou Barnett and Fredericksburg’s president Gary Parker pose for a picture.

Outgoing President Henry Stephens (far right) is surrounded by attending members of his local from the Peninsula.

t

picture this

Installation 2009:

10   Virginia Builder

January/February 2009


t

Rand Sompayrac’s mentor and friend, Jules Elliott (Fredericksburg), is credited with getting him involved with both the local and state home builders associations. Elliott’s seen here with his wife, Gayle.

s The group from Fredericksburg heartily celebrates its colleague’s installation as 2009 president. s

Rose Sompayrac is pictured with the Fredericksburg EVP, Bea Phelps. t

Tidewater’s Ruby and Jeff Ainslie, Bonnie and Michael Newsome, and Claudia Cotton gather for a photo op before dinner. s

2008 Builder of the Year Anthony Clatterbuck (Piedmont) trades a smile with his wife, Linda.

t

2009 President Rand Sompayrac presents outgoing (in more ways that one!) President Henry Stephens with a resolution from HBAV.

Photos by Stacey Enesey Klemenc.

s

2008 President Henry Stephens and his wife, Larraine. t

Virginia Dominion Power, sponsors of this year’s installation, is well represented with this handsome group. s

Dick Coleman, Region V vice president, is surrounded by his old pals, Debbie and Dan Spears (Fredericksburg).

January/February 2009

Virginia Builder   11


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January/February 2009


Builder and associate of the year Clatterbuck and 2-10 share the 2008 spotlight The Home Builders Association of Virginia’s most coveted titles — the Associate of the Year and the Builder of the Year — are presented annually to the association’s “most valuable and most contributing” builder and associate members in the past year. Their names are permanently placed on plaques that hang in the HBAV boardroom of the Stewart-Lee House in Richmond.

2008 Builder of the Year Anthony Clatterbuck, president of Graystone Homes in Culpepper, won the Builder of the Year honors this year for his exceptional service and dedication. He served as president of HBAV in 2006, and currently continues his service to the association on the Legislative Committee and as chairman of the HBAV Build-PAC board of trustees. He also sits on the Board of Housing and Community Development where he provides Henry Stephens insight from a builder’s perspective on all of the building codes congratulates the that affect the industry. 2008 Builder of It was during Clatterbuck’s term as HBAV president in 2006 the Year, Anthony that the association adopted the EarthCraft green building program. Clatterbuck, for His leadership and guidance led HBAV to choose the EarthCraft winning the program and promote it as an innovative approach to responsible, coveted title. energy-efficient building. In September 2006, Clatterbuck stood alongside Gov. Tim Kaine to officially launch the program, which is still the only green building program in the nation to garner statewide recognition. Since that time, more than 1,100 builders in Virginia have completed training to become certified to build an EarthCraft home. There are now entire developments across Virginia which will consist entirely of EarthCraft homes. “As a result of Anthony’s leadership and foresight, when energy prices skyrocketed this year, and other states were searching for energy-efficient housing standards, HBAV and the housing industry in Virginia were ahead of the curve,” said 2008 President Henry Stephens during the award presentation. “It is the right program at the right time for our business.”

2008 Associate of the Year The Associate of the Year Award is presented annually to an associate member, as an individual or a company, who has shown outstanding efforts at the state level of the home builders association. This year, the title went to 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty. For many years, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty 2-10 Home Buyers has been an active associate member of HBAV Warranty — and has marketed a respected, high-quality represented by Tom product to the industry and its home buyers. Acree, regional sales The company also has been on board with manager, and the HBAV’s preferred provider program. three Virginia risk To be eligible for the HBAV-preferred provider management specialists program, a company must be on solid foot(from left) Beth Yourich, ings, must have an outstanding product that’s Ruth Benjaminson and competively priced and must be represented Patti French — took by trustworthy individuals. The HBAV Awards home the title of Committee felt that regional sales manager Tom Associate of the Year Acree, and Virginia risk management specialfor 2008. ists Ruth Benjaminson, Patti French and Beth Yourich consistently meet those high standards and hands-down earned this prestigious award. January/February 2009

Virginia Builder   13


Your floor is my floor By Stacey Enesey Klemenc

P

robably one of the biggest things to impact today’s flooring is the fact that so much of it has been a floor or been on a floor before this time around. “In the next few years, I think all flooring products will be recycled is some way,” says Tripp Costen, vice president of Richmond-based Costen Floors. The newest thing in carpeting, for instance, is “nylon that used to be carpet in someone’s house that’s been recycled and made new for someone else,” he says. “It’s not all more expensive. Even some base-grade carpet has recycled fibers in it.” One of the brands Costen carries, Shaw, will take back certain tile and broadloom products and recycle them back into new carpet backing. This Cradle to Cradle design philosophy is the company’s way to take responsibility for its products at the end of their useful lives. Other companies are also following suit in this area. Besides recycled carpet, brightly colored carpet that will stay brilliant Hand-scraped floors, such as for years is also very much in vogue, this hickory selection from the Costen says. “Brighter reds, greens, Virginia Vintage line, takes foot pinks and blues — colors with much traffic very well with very little richness and depth we’ve never seen maintenance. (©2008 Photo before — are being used to accent courtesy of Anderson Hardwood rooms,” he says. “In years past, carpet Floors.) has always been a backdrop. Today, some people have started to use it Tarkett’s Easy Living Fun as a focal point.” Collection eliminates flooring Others are choosing carpet, getting boredom with patterns that it bound and using it as an area rug range from pink polka dots and to go over their hardwood floors. camouflage to square-dancing “People are putting more wood in patterns and street scenes. their homes these days because of allergies,” Costen says. “I hear that all the time.” T-i-m-b-e-r More and more people are discovering timber reclaimed from old buildings being torn down. Old floors made from heart of pine, oak and maple are finding new life in new homes around Virginia and beyond. “It’s always been a part of the industry, but now it’s become a large part of the industry.” Customers who can’t afford or find these reclaimed products are asking for the next best thing — hand-scraped planks. “The hand-scraped product is reasonably priced,” Costen says. “It wears very well because it’s not totally smooth.” Hand-scraped boards, also referred to as “foot-worn,” have a lot of texture and dimension, he continues. “It’s amazing stuff. I’ve got it in the highest traffic area in my showroom and it 14   Virginia Builder

January/February 2009


For kids and remodelers One of the kid-friendly products Costen Floors carries is a resilient fiberglass

floor from Tarkett. “It floats and it’s very versatile, almost like an area rug,” Costen says about Fiber-Floor. “I’ve got a piece over some carpet where my kids paint on an easel and it works great.” Another thing that works great, Costen adds, is the company’s dust reduction system for site-sanded floors. “With the building market being down, more people are refinishing the floors that they have. We’ve got some equipment outfitted with a vacuum hose and HEPA filter that produces 90 percent less dust than conventional

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January/February 2009

methods. It takes a little longer but it’s much cleaner,” Costen says. “People can still live in their homes while the work’s being done. It’s very user and buyer friendly,” he continues. And with the newer water-based finishes available, “The whole process is easy on the nose.” (Stacey Enesey Klemenc is editor of Virginia Builder.) VAB

2009 Annual Sponsorship rogram

doesn’t show any wear.” Flooring manufacturers also are producing more products made from fast-growing trees, such as the sustainable Lyptus tree. These trees are eucalyptus hybrids that reach full maturity in 14 years. Compared to oak, which takes 35-40 years to mature, two and a half stands can be grown in the same amount of time, Costen notes.

The Home Builders Association of Virginia wishes to express its appreciation to the following members for their generous support of the 2009 Annual Sponsorship Program: PLATINUM Dominion Virginia Power HBAV Benefits Group Virginia Housing Development Authority SILVER Clark Whitehill Enterprises Inc. FSK Property Management Mid South Building Supply PRO-Build BRONZE Meridian Construction Capital Napier Signature Homes

Virginia Builder   15


in the limelight

Local still rules in Shenandoah Valley

W

ith a new year ahead, the Shenandoah Valley housing market offers further proof that a strong local economy is powerful medicine against what ails most of the nation. “Harrisonburg is still a growing community. The economic engine is moving at a good pace,” says J.M. Snell II of Valley Renovators Inc., who is serving his second

term as president of the Shenandoah Valley Builders Association. “We’re in somewhat of a bubble because our economic engine is not in the same downturn.” “It’s not as bad as it could be. I think most people feel like they’re doing fairly well,” says SVBA Executive Officer Michelle Wilson-Johnson. Institutions of higher learning and firms involved in research and technology are adding buoyancy to the economy of Harrisonburg and surrounding Rockingham County, the area served by SVBA. Companies like SRI International, with its Center for Advanced Drug Research, exploring biotechnology, energy and nanotechnology; Criticon Corp., with its $115 million data storage facility and government contracts; and Merck pharmaceutical company are creating highly skilled and well-paid jobs. In fact, the Harrisonburg metropolitan area The paved pedestrian mall makes room for more exhibitors in the annual SVBA Home & Garden Show.

By Heidi Ketler

ranked second among nine other Virginia areas for its job-growth rate from August 2007 to August 2008. Growth was attributed in large part to James Madison University, which has expanded its student body. With its reasonable cost of living, world-class health care facilities and range of recreational activities, the area is an attractive place to live for a growing number of highly skilled retirees, as well. Election blues One national trend that Harrisonburg was not able to buck, however, was the Democratic sweep in local elections. Snell was one of the Republicans on the ballot for a city council seat. The only local winner who wasn’t a democrat was independent incumbent treasurer Jeff Shafer. “We really could have used J.M. on the city council. We have some anti-building folks on there,” says Wilson-Johnson. “He knew their stance toward the building industry and he threw his hat into the ring.” In October, the association’s monthly Issues in Growth talk radio show on WSVA hosted two live and well-attended candidate forums. All Issues in Growth programs are archived on the association’s Web site, www. valleybuilders.org, for instant replay. Snell is still closely connected with local decision making as a member of the Harrisonburg Planning Commission. Serving an eight-year appointment, he has three years to go. Local influence Like associations everywhere, SVBA is doing its part on the home front to ward off further economic decline. It entered into a joint venture with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors and created the “Buy Here, Buy Now” public service campaign to counter misinformation about the housing industry. In addition to local advertising, it included creating a Web site, www.thefactsstarthere. com, which continues to serve as a trusted source for up-to-date local news impacting the economy. Positive economic indicators The annual SVBA Parade of Homes showed continued strength this past October, with 22 entries on tour.

16   Virginia Builder

January/February 2009


“We found that people are still buying homes and looking for contractors” says Wilson-Johnson. “It’s not all doom and gloom.” “On the first day of the open house, we had a true success story,” says Snell. The eventual owners of an $800,000-plus showcase home on 15 acres with a swimming pool called the listing agent. The home buyers were relocating to the area. For years now, the association’s home and garden show has been on autopilot, easily selling out, drawing big crowds, and expanding indoors and out to accommodate. “We used to worry about the weather but we don’t anymore,” says Snell. Next year’s event is expected to be equally successful, with more than 90 percent of the booth space sold before Jan. 1. Running with the big dogs SVBA has been growing by leaps and bounds. When Wilson-Johnson came onboard nine years ago, there were 75 members. Today there are 356, two shy of SVBA’s annual goal. “We already passed the state-mandated goal,” says Snell. According to Home Builders Association of Virginia stats, in September, SVBA was one of the fastest-growing associations in the state, ranking No. 2 in growth rate and “holding pretty strong” in retention. To for tify retention, the association developed an ambassadors club this year. Quarterly orientation meetings for new members are an opportunity to network and learn about member benefits. Great green hope 2008 was Snell’s last year as SVBA president and in 2009 David Milstead of Milstead Construction assumed the post. Milstead, a life director, has previously served as president. Green building will top the agenda, says Wilson-Johnson. “The big thrust is going to be how to promote it to get this area educated about green building.” The association entered the green building arena this year by forming a green building committee. It is headed by Aaron Yoder of A.M. Yoder Co. Inc., “a very enthusiastic young builder involved with green building.” There was so much interest that the committee was broken down into three manageable subcommittees. They will work on a variety of educational forums, which will include a green building exposition in January/February 2009

HBAV President Henry Stephens (left) and Parade title sponsor, Joe Funkhouser of Coldwell Banker Funkhouser Realtors, present the President’s Choice Award to J.M. Snell II of Valley Renovators Inc., who is holding the Coldwell banker mascot. Parade of Homes Committee Chair Ken Wells of PolyPro looks on.

conjunction with the home and garden show and a Web page dedicated to green building, in addition to public symposiums. SVBA member Benjamin Meredith, who is a building inspector and EarthCraft certified, led the committee’s second symposium on Energy Star in November. About 40 people attended. “The challenge for green building is having home buyers reach the point that they agree it’s a worthwhile thing to have,” says

Snell. “If we can justify in their minds that it’s worthwhile to preserve our environment, then they’ll spend that money. “When homeowners go green, they generally have a payback in utility bill savings. Education is the key to get them over the price hurdle and, if we do this, then we have done a service to our local environment.” (Heidi Ketler is a free-lance writer living in Roanoke.) VAB

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Virginia Builder   17


HBA of Southside Virginia

stateline

s

Ho-ho-home builders

In December, Jolly ol’ St. Nick and his helper visited the headquarters of the HBA of Southside Virginia to hear the wish lists of some of our future home builders.

Home Building Association of Richmond HBAR conducts fall membership drive Energized with the battle cry “We are not participating in this recession,” seven teams of hard-working and dedicated volunteers recruited 30 new members in HBAR’s Fall Membership Drive. The new members were treated to a welcome cookout hosted by the HBAR board of directors.

Hundreds attend breakfast More than 300 members and guests attended HBAR’s Parade of Homes awards breakfast. The award winners and all entries were featured in a special Parade of Homes insert in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, included in the November/December issue of HBAR’s newsletter. The winners also are posted on the HBAR Web site at www.hbar.org.

Tidewater Builders Association Home building community salutes young wounded veteran This past fall, Tidewater Builders Association rallied to help a local veteran

with his freedom. TBA members and Martinsville-based Nationwide Custom Homes, along with many of its suppliers, worked with Homes for Our Troops to build a specially adapted, mortgage-free home for 23-year-old Jonathan Bartlett of Norfolk. Homes for Our Troops is a nonprofit organization that helps military personnel with severe injuries and/ or disabilities sustained during active-duty wartime service. Bartlett sustained life-altering injuries in 2004, a little more than a month after being deployed to Iraq. The IED that ripped through the Humvee he was in near Fallujah riddled his body with shrapnel and forced the amputation of one leg above and one below the knee. His new 1,560-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, part of Nationwide’s MainStreet collection, has an open floor plan, wide hallways and doorways and is completely ADA compliant. Built by Tidewater Modular Homes, the house was on display during TBA’s fall home show at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. After the show, it was delivered to a lot in Chesapeake, where Bartlett resides today. Army veteran Jonathan Bartlett visits Nationwide’s manufacturing facility to see his new home in production. TBA member Donna Belka (far left), who owns Tidewater Modular Homes with her husband, Fred, served as the general contractor.

18   Virginia Builder

Correction On page 31 of the October 2008 issue of Virginia Builder under the Spike Summary, Shawn Callahan was incorrectly associated with the Builders & Associate of Central Virginia. Callahan is a member of Roanoke Regional HBA.

Names in the news The ABC Supply Co. Inc. Solution Centers in Abingdon, Lynchburg and Roanoke have recently been redesigned to be more consumer friendly in the area of product information and selection for contractors and their clients. ABC Supply stores nationwide are being updated with this new design. Scandia USA Inc. of Glen Allen received a 2009 EnergyValue Housing Award from the NAHB Research Center. The company was among 12 builders who were selected to receive the national award honoring builders who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency into all aspects of new home construction. Case Design/Remodeling Inc. named Stock Building Supply its National Supplier of the Year for 2008. The Peninsula Housing & Builders Association honored the following members with 2008 awards: Sharon Thomas of January/February 2009


The Augusta HBA recently contributed $820 to the Boys & Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County. Seen here Tommy Shields Jr., 2008 builder director, presents the check to DeWayne Moore, chief professional officer of the club.

Wayne Harbin Builder Inc. was named the Cathy L. Pennock Customer Service Person of the Year; J.W. Wallace of J.W. Wallace Construction Inc. received the Paul Bickford Jr. Award; Greg Pritchard of Pritchard & Co. Builders Inc., the Robert C. Bunting Award; Brad Harbin of Wayne Harbin Builder Inc., the Spike Award; Wade Garnett of Garnett Construction Inc., the President’s Award; and Henry Singleton of Fulton Bank, a Special Recognition Award. Nina

Efird of SunTrust Mortgage was named the Associate of the Year and Katherine Renn of The Kicotan Co. netted Builder of the Year. Augusta HBA member Capitol Granite & Marble was named the Fabricator of the Year by Stone World magazine. Virginia Builder magazine received second place in the Public Relations – Four-color Magazine Category in the Virginia Press Women’s 2008 Communications Contest. VAB

Advertisers’ Index Please remember to do business with these businesses that find it important to support the publication of this magazine. Anthem........................................................19 Builders Industry Insurance Association .............inside back cover Builders Insurance Group....................12 Builders Mutual ...................back cover Costen Floors...........................................15 Demilec USA..............................................4 Dominion......................................................3 Donald A. Gardner Architects...........7 Norandex/Reynolds..................................9 ProSource...................inside front cover Residential Warranty Co.....................17 ScreenEze....................................................16 For more information on any of these advertisers, visit www.hbav.com and click on the Virginia Builder button to take you to a listing with links to their Web sites.

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Call Jim Bonnell, HBAV director of member benefits, for additional information, at

(804) 643-2797, ext. 305 or e-mail jbonnell@hbav.com. January/February 2009

Virginia Builder   19


Membership update

Making the most of your benefits budget by Jim Bonnell, LUTCF

E

mployee benefits should benefit employers, too, as the right benefits can help attract and retain talented employees. Many employers, though, are finding it difficult to deal with the rising cost of health insurance and an increasingly competitive job market. In a 2008 study, Towers Perrin predicted health insurance would cost an average of $9,144 per employee in 2008. What can employers do about it? To begin with, try to find out what benefits your employees want and need, then reassess your benefits package to provide those benefits most in demand.

Cafeteria plans Of course, no one plan can meet everyone’s needs. A worker preparing for retirement, for example, has very different needs than an employee who is just starting a family. It is possible, though, to offer benefits that meet everyone’s needs, even if you have a modest benefits budget, by establishing a Section 125 cafeteria plan. Each employee receives a set dollar amount that’s used to choose from a menu of benefits. Employees may exceed the allotted amount but must pay the difference. A cafeteria plan provides employees with the following advantages: Choice. Employees can choose the benefits they want most and they can change their benefits as their personal needs change. Discounts. Insurance is purchased at group rates, providing significant savings. Tax savings. Benefits are purchased with pretax dollars, reducing taxable income. Convenience. Premiums are deducted automatically from the employee’s paycheck. Group insurance also often provides guaranteed acceptance. Other than the benefits allocation provided for each employee, the only cost to the employer is for administering the plan. Retirement benefits Health insurance and a retirement plan are typically the core benefits most employees expect to receive. While the rising costs of health insurance make it necessary for many employers to share the 20   Virginia Builder

cost with employees, some employers are making up for cost sharing by enhancing other benefits. It’s a better time than ever to review your retirement benefits, as qualified retirement plans offer better tax benefits than ever before. As of plan year 2008, employees can contribute up to $15,500 a year to either a traditional 401(k) plan or a Roth 401(k), and employees 50 or older can contribute up to an additional $5,000. Contributions to 401(k) plans and other qualified retirement plans are tax deductible, and taxes on earnings are deferred until the money is withdrawn from the plan. Contributions to Roth 401(k) plans are made with after-tax dollars but, unless the rules change, participants will never have to pay taxes on their plan earnings or withdrawals, as long as the withdrawals meet the distribution requirements of the plan. In addition to sponsoring a retirement plan and offering matching contributions to the best of their ability, employers can help employees by ensuring they have the best possible plan sponsor. The plan should provide the investment choices employees need. The investments choices should provide enough variety so employees can properly diversify their accounts. Investments also should perform well enough, yet be safe enough, so employees can achieve their retirement goals. The plan sponsor also should communicate with you regularly and help ensure employees are well informed about what the plan offers and why it is in the employees’ best interest to invest in the plan. Group benefits Other benefits that may be of interest to employees range from employee assistance programs to group insurance. The most commonly offered insurance policies include life, disability and dental insurance, but long-term care insurance is rapidly increasing in popularity. Group life insurance is especially common because everyone needs it, but many employees haven’t purchased it. Life insurance is very affordable for a young workforce and will likely be viewed as being especially beneficial by anyone with a family. Many employees offer low-cost term life at no

cost to employees and permanent insurance, such as universal life, at a relatively low cost. Group disability income insurance, which can replace an employee’s income in case of a disability, is also important, yet many employees who should be covered are not. The odds of a long-term disability are high, yet less than a third of employees have insurance to replace their income in case they suffer from a long-term disability, according to the American Council of Life Insurers. Group long-term care insurance will likely continue growing as a benefit as awareness of the need for coverage grows. Neither health insurance nor government programs will cover long-term care unless a person has virtually no assets. Yet the cost of care can deplete a person’s savings very quickly. The average cost of a year in a nursing home is now $74,825, according to the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information. Let your employees know Employee benefits are, of course, useful only if employees know about them. Letting employees know what’s offered when they begin working for the company is a start, but it’s not enough. Remind your employees regularly about what you are offering them. Keep them informed by e-mail, with information in your company newsletter and on your intranet. Many programs are now available that allow employees to manage their employee benefits automatically online. When they can make changes as their needs change, their benefits plan will be more valuable to them — and they will be more likely to continue working for you. And that can be a true employer benefit. (Jim Bonnell, managing director of the HBAV Benefits Group, can be reached at [804] 643-2797 or jbonnell@hbav.com.) VAB The information presented is for informational purposes only. Individuals are advised to seek the counsel of licensed professionals to review their personal situation.

January/February 2009


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January/February 2009

Virginia Builder  
Virginia Builder  

trade association magazine published 9 times a year for members of the Virginia home building industry

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