Every year, volunteer members, HBAs and their staff work tirelessly to build a strong community, strengthen the industry and give back to cities, towns and neighbourhoods across Canada. The CHBA Association Leadership Awards honour the leaders within our organization – both individuals and our local and provincial homebuilders’ associations. This year’s honours were awarded in person during CHBA’s Home Building Week in Canada in Banff. Congratulations to the very deserving recipients.
Community Service Award – CHBA – Vancouver Island
The Community Service Award was given to CHBA – Vancouver Island, a local association in BC that has made regularly giving back to their community a priority. In 2022, members and staff volunteered and participated in an annual Seafood Extravaganza that raised nearly $130,000 for 10 local charities. They also participated in a “Big Wheel Charity Classic” that raised more than $73,000 for their community hospice society and children’s foundation. During their golf tournament, they added a charity hole for mental health, raising $1,300 to support the Canadian Mental Health Association. And as per the tradition of the board president choosing an additional charity to support throughout their term, CHBA – Vancouver Island donated $500 to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. CHBA – Vancouver Island’s largest accomplishment last year was the construction of a 3,000-sq.-ft. Dream Home Lottery Home in support of a standalone hospice facility to relieve pressure off the palliative care unit at their local hospital. Their association served as project manager and handled the marketing of the Dream Home. Local university students participated in the construction processes, and project partners delivered education sessions to students in tandem. The project was built by a local member and featured many other members during the process. The Dream Home garnered plenty of media attention and raised one million dollars for the hospice society.
Member of the Year – Tom Cochren
The prestigious Member of the Year award is a long-term achievement award for efforts over many years. This year it was presented to Tom Cochren of West End HBA (in Ontario) for his countless hours volunteering over four decades. He was President of both his local and provincial homebuilders’ associations before serving as CHBA President in 1989, and he has never stopped bringing the industry’s voice to the table. An R-2000 builder and a driving force on CHBA’s R-2000 Builders’ Committee, he was also a CMHC Healthy Housing Award winner. He was an export pioneer through training and joint ventures and a member of CMHC’s International Training Team. Associate Director representing Home Builders on the Canadian Wood Council, he was also recognized as a “Skilled Trades Partner” for outstanding contribution to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. Over the past two decades, Cochren has devoted countless volunteer hours to bring the builder’s perspective to construction codes – as Chair of the Standing Committee on Housing and Small Buildings, as a member of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) and its Executive Committee, and now as a member of the Transition Advisory Committee for the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes. He has been instrumental in informing the new direction of the national code development system. Cochren’s deep understanding of our industry has been an invaluable asset to our association, to members across the country, and to keeping Canadians among the best-housed people in the world.
Executive Officer of the Year – Rose Choy
This Executive Officer of the Year goes to the staff leader of a local or provincial association who has demonstrated exceptional leadership of their association, and the ability to work effectively with volunteer leaders to create a strong and positive voice for the housing industry, including administration, financial and human resource management, policy development and advocacy, membership development, media relations and communications. This year’s recipient was Rose Choy from CHBA – Central Interior in British Columbia. Choy took a very active role advocating for members last year, from hosting standing Development Cost Charges meetings with her city and her board, to presenting solutions to the “missing middle” to municipal government official, to going to bat for members on development challenges.
During the 2022 municipal election, she spearheaded the investment of a robust $30,000 marketing campaign that not only encouraged residents to vote for a progressive council, but also educated constituents on the importance of local housing issues. To ensure candidates also understood the issues, she personally met with all five mayoral and 23 councilor candidates.
Under her leadership, CHBA – Central Interior boasts a 98-per-cent membership retention rate and a new member growth rate of 20 per cent. Thanks to sound financial management, they were able to donate more than $72,000 towards the success of future tradespeople though several initiatives, and offer free education courses for members. Choy spearheads a wealth of services and value for members, including monthly dinner meetings, support hiring international workers and navigating building permits, and a newsletter with an open and click-through rate of 86 per cent, to name just a few. Through her relationship building and marketing skills, CHBA – Central Interior was featured more than 500 times across print and radio in 2022.
Choy is always willing to share her knowledge and support with other Executive Officers across the country, and the partnerships she has built and the effort she has demonstrated over her last 15 years of service with her HBA have galvanized the industry in a positive and productive way.
HBA of the Year – West End HBA
The HBA of the Year Award recognizes overall excellence by an HBA in delivering a strong and positive voice for the homebuilding industry, and in supporting the business success of members and their ability to provide affordability, quality and choice in housing for consumers. Under the leadership of their Executive Officer Mike Collins-Williams, the West End HBA significantly strengthened membership recruitment and retention in 2022, designed a new partnership program, launched a new website, established a Renovator’s Council and a Decor Management Committee, and created two new awards for members. With a focus on advocacy, they made major steps towards addressing their local housing crisis through modifications to Hamilton’s Official Plan, including expanding the urban boundary, increasing heigh and density permissions, and eliminating exclusionary zoning. This HBA wrote more than 45 technical submissions to their municipal and provincial governments, attended more than 100 government relations meetings, supported advocacy efforts through special projects, and its efforts were augmented by regular media features on various platforms, including TV interviews, podcasts and political shows on major television networks. West End HBA was a very deserving recipient of this year’s HBA of the Year award.
Congratulations to all of the recipients of this year’s Association Leadership Awards.