Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee meets quarterly and provides strategic guidance with regard to the five major areas of Housing First Minnesota's modern, comprehensive advocacy program: Legislative Advocacy, Electoral Advocacy, Regulatory Advocacy, Legal Advocacy, and Issue Advocacy

The goal of Housing First Minnesota's public policy efforts is to elevate housing to be as vital to policymakers and influencers as we are to Minnesota's economy. As the leading voice for Minnesota builders and remodelers, we defend against onerous regulations and legislation that threaten housing affordability, and support ordinances, legislation, programs, and policies that make sensible and cost-effective land use and building practices a priority. 

2020 Committee Chair – Bill BurgessLennar

Housing First Minnesota Staff – James Vagle

Ambassador Committee

The Housing First Minnesota Ambassador Committee focuses its energy on engaging members and ensuring that all Housing First Minnesota members understand the breadth of services provided and how to best leverage our association for success in their businesses. Committee members must be well-versed in Housing First Minnesota so they may represent the organization effectively at trade shows and other industry opportunities, as well as welcome new members. In order to serve on the Housing First Minnesota Ambassador Committee, you must have been a member for at least one year and have attended at least three Housing First Minnesota events, including KickStart.

2020 Committee Chair – Dale LoefflerMarvin

Housing First Minnesota Staff  – Heather Griffis

Artisan Home Tour Committee

The Artisan Home Tour Committee is comprised of builders and remodelers who participate in the Artisan Home Tour. It is charged with broad oversight of the tour, including setting entrance standards, offering guidance regarding tour rules, and providing insight into tour marketing to ensure maximum attendance.

2020 Committee Chair –  John KraemerJohn Kraemer & Sons, Inc.

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Tom Gavaras 

Housing First Minnesota Foundation Committee

The mission of the Housing First Minnesota Foundation is to work in partnership with others to provide safe, durable, affordable housing for Minnesota's homeless, veterans, and others in need. We strive to accomplish this by partnering with social service organizations and other building professionals to rehabilitate existing facilities and build new ones, with a particular focus on helping the most people for the longest period of time. Through donations and volunteer efforts, we work to keep costs down thereby addressing the affordability issues for these families.

2020 Foundation Chair – Jody KernWells Fargo Home Mortgage

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Donnie Brown


BIG Night Committee

The BIG Night Committee plans and executes the Housing First Minnesota Building Industry Gala (BIG). The BIG Night is an exceptional evening of networking and is our industry celebration that showcases the best in the industry with Housing First Minnesota Awards. Major Housing First Minnesota Awards are given at the BIG Night: the Reggie, Trillium, ROMA, Bennie, Builder of the Year, Remodeler of the Year, Associate of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Legislator of the Year, Building Housing First Minnesota, MN Green Path Leadership Award, Rising Star, Robert L. Hanson Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Housing Industry Leader of the Year Award.

2020 Committee Chair – Lauren St. Martin, Creative Homes, Inc.

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Nicole Coon

Builders & Remodelers Show (BRS) Committee

The BRS Committee places a strong focus on the Builders and Remodelers Show (BRS) to ensure that the event continues to be a premier opportunity to connect associates to their clients.

2020 Committee Chair – Bryan MartinAquarius Home Services

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Nicole Coon

Education & Workforce Committee

The challenge of making construction a career of choice and sharing the outstanding opportunities in our field falls to the Education & Workforce Committee. The committee administers Housing First Minnesota Foundation's Scholarship Program. It is also engaged in a collaborative effort called Project Build Minnesota, a newly formed 501c3 that was developed for just that purpose. Members also speak at career fairs and are engaged with schools and students. In addition, the committee provides guidance and broad oversight regarding the accredited Contractor University courses for builders, remodelers, real estate agents, and building inspectors and non-accredited educational offerings at Housing First Minnesota.

2020 Committee Chair – Sunny BowmanDakota County Lumber Co.

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Tom Gavaras

Large Volume Builders Committee

This Committee represents the interests of Housing First Minnesota's largest builders. It meets four times per year to discuss issues pertinent to this market segment within our association.

2020 Committee Chair – James SlaikeuDR Horton, Inc., Minnesota

Housing First Minnesota Staff – James Vagle

MN Green Path Committee

Minnesota’s Green Path Committee is charged with oversight of our green building and remodeling program, which has tested more than 15,000 homes, providing each of them with a Home Performance Report.

2020 Committee Chair  Carole GriffithRobert Thomas Homes, Inc.

Housing First Minnesota Staff   Tom Gavaras

Parade of Homes Committee

The Parade of Homes Committee provides broad oversight into the planning and implementation of the Parade of Homes events and website. The committee is involved in developing the strategic plan for the tours, setting rules, imposing penalties, and providing insights regarding tour promotion to insure maximum value for tour participants. Committee members serve three-year staggered terms; 75% must be builders and only a builder can chair this committee. The committee works to maintain a balance between small, mid, and large-sized builders.

2020 Committee Chair – Sarah DulongRon Clark Construction

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Dawnita Parmely

Remodelers Committee

Housing First Minnesota's Remodelers Committee is the leadership group engaged in supporting our remodeler niche. It also is involved in the planning, implementation, and strategic planning for the Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase, and provides input to the BIG Night Committee about the Remodeler of Merit (ROMA) awards and the Remodeler of the Year.

2020 Committee Chair – Jason MyrlieJ Carsten Remodeling

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Nick Erickson

Small Volume Builders Committee

This committee is open to small-volume builders and encourages this market segment within our association to share concerns and issues pertinent to them. The committee also hosts in partnership with the Remodelers Committee three roundtable programs each year.

2020 Committee Chair – Art PrattPratt Homes

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Mark Foster

Young Professionals Committee

Housing First Minnesota's Young Professionals provide young talent within the building industry a chance to build relationships, become active in Housing First Minnesota, and develop as professionals. YPs sponsor the annual Housing First Minnesota Clay Shoot and hold several events during the year. The YPs have a particularly strong focus on charitable activities.

2020 Committee Chair – Natalie VelezGreat Northern Builders, LLC 

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Kristen Ober

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force

Housing First Minnesota is committed to the opportunity for homeownership for everyone, everywhere. Minnesota has one of the worst homeownership equity gaps in the country and this is unacceptable. As an integral piece of the housing industry, it’s important that we do our part in advocating for systemic change that will give more Minnesotans the opportunity to own a home and reap the many benefits that go hand-in-hand with homeownership. This task force has been newly-appointed by our president and will focus on three key areas:

  1. Homeownership Access: Outreach, listening, learning, research, connecting and understanding. From there, this task force will work closely with the Advocacy Committee to determine what public policy action can be taken.
  2. Workforce Inclusivity: Our Education and Workforce Development Committee will continue its efforts, and Housing First Minnesota’s partnership with Project Build Minnesota will strengthen to meet this goal. We’ll also examine what additional efforts are needed.
  3. Diversity in Association Engagement: Create initiatives that attract more Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Women, and LGBTQ individuals into engagement in the association and provide pathways to leadership.

These efforts will not be accomplished easily, nor rapidly, but Housing First Minnesota is committed to making a lasting change in the industry and is driven by its passion for the cause. We look forward to deep and sincere efforts.

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Kate Wigley

Member Bash Task Force

This task force plans and executes the Member Bash, our membership appreciation event. Prizes and Member Bucks are given away along with afternoon refreshments. Positions on this task force are for one event.

Housing First Minnesota  Staff – Nicole Coon

Clay Shoot Task Force

This task force plans and executes the Housing First Minnesota Clay Shoot, hosted by the Young Professionals Committee and held in October. Positions on this task force are for one event.

Housing First Minnesota Staff – Nicole Coon

Housing First Minnesota

2960 Centre Pointe Drive
Roseville, MN 55113


Staff List
Board of Directors

Our Mission

As the leading voice for builders and remodelers, we help our members build their businesses through marketing, advocacy and industry connections.

Our Vision

To be as vital in government and politics as we are to Minnesota’s economy.