Leadership Institute

Leadership Institute

Develop the Next Leader in Your Business

The Housing First Minnesota Leadership Institute will prepare your company’s up-and-coming leaders to take a strong and confident leadership role in your company. To take OWNERSHIP of your company’s mission and bottom line, have greater decision-making CONFIDENCE, identify SOLUTIONS within your company and develop a NETWORK of peer advisors. 

Enrollment is still closed for the fifth annual Housing First Minnesota Leadership Institute. Fifteen students will be participating in the 2019-2020 series.   

Who can participate? Leadership Institute is open to employees of Housing First Minnesota member companies who supervise others or serve in a project management role within their company.

Questions? Contact Tom Gavaras at Tom@HousingFirstMN.org or 651-697-7592



In addition to lecture-style learning, the program will incorporate highly interactive exercises, discussions, and project-based activities and sessions. Using these multiple learning methods will increase takeaways for each person and create a rich adult learning environment.

Subjects that will be covered during the year-long program:

  • Knowing Your Own Strengths
  • Staying on Top of the Work
  • Communicating Effectively with Clients, Work Crews, Retail Staff and Boss
  • Seeing Your Company Through Your Customer’s Eyes
  • Problem Solving in the Office and on the Job Site
  • Managing Conflict
  • Understanding How Your Decisions Affect the Bottom Line
  • Training and Evaluating Others
  • Managing Change
  • True Leadership

In addition to class preparation and participation, each candidate will ultimately produce a work outcome for their business. The goal is that their class project will improve the company that sent them to the Institute.

2019-2020 SCHEDULE

Ten consecutive months from September 2019 to June 2020 Most classes held from 3:00-6:30pm except classes in September and June.

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019: Class 1:00-4:30pm / Social Hour 4:30-5:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020: 3:00-6:30pm
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020: Class 11:30am-3:00pm


What are the attendee expectations? 

Selected participants are expected to attend all scheduled sessions, complete all coursework, be actively focused and participatory during sessions, and be open to being mentored as well as mentoring someone else in the future. 


What is the application process?

Potential participants are required to submit an application for consideration. A selection team will then review the applications and determine the final class participants.   


What is the investment to participate? 

The initial program registration fee is $1,100, and includes all sessions, materials to be provided at each session.

Employers may want to agree with their employee that they are sending them to the Institute assuming continued employment with the sponsoring firm. Should the participant opt to change companies before the end of the program, that participant could be responsible to reimburse a prorated amount of the fee to their employer. 


Does everyone need to complete an individual project? 

Yes, this is your chance to give back to your company and industry and complete a project of personal interest to you. The project may involve work that is already under way, but should be undertaken in a way that allows a participant to apply his or her new skills. 


What if I can't attend one of the program meetings? Should I still submit my application? 

Yes, we understand that Housing First Minnesota professionals are busy and conflicts sometimes arise. One excused absence is allowed. However, it is highly recommended that participants do not miss the first class.


Where will the sessions be held? 

Sessions will be held at the Housing First Minnesota office, 2960 Centre Point Drive, Roseville, MN 55113.


How will graduates be recognized? 

Graduates will be presented with a completion certificate on stage at The BIG (Building Industry Gala) Night in October. Graduates will also receive a complimentary ticket to the event. 



We are pleased to have Jerry Olson from The Resultants as our professional facilitator and core curriculum instructor. With feedback and guidance from Housing First Minnesota staff and Education Committee, the courses will also utilize business leaders within Housing First Minnesota member companies as additional guest presenters. 

"I have a passion for helping people and organizations grow and prosper. Every person and organization faces challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing their goals. Helping people overcome challenges, grow personally, and lead their organizations to great. results and success is deeply satisfying." –Jerry Olson



Guest Speakers during the first four sessions:
  • Sal Abbate, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Veritiv Corp.
  • Bill Burgess, President MN Division, Lennar
  • K.C. Chermak, President/Owner, Pillar Home Partner, Inc.
  • Chris Contreras, VP of Operations, M/I Homes
  • Kurt Daudt, (former) Speaker of the House, MN House of Representatives 
  • Roan DelVero, Director of Sales, Central Division, Marvin Windows and Doors 
  • Ed Engelbrecht, Owner, Pella Northland
  • Tim Liester, Vice President, Lyman Companies 
  • Jody Maier, Chief Operating Officer, Wausau Supply Company
  • Bob Michels, Owner/President, Bob Michels Construction
  • Jason Myrlie, President, J. Carsten Remodeling
  • Shawn Nelson, President, New Spaces
  • Lowell Pratt, President/Owner, Pratt Homes
  • Teresa St. Amant, President, St. Amant Design
  • Mark Scherer, COO, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co.
  • David Siegel, Executive Director, BATC-Housing First Minnesota 
  • Butch Sprenger, Owner, Destiny Homes
  • Mike Swanson, VP of Operations, Brandl Anderson
  • Carla Warner, VP/Director of Sales, Warners' Stellian
  • Jeff Warner, President, Warners' Stellian
  • Tom Wiener, President, Cardinal Homebuilders


Companies that have sent students during the first four sessions:
Anchor Builders, Automated Building Comp.-Millwork Division, Accent Homes, Inc., Becker Building & Remodeling, Inc., Brush Masters, Centra Homes, LLC, Creative Homes, Inc., Distinctive Drywall, Inc., Great Northern Builders, LLC, Hanson Builders, Inc., Highmark Builders, Inc., IDC-Automatic, In-Focus Systems, Installed Business Solutions II LLC., James Barton Design Build Inc., James Hardie Building Products, Lennar, Lee Lyn Construction, LLC, Lyman Lumber Co., M/I Homes, Michael Lee, Inc., Michels Homes, Minnesota Rusco, Inc., Plekkenpol Builders, Inc., Quartersawn Design Build, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co., Solid., Suburban Dream Homes, LLC, Swanson Homes, Vujovich Design Build, Inc., and Warners' Stellian Appliance 


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.