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. 

The Leadership Institute will be taking a break during COVID-19. Look for Leadership Institute to resume in 2021 (for the 2021-2022 series). Check back in the spring of 2021 for details.

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. 70 students have been enrolled in the Leadership Institute since it began. 

Questions? Contact Tom Gavaras at Tom@HousingFirstMN.org or 651-697-7592 or Mary Beth Blom at MaryBeth@HousingFirstMN.org or 651-697-7584




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.



"I loved each topic for every class. I have been very intrigued. Time seems to fly and all of the sudden the class is over. The guest speakers have been wonderful as well."

"I enjoyed the speakers and their insight on leadership. I also liked that every class we focused on one topic ."
"I came away from each course with new ideas and the motivation to implement them."
"The skills I'm learning can directly integrate into my job and future leadership career."
“It has made me more focused at work, understanding my co-workers on a different level, and I feel as if I am better at reporting to my managers since I have finished this class.”
“What I like best about the courses are the speakers that come in and share everything that works well for them with their busy schedules. Giving us insight on a lot of the same issues they face.”
“There is so much to learn! I'm thoroughly enjoying everything in the curriculum ... this is a valuable education I couldn't get somewhere else. Plus getting the opportunity to meet/network with influential people in our industry is a major plus.”

2021-2022 SCHEDULE

Ten consecutive months from September 2021 to June 2022 Most classes held from 3:00-6:30 pm except classes in September and June. Exact dates to be announced in 2021.

  • TBA: September 2021: Class 1:00-4:30 pm / Social Hour 4:30-5:30 pm
  • TBA: October 2021: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: November 2021: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: December 2021: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: January 2022: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: February 2022: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: March 2022: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: April 2022: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: May 2022: 3:00-6:30 pm
  • TBA: June 2022: Class 11:30 am-3:00 pm




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. In the event of COVID-19, sessions will be held virtually using Zoom.


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. This is all dependent on COVID-19.



Throughout his 30+ years of business experience, Jerry Olson has provided leadership inside organizations as well as facilitated leadership development as a business advisor and human resources consultant. After many years of running his own consulting and facilitation business, Jerry partnered with The Resultants in 2013. Jerry and The Resultants have provided instruction and curriculum for Housing First Minnesota’s Leadership Institute for the past four years.



Guest Speakers during the first five 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, Current Minority Leaders and former Speaker of the House, MN House of Representatives 
  • Roan DelVero, former Director of Sales, Central Division, Marvin Windows and Doors 
  • Ed Engelbrecht, Owner, Pella Northland
  • Tim Liester, Executive Vice President of Operations and Sales, US LBM Holdings 
  • 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
  • John Rask, Vice President of Land, M/I Homes
  • Teresa St. Amant, President, St. Amant Design
  • Mark Scherer, COO, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co.
  • David Siegel, Executive Director, 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 five sessions:
Admit One Home Systems, 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., Distinctive Structures, FocalPoint Flooring, Great Northern Builders, LLC, Hanson Builders, Inc., Highmark Builders, Inc., Highmark Restoration, 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., Solar Midwest, Suburban Dream Homes, LLC, Swanson Homes, Twin Cities Closet Company, Vujovich Design Build, Inc., and Warners' Stellian


Housing First Minnesota

2960 Centre Pointe Drive
Roseville, MN 55113


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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.