Kevin O'Connor, Host
This Old House and Ask This Old House

Kevin O'Connor is the host of the award winning PBS series This Old House and Ask This Old House and has been on the show since 2003. Kevin serves on the editorial board of This Old House Magazine and he has also hosted shows for the DIY network and The History Channel’s H2. In September 2011 Kevin published his first book, The Best Homes of This Old House.

Prior to his television career Kevin practiced finance and most recently was a Senior Vice President at Bank of America in the Commercial Real Estate Group. Kevin received a B.A. degree in history from the College of the Holy Cross and a MBA degree from Boston University. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three children.



Mark Sanford, U.S. Representative
First District of South Carolina

Mark Sanford represents the First District of South Carolina, which covers the Lowcountry of the state, and was sworn-in as a member of the 113th Congress after winning a special election in May of 2013.

As the 115th Governor of South Carolina, serving from 2003 until 2011, he accomplished a long list of firsts, such as cutting the marginal income tax rate, the largest recurring tax cut in state history, first of its kind tort reform, workers' compensation reform, and bringing about the first statewide charter school district in the nation. All these actions were aimed at making the state a more inviting place in which to invest and build a business, and cumulatively led to $24 billion in capital investment – more in his governorship than during any other administration in South Carolina's history.

Prior to serving as governor, Mark represented South Carolina’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC from 1995 until 2001, where he was ranked by Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union as the most financially conservative member in all of Congress for his efforts to rein in wasteful spending and reduce the national debt.



Gerald M. Howard, CEO
National Association of Home Builders

Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders, has over 25 years of association experience and a lifetime in the housing industry. Jerry began his association career at the National Association of Realtors, where he served as a Legislative Analyst for tax issues. Prior to joining NAHB, Jerry served as the Chief Lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies where he was instrumental in the development of the low-income housing tax credit as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Before embarking on his association career, Jerry practiced real estate law in his home state of South Carolina. His exposure to the housing industry has literally encompassed a lifetime; Jerry grew up working in a variety of roles for his father, a developer.



Tim Costello, Chairman & CEO
Builder Homesite Inc. & New Home Technologies

Tim Costello is currently, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Builder Homesite Inc. (BHI) and New Home Technologies LLC (NHT). BHI is the leading digital marketing services and technology provider to the US home building industry. BHI was formed in 1999 by 37 of the nation’s largest homebuilders in order to facilitate the industry’s transition into the digital economy. BHI does business with over 1000 homebuilders nationwide and over 300 manufacturing brands. BHI has established itself as the leading digital marketing services provider to the home building/improvement vertical, providing a wide variety of products and services from websites, apps, lead generation, and advertising to architectural renderings, interactive content, virtual reality and sales center kiosks. BHI is consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Austin, Texas. BHI has been honored by Inc. magazine, the Austin Business Journal, The Association for Corporate Growth, Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche. BHI owns and operates several subsidiary operation including EX2 a global technology development company and Outcoding, a near shore outsourcing provider. Which provide technology solutions to companies outside of the homebuilding vertical.

Prior to BHI Tim led a distinguished career in both the automotive and semiconductor industries where he held a variety of executive positions in Worldwide Operation, Manufacturing, Strategic Planning, Engineering and Quality. Tim has also served on the boards of several non-profits as well as startups. He has also been recognized by the Shingo Prize with his inclusion in the Shingo Academy, honoring his role in spreading the use Lean Manufacturing techniques in the U.S.



Scott Yates, President & General Manager
Denver Lumber Company

Scott Yates is the President and General Manager of the Denver Lumber Company. Born in 1957 in Denver, Colorado, he began his career at the Company in 1973. He worked all facets of the business until becoming the General Manager in 1986. Scott graduated from Regis University in Denver in 1984 with a BSBA. Scott served as President of WOOD Inc in 1989, and President of Mountain States Lumber & Building Materials Association in 2000 and 2001. Scott will become Chairman for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association in October 2015 and is Chairman of LUDPAC, the NLBMDA PAC.



Marc Ellis, President
Ellis Construction Co.

Marc Ellis, President of Ellis Construction Co., Inc. has been building custom homes on and around Hilton Head Island since 1977. Having performed on many levels within the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association, Marc served as President of the HHAHBA in 1997, 2007 and 2008. Marc was honored with the HHAHBA Home Builder of the Year award in 1997 and 2006. Active not only within our community serving on several boards and committees associated with the home building industry, but Marc has also been active on the state level. As a past President of the State of South Carolina Home Builders Association (2003) and for the past 10 years has been the State of South Carolina Representative to the National Association of Home Builders. Marc is continuously striving to support and improve the housing industry and ultimately, the homeowner. Marc was inducted into the South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame in 2011 and was awarded 2 prestigious state Pinnacle Awards in 2012, Best Overall Green Building for a $1,000,000 home and second was for Best New Home Construction in the $1,000,000 category. Marc has received many designations over the years including Certified Master Builder, Certified Green Professional and is Earth Craft Certified.



Phillip Smith, President
Phillip W. Smith General Contractor, Inc.

Phillip Smith was introduced to the construction industry at a young age. After being mentored in both residential and commercial building, Phillip moved to Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the impact of Hurricane Hugo, in 1989, to assist in the relief efforts. In 1990he strated his own custom home building company, Phillip W. Smith General Contractor, Inc. The mission for the company was to provide homeowners with a positive experience through the support, understanding and knowledge of building a quality home. The business has prospered into an award-winning company where Phillip has earned a respected reputation for building some of the highest quality homes in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Phillip sits on the board of directors for Operation Home, a local non-profit organization and is a member of the Builder20 Club through the National Association of Home Builders.



Harold Baalman, President and CEO
B & B Lumber Company

After college and serving in the Marines, Harold Baalman began his Lumber career in 1971 with 84 Lumber as a retail salesman in Reading, PA. Eighteen months later he was named manager of 84, Springfield, IL. He went to work for Robert’s and Dybdahl, a wholesale lumber distributor, and was transferred to his hometown of Wichita in 1976. He and his brother Thomas purchased the local hometown lumber yard in late 1976 and he has served as President and CEO of B & B Lumber Company ever since. In 1996 Harold was elected Chairman of the Mid America Lumber Association, and in 2008 served as chairman of NLBMDA. When asked in 2010 to serve on the American Lumber Standards Committee he accepted and has been the NLBMDA Representative since. In 2012 the NLBMDA presented him with The Chairman’s Award for his service on the ALSC concerning the SYP design values. During his career he has served on numerous committees and task forces for both MLA and NLBMDA. He has also been active in his church serving as finance committee Chairman for over 20 years.



Chris Yenrick, President and COO
Smith Phillips Building Supply

Chris Yenrick currently serves as President and COO of Smith Phillips Building Supply. Established in 1880, Smith Phillips is one of the leading independent building suppliers in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a major in business management. Chris came to Smith Phillips in 1999 after serving active duty in the Army as a Medical Logistics Officer, with roles in contracting & acquisition, supply distribution, property management, and EMS services and has parlayed those experiences to the LBM industry. Chris has been active in various roles in both his regional and the national trade associations, has served as a past chair of NLBMDA, and is currently chair of the NLBMDA Legislative Committee. He also serves on the board of the Building Material Suppliers Association (BMSA) which encompasses OH, VA, TN, NC, and SC. Chris is a strong advocate for participation in industry circles and believes it is a contributing factor to the success of Smith Phillips and is a key component for continual education and personal growth, as well.



Wendy Whiteash
Senior Vice President of Culture, U.S. LBM

Wendy Whiteash is senior vice president of Culture for U.S. LBM, one of the nation’s largest building materials dealers. In this role, Wendy leads the development and implementation of the strategy to achieve U.S. LBM’s organizational excellence and continuous improvement objectives. She has executive oversight of the company’s Marketing, Communications, Human Resources and Organizational Development functional areas, which support more than 200 locations across 28 states.



John Perna, General Manager
Hamilton Building Supply, Hamilton, NJ

John Perna proudly serves as the General Manager of Hamilton Building Supply, an independent LBM dealer located in Central New Jersey. Aside from his work at Hamilton Building Supply, John is a board member for the New Jersey Building Material Dealers Association (NJBMDA) and the Northeastern Young Lumber Executives (NYLE) group. Both associations are affiliates of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) which serves 13 state and local groups in the Northeastern United States. John is also a proud member of the leadership team for the LMC Aspiring Leaders Group, which aims to attract and educate the younger generation of the LBM industry. John has had the distinct pleasure of being honored as a ProSales Magazine “Four Under 40” award winner for 2016 and is an Executive MBA candidate at the Villanova School of Business.



Thad Shuler
First Vice Chairman, BMSA Executive Committee

Thad Shuler grew up in the family business at Southern Lumber & Millworks Corp. After graduating from Clemson University, he worked overseas for German grocery store retailer, Lidl, focusing on retail and operations and distribution while living in Germany and England. He returned to the States in 2008 and rejoined the family business as the operations manager, and now has the privilege to serve as President of this outstanding family business. Thad enjoys spending time with his wife, Meredith, and two kids (Sydney, 6 and Thaddeus, 4). In his free time he likes to play soccer, golf, hunt, fish and spend time in the outdoors and travelling. Thad also speaks fluent German. He has served on the BMSA board since 2009, and is now the First Vice Chairman on the BMSA Executive Committee.


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