Greater Tulsa Reporter
Five legends of Oklahoma’s home building industry were inducted into the Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame recently during the annual Installation Banquet and Hall of Fame induction ceremony of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association (OSHBA).
Home builders honored four living Hall of Famers and one posthumously as the second class inducted into the Housing Hall of Fame.
Inducted as the Class of 2016 into the Housing Hall were Bob Thompson of Norman, Ken Klein, Charlie Gilmore and the late Bill Rhees, all of Tulsa, and Reese Wilmoth of Oklahoma City, the first OSHBA Associates Council member inducted.
Hall of Fame inductees were introduced before an audience of about 250 by former OSHBA President Phil Rhees, who led the initiative to create an Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame in 2016.
“It’s been a great honor for me to watch the guys come up and receive their awards and to be recognized, because it means so much,” Rhees says. “For quite a long time I felt like a big segment of our leadership was not receiving the due recognition that they deserved.”
Rhees is the son of Hall of Famer Bill Rhees, who died in 2014 and was known for his work in developing wind-resistant construction techniques and safe rooms.
“Back in 1999, he worked with Project Impact, the city of Tulsa, Texas Tech University and State Farm Insurance to develop safe rooms that FEMA uses today,” Rhees says. “He did a lot of work putting those things together. I’m proud of the legacy he left of making homes safer for people, and I’m so glad he was recognized for that.”
The first class inducted in 2015 included the late Mark Dale of Edmond and Joe Robson of Tulsa.
The banquet was highlighted by three special awards presented, including Oklahoma Builder of the Year award to Jeff Click, of Oklahoma City, owner of Jeff Click Homes. Also honored as State Associate of the Year was Steve Taylor, immediate past Chair of the State Associates Council, and Phil Rhees, honored with the President’s Award by outgoing President Kurt Dinnes.
Guest speaker at the event was Randy Noel of Louisiana, first vice chairman of the board of the National Association of Home Builders.
Installed as 2017 OSHBA officers were Dan Reeves of Norman, President; David Blackburn, Tulsa, as vice president/treasurer; and Steve Allen, of Oklahoma City, as vice president/secretary.
Reeves is founder and CEO of Norman’s Landmark Fine Homes. He said his agenda for the year includes implementing a philosophy of “shepherding” leadership to connect with more members throughout the state with the ultimate goal of influencing legislation that impacts the housing industry.
“Our goal is government advocacy, and you have all this activity going on at the Capitol,” Reeves said. “We want more people out there. Our voice is being heard, because we’ve been into the politics side of it. But we need the people to show up at our Legislative Day at the Capitol to see that they are in it.”
Also installed were new officers of the State Associates Council, including Chris Evans of Oklahoma City as president; David Sanders of Tulsa, vice chair; and Connie Stokes of Stillwater, secretary. Vanessa Shadix of Oklahoma City remains as treasurer.
“This was an historic night as we not only installed new officers, but recognized five legends that shaped our industry,” said Mike Means, OSHBA Executive Vice President. “We are excited about the year ahead and the impact these new officers will have not only on our organization, but the housing industry across Oklahoma.”
About Tulsa HBA:
The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa is a not-for-profit, professional trade organization that is an advocate for the residential housing and remodeling industry in communities in and around Tulsa and serves approximately 900 members. The association is a corporate channel through which builders contribute time, money and services to local community service projects and education initiatives. Professional members must meet stringent requirements, including customer and professional references, insurance certification and adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.TulsaHBA.com.