Broken Arrow’s Joe Robson Inducted into First Class of Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame

HOME BUILDERS HONORED: Tulsa area home builders pulled in the honors Jan. 9 when Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond, left, was selected as the state’s “Builder of the Year,” David Blackburn of Tulsa joined the state leadership ladder, and Joe Robson, right, of Broken Arrow was inducted into the housing industry’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

Courtesy OSHBA

The Oklahoma State Home Builders Association honored long-time Broken Arrow builder Joe Robson as one of the two first “Hall of Fame” inductees into the Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame.

Robson, past chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, was inducted Saturday along with the late Mark Dale of Oklahoma City at the organization’s annual installation banquet at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma, where approximately 160 were in attendance.

Also at the banquet, the Home Builders Association also selected Craig Thurmond of Broken Arrow as the state’s “Builder of the Year.”

Robson and Dale were honored for their roles in helping grow the association into a consumer-advocacy organization, which has earned a listening ear by legislators.
Robson is only the second Oklahoman to serve as chairman of the national home builders organization – the first in 1951. Serving in 2009, Robson worked with federal lawmakers to stabilize the mortgage market by shoring up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-federal agencies that back up the mortgage securities industry.

Robson was the state’s “Builder of the Year” in 1994, and served on the board of directors of OSHBA and was president the previous year. He was also president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa two years, and has been a Tulsa “Home Builder of the Year.”

In addition, he has served as director the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka; and was a member of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Committee. He is founder and president of his own building company in Broken Arrow, which developed the first master planned community in eastern Oklahoma.

Dale was OSHBA president in 2003 and was a two-time president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, in 1990 when the state was coming out of a housing slump, and then in 2010 when builders were emerging from a recession two years before.

As Builder of the Year honoree, Thurmond is a member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and serves as mayor of Broken Arrow. He has served on the Tulsa group’s board of directors since 1996 and has been recognized as “Builder of the Month” 11 times.

A member of the OSHBA since 1993, Thurmond owns his company and has managed more than $1 billion of building projects in Oklahoma and California. Also, he also was appointed to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which is tasked with regulation storm water general permits for construction activities.

David Blackburn, owner of Classe Homes in Tulsa, joins the leadership ladder as vice president/secretary. Blackburn has been building homes since 1977 and is a Certified Professional Builder, as is all the officers. They, along with outgoing president Phil Rhees of Union Boundary, will serve as senior officers this year.
Dave Sanders of Sanders Engineering in Tulsa was inducted as secretary of the Associates Council.

The Oklahoma State Home Builders Association is a not-for-profit, professional trade organization representing approximately 2,500 members that advocates for the state’s housing industry. The association is a corporate channel through which builders contribute time, money and services to lead community-service projects and education initiatives.

For more information about OSHBA, contact executive assistant Kathy Kastner at (405) 843-5579 or go to

Updated 01-25-2016

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