Fort Smith area home builders hold holiday banquet

by The City Wire staff ( 7 views 

More than 100 home builders, Realtors, bankers and other professionals gathered Thursday night (Dec. 13) for the 2012 Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders Holiday Banquet and officer installation ceremony.

The event, held at the Phoenix Expo Center and sponsored by Fort Smith-based Benefit Bank, featured performances by outgoing Association President Rocky Walker and an impressive mini-concert performed by the Johnny Reb Singers from Southside High School.

Before the new officers and board were officially installed, past Association President Paul Walker said in his remarks that being a leader in the association requires two key traits.

“It takes diplomacy and it takes patience to get the job done,” Walker said.

The association was formed in 1955 to promote housing and now has more than 200 members. The goal of the group is to “increase public awareness of the products and services our members provide and advocate industry standards.”

Considering the recent years of a tough economy and the growing number of regulations imposed by federal, state and local governments, a positive attitude is required to be in the home building industry, noted Dave Hughes, executive director of the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders.

“We have a tough industry, but we hang in there. I think that if you aren’t an optimist, you wouldn’t make it a week in this business,” Hughes said.

Rocky Walker, the 2012 association president, welcomed Justin Green as the 2013 president. Green praised Paul Walker, Ronnie Rouse and other home builders who fostered growth in the industry and association.

“It’s an honor but I’m extremely nervous about it. … It’s like I’m the guy who comes to bat after Babe Ruth,” Green said.