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Our people in the Housing Hall of Fame

11/13/2012

by Fred Seely, Editor

Jacksonville's Charlie Clark and Richard Horton of Miami were the 63rd and 64th inductees into the Florida Housing Hall of Fame.

According to the Florida Home Builders Association, the "primary mission of the Florida Housing Hall of Fame is to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to housing in Florida, the building industry, and the Florida Home Builders Association. A secondary purpose is to promote a positive image of Florida's building industry to the general public through increased awareness and education. A long-range goal of the Housing Hall of Fame is to develop a housing industry endowment fund for educational purposes."

The Hall of Fame started in 1990 and selection is by a nine-member Board of Governors, each of whom are past Hall of Fame inductees. Jacksonville's Rita Williams and Ron Coppenbarger are on the board.

Of the 64 members, 12 have strong ties to Northeast Florida, and here are their Hall of Fame biographies:

John A. Arbib

A highly-successful home builder and the 1980 president of the Florida Home Builders Association, he played a major role in three important industry milestones: development of the Florida Energy Code, creation of the Florida Housing Finance Agency, and Florida's leadership in promotion of the nation's first home warranty program. He was Florida's Builder of the Year in 1983.

Henry G. Bachara

One of his area's leading custom home builders for over 30 years and served for 17 years as a member of the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board. He was a past president of the Northeast Florida Builders Association.

Charles R. Clark

A champion for sales and marketing specialists and the vital role they play in the home building industry, he won the coveted Bill Molster and John P. Hall awards during his 40 years of service.

Ron Coppenbarger

Past president of both the Northeast Florida BA and Florida Home Builders Association, he brought positive change in such areas as public relations, workforce training, workers' comp reform, and legal action.

Tom C. David

He spent 42 years helping nearly one million families realize the dream of buying a home. While working for the Veterans Administration, he was involved on the day-to-day details of financing housing for rural and urban families and was instrumental in the passage of legislation to help veterans buy second homes.

Jack Demetree

He served as president of the Florida Home Builders Association in 1975 where he played a lead role in the formation of the state Political Action Committee and helped revise Florida's lien law.

Carmel R. Morris

The second person in history to be named Associate Member of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders, he is most widely known for his pioneering work in apprenticeship training, including the nation's premier program at The Northeast Florida Builders Association.

Raymond A. Nasrallah

The 1978 president of the Florida Home Builders Association, he led a grassroots movement to increase membership which made FHBA the largest state builders association in America. He also was a past president of the Northeast Florida BA.

Robert Rhodes

As an attorney and advisor to the Florida Home Builders Association, he played a key role in many FHBA legal victories in support of sensible growth. A long succession of Florida governors relied on his expert advice.

Bill Soforenko

One of the most successful builders of affordable housing in Florida, his efforts created home ownership opportunities for more than 5,000 families in the Northeast Florida. He was president of both the Northeast Florida BA and the Florida Home Builders Association in 1985.

Arnold Tritt

Tritt guided NEFBA for 34 years, shaping an association that continually set new standards of excellence in advocacy, member service, communications and community service.

Rita Williams

She provided inspirational leadership for such vital programs as the Aurora Awards, Excel Awards, and Southeast Building Conference, all while investing her vast interior merchandising skills in the success of home builders around the state and nation. She was FHBA Associate of the Year in 1996.



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