Canadian Contractor

HAVAN announces 2021 Leadership Awards


November 12, 2021
By Homebuilders Association Vancouver

The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) announced the HAVAN Leadership Awards last Wednesday, November 3, at Burnaby’s Riverway Golf and Country Club during their Annual Municipal Dinner, attended by 125 members and special guests, including twenty-three elected officials, with keynote speaker Mayor Linda Buchanan providing an overview of the direction being established by the City of North Vancouver.

Providing both industry and consumer education, HAVAN actively consults with local municipal governments with the focus of meeting Metro Vancouver’s housing needs. As a not-for-profit association, HAVAN’s success depends on volunteers who serve on our various committees, councils, and task forces. Each year, HAVAN presents its Leadership Awards to honour members for their service to the Association and the homebuilding industry, as nominated by their peers.

This year, the prestigious CHAIR AWARD OF HONOUR was presented to Avtar Johl of Platinum Group of Companies, Surrey, in recognition of his 15 years of service as Secretary Treasurer, and his work in ensuring the Association continues to maintain a clean financial bill of health.

Member of the Year

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Mike Freedman, Audio Insider Technology Design, Surrey (4-year member)

Jennifer-Lee Gunson, J-Pod Creations and Euro Canadian Construction Corp., Vancouver (15-year member)Mike and Jennifer helped launch and produce HAVAN’s popular consumer-facing podcast, Measure Twice, Cut Once – focused on connecting homeowners with professionals for the safety and protection of their families, and one of life’s greatest investment, our home. Over 5,000 downloads to date.

Trailblazer Award

Chris Hill, bCollective, North Vancouver (8-year member)

B COLLECTIVE created BOSS (Building Offsite Sustainable Systems), a collaborative, open-source solution that can provide BC’s building industry with a solution for creating healthier, sustainable homes. A complete system that is affordable and carbon neutral, BOSS provides Passive House Certification, is prefabricated, low embodied carbon materials, 100% electric and uses renewable energy sources.

Ambassador Award

Blake Ponuick, BAKA Communications, Richmond (8-year member)

 Serving as Board member, participating in the Communications Committee,  and Golf Committee Chair, Blake has helped to raise the profile of association initiatives to connect industry members and industry with consumers.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Faye Bork, Dick’s Lumber and Building Supplies, Burnaby (47-year member)

Core volunteer, helping HAVAN’s Marketing and Membership departments deliver industry-leading events such as the HAVAN Awards for Excellence, Coats for Kids Charity drive, and the Fall Classic Golf Tournament, to help build awareness and connections.

HAVAN HERO of the Year

Todd Best, Best Builders Ltd., Delta (21-year member)

 Long-standing supporter of HAVAN’s charity initiatives: HAVAN Heroes (Easter Seals), and Coats for Kids (Lower Mainland and Surrey Christmas Bureaus), plus ‘Building Futures’ Mackie Pie Challenge organized by Best Builders raising $39,000.

Gary Santini Education & Training Award

Nick Bray, Nick Bray Architecture, Vancouver (3-year member)

 Seeing is believing. Nick opened his award-winning home to educate industry and consumers on the benefits of good design and net zero and passive home building solutions.

Peter Simpson Award

Gary Mertens, Foxridge Homes,  a Qualico Company (32-year member)

The Peter Simpson Award is named in honour of HAVAN’s longest-serving CEO and is awarded to the HAVAN member who demonstrates a high-level of integrity, promotes homebuilding ideals, and has a positive attitude.

This was the first in-person dinner event held by the Association since the onset of the pandemic. All guests abided by Covid protocols while thoroughly enjoying and participating in the evenings events and networking opportunities for the advancement of housing solutions in the Lower Mainland.


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