NAHB Member Is The View's 'Ultimate Volunteer'
The ABC television show “The View” on Oct. 19 honored North Carolina home builder Tom Gipson as the winner of its Ultimate Volunteer contest.
Approximately 1,000 homes nationwide valued at more than $50 million have been built since 2002 as a result of Gipson’s work coordinating builder blitzes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
“This whole thing is about the more than 1,500 builders who have stepped up to the plate to help build these homes,” Gipson said. “It speaks so well of the generosity of our industry.”
Gipson is a member of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County, and was nominated for the contest by Tim Minton, the association’s executive vice president.
“Tom represents the heart of our home building industry,” Minton said. “His leadership in providing homes to people across the country is phenomenal.”
Ten national finalists were selected from more than 1,000 nominees, and the winner was chosen after a week of online public voting. The contest recognizes “someone who selflessly gives to others, who asks for nothing in return and inspires others to volunteer.”
Gipson’s association with Habitat began in 2002 when he worked with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County to recruit 11 home builders to build 12 houses in one week.
Putting his concept on a national scale, he traveled to more than 60 cities at his own expense to recruit builders for a nationwide builder blitz in 2006. More than 1,000 home builders constructed 459 Habitat homes in a single week — the largest one-week build in Habitat’s 30-year history.
He received a 2006 Silver National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service for the 2006 blitz, which was completed entirely by home builders and accounted for 8% of all Habitat homes built that year. The National Housing Endowment is NAHB’s philanthropic arm.
As part of the prize for winning the contest, “The View” flew Gipson and Minton to New York City to appear on the show. Gipson will receive one million Starwood Hotel & Resorts Preferred Guest Starpoints.
The full episode can be seen on the show’s Web site.
Minton, who’d never been to New York City, said the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a popular talk show was a unique experience.
“I ran into Elizabeth Hasselbeck in the hallway before the show,” he said. “She couldn’t have been more gracious, even though she was wearing huge curlers all over her head.”
Gipson is now traveling the country recruiting volunteers for a builder blitz in 2011.