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Donald Novak, CGR, CAPS, CGB, a former chairman of the NAHB Remodelers, 2002 NAHB Remodeler of the Year and a former president of the Greater Cedar Rapids Area Home Builders Association, died after battling cancer on April 26 in Washington, D.C. He was 73.
A Gold Key Club member since 1988, Novak was incredibly dedicated to NAHB and rarely, if ever, missed a board meeting. In fact, despite being gravely ill, he traveled to Washington to attend NAHB's spring board of directors meeting, but while there, he took a turn for the worse and died at Georgetown University Hospital.
A three-time president of the Greater Cedar Rapids HBA (1970, 1975 and 1988) who was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1990, Novak earned numerous designations and honors throughout his 52-year career as a builder and remodeler.
Novak, who founded Novak Construction in 1958, earned professional certifications including Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), as well as Certified Master Carpenter (CMP) and certified kitchen designer. He was a founding member of NAHB’s CAPS program.
He was selected as the 2002 National Remodeler of the Year by the NAHB Remodelers and, five years later, earned a lifetime achievement award for his dedication to the HBAs of the Greater Cedar Rapids Area, Greater Iowa City Area and Iowa, as well as NAHB. In 2007, the Greater Cedar Rapids HBA also honored him as its Remodeler of the Century.
Novak served as the chairman of the NAHB Remodelers in 2005 and as its vice chairman in 2004. He also served as a director with the council in 1987 and from 1999 until his death and served on the national council’s board of trustees from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2005.
He also was a board member of the Iowa City Remodelers Council from 2000 to 2004, including serving as chairman in 2003; and of the Iowa Home Builders Association since 2002.
In 2000, Remodeling Magazine selected his company, Novak Construction, as one of the top 500 remodeling companies in the country. The magazine also recognized his company as one of The Big 50 Remodeling Companies in 2000.
Novak is survived by his wife, Sharon; his daughters, Lory Novak-Towne of Fairfax and her husband, Thomas, Beverly Novak of Cedar Rapids and her husband, Keith Hemphill, and Kelly McDonald of Austin, Texas; a son, Tim McMeen and his wife Lisa, of Williamsburg; grandchildren Daniel Mitchell II, Benjamin Mitchell, Jordon Novak, Caitlyn Towne, Dylan McDonald, Evan McDonald, Mateo McMeen and Josie McMeen; a great grandson, Daniel Paul Mitchell III; a brother, Dave Novak of Beaverton, Ore.; and a sister, Linda Novak of Bradenton, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Norma, and a granddaughter, Sierra Mitchell.