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Five housing industry leaders, including three former NAHB presidents and the resort developer of Hilton Head Island, S.C., were inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame earlier this month.
The induction ceremony, held during NAHB's board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., recognized the honorees' dedication to advancing housing opportunities for all Americans.
"The honorees are all innovative visionaries whose spirit, ingenuity and dedication to advancing housing opportunities for all Americans has preserved the American Dream of homeownership for generations to come," said 2011 NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev.
The 2011 National Housing Hall of Fame inductees are:
- C. Kent Conine, a builder and developer from Dallas. Conine served as NAHB president in 2003 and led the association's effort to improve all facets of the home building industry. He was at the forefront of fostering innovative ways to create a secondary market for acquisition, development and construction loans to improve capital flow to the industry. In addition, he is a past president of the Texas Association of Builders and the National Association of State Housing Boards.
Since 2008, Conine has served as chairman of the governing body of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, a state agency responsible for affordable housing, community services and energy assistance programs. He also is a board member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and the Home and Apartment Builders of Metropolitan Dallas.
- Charles E. Fraser, a builder/developer of resort communities. Fraser's visionary approach to resort development and his dedication to using covenants and deed restrictions to protect the environment resulted in the legendary resort communities of Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Amelia Island, Fla.; Kiawah Island, S.C.; Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico; and Brandemill in Virginia.
He also was a consultant to the Walt Disney Company development of the planned community of Celebration in Orlando. In 1995, the Home Builders Association of South Carolina inducted Fraser into its Housing Hall of Fame. He died in a boating accident in 2002.
- James R. "Bobby" Rayburn, a home builder from Jackson, Miss. Rayburn served as NAHB president in 2004 and championed the cause of millions of working families throughout his career. He built more than 3,300 affordable homes through public/private partnerships.
He focused his term at NAHB on drawing attention to the affordability gap and plight of moderate-income workers — teachers, police officers, firefighters and others — who cannot afford to buy or rent homes in the community where they work. Previously, Rayburn co-authored the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development publication "Affordable Housing Development" and in 1988 served on the Governor's Housing Task Force in Mississippi.
- Charles Lee Thiemann, of Cincinnati. Thiemann helped oversee funding for housing, jobs and growth at 735 financial institutions in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee as president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati for 38 years. He was an early advocate of the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program, which has created more than 675,000 housing units since its creation in 1989.
Thiemann also was a member of NAHB's Housing Mortgage Roundtable and served as treasurer for the Habitat for Humanity International board of directors.
David F. Wilson, a custom home builder from Ketchum, Idaho. Wilson served the home building industry as an advisor to political leaders on issues ranging from affordable housing to excessive regulation and impact fees and was the 2005 NAHB president and the mayor of Sun Valley, Idaho.
As NAHB president, Wilson also led the association's relief effort to raise more than $2 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina through its Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund. Since then, he has served as a vice chairman of the fund.
Wilson also served as president of the Building Contractors Association of the Wood River Valley in Hailey, Idaho, and as president of the Idaho Building Contractors Association.
The National Housing Hall of Fame was established in 1976 and honors nearly 200 builders, developers, architects, financiers, land planners and government administrators who have made significant contributions to the housing industry. Hall of Fame honorees are selected by the National Housing Center Board of Governors.