Houston Professional Women in Building Council Debuts as Largest in the Nation

Terry Swenson Featured, Professional Women in Building

GHBA’s Professional Women in Building Council received its official charter at the International Builders Show in February. Pictured left to right: D’Ann Brown, Strucsure Home Warranty; Laurie Wilson, First American Title – Homebuilder Division; GHBA CEO Aimee Bertrand; PWB Chair Jennifer Taylor, Brookfield Properties; Kathy Howard, Burgess Construction Consultants; GHBA President Jennifer Keller, Hamilton Thomas Homes; and Lori Palumbo, Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas.

The newly chartered Professional Women in Building Council (PWB), a community supportive of opportunity for women in our industry, held its first event on February 15, an Iron Chef cooking competition that inspired networking and relationship building, while highlighting the installation of the inaugural board members.

The Iron Chef Galentine’s Edition, held at CookChill, channeled the competitive nature of this council of professional, ambitious, and successful women and gents, as 110 members battled it out for the title. Even Giada De Laurentiis would be impressed with the variety of flavors featured from all corners of the globe. Each team was assigned a dish to prepare, with chicken revealed as the ‘secret ingredient.’ Dishes included Mediterranean Chicken, Chicken Biscuit Skillet, Cashew Chicken with Ginger, and Teriyaki Glazed Chicken, to name a few.

“Our teams did a fabulous job rising to the occasion of a true ‘Iron Chef’ event! Chef Jay purposely left some ingredients out, doubled up on others, or threw in a totally different ingredient than was listed. You all rose to the challenge by begging, borrowing even stealing the ingredients needed and knocked it out of the park.”

Donna Buenik, GHBA’s Director of Builders Services and liaison to the PWB

The winner was the Station 1 team of Kim Altsuler, Sindee Cox, Terri Harris, Beth Holman, Andria James, Jennifer Mills, Terry Nesch, Tamra Rivera, Becky Ullman and Linda Vo, with their Feta Chicken Burgers.


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“This event was a unique way for the PWB members to get to know one another and get conversations going about topics related to the residential construction industry. Our new board and members are already zeroing in on relevant topics and issues they are looking forward to discussing at upcoming meetings and events.”

PWB President Jennifer Taylor, Brookfield Properties

In addition to the Iron Chef throwdown and the board installation, the event was an opportunity to celebrate the 182 PWB members who shot the Houston PWB to the top of the list as the largest council in the country.

“I am impressed with the enthusiasm for this new community within GHBA and look forward to the relationships that will be built by PWB members in Houston, as well as with PWB members across the state and nation,“ said Aimee Bertrand, GHBA CEO. “I have no doubt that this group will do a tremendous amount for the reach of our industry’s charity, mentoring and networking.”

Membership in the local PWB also includes membership in the National Association of Home Builders’ PWB Council. The PWB will meet quarterly for educational programs and networking. For more information on becoming a PWB member contact Donna Buenik at dbuenik@ghba.org.

About the Author
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Terry Swenson

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A writer and a photographer, Terry Swenson is GHBA's Director of Public Relations. She is also the founder of the PictureThis Project, which puts cameras in the hands of Houston's homeless and allows them to share their story, through their lens.