TRAINING/EDUCATION: 2nd generation Developer/Builder of Leo Soave. I grew up in the business and spent a majority of my youth outside of athletics, helping my father and older brothers around development sites doing clean up, punch work, etc. I started my first home shortly out of high school in 2000, and graduated from Wayne State University with
a degree in Finance while building single family homes on single infill sites through college.
SIZE OF COMPANY: approximately 35 full/part time employees. 166 homes built in 2016.
MARKETS: Throughout greater Southeastern Michigan (Howell, Livonia, Orion Twp, Livonia, Canton, Romulus, Huron Twp, Brownstown Twp & Superior Twp).
HBA MEMBERSHIP: Approximately 15 years.
BIGGEST HBA VALUE: I value the assistance with support on Legislative and regulatory affairs. The HBA is a great source and quick reference when the need arises for guidance on code compliance, regulatory and legislative issues. Forrest Wall, Don Pratt and Norm Finklestein (to name a few) are an asset to our industry and what they contribute behind the scenes to assist on some of the obstacles that developers and builders face on a day to day basis is very important. Other than the financial sector, I cannot think of another industry that is burdened with the increase regulatory hurdles that we currently face, and will continue to battle with in the future. Affordable housing is key to the future growth of the housing industry so having a strong association is key to rebutting some of the unnecessary codes and regulations that are being forced upon us.
WORDS OF WISDOM OR A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE LOOKING AT A CAREER AS A BUILDER: I would advise anyone that is looking to succeed at a career in this industry should make sure they are well capitalized, not only from a financial standpoint but also from an internal infrastructure perspective before starting a large project(s). Starting off small with a few single family homes spec homes is always a good conservative way to start and to get familiarized with the business. Having good employees but most importantly, sub-contractors & suppliers is key to success in any operation.