Posted on January 25, 2021 by Jorie Helms

The Oklahoma Home Builders Association has selected Jim Schuff, co-owner of Vesta Homes, as 2021 president.

Other officers are Brandon Jackson, of Tara Custom Homes in Tulsa, vice president-treasurer; and Ron Nance, of The Oaks in Lawton, vice president-secretary. Steve Taylor, of CenterPoint Energy, is chairman of the Associates Council.

Four people have been added to the Oklahoma Housing Hall of Fame.

Irvin “Bud” Blakley, as both a past president of the Oklahoma Home Builders Association and the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association, was a leader in housing for rural Oklahoma. Through his building company and lumber company in Chandler, he was involved in thousands of homes.

He was active in civics both in Davenport and Chandler. He also was active with the state associations, and the National Association of Home Builders. He was Oklahoma Builder of the Year in 1984 and was one of the state’s first Certified Professional Builders.

Leo Cravens served as the Oklahoma Home Builders Association’s executive officer from 1973 to 2004. He was also principal lobbyist for the association. He was also a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Association Executives and held the Certified Association Executive designation.

He helped shape the housing industry in regard to licensing, workers compensation reform and the association’s support of state "right-to-work" policies.

Ben Newcomer was a homebuilder and developer in the Norman area for more than 40 years. He was in the local and state associations and served was president of the state association in 1983. He most influential as a mentor to many, helping young builders and developers learn the intricacy of their profession. He also was an avid golfer and used lessons learned on the course in many of his business dealings.

Tom Wenrick is a developer, Realtor, and appraiser with 50-plus years of real estate experience, recognized as one of Tulsa’s foremost developers of residential subdivisions and commercial properties.

"It is Tom’s successful legislative advocacy where a developer’s lot inventory to be taxed at cost rather than retail until sold to a third party that distinguishes him among his peers and that has saved builders thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars over the years," the state association said, noting that Wenrick is a past president of the Tulsa and state associations and both have honored him with Builder of the Year awards.

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