By Iris Richmond. Financial Services Guide

Big Builder's first list of financial services for builders will appear in our October issue. If you'd like to participate in this free listing, call Iris Richmond at 202-736-3367, or e-mail her at

Industry Movers and Shakers

Twenty-five years after starting to work with Toll Brothers, first as an Ernst and Young consultant and then, for the past 18 years, as CFO, Joel Rassman is becoming the company's executive vice president. Rassman will retain his titles of CFO and treasurer.

Brian Watson is now Taylor Woodrow's CFO for North American operations. Watson, who joined the company eight years ago as Florida corporate controller, most recently served as director of strategic planning.

The new chief information officer for Taylor Woodrow's U.S. operations is Robert Summers, who has 20 years of experience working with information services and specializes in information technology (IT) management. Summers will also serve as a liaison to the IT departments in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Weyerhaeuser Co. has appointed Nicole W. Piasecki to the company's board of directors. Piasecki currently serves as vice president of business strategy and marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle. Prior to joining Boeing in 1992, she worked as a business analyst for Weyerhaeuser Japan Ltd. in Tokyo.

Personnel changes? E-mail Iris Richmond at:

Feng's Sway

Home buyers are more concerned than ever with creating a home that provides sanctuary from a not-too-friendly world, says K. Hovnanian Enterprises' Corinne Hoffman, director of sales training and a certified feng shui practitioner. So, in addition to teaching the company's salespeople about the ancient Chinese study of the natural environment, Hoffman now offers seminars on it to Hovnanian home buyers. The free seminars give tips and techniques on how to incorporate feng shui principles into a home. Forty people attended the first seminar in June, held at the company's home design gallery in Edison, N.J. More sessions are being scheduled.

Spiffy ZIPs

Where do buyers most want to live? found out by tallying the ZIP codes most frequently searched by area home buyers in the first four months of 2002. Here are some hot spots (for a complete list, see 2002.asp):

Zip Code
Los Angeles 90405 Santa Monica
Orange County 90402 Santa Monica

Austin, Texas


Northwest Hills areaGreat Hills, Oak Forest

San Diego


La JollaPoway



Lincoln ParkGraceland







No. Virginia



Dallas/Fort Worth





Southside PlaceMontrose area


Mulch Refined

WCI Communities extends customization to even its mulch. Robert Olinger, WCI's director of landscape, spent three months working with Audubon International and Forestry Resources to create a brand of mulch exclusive to the Bonita Springs, Fla.-based builder. WCI Mulch is made entirely from unwanted wood, not from wetland tree species, such as cypress, and comes delivered in bags bearing the WCI logo. Olinger says the environmentally sensitive mulch, also available to WCI employees, is comparable in cost to other mulches but should have a longer service life.

Del Webb Goes North

Two new Sun City communities are under development to target the 16.2 million baby boomers who the U.S. Census Bureau reports plan to move and want to stay close to home or continue working after retirement. Great Island is a 600-unit community in Plymouth, Mass., and Somerset Run is a 750-unit community in Franklin Township, N.J. Prices start in the upper $250,000s, and both opened for selling in July.

Del Webb's arrival in the Boston, New York, and New Jersey markets comes on the heels of the builder's entries earlier this year at Falls Run in Fredericksburg, Va., its first mid-Atlantic development, and Solera near Phoenix. Pulte Homes reports that both areas are experiencing strong early sales.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, August 2002