Steven Barry Maltzman, founder of SMA Consulting and a respected business resource for small builders and remodelers alike, died unexpectedly at his Redlands, Calif., home Aug. 14. He was 54.

Bob Whitten, a partner at SMA Consulting, shared the news and remembered Maltzman in a letter published on SMA’s Web site. “Steve was our founder, leader and heart. He was a tireless worker for the residential construction industry, his clients, and for his family. … He will be missed by everyone who knew him.” (Click here to read a tribute to Maltzman from his friends and clients in the remodeling industry.)

As partner and founder of SMA Consulting, the patient and encouraging Maltzman worked with numerous home building firms both privately and as part of the NAHB’s Builder 20 program, which brings similar builders in different markets together for financial benchmarking and business planning. He shared his knowledge and expertise with those in the industry in countless ways: judging awards, speaking at conferences, and more.

Maltzman “did not often say no to anything or anyone,” Whitten wrote. “Steve was giving, caring, and genuinely interested in everyone’s well being.  I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.  He was one of the few truly good guys.”

Maltzman, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., is survived by his wife Sheri, daughters Sara and Dani, his mother, and his sister.

To honor their friend and colleague, Whitten and others at accounting firm have decided to change the company’s name back to Steve Maltzman & Associates. (Memories of Maltzman may be sent to info@smaops.com. Condolences may also be left online.)

In addition, they plan to establish a scholarship that will allow a student majoring in either accounting or construction management to take advantage of a professional internship during the senior or junior year. “These two areas of study represent Steve’s two professional and academic loves,” Whitten explained.

Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.