Holiday Edition

'Tis the season of twinkle-lights, gift-giving, and office parties. 

It never quite feels like the holidays until I attend the Craftmark Group holiday party, held at my parent's house each December. This year, I pulled together a quick photo-opp alongside the Craftmark team's family element. There's me next to my father, Ken Malm, cousin Derek Huetinck, and brothers Chris and Robby. 

Over the years, the annual company party has grown and grown up as the company has evolved. For a few choice winters, we even moved the celebration out of my mom's house and into a larger venue. Today, we spread out in the company-built Bethesda home and enjoy the inclusive company of colleagues, sub-contractors, and friends.

The spirit this year was warm. We steer the conversation away from business and toward our shared interests in new-homes, dogs, and expectant young--millennial--families.  

I would even say a young energy reflects the group as a whole. I learned that Robby and Derek's infill endeavor, BeaconCrest Homes, now has 10 employees within the Craftmark Group umbrella. One of the accountants hints at how my brother Chris, who returned to the company this year after completing his CFA requirements, is starting to suggest upgrades to their processes. The veteran employee seems excited by the new blood and new ideas.

When Stone Works Inc. owner Andy Cocozzella walked through the door, I was pleased to also see his sons and heirs-apparents, Justin and Matt Cocozzella. Together, our families have moved a mountain of stone building Craftmark homes. Later in the night, a friend who I once interned with at the office described his transition from production to acquisitions, "Chasing land: It's faster than I thought it would be!" 

On a personal note, I was delighted to hear a few folks confirm they've started to notice my name in their inboxes. Perhaps you did, too? As editor of the Builder Business Update daily newsletter, I lead an effort to curate the best of the web. 

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

Who am I?

I am an associate editor in Hanley Wood’s Residential Construction Group where I write about the business of building. I’m also the chief curator for the Builder Business Update daily newsletter and co-curator of BUILDERPulse. Subscribe here. 

What do I cover? I love meeting the smart people behind the leading projects and companies in home building. I also keep an eye on trends in the industry, like in this category review on what’s new in flooring: Ceramics come of Age

My Favorite Content: It was fun chatting with Clifford Nies and Joan Nies-Cowgill for my profile of Wichita, Kan.-based Nies Homes in Family Ties. Now head of sales and design for the company, Nies-Cowgill has brought together CAD skills with her love of people to manifest her father’s vision of what a design/build firm can accomplish.

Jeff Peterson of new national homebuilder Serene Homes also has a great story. After walking away from the Las Vegas home building community in 2009, he’s back in action in Fort Worth where he’s about to open a never-before-seen RFID enhanced design center.  

Contact me: Have a story idea? Reach out at or connect with me on Twitter @Sandra4Builder