CEO & President
Rank:28 Stepping in as CEO and president of a home building company in mid-2006 was a little like taking over as fire chief with a wildfire raging. But Holiday Builders board member Kim Shelpman answered the call when president Richard Hawkes resigned on Aug. 17 and immediately began battling the blaze on all fronts.
Top priority was protecting the balance sheet. Holiday concentrated on its backlog, weeding out as many investor contracts as possible. Employee teams rolled out a company-wide customer service focus, “which was a little on the waning side because of the frenzy of building,” she says. They also revamped the product line, forged strong relationships with the local Realtor community, and beefed up sales and construction training.
In 2007, Holiday is focusing on its key differentiator, its status as an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company. “Everyone has a vested interest,” Shelpman says. “We care about how every house turns out. A lot [of the] employees lost sight of that in the frenzy—[they were] just cranking it out. With the slowdown, it's a great opportunity to refocus on where we came from and why we're here.”