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Blenker Honors Its Business Partners at 2018 B4 Conference

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Blenker Cos. gave its business partners the opportunity to grow their business, to build their network and to get honored at the 2018 Seventhwave Better Buildings: Better Business (B4) Conference, which took place from Feb. 14 through Feb. 16 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

For several years, Blenker Cos. has participated in the largest conference dedicated to cold climate residential building, not only as a vendor to display their products, but also as a facilitator of education and training opportunities for its business partners. This year, they took their participation a step further to combine forces with the B4 Conference, so that they could give their partners the opportunity to grow their business with everything that the conference had to offer.

Blenker Cos. kicked off the B4 Conference Wednesday, Feb. 14 with an awards ceremony.

“Our builders are our customers: they work hard to complete their projects and without them, Blenker Companies Inc. would not succeed as a manufacturer,” Jessica Anunson, Blenker Cos. B4 Conference organizer said. “The vendors help us provide quality products to our builders: we honor two each year who go above and beyond to help our builders succeed.”

Kevin Schemenauer of Hallmark Building Supplies took home the 2017 Vendor of the Year award for the vendor who provided support and service directly to the Blenker’s builder partners on-site and Mike Martin of ABC Supply Co. received the 2017 Vendor of the Year award for their support and service to the Blenker plant.

“I’d like to start with our Vendor Partner of the Year who provides exceptional support and service directly to our plant,” Mark Robinson, director of business development at Blenker Cos. said. “This partner provides us with custom printed Tyvek house wrap and keeps our production lines stocked and running smoothly at all times. Kevin Schemenauer is always looking for ways to grow our business through networking, referrals and new product offerings,” Robinson said.

ABC Supply Co. received its award for exemplifying Blenker core values and providing shorter lead times, less hassles and added conveniences.

Next, Blenker Cos. honored two employees for going above and beyond the call of duty. Justin Breyhan was honored with the 2017 Salesperson of the Year award and Kyle Halter was awarded with the 2017 Extra Mile award.

“Starting with Salesperson of the Year, he is a valued member of our team in more ways than just sales,” Robinson said.

Robinson said Breyhan’s years of experience of identifying ways that Blenker Companies can provide greater value to its builder partners and Breyhan’s ability to listen to the needs of its builders are qualities, which make Breyhan deserving of this award.

“I am honored to receive the Salesperson of the Year award and could not have done it without the support of my wife Hayli Breyhan and my kids who allow me to grind at this day after day!” Breyhan said. “Blenker Companies for assembling a support team that allows me to be successful on each project we partner on and the customers who continue to rely on me to help them create great new projects. It’s a fantastic time to be in the building industry and encourage anyone looking for a different career choice to check out our job postings.”

According to Robinson, Halter was the recipient of the 2017 Extra Mile Award for providing exceptional value to help Blenker Companies’ builder partners grow their business.

“This year, our winner has set the bar high,” Robinson said. “From meeting with Pillar Construction and John Michael Homes to create marketing videos, to assisting with builder website development, to producing Envision marketing videos geared toward homeowner education, to creating marketing opportunities and ramping up our social media presence, this team member has only begun to scratch the surface of what is to come.”

Robinson then went on to present the awards for the Blenker Building Systems rookie of the year and projects of the year.

Tom Kramer of Bear Country Builders received the 2017 BBS Residential Rookie of the Year award as a testament to his 44 years of building experience and his ability to creatively overcome challenges faced on a single family home project built in the fall of 2017.

Then Robinson announced Darryl Reetz of D.B. Reetz as the recipient of the 2017 BBS Residential Project of the Year award.

“From architectural design to framing completion, Darryl and his team helped guide this monstrous beauty through our process with ease,” Robinson said. “This project was a true testament to the collaborative effort of Darryl’s 35 plus years’ of experience as a design builder…”

The next award, the 2017 BBS Residential Builder of the Year went to a “repeat offender” of 2016. It went to Danny Lowery of Tim O’Brien Homes and according to Robinson, for good reason.

“Being a part of their team is fun, rewarding, educational and fulfilling,” Robinson said. “They are laser focused on being great at what they do and helping those around them to do better. Our core focus at Blenker Companies of easier, faster and better could just as well be theirs.”

The install crew for Tim O’Brien Homes was chosen for the next award. Korey Kahl of K&K Builders of Black Earth received the 2017 BBS Residential Install Crew of the Year award.

“We are lucky to have a residential set crew in the Madison area that continues to knock the ball out of the park for us time after time,” Robinson said. “Being the exclusive set crew for Tim O’Brien Homes: they understand the importance of efficiency, completing projects on-time and overall customer satisfaction.”

Joe Marchese was chosen as the 2017 BBS Multi-Family Install Crew of the Year.

“Joe’s crew always has a positive attitude and they are willing and want to work even in conditions that other crews refuse to work in,” Robinson said. “Joe, himself, displays the Blenker core values of owning it and level while his crew as a whole displays passion and drive.”

Robinson ended the BBS awards to honor Mick Hintz and E.J. Gering of Horizon Construction Group with the 2017 BBS Multi-Family Builder of the Year award.

Robinson said their extensive knowledge and their principled approach to building alone were reasons enough to award Horizon Construction Group.

Robinson launched the 2017 Envision. Home at Last. award process to award Scott and Cheryl Schmidt of Pillar Construction Group. They were the recipient of the 2017 Rookie of the Year award.

They were awarded for embracing all that is Envision. Home at Last., including their marketing, their full service showroom, their customized design and their electronic requests and orders.

Their first season with Envision. Home at Last. included building three homes, including a 2017 Parade of Homes model.

The 2016 Rookie of the Year award recipient, John Michael Homes, was the 2017 Envision. Home at Last Large Project of the Year award for the Rehm Project.

This 3,300 square foot ranch home started from a hand sketch and morphed into a gem, all thanks to the collaborative efforts of Andy Weber and the team at Blenker Companies. As a result, the customers were able to realize their dream home, bird room and all.

Paul Walker of Eagle Homes II took home the Envision. Home at Last. Small Project of the Year award for his work with the Skribba Project, a 1,757 square foot single story home.

Robinson said Walker operates in the smallest market that Blenker Companies serves, yet impressively, he is able to build five to 10 homes a year. Though his homes are typically small in stature, Robinson said Walker is able to meet customers’ needs and provide immeasurable value.

The penultimate award of the night went to Dawn and Paul Nelemans of Nelemans Construction with the 2017 Envision. Home at Last. Brand Promoter of the Year award.

“Their commitment to creating awareness of who they are and how they do things is what sets them apart from their competition,” Robinson said. “Dawn and Paul know that customers are looking for simplicity in the home building process and they also want to do business with a builder who can meet their expectations without breaking their budget.”

The ceremony ended with the 2017 Envision. Home at Last. Builder of the Year award, which according to Robinson, went to another “repeat offender.” Brice Nelson of Heartland Custom Homes received the award the year prior.

“And since they are repeat winners, I will repeat this from last year—Brice Nelson is always looking for ways to improve every year and without fail. This inner drive is contagious and is ingrained within their company culture. And we are honored to help them improve and reach their goals.”

2017 Blenker Companies, Inc. Award Ceremony Re-cap

2017 Blenker Companies, Inc. Winners
Vendor of the Year Award Winners
Hallmark Building SuppliesExceptional Support and Service Directly to the Blenker Plant
ABC Supply Co.Excellent Support and Service Directly to the Blenker Builder Partners On-site
Awards for Blenker Companies, Inc. Employees
Justin BreyhanSalesperson of the Year
Kyle HalterExtra Mile
Blenker Building Systems Builder Award Winners
Bear Country BuildersResidential Rookie of the Year
D.B. ReetzResidential Project of the Year
Tim O'Brien HomesResidential Builder of the Year
K&K Builders of Black Earth WIResidential Install Crew of the Year
Joe Marchese Multi-Family Install Crew of the Year
Horizon Construction GroupMulti-Family Builder of the Year
Envision. Home at Last. Builder Award Winners
Pillar Construction GroupRookie of the Year
John Michael HomesLarge Project of the Year
Eagle Homes IISmall Project of the Year
Nelemans ConstructionBrand Promoter of the Year
Heartland Custom HomesBuilder of the Year
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