Washington, DC – April 29, 2019 – Hanley Wood, the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries, has announced that Hayden Watson, chairman of Hayden Homes, is the recipient of the 2019 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award, presented annually by BUILDER magazine and Hearthstone, a leader in financing single family development.
“Individuals who go beyond operational achievement, and give extraordinary time, energy, resources, and committed leadership to helping others in need—this is what our Hearthstone BUILDER Award honorees do, and why they strike a very special chord in our business community,” said John McManus, Editorial Director and Vice President of the Residential Group at Hanley Wood. “Hayden’s generosity has impacted hundreds of people in the local community and is a shining example for the entire housing industry.”
Hearthstone and BUILDER, together with founding sponsor Kohler Company, joined forces to recognize builders who go the extra mile to help others. Now in its 20th year, the Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award has given more than $6 million to charity, making it the largest philanthropic award in the homebuilding industry. The award is given to builders who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to making their communities a better place to live and work.
“Year after year, we receive dozens of entries that showcase the good deeds that home builders perform for their community,” said Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone. “It’s so encouraging to witness the leadership and self-sacrifice of those in our industry. Every year gives us the unique opportunity to honor someone new that has an entirely different and meaningful impact. In today’s housing environment, it’s so important to highlight and recognize the accomplishments of leaders like Hayden Watson who provide the model for constructing affordable housing for families across the country.”
Watson has led Hayden Homes for close to three decades, starting as CEO in 1999, and becoming Chairman in 2016. Under his leadership, the company ranks as one of the top 35 private home builders in the country, with an economic impact of more than $3 billion since inception. Hayden Homes has provided more than 16,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven home buyers in underserved markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Hayden has built a strong foundation of giving and generosity, throughout the company’s entire suite of brands including Simplicity Homes, WiseSize and Hayden Homes. Hayden Homes commits ten percent of profits including one eighth of one percent of every home sale to charitable causes.
The trio of home building companies led by Watson have donated more than $18.5 million to a variety of causes including the non-profit, First Story. Watson founded First Story to provide hardworking, deserving and capable families with an affordable home and a major step toward financial freedom. Additionally, more than 80 percent of his staff contributes to this organization through a regular payroll deduction called “Give As You Go,” matched 100% by Hayden Homes.
First Story was launched ten years ago and since has served nearly 80 families and has been able to donate more than $1.3 million to support other non-profits with the vision to give every child the opportunity to grow up and thrive in a decent home, every parent the dignity of providing their kids with a safe place to grow, and every family the chance to build wealth. First Story puts a lower income family in the position to purchase a new home with no down payment and an interest-free loan.
In recent years, First Story has grown from a small organization operated out of Hayden Homes, to a public, non-profit that, currently has more than $11 million in assets. More information about the organization is available to new home buyers on Hayden Homes web site at https://www.hayden- homes.com/community-giving/.
“I feel fortunate that I was able to nominate Hayden and I know he feels incredibly honored to be receiving this recognition,” says Claire Duncan, Executive Director at First Story. “Hayden is changing lives; he’s not waiting for the government to solve the affordable housing crisis; he’s inspiring his employees and his peers to come together to give an opportunity for homeownership to families in need. Hayden is making a real difference for real people and my hope is that his generosity and vision can motivate others to do the same.”
Hayden Watson was selected by a panel of top industry leaders with experience in humanitarian outreach:
- John McManus, Vice President and Editorial Director, Residential Group, Hanley Wood
- Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone
- Bert Selva, CEO of Shea Homes
- Larry Webb, CEO of The New Home
- Dan Ryan, CEO of Dan Ryan Homes
- Chris Gaffney, Group President, Toll Brothers
- Lori Sanson, Executive Vice President, DeNova Homes
- Pat Hamill, CEO, Oakwood Homes
Watson will be honored at the 2019 Housing Leadership Summit, taking place May 13-15 at the Ritz- Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Cal.
“I’m extremely humbled as well as honored to receive this award and recognition,” said Watson. “I am proud to be part of a family that makes serving the community a priority, it’s probably the most important part of my job. I also am proud that we are directing efforts and resources to one of the country’s most profound issues – housing affordability and homelessness.”
Hearthstone was the first, and today is the largest institutional investor solely focused on for-sale residential development in the country, with over $15 billion committed to the homebuilding industry since 1992. This commitment represents the construction financing of over 120,000 homes in 20 states.
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