BUILDER Announces 2019 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award

Hayden Watson, chairman of Hayden Homes, is the recipient of the 2019 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian AwardHayden Homes Selected to Receive Honor

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.”

About Hearthstone

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.

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood is the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential, commercial design and construction industry. Utilizing the largest analytics and editorially driven Construction Industry Database – powered by Metrostudy – the company provides business intelligence and data-driven services. The company produces award-winning media, high-profile executive events, and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com.

About Hayden Homes
Established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has provided over 16,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven homebuyers in underserved, secondary markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately-owned new home builder in the Pacific Northwest.
With a commitment to building a strong community together, Hayden Homes has contributed 3.2 billion dollars to local economies and has created more than 62,000 jobs since the company’s inception. Hayden Homes supports philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build and have contributed more than 18.3 million dollars in charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, First Story. To date, First Story has provided 77 deserving and capable families throughout the Pacific Northwest with a safe, healthy affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies includes Simplicity by Hayden HomesWise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase a new home.

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Hayden Homes Announces New Sisters High School Arts Competition

Winner to Receive $2,500 Scholarship  
Sisters, Ore.—Hayden Homes announces today a new opportunity for the youth of Sisters Country to contribute to the region’s vibrant arts scene. Building on last year’s successful showing of art in the Village at Cold Springs model home, Hayden Homes will sponsor a new contest for high school juniors and seniors this spring.
The winner will earn a $2,500 scholarship from Hayden Homes to be awarded upon graduation.
To participate, students will first design a 2D sketch of an all-original art work. The Sisters Arts Association judges will review the designs and select a winning concept. Hayden Homes will commission the piece, which will then be displayed in a Sisters community model home beginning in summer 2019.
“Students are so extremely fortunate in Sisters to be supported by special programs that enable them to express their own art,” said Bethany Gunnarson, Sisters High School arts instructor. “This Hayden Homes contest ups the ante and will encourage new focus and intensity in our arts students as they hone in on their unique creative style.”
Students have until March 15 to draft their proposal, which will include a sketch of the piece along with a description of the artwork, execution strategy and supply needs. A team of judges from the Sisters Arts Association will complete their review of the artwork.
The winning concept will be announced the week of March 18. The art piece will then be commissioned by Hayden Homes for completion by May 10.  The student artist will share their work at a special “Meet the Artist” night at the model home to kick off a season of display alongside a framed photo and bio.
“It is Hayden Homes’ honor to partner with Sisters High School and the Sisters Arts Association to showcase the incredible talent of Sisters Country youth,” said Geoff Harris, Regional Director for Hayden Homes. “We are excited to showcase such a unique piece of local artwork in our model home.”
About Hayden Homes
Established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has provided over 16,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven homebuyers in underserved, secondary markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately-owned new home builder in the Pacific Northwest.
With a commitment to building a strong community together, Hayden Homes has contributed 3.2 billion dollars to local economies and has created more than 62,000 jobs since the company’s inception. Hayden Homes supports philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build and have contributed more than 18.3 million dollars in charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, First Story. To date, First Story has provided 77 deserving and capable families throughout the Pacific Northwest with a safe, healthy affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies includes Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase a new home.
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Hayden Homes Named The #1 Best Place to Work in Oregon

Hayden Homes earns top honor in Oregon Business “100 Best Companies to Work For”
REDMOND, Ore. —  Hayden Homes was honored with first place in the large companies category for Oregon Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The 100 Best list recognizes companies for excellence in benefits and compensation, work environment, decision-making and trust, performance management, and career development and learning.
“It is humbling and inspiring to be recognized as the Best Company to Work For by our employees and Oregon Business,” said Steve Klingman, President of Hayden Homes. “We earned the number one spot on this list because of our team members who bring the Hayden Homes’ culture to life and are dedicated to making our world a better place to live.”
Oregon Business Magazine sent anonymous workplace surveys to employees throughout Oregon as part of the selection process. This year, over 10,000 confidential surveys were completed by employees. The honorees encompass companies across the state of Oregon in three categories – large, medium, and small companies.
The full list can be found here.
HAYDEN HOMES NAMED THE #1 BEST PLACE TO WORK IN OREGON
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About Hayden Homes
Established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has provided over 16,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven homebuyers in underserved, secondary markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately owned new home builder in the Pacific Northwest.
With a commitment to building a strong community together, Hayden Homes has contributed 3.2 billion dollars to local economies and has created more than 62,000 jobs since the company’s inception. Hayden Homes supports philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build and have contributed more than 18.3 million dollars in charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, First Story. To date, First Story has provided 77 deserving and capable families throughout the Pacific Northwest with a safe, healthy affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies includes Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase a new home.

Hayden Homes Named The #1 Best Place to Work in Washington State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2018

Hayden-Homes-Named-Best-Place-to-Work-in-WA-StateHAYDEN HOMES NAMED THE #1 BEST PLACE TO WORK IN WASHINGTON STATE
Hayden Homes earns top honor in Seattle Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”

REDMOND, Ore. — Hayden Homes was honored with first place in the Headquartered Outside Washington category for Seattle Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The award salutes Washington companies that set the standard for executive leadership, benefits, rewards/recognition, corporate culture, training, work environment and more. The Best Companies to Work For are determined by anonymous responses to direct employee surveys.

“It is humbling and inspiring to be recognized as the Best Company to Work For by our employees and Seattle Business Magazine,” said Steve Klingman, President of Hayden Homes. “Rooted in a culture of generosity and abundance, this spirit determines everything from our team member experience, to the quality of our work, to the way we act as a company. We earned the #1 spot on this list because of our team members who bring the Hayden Homes’ culture to life and are dedicated to making our world a better place to live.”

Seattle Business Magazine sent anonymous workplace surveys to employees throughout Washington state as part of the selection process. Based on thousands of confidential surveys completed by employees, the honorees encompass companies across the state of Washington in four categories – small firms, midsize firms, large firms and firms headquartered outside Washington State.

Michael Romoser, associate publisher of Seattle Business magazine, said, “This is the 29th year of producing our state’s 100 Best Companies to Work For program. The vast number of companies that participate in the in-depth, direct-to-employee survey process never make the list. For the ones that do, it is a remarkable achievement and testament to their fostering inclusive, engaged work environments.”

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About Hayden Homes
Established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has provided 15,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven homebuyers in underserved, secondary markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately owned new home builder in the Pacific Northwest.

With a commitment to building a strong community together, Hayden Homes has contributed 2.5 billion dollars to local economies and creates more than 5,500 jobs annually. Hayden Homes supports philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build and have contributed more than 13.3 million dollars in charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, First Story. To date, First Story has provided 72 deserving and capable families throughout the Pacific Northwest with a safe, healthy affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies includes Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase a new home.

Veteran Home Dedication

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2018

Rebuilding a Veteran's Home in MedfordVIETNAM VETERAN’S HOME OF 42 YEARS REBUILT WITH HELP OF NORTHWEST HOME BUILDER, CITY GOVERNMENT, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION, AND NUMEROUS OTHER PARTNERS

REDMOND, Ore. — Northwest home builder Hayden Homes, nonprofit First Story, the City of Medford, Ore., and numerous other partners recently came together to rebuild the 42-year-old home of William Verschoor, a veteran who fought in the Vietnam War. Verschoor voluntarily enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Dong Ha from 1968 to 1970 as a field soldier and tank mechanic.

A local neighbor contacted the City of Medford about the condition of the veteran’s home. A tree had fallen and severely damaged the roof, and upon further inspection, missing floor section were discovered and the home had no insulation, heat, or running water. The home was deemed uninhabitable by the building department. The City of Medford reached out to a local builder, Hayden Homes, and asked the builder to partner with the City to construct a new home for Verschoor.

“Hayden Homes builds in 35 different cities throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and this collaborative partnership between government, private and public entities is refreshing and incredibly unique,” said Shane Johnson, Regional Director for Hayden Homes. “When the city reached out to us, saying ‘yes’ to being a part of this project came very easily because of our belief in building strong communities … the very reason Hayden Homes was founded.”

The City of Medford waived all fees associated with the project, including permitting, inspection, and timeline. Hayden Homes oversaw the construction management of the home and worked with its nonprofit, First Story, which helps deserving individuals and families in need achieve homeownership. Hayden Homes also coordinated with additional partners to secure the necessary services and materials to rebuild the home, including excavation, foundation, plumbing, paint, and lumber.

“When we saw the condition of the home, we knew we needed to do something to try and find a way to help Mr. Verschoor keep his home and avoid homelessness,” said Gary Wheeler, City of Medford Mayor. “This project is a beautiful demonstration of our community coming together to help a man who proudly served our country.”

Keys to the completed home were presented in a special dedication to the deserving veteran at a ceremony where he was honored and welcomed into his new home by the community, neighbors, and numerous partners.
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About Hayden Homes
Hayden Homes provides new homes to hardworking families throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has built more than 14,000 homes in over 300 new home communities. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately owned new home builder in the Pacific Northwest.

With a commitment to building strong communities together, Hayden Homes has contributed 2.5 billion dollars to local economies and creates more than 5500 jobs annually. Hayden Homes supports philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build and have contributed more than 13.3 million dollars in charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501C3 Non-Profit, First Story. To date, First Story has provided 69 work-force families throughout the Pacific Northwest with an affordable home ownership opportunity and a first step toward financial freedom. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies includes Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase in a new home community in Central Oregon.

About First Story
First Story is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing affordable home ownership opportunities to deserving families throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Founded in Redmond, Oregon in 1998, First Story has helped more than 10,000 families through new home construction and financial support. For more information visit: www.FirstStory.org.

Hayden Homes Announces Leadership Change

HAYDEN HOMES ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP CHANGE

Hayden Homes, a Redmond-based home builder, has announced three executive leadership changes in a strategic effort to prepare the company for unprecedented growth.

Company namesake and former CEO Hayden Watson has been promoted to Chairman of the Board.

“A University of the Pacific-Stockton and Harvard Business School President Management Program alumnus, Watson ascended to his position as CEO in 1999 when his father – and company founder – Robert Watson retired,” the news release states.

The 15-year company president and fellow Harvard Business School President Management Program alumnus Dennis Murphy will assume the role as CEO, overseeing all organizational development for the Hayden Homes brands, as well as Land Development and Acquisition for the homebuilder.

Hayden Homes Managing Director Steve Klingman has been named president after a distinguished 15-year career.

“During his tenure, which also included completion of the Harvard Business School General Managers Program, Klingman has overseen the supply chain, estimating, architectural design, construction, customer service, IT, and sales functions of the business,” according to the news release.

Hayden Homes was established in 1989. The brand family is comprised of three entities: Hayden Homes, a value-driven residential home builder, Simplicity Homes, an on-your-land homebuilder and WiseSize Homes, a kit home provider. With the support of these companies, Hayden Homes is poised to triple their business in the next several years, the release states.

Copper Basin sells residential homesites to Hayden Homes

COPPER BASIN TO SELL 1,200 RESIDENTIAL HOMESITES TO HAYDEN HOMES, LLC

Acquisition Secures Hayden Homes as Largest Private Homebuilder in Pacific NW; Copper Basin continues to operate its land development and multi-family business

 

Redmond, OR & Hayden, ID— Copper Basin Construction and Hayden Homes LLC announced today that they have closed on a purchase agreement for Hayden Homes to acquire approximately 1,200 residential lots in the inland northwest including Spokane, North Idaho, and Pullman. Hayden Homes will acquire the lots in a phased approach over the next several years; Copper Basin will be phasing out of the residential home-building business as a result of this acquisition.

 

Copper Basin owners Greg Gervais and Steve White, along with their employees, will continue to operate the Copper Basin land development division and multi-family business out of their office in Hayden, Idaho.

 

“We enjoyed working in the residential home-building side of the business for many years, but now we are excited to support Hayden Homes by offering consumers a wide array of desirable residential lots and quality homes,” said Steve White, Chief Executive Officer of Copper Basin Construction. “We share many of the same core values, and Hayden Homes has consistently demonstrated a commitment to deliver customers both high-quality homes and a great home-buying experience.”

 

According to Dennis Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Hayden Homes, “The addition of Copper Basin’s residential homebuilding business allows us to continue to deliver on our mission of providing the highest quality home at an un-paralleled value. The addition of Copper Basin’s lots solidifies our ongoing commitment to the Inland Northwest region for years to come.”

 

Hayden Homes has built in the Spokane area since 1994, and will begin expanding this reach to customers throughout North Idaho in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum communities immediately.

 

About Hayden Homes

In the 25 years since it was established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has built 10,000 homes in over 300 communities, across more than 50 cities, spanning four states.

Hallmarked by a commitment to delivering wealth for the customers and communities in which they build, the trusted Northwest company donates a portion of every home sold back to the local community through their not-for-profit First Story. This organization has delivered more than $5 Million in support through their Community Giving and Grant Home programs.

 

The Hayden Homes family of brands is comprised of three entities: Hayden Homes, a value-driven residential home builder, Simplicity Homes, an on-your-land homebuilder, and WiseSize Homes, a kit home provider. With the support of these companies, Hayden Homes is poised to triple their business by 2020.

 

About Copper Basin Construction

Copper Basin has operated in the North Idaho and Eastern Washington region for more than 21 years, delivering thousands of homes during that time period and establishing itself as a reputable, honest builder and community supporter. Owners Steve White and Greg Gervais founded the company in 1994 and have grown Copper Basin to become one of the largest homebuilders in the inland northwest.

 

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Hayden Homes Joins Forces with Washington Trust Bank

Northwest Home Builder Aligns with Largest Private Commercial Bank in the Region

Redmond, Oregon — Effective February 7, 2014, Northwest homebuilder Hayden Homes will shift from private, in-house lending to join forces with Washington Trust Bank as their preferred lender, to achieve the unprecedented growth they have forecasted for the coming decade.

With a collective tenure of 137 years doing business in the Pacific Northwest, Hayden Homes and Washington Trust Bank are private, family-owned companies with an unwaivering focus on community service. As the preferred lender for Hayden Homes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, Washington Trust Bank will provide customers with competitive fees, lengthy lock times, and exceptional support throughout the home loan process.

“We are constantly striving to better serve our customers in communities throughout the Northwest, which includes making the home loan process easier for every one of our prospective home owners,” said Hayden Homes President Dennis Murphy. “Washington Trust Bank is an exceptional organization and a natural fit as a financial partner.”

Established in 2002 by Watson Enterprises, current Hayden Homes lender of choice Cornerstone Lending Group was principally focused onproviding financing for prospective Hayden Homeowners in Oregon and Washington. The migration from Cornerstone Lending Group to Washington Trust Bank will include an absorbtion of the Cornerstone brand to become one entityunder the Washington Trust umbrella.

About Hayden Homes: Hayden Homes has been building affordable, award-winning homes in Northwest communities for 25 years, making possible the dream of homeownership for more than 9,000 hardworking families since 1989. Driven to provide the highest quality home for the lowest possible cost and thereby building wealth for all involved, Hayden Homes proudly delivers zero-defect homes to the customer in a professional and curteous manner.

About Washington Trust Bank: Washington Trust Bank is the largest independently owned full-service commercial bank in the Northwest serving the region since 1902. A wholly owned subsidiary of WTB Financial Corporation, Washington Trust Bank has assets exceeding $4 billion. The bank is headquartered in Spokane, WA and currently has 43 branches and offices in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Hayden Homes Named Among Top 50 Builders for a Third Consecutive Year

builder100We are thrilled to announce that Builder magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Home Builders, has ranked Hayden Homes #42 on their Builder 100 list of America’s top builders.

Hayden Homes has been able to achieve success by remaining true to our core purpose of delivering the highest quality home for the lowest possible cost. Hayden Homes is approaching 9000 total homes built since the company was first started in 1989, which has contributed over $1billion in wealth to the Northwest community.

We take pride in building wealth for our customers, our employees, and our local communities. Building wealth for our customers means making an investment in a high quality home that will increase in value over time, rather than throwing money away renting. For our employees, it is giving them an opportunity to invest in Hayden Homes as well as investing in their personal and professional development. And finally, building wealth in our communities means helping families out of poverty with home ownership program through First Story. It also means providing work for thousands of local vendors and tradesman. Being a bigger builder allows us to do more good and provide more jobs.Hodges-WallRaising52

“Being part of the Builder 100 list is an honor that could not have been achieved without the help and support of every Hayden Homes customer, trade partner, and team member with whom we work on a daily basis,” said Hayden Watson, Owner and CEO of Hayden Homes.

About Hayden Homes:
Since 1989, Hayden Homes has been building award-winning homes in Northwest communities from its headquarters in Redmond, Oregon. Driven to provide the highest quality home for the lowest possible cost and thereby building wealth for all involved, Hayden Homes proudly delivers excellence in home building each and every day.

Builder of the Year 2012

Real-Estate-head1Hayden Homes, founded in 1989 by Robert Watson, has been building homes and communities in Central Oregon and beyond for more than two decades. Watson’s original vision, “to provide the highest quality home at the lowest possible cost,” has since become part of the company’s mission statement — words that his son, Hayden Watson, current Hayden Homes CEO, continues to stand by.

Today, Hayden continues to take it a step further. In addition to growing Hayden Homes into the largest home builder by volume in Central Oregon, the company is also among the top 50 builders in the nation with communities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Recently honored with the Central Oregon Builders Association’s (COBA) “Builder of the Year” award, Hayden Homes is one in a select group of honorees chosen by its peers. COBA, a nonprofit trade association with a membership that covers all of Crook, Deschutes, Harney and Jefferson counties, had twice as many nominations for the coveted award this year than in previous years.

According to COBA Executive Vice President Tim Knopp, it is not easy to win the award. A selection committee reviews all of the nominations and chooses the recipient based on a clearly defined set of criteria that includes association and membership activities, industry accomplishments and civic activities.

“It is a sought-after award, but difficult to win,” said Knopp. “You can’t win without putting in a lot of time and energy into the community and into the association. And I don’t think you are going to find a builder more involved in the community and more focused on their mission than Hayden Homes.

“They’ve been in business in Central Oregon for 20 years, and they have founded a nonprofit organization First Story) to help people get on the path to home- ownership. They live out their mission even on the nonprofit basis.”

It is this commitment to giving back to the community that Watson is most passionate about.

“… I was raised to give back to the people around me.
It was as simple as helping your neighbor.”

“My parents, Bob and Virginia Watson, were believers in people,” said Watson. “They believed that if you had the opportunity to help someone, that you should. By example, I was raised to give back to the people around me. It was as simple as helping your neighbor. First Story represents that giving spirit that my parents left for myself and Hayden Homes to continue.”

 

First Story, a nonprofit organization founded by Watson in 1998 and originally known as the Hayden Giving Fund, was created to provide a way for the company and its employees to give back to the community. The organization has grown to include a housing grant program that has served 41 families, 125 children and more than 100 at-risk young adults to date.

Additionally, the organization’s Community Giving Grant Program has awarded nearly a half-million dollars to support organizations dedicated to creating opportunities for low- income families, youths and persons in need in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

While First Story is governed by an independent board of directors, it is Hayden Homes, its employees, trade partners and suppliers that are the backbone of the program — raising the majority of the funds and seeing that the homes are built. Hayden Homes employees contribute generously to the organization, and the company matches 100 percent of those donations.

First Story utilizes a sustainable funding model based on corporate partnerships, principal- only payments from homeowners, an endowment, and charitable fees attached to each home that Hayden Homes builds.

“For each home we build, we rely on and engage builders like Hayden Homes, dozens of trades and suppliers, and local leaders and community members,” said Watson. “We could not do what we do without the tremendous outpouring of support we receive from the communities we build in.”

Looking back on the legacy that his father began building more than 20 years ago, Watson believes that his parents would be proud of where the company is today.

“There is no doubt that my parents had high expectations, so anything less than success would be unacceptable,” said Watson. “I think through good times and bad, you are tested in your beliefs, and I think they would be proud that our organization has kept its focus through a difficult economic time and has given back where we could.”

Despite rough economic times across the nation, Watson remains more determined than ever to continue to build the mission of Hayden Homes — providing high-quality, affordable housing  and creating communities.

“I think the American dream is alive and well,” said Watson. “That being said, our country has been through a difficult time, and the illusion of homeownership as an investment has been tested. However, the testimonials of families referencing stability, confidence, safety, peace of mind, and their home becoming a home for their entire extended family and a place to celebrate birthdays and holidays is stronger than ever.”