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Staying the Course


Newman is involved in his community as well. He was named Angel of the Year by Habitat for Humanity for his contributions to the group's local ReStore program. He also created a foundation in his mother's memory after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The foundation "Janet Sue's Helping Hand" builds handicap ramps for individuals in financial need.

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     Staying the Course
     Indiana remodeler puts high value on education and involvement
     By K e n ne t h W. B e t z

                odd M. Newman,                              Education and the resulting            Newman’s involvement with
                owner of the Newman                      professional designations are a       the home builders association
                Company, Inc., in Riley,                 great marketing tool, Newman          hasn’t been limited to the educa-
     Ind., firmly believes in the value of               says, “but the experience I have      tional side, either. He was state        als are written to eliminate any areas
     education and professional engage-                  gained from the interaction           director for 13 years; chairperson       of misunderstanding.
     ment — so much so that he is his                    with leaders of the industry like     of the state remodelers council for           “We try to be very detailed in our
     state’s first National Association of               Mike Weiss, Jud Motsenbocker,         three years; founder and chairper-       contracts. I’ve seen other contracts
     Home Builders Graduate Master                       and Steve Robinson is worth           son of the local remodelers council      that are essentially one page and
     Remodeler (GMR).                                    much more.”                           in 2007; local green build chair-        there’s really no detail. We specify all
          That might be impressive                                                                                                      the fixtures, the tubs, faucets, colors,
     if it were his only achieve-                                                                                                       countertops and sinks,” he says.
     ment — becoming a Graduate                                                                                                              “We don’t do a lot of allowances
     Master Remodeler requires at                                    We are professionals, and it is our                                in our contracts; we do hard-number
     least nine years as an active                                   responsibility to be the leaders of                                contracts. Unless there is a specific
     Certified Graduate Remodeler                                                                                                       change order, we stand by our num-
     (CGR), 15 years’ remodeling                                     the industry.  ”                                                   bers. It makes it a lot easier if we
     industry experience, and comple-                                                                                                   specify everything upfront. That way
     tion of required courses — but                                                                                                     if the homeowners want to change
     he also holds designations as a                          “The NAHB has formed my          person; state remodeler of the year;     anything, they know exactly what
     Graduate Master Builder (GMB),                      company into the organization it      local remodeler of the year four         that cost will be,” Newman explains.
     Certified Graduate Builder                          is today. No matter what level I      times; and past president of the              Making the process easier is
     (CGB), Certified Aging-in-Place                     am at, I believe I can always raise   local home builders association.         Newman’s showroom, which is
     Specialist (CAPS) and Certified                     the bar, and diminish the image       He was named life director for the       open by appointment. “We have
     Green Professional (CGP).                           of the remodeler of the past. We      state of Indiana in 2008.                all the products that we use, all the
          His lifetime of learning —                     are professionals and it is our           Newman is involved in his            colors and all the selections. We
     and his career in remodeling                        responsibility to be the leaders      community as well. He was named          will go through and select all of our
     — started out with a 
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