Cal Poly Students Rank High at Construction Management Competition

Cal Poly's team at the NAHB competitionAn interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students captured second place in the four-year college category at the recent 2016 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Residential Construction Management Competition.

The competition culminated with final presentations at the annual International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas Jan. 19-21. This year, 34 universities participated, representing NAHB student chapters from across the country.

The competition challenged students to prepare a land acquisition proposal, including building cost estimates, a construction schedule, cash flow and return on investment projections, and marketing and risk analysis. Cal Poly’s team of business, architecture and construction management students collaborated to complete each aspect of the proposal. During the convention, students presented their proposals and defended their project in front of a panel of industry experts.

“Congratulations to the NAHB Student Chapter at Cal Poly,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.”

Cal Poly team members included construction management students Garrett Whitlock (Sonora, Calif.), James Materne (Fresno, Calif.) and Eric Bet (Woodside, Calif.), architecture students Dylan Corr (Rockville, MD) and Theodore Felix (Glastonbury, CT), business students Scott Heath (Sacramento, Calif.), Cate Fisher (Visalia, Calif.), Chris Dwyer (Seattle, WA) and Erich Mourey (San Diego, Calif.), and ag business student Spencer Nielsen (Sacramento, Calif.). Devcon Construction’s Chris Bet, business alumnus and last year’s team captain, also assisted with the presentation.

“Creating a team with a variety of expertise, professional experience, and the Learn by Doing educational philosophy is essentially what set Cal Poly apart and led to our success at this year’s competition,” said Heath, Cal Poly’s team captain. “This experience is a prime example of how our efforts in college can translate into a promising career.”

Cal Poly Construction Management Professor Scott Kelting served as faculty advisor to the students. Finance Professor Pratish Patel also worked with the team as they prepared for the finance and business portions of the project. Other mentors include:

  • Shawn Reed (Construction Management, ’92), Grant Robbins (Construction Management, ’94), and Aaryn Abbott (Construction Managment, ’06) of Robbins Reed (NAHB team members)
  • Kevin Hampton of PLC
  • Kelly Givens (Architecture, ’90) and Dan Nahabedian of Savills Studley
  • Bruce Bell of B&Z Properties Inc.
  • Shane McCullough (Construction Management, ’07) of Holland Construction Inc.
  • Paul Weber (Architecture, ’81), Cal Poly construction management faculty
  • Jeff Madden (Construction Management, ’12) of Sares-Regis Northern California
  • Michael Stone (Architecture, ’11) of Bassenian Lagoni (NAHB team member)
  • Craig Zarro (Economics, ’95) of Preferred Capital Advisors
  • Kevin MacKenzie (Business Administration, ’99) of HFF
  • Barry Jones, Cal Poly construction management professor
  • Jeff Grimm (Construction Management, ’02) of Granite Construction Company
  • Bruce Bauer and Michael Lloyd (Business Administration, ’84) of Colliers
  • Ed Corr, Steve Polo, Andy Holmes, and Ken Terzian of OPEX Global
  • Jamie Follis of Wells Fargo
  • Michael Heller of Heller Pacific
  • Scott Hansen of KB Homes
  • Kevin Gerrity and Ron Mourey (Architecture, ’85) of the Gerrity Group
  • Brian Cooper and Jackie Robinson of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • Sean O’Brien
  • Al Hauck, Cal Poly’s construction management department head
  • Scott Dawson, dean of Cal Poly’s Orfealea College of Business
  • Greg Wynn, Cal Poly architecture professor
  • Stacey White, Cal Poly architecture professor

This year’s second place award marks the eleventh time Cal Poly has finished in the top five at the competition since 2001. Cal Poly placed first in 2005, 2006 and 2011.