Cal Poly Interdisciplinary Team Ranks High at Construction Management Competition

The student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at Cal Poly was awarded third place in the four-year college category of the NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition on Jan. 11.

Sixty teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual competition at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida. It challenged students to solve a real-life construction management problem — to develop a 32-acre parcel of land by determining costs, scheduling, marketing, the design of the homes, and a feasibility analysis for the project. In front of an audience of peers, this solution was presented to an investment committee, which judged the student proposals.

The Cal Poly team was led by construction management senior and team captain Eric Bet (Woodside); with teammates agricultural business student Bercut Smith (Pasadena); architecture students Billy Blaha (Alpharetta, Georgia) and Joe Lynch (Petaluma); business students Tiffany Chen (Fremont) and Sam Godfrey (Poway); and construction management students Keenan Brekke (Oakland), Zak Faber (Santa Rosa), Kyle Haggard (Danville), Jeffrey Hammond (Paso Robles), Peter Lee (Broomfield), Jimmy Materne (Fresno), and Jeremy Suryadi (Fresno). The team was advised by construction management faculty members Scott Kelting and Stacy Kolegraff.

“I’m proud of the professional proposal our team put together over the past several months,” Bet said. “This experience truly exemplifies Cal Poly’s motto of Learn by Doing and will be remembered as one of our most valuable experiences in our education as we embark on our careers.”

Kelting added: “This competition is invaluable for the students, as it immerses them in all management aspects of the home building industry from land acquisition and development to applying their skills in construction operations, finance, purchasing, marketing and sales. The students were able to practice what they learned in school and use feedback from industry professionals and alumni to solve a real-world problem.”

Cal Poly teams are no stranger to the podium at NAHB student competitions. This year’s third-place award marks the 12th time since 2001 that Cal Poly has finished in the top five at the competition. Cal Poly placed first in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

More than 100,000 builders, remodelers, students, faculty members and suppliers packed the aisles at the 2017 International Builders’ Show, part of Design and Construction Week. Students learned about new products, many of which focused on home technology and increased energy efficiency.

For more information on the competition, go to

Photo: Members of Cal Poly’s interdisciplinary NAHB Student Chapter, which took third place in the four-year college category of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Residential Construction Management Competition, are pictured left to right: Joe Lynch, Sam Godfrey, Zak Faber, Jimmy Materne, Chris Bet, Tiffany Chen, Kenan Brekke, Jeremy Suryadi, Scott Kelting (faculty adviser), Jeffrey Hammond, Stacey Kolegraff (faculty adviser), Kyle Haggard, Bercut Smith, Billy Blaha and Peter Lee. Sixty teams participated in the competition held in January at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

Marketing Department Debuts New Sales Development Program

Lisa Simon and Cal Poly Marketing Students at Sales CompetitionPictured above: Cal Poly Marketing students at the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Marketing Area is proud to announce a new senior project course in sales development. Assisted by corporate partners ADP, Citrix Online, Fastenal, Henry Schein Dental and TEKsystems, the Sales Development Program (SDP) senior project gives students hands-on experience in the selling process and explores the professions in sales and sales management.

Alumnus JD Torres, who completed the program and graduated from Cal Poly in 2015, says that the experience was extremely helpful in preparing him for success in the professional world.

“Even though I did not enter the field of sales after graduation, many of the skills I learned and practiced in SDP have been very applicable to my line of work. Through SDP, I was able to practice valuable communication and quick-thinking skills in professional sales situations,” said Torres.

The class is offered during fall and winter quarters at Cal Poly, and each quarter features a sales competition between students. The winner of each quarter’s sales competition has the opportunity to compete, all expenses paid, at the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) in Kennesaw, Georgia. Students are coached by marketing lecturer Lisa Simon and consistently distinguish themselves at the NCSC while competing against powerhouse schools offering degree and certificate programs in sales.

Cal Poly and NCSC corporate partners appreciate the quality of Orfalea College of Business students and have hired many former and current students for internship and career positions.

“[The] Sales Development Program prepared me immensely for the real world,” says Jon Grishpul, who competed at the NCSC in March. “We learned valuable hard sales skills and also had the opportunity to nurture and hone these skills with relevant real-world applications and in realistic sales environments. I owe all of my success to the SDP and NCSC process.”

For more information about the Sales Development Program, please contact Lisa Simon at