Leadership & Staff

Meet The Leadership

Jeff Thomas, President

Jeff is the co-owner and vice president of Oakmont Development in Fort Wayne. He joined the land development business in 1990. He has originated numerous subdivisions and manages the entire planning process from concept to completion working with city leaders, builders and contractors to create affordable, family oriented and beautifully landscaped environments to call home. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in finance and marketing from Butler University.

Paul Schwinghammer, Vice President

Paul is president and owner of Hallmark Homes, Inc., specializing in on-your-lot custom homes throughout Indiana. He has served multiple terms as president of the Madison County Builders Association and has 35 years experience in the housing industry. He is a graduate of Ball State University.

Ric Zehr, Treasurer

Ric is a residential developer with The North Eastern Group in Fort Wayne. He served as president of the HBA of Fort Wayne and currently serves as the President of the Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District.

Kenny Reinbrecht, Secretary

Kenny is a residential developer and CEO of Reinbrecht Homes in Haubstadt, Indiana. They have built over 300 homes in the past 18 years for customers across Southern Indiana, Eastern Illinois, and Northern Kentucky. With 30 housing awards under their belt, they focus on building a home for every stage of life. Kenny is in an active member of the Southwestern Indiana Builders Association based in Evansville and has held multiple leadership positions with his local association.

Meet The Staff

Rick Wajda, Chief Executive Officer

(317) 917-1100 ext. 204

Rick Wajda is the CEO of the Indiana Builders Association. Rick joined the Indiana Builders Association for the second time in 2005 after a two year stint as the Associate Director of the Indiana Petroleum Council and Ohio Petroleum Council, trade organizations that represent the major oil companies with assets in Indiana and Ohio.  As the IBA’s chief lobbyist, Rick works with members of the Indiana General Assembly and Indiana’s regulatory agencies to insure housing affordability is taken into consideration when policy makers craft laws and regulations for Indiana’s citizens. Rick is also the Chairman of the Indiana Builders PAC and serves as a spokesperson for the industry on housing related issues.  Rick previously worked for the Indiana Builders Association for six years as the Association Services Director and Governmental Affairs Director.  Mr. Wajda is a past President of the Governmental Affairs Society of Indiana and currently serves on the Board for Habitat for Humanity of Indiana.  Rick is a graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing.

Carlie Hopper, Governmental Affairs Director

(317) 917-1100 ext. 206

Carlie Hopper serves as the Governmental Affairs Director of the Indiana Builders Association. She advocates on behalf of membership with state elected officials and agencies for policies that promote and protect housing affordability in Indiana. Carlie earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana State University. She previously served as the association’s Member Services Director and Regulatory Affairs Director.

Raelle Hurtekant Vitali, Marketing & Member Services Director

(317) 917-1100 ext. 205

Raelle Hurtekant Vitali serves as the Marketing & Member Services Director of the Indiana Builders Association. She provides support and resources to all members and local organizations within the association as well as aids in the recruitment of new members. Raelle graduated with her Master’s in Public Affairs from Indiana University in 2020, concentrating in nonprofit management and community and economic development. Prior to the IBA, Raelle has worked as a Chamber of Commerce Program Specialist and an HR Consultant.

Logan Dowell, Communications & Events Coordinator

(317) 917-1100 ext. 203

Logan Dowell serves as the Communications & Events Coordinator of the Indiana Builders Association. She assists with daily communications to all members and local organizations within the association as well as helps with any events coming up. Logan graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Past Presidents

1952-53 *Andrew S. Place, South Bend

1954 *Gale Corley, Valparaiso

1955 *Ralph Shirmeyer, Fort Wayne

1956 *Charles Bartel, Muncie

1957 *Robert Meyers, Evansville

1958 *Clarence Baldwin, Highland

1959 *Ed Schroyer, Sr., West Lafayette

1960 *John Phrommer, Hammond

1961 *Albert E. Thompson, Indianapolis

1962 *Vern Ayers, Fort Wayne

1963 *Walter Leonard, Greenwood

1964 *David Augustus, Indianapolis

1965 *John E. Smith, Lafayette

1966 *Donald F. Overbay, Bloomington

1967 *Robert E. Zeager, Indianapolis

1968 *W. Howard Highsmith, Anderson

1969 *John P. Bullard, Griffith

1970 *John C. Hart, Sr., Indianapolis

1971 **R. Lee Smith, Fort Wayne

1972 *Otto Gibson, South Bend

1973 *W. C. “Bud” Bussing, Evansville

1974 **Charles Wilmore, Connersville

1975 *Charles Pechette, Indianapolis

1976 **Harold Palmer, Fort Wayne

1977 *Thomas B. Laycock, Indianapolis

1978 *John Davids, St. John

1979 *Harold Wiggins, Michigan City

1980 *Robert Stephens, Indianapolis

1981 Jud Motsenbocker, CGR, CAPS, Muncie

1982 *Roy Foster, Newburgh

1983 *Floyd Estes, Greenwood

1984 Richard Jenkins, Terre Haute

1985 **John Waltz, Arizona

1986 Larry Swank, Mishawaka

1987 **Dean Crook, Vincennes

1988 *Frank Spivey, Indianapolis

1989 **Chuck Fortino, Elkhart

1990 Mike Ullery, Kokomo

1991 *Leon Calvert, Daleville

1992 Bob Coolman, Valparaiso

1993 **Bill Roach, Brownsburg

1994 **Phil Garrison, Indianapolis

1995 **Dennis Henderlong, Valparaiso

1996 **Dennis Wilson, Texas

1997 **Jake Wagner, Valparaiso

1998 *Carl Shepherd, Evansville

1999 **Charles Daub, Goshen

2000 Herb Delagrange, CGP, CAPS, Fort Wayne

2001 Joe Zehr, Fort Wayne

2002 Steve Heidorn, CGB, CGR, CGP, CAPS, Chandler

2003 David Kovich, Lafayette

2004 Larry Coplen, Warsaw

2005 Mike Bell, CGR, CAPS, CGB, CGP, GMB, Westville

2006 Mike Hannigan, Jr., Carmel

2007 Stephen Robinson, CGB, CGR, New Castle

2008 David Compton, Indianapolis

2009 Dennis Spidel, CGB, CGP, CGR, GMB Angola

2010 Andy Place, Sr., CGB, CGP, South Bend

2011 State Rep. Doug Miller, CGB, Elkhart

2012 Will Wright, Carmel

2013 Greg Furnish, CGP, Memphis

2014 *Tom Mullen, MIRM, CMP, CGB, CGP, Indianapolis

2015 State Sen. Linda Rogers, Granger

2016 State Rep. Jim Pressel, LaPorte

2017 Lance Swank, Mishawaka

2018 Patrick Richard, Lafayette

2019 Don Thieneman, Floyds Knobs

2020 Brett Harter, Leesburg

2021 Jeff Thomas, Fort wayne

*Deceased, **Non-Voting

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