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Spotlight: New president takes the reins at Sudbury & District Home Builders' Association

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Karla Colasimone has big shoes to fill.  After three terms, Louie Zagordo of SLV Homes is handing over the presidential reins to Karla, who becomes the third female president of the Sudbury and District Home Builders’ Association.

As sales and customer service manager with Zulich Homes Inc. and 15 years of experience in the residential construction industry, there’s no doubt Karla will fully embrace the role and lead the Sudbury Home Builders’ Association with passion and knowledge.

“I’m looking forward to working with the members of the local home builders’ association and industry stakeholders to increase our profile in the community,” said Karla.

For all the years the association has been in existence, not many know what we do. The Home Builders’ Association is a three-tiered not-for-profit organization that supports the home building and renovation industries in a variety of way including: lobbying government to reduce the red tape that delays the construction of housing supply; providing industry education; connecting consumers with builders and renovators that are in good standing with the HBA; and ensuring legal home building activity to safeguard consumers and keep tax dollars flowing within the economy.

Local offices are more hands-on with their members and the community hosting Home Shows and events that showcase the extraordinary skill and talent in the local industry. They do, however, also have an important role contributing to municipal policies that affect housing supply and cost. 

“The SDHBA has an excellent relationship with the City of Greater Sudbury. Our membership is involved in various municipal committees where, together, we attempt to advance industry and municipal objectives to mutual benefit. As president, I’ll continue building those relationships and achieve the best operating environment for our home building and renovation industries so that the ultimate customer, the home buyer and home owner, benefit from a streamlined process and low costs,” said Karla.

She has a very specific goal for the local association. “The Home Builders’ Association started as a grassroots movement where industry players could support one another in the tangle of bureaucracy that can slow down housing construction and limit consumer choice. I want to tap into that grassroots interest, build our brand through modern media, and foster education within the community of the exceptional building, renovation and technical skill we have right here in Sudbury. It’s only by building partnerships and reaching out to the community that we can advance the HBAs’ objective of building more housing supply and choice and safeguarding homeowners’ investment, and I’ve got a strong Board of Directors behind me to help me achieve my goal.”

Supporting Karla and the board of directors is Elizabeth De Luisa, the executive officer of the SDHBA, a retired professional planner, urban planning consultant and a former market and housing analyst for CMHC.

Asked if being a woman at the head of a home building association is an issue, Karla responded, “Construction sites have long been stereotyped as a man’s area but more and more women are involved in every area of the home building industry. From architects to interior designers to mortgage lenders and electricians, women do it all. Perhaps having a female lead of the SDBHA will encourage the conversation of what women’s roles can be in the future in our industry. 

“The shortage of skilled trades is at an all-time low that young women should be encouraged to look at the possibilities within the construction industry and what it has to offer them. There’s great potential for a successful career in the skilled trades, regardless of gender, and the Sudbury and District Home Builders’ Association, along with its members, will do all it can to support the development of skilled trades in our community.”