The yellow brick road to victory

Laurels use 'Wizard of Oz' theme to honor winners

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  • | 12:00 p.m. April 12, 2017
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Catherine Lee and Carrie Budds were among presenters at the annual Laurel Awards.
Catherine Lee and Carrie Budds were among presenters at the annual Laurel Awards.
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By Maggie FitzRoy, Contributing Writer

As chairwoman of the Northeast Florida Builders Association’s Sales & Marketing Council, Carrie Budds got to play Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” at the annual Laurel Awards.

Budds, a loan consultant with iMortgage, took her role seriously.

She went on a shopping quest to find a gingham dress and ruby red shoes, which she said wasn’t easy since those items aren’t exactly in style this spring.

Then she confidently took the stage last month as master of ceremonies at the 22nd annual awards, which showcase outstanding achievements in the homebuilding industry, as well as those who excel in sales, merchandizing and marketing in the region’s real estate industry.

To Budd’s surprise, she also won the Charlie Clark Sales & Marketing Member of the Year Award.

The honor is presented to someone who demonstrates remarkable achievements in the building industry and the community, is committed to excellence and has an optimistic attitude toward life.

As a member of the planning committee for the theatrical ceremony, Budds said she was thrilled with “The Wizard of Oz” theme, because it is one of her favorite stories.

Why did the committee choose that theme for a St. Patrick’s Day event?

“We felt like we had to do something green,” said Jenn Kjellman, marketing manager of Dreamfinder Homes, who played the Wicked Witch. “So we thought of the Emerald City — and ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”

Catherine Lee, a Florida Times-Union real estate sales specialist who played Glinda the Good Witch, helped announce the awards as the winners were called to the stage.

The Elevation Awards were announced first, in a skit that included three “elevationally impaired” munchkins.

One of the munchkins, David Wakefield with PrimeLending, explained that floor plans and elevations are an important part of a new home and that architecture can sell a potential buyer “with a quick turn of the eye.”

He said the floor plan and elevation design categories were judged on overall design, innovation response to the target market, function and flow. Then winners were announced based on home price ranges: Best Floor Plan for $275,000-$300,000, up to Best Floor Plan Over $2 Million; and Best Elevation $375,001-$400,000 all the way to Best Elevation Over $2 Million.

The Pineapple Corp. won both over $2 million categories, and Pineapple sales manager Kurt Morgan went up to the stage to receive both awards, which they received for a $2.1 million showcase house in Pablo Creek Reserve.

The Wizard of Oz theme, complete with character costumes and an Emerald City backdrop, “is fun,” said Morgan, whose company specializes in high end custom luxury homes. “It makes it entertaining for everyone. And it’s good to see all our colleagues in a more casual setting than we usually see them.”

Numerous other awards given out by the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

Among the winners were D.R. Horton, which took home the Grand Award; CornerStone Homes, which captured another Golden Service Award; and The PARC group, which was named developer of the year.

Mirtha Barzaga of Davidson Realty won two awards, including individual Realtor of the Year.

“It feels good to win,” she said. “It always feels good.”

As the ceremony came to an end, Budds closed it with this line: “There’s no place like a new home.”


Site Agent of the Year: Cindy Voyles, ICI Homes

Sales Manager of the Year: Andrea Patton, Vintage Estate Homes

Lender of the Year: Jason Kindler, Bank of England Mortgage

Developer of the Year: The PARC Group

Realtor of the Year, Individual: Mirtha Barzaga, Davidson Realty

Realtor of the Year, Partnership: Matt and Naomi Wilkinson, Re/Max Unlimited

Realtor of the Year, Team: The Cole Slate Team, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Marketing Director of the Year: Kelly Ray, The PARC Group

Golden Service Award: CornerStone Homes

Charlie Clark SMC Member of the Year: Carrie Budds, iMortgage

Grand Award: D.R. Horton

Best floor plan

$275,001-$300,000: Dream Finders Homes, BOCA II

$325,001-$350,000: Housing Design Matters, Marco Model in Maryland

$375,001-$400,000: ICI Homes, Serena

$425,001-$450,000: CalAtlantic Homes, Anniston

$475,001-$500,000: Housing Design Matters, Egret Model in Shearwater

$500,001-$525,000: ICI Homes, Egret V

$525,001-$525,000: ICI Homes, Madeline

$550,001-$575,000: ICI Homes, Marabella

$625,001-$650,000: Mattamy Homes, Saxon

$675,001-$700,000: Toll Brothers, San Tropez Craftsman

$825,001-$850,000: Toll Brothers, Delmonico Coastal

$925,001-$950,000: Dostie Homes, Thoreau Americana

Over $2 million: The Pineapple Corp., Pablo Creek Reserve Showcase Home

Best elevation

$375,001-$400,000: ICI Homes, Serena

$450,001-$500,000: Mattamy Homes, Wales

$525,001-$550,000: ICI Homes, Brooke at Nocatee Twenty Mile

$675,001-$700,000: Toll Brothers, Julington Tradition

$935,001-$950,000: Dostie Homes, Thoreau Americana

Over $1 million: Toll Brothers, Catalina Shingle

Over $2 million: The Pineapple Corp., Pablo Creek Reserve Showcase House

Best marketing

Best print ad, developer community: Hines, Markland

Best print ad, under one-half page, builder: Dream Finders Homes, Path to Happiness at Harbor Concourse

Best print ad over one-half page, builder: CalAtlantic Homes, Celestine

Best print ad, associate: Tub King Inc., Post Election Hysteria

Best billboard, developer/community: GreenPointe Communities, Trailmark, Live Life Connected

Best brochure, developer/community: Markland

Best brochure, associate: Bank of England, 2016 Brochure

Best brochure, local builder: Glenn Layton Homes

Best brochure, national builder: CalAtlantic Homes

Best direct mail piece, builder: Clockwork Marketing, ICI Homes

Best interior merchandising

$200,001-$250,000: Merchandising Plus, Osprey at Yellow Bluff

$250,001-$300,000: Chandler Designs, The Oxford Bonus

$300,001-$350,000: Chandler Designs, The Belmont

$350,001-$400,000: Merchandising Plus, Jasmine at Coastal Cove

$400,001-$450,000: Chandler Designs, Amelia

$450,001-$500,000: Merchandising Plus, Egret II at Amelia National

$500,001-$550,000: Sisler Johnston Interior Design, ICI Homes Lucca Model

$550,001-$600,000: Micamy Design Studio, Santiago I

$600,001-$650,000: Chandler Designs:,Sydney

$650,001-$700,000: Barbara Ondo Designs, The Windward at Bluffs Plummer Cove

$700,001-$750,000: Micamy Design Studio, Carina

$750,001-$800,000: Micamy Design Studio, Hamilton

$900,001-$950,000: Dostie Homes, Thoreau Americana

$950,001-$1 million: Toll Brothers, Westbrook

Best interior merchandising senior community center

Merchandising Plus, Silver Creek Senior Community

Best clubhouse design

Micamy Design Studio

Best landscape design

ICI Homes

Best sales office under 1,000 square feet

D.R. Horton

Best sales office over 1,000 square feet

Mattamy Homes

Best design center under 2,000 square feet

CalAtlantic Homes

Best design center over 2,000 square feet

ICI Homes

Best logo, developer/community


Best publication

Realty-Builder Connection

Best logo, associate

Alpha Foundations

Best logo, builder

CalAtlantic Homes

Best marketing video, developer/Community


Best marketing video, builder

CalAtlantic, Celestina

Best marketing video, associate

Bank of England Mortgage

Best Realtor promotional event

Dream Finders Homes, Ultimate Game Day Experience

Best consumer promotional event

CalAtlantic Homes, Anniversary Sales Event

Best radio commercial

Dream Finders Homes, Over 30 Communities for Your Dream Home

Best signage, developer/community

Twenty Mile at Nocatee

Best signage, builder

D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes Grandholm Estate

Best website, developer/community


Best website, builder

Glenn Layton Homes

Best website, associate

Clockwork Marketing Services

Best Facebook page, developer/community


Best Facebook page, associate

Clockwork Marketing Services

Best Facebook page, builder

D.R. Horton

Best Pinterest page


Top producer for a general real estate agent

Representing a builder: Ross Fanti, LMH Realty

Representing a buyer, individual: Cherya Cavanaugh, Re/Max Unlimited

Representing a buyer, partnership: Matt and Naomi Wilkinson, Re/Max Unlimited

Top producer for on-site agent representing a builder

Cindy Voyles, ICI Homes

Top producer for internet sales consultant representing a builder

Laura Copeland, Toll Brothers

Top producer for mortgage/loan officer/outside lender

Diana Dilallo-Tarzia, PrimeLending



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