Tag Archives: Taylor Morrison

law

Honoring excellence in corporate counsel

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new economy.
Az Business magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards (ACC Awards). The 30 finalists and winners were honored Thursday, January 16 during a ceremony and dinner at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix. Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:

Melissa M. Buhrig
Vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant secretary
Western Refining
Since 2005, Buhrig has served as a founding member of the Western Refining legal department. Her responsibilities include corporate governance, compliance, and securities matters for the company. Prior to joining Western Refining, Buhrig was a shareholder in Barfield Law, a Miami, Florida-based boutique firm representing commercial insurers and business leaders in corporate and litigation matters. Before that, she was a founding member of the satellite litigation department in the Naples, Florida office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Cirsi, a national law firm.

Carolann Bullock
Human resources legal attorney
Intel Corporation
Bullock joined Intel in Chandlers as an HR legal attorney in 2010 following an extremely successful career in private practice. Bullock joined Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite in 1995 and was elected a shareholder in the firm just four years later. When she departed for Intel and the new challenge of an in-house legal role, she was chair of the firm’s well-respected Labor & Employment Practice Group. While in private practice, Bullock’s practice was devoted to counseling and defending employers faced with claims of sexual harassment, disability, gender, age, race, wrongful discharge and employment-related tort and contract claims.

Lawrence Cuculic
Vice president and general counsel
Best Western International, Inc.
Cuculic manages the legal department for Best Western, the largest hotel chain in the world, in a manner that is efficient, effective, and respectful. Cuculic is also actively involved in managing strategic direction, providing guidance on corporate legal issues, board and board committee matters and managing relationships with external counsel. Since his arrival at Best Western, Cuculic has been thrust into various complex litigation, including IP and antitrust class action matters. Through his guidance, Cuculic spearheaded legal victories for Best Western that resulted in a complete mitigation of damages.

Bob Desmond
Chief intellectual property counsel
Honeywell International, Inc. – Aerospace
Desmond is the chief IP counsel for Honeywell Aerospace, a $12 billion business unit of Honeywell International Inc. which has more than 7,000 employees in Arizona. Honeywell Aerospace’s Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer, summarized Desmond’s contributions to Honeywell Aerospace as follows: “Bob has developed a world-class intellectual property process within Honeywell Aerospace. He has not only refined and improved our intellectual property portfolio, but also created a sustainable process for refreshing its contents and ensuring the true business value of the IP is being properly realized. He has set the standard for Honeywell and the broader aerospace industry.”

Ruth Franklin
Corporate contracts counsel
ON Semiconductor
Franklin leads an international team of six member,s including both lawyers and contract professionals who are charged with negotiating semiconductor manufacturing sales agreements with customers throughout the world. These negotiations can span many months and typically involve describing every aspect of the manufacturing and supply processes within ON Semiconductor. Franklin is fond of saying that this is a job she is passionate about because it uses all the various areas of expertise that she has built up over her career: detailed lawyering, strategic planning and tactical negotiations.

GoDaddy in-house legal department
GoDaddy
GoDaddy’s legal team is led by General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Nima Kelly. GoDaddy’s 13-lawyer legal team counsels this rapidly-growing Internet company as it accomplishes its mission of empowering its customers to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. GoDaddy currently serves more than 12 million paying customers worldwide with 4,300 employees working in 21 states and eight countries. Under Ms. Kelly’s leadership, GoDaddy’s legal department has been re-engineered to efficiently deliver high-quality legal advice at the pace needed to keep up with its business partners. Divided into Intellectual Property, M&A/International, Litigation/Employment, Agreements and Internet Policy functions, its lawyers work as a cohesive team and are encouraged to “roll up their sleeves,” become intimately involved with their clients’ day-to-day activities and help them accomplish their business goals. Issues range from the serious (patent litigation and international expansion) to the sublime (the Super Bowl ads and talent agreements with Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and Ke$ha for the annual blowout Holiday Parties). The team also works to develop effective and responsible Internet policy for GoDaddy and the global online community.

Jill Harrison
In-house counsel
W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
Harrison has served as one of the corporate counsel at Gore for nearly nine years. She leads the medical device manufacturer’s product liability litigation and counseling practice globally. For much of her tenure at Gore, Harrison also led strategic counseling and litigation in the area of non-competes and trade for Gore’s Medical Products Division and provided extensive employment law counseling and litigation management for sales associates in the division. Harrison also assumed a significant leadership role in developing and implementing an innovative integration program for new legal team members to effectively facilitate their participation in the company’s global legal team.

John T. Jozwick
Senior vice president and general counsel
Rider Levett Bucknall
Rider Levett Bucknall hired Jozwick by contract in 2002 for a temporary assignment analyzing claims made by subcontractors in a major wastewater treatment plant project. As word spread with clients about his expertise in analyzing construction disputes, forensic claims, and construction defects, Jozwick was offered a full-time role. Under his direction, the company’s claims department grew from one temporary contractor to five full-time employees. Jozwick also played a major role in developing advisory services into a significantly profitable service. Today, the advisory service line offers clients risk analysis, claims analysis, dispute resolution, expert witness and dispute avoidance services.

Alan Kelly, Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network’s legal team
Senior vice president and general counsel
Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network
Kelly has been an in-house lawyer at Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network for the past nine years. By creating an efficient and modern legal department, Kelly has been able to provide advice to everyone from executives to operational employees. His continued innovation led him to improve the SLHN Risk Management Department so that it can effectively manage all of the complex risk that a $1 billion company is faced with. Kelly’s strong leadership is as highly valued as his skills as an innovator. Johnathan Wallach, one of Kelly’s employees, said, “Alan has been a true mentor who actively promotes initiative in all people who work for him.”

Margaret Koppen
Deputy general counsel
Standard Microsystems Corporation
Koppen is Standard Microsystems’ main transactional attorney. Kim Van Amburg, senior vice president and general counsel at Casino Del Sol Resort, said that during her 10 years at the company, Koppen has been able to hone a “specific expertise in negotiating terms of sale agreements with her employer’s customers,” some of which are the world’s largest semiconductor companies. Koppen has been instrumental in “increasing efficiency, production, and accountability without increasing the size of the legal department.” Her contributions to the company have helped double the company’s revenue. She teaches the University of Arizona College of Law’s first-ever contract drafting course, which she developed.

David Koval
Vice president and general counsel
Kitchell
Koval went to Kitchell in 2004 as an employee for one of the company’s subsidiaries, Kitchell Contractors. In this role, he brought credibility to the company through refining legal processes, streamlining and creating uniformity in subcontractor relationships and evaluating the company’s risk. His results earned the respect of everyone at Kitchell and he was eventually tapped by CEI Jim Swanson to oversee all legal activities for the 60-year-old company. Kitchell’s interests include real estate development, commercial construction, program and construction management and air conditioning wholesale supplies.

Erin Lewin
Senior vice president and general counsel
Avnet, Inc.
Lewin leads Avnet’s 98-member global legal department and provides advice and guidance to the company’s business leaders. “Erin has demonstrated her ability to effectively guide a global team that deals with a complex, multinational legal environment while serving as a leader who fosters collaboration and employee engagement for her team,” said Avnet CEO Rick Hamada. In 2013, Lewin’s team oversaw the legal aspects of 12 acquisitions with a combined deal value of $367 million and combined revenue value of $1.2 billion, as well as the divestiture of two subsidiaries.

Kelly LoCascio
Chief compliance office and executive vice president
Angel MedFlight
LoCascio has been with Angel MedFlight, a worldwide air ambulance company, since 2008. In 2008, LoCascio was named one of the top 50 pro bono attorneys in Arizona and stays involved in the community by volunteering for the American Cancer Society, FreshStart and HomeBase Youth Services. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Executive Women’s Golf Association. In addition to practicing law and volunteering, LoCascio was crowned Ms. Arizona Woman in 2007. This competition is part of the Arizona United States Pageants. She also ecompetes in triathlons.

Michael Mason
Senior counsel, labor and employment
Pinnacle West Capital Corp.
Mason is a strategic partner helping his internal clients solve legal problems in a changing industry. Mason transitioned two years ago as a shareholder at a large national firm, Greenberg Traurig, to a role with Pinnacle West. Mason often works to build consensus with various teams to reduce the threat of litigation. He challenges external counsel to be creative but cognizant of the costs of litigation. Mason served as the young lawyer representative to the State Bar Board of Governors for several years and currently sits on the Executive Council for the Labor and Employment Section for the Arizona State Bar.

L. Richards McMillan
Senior vice president and general counsel
Freeport McMoRan
McMillan has been senior vice president and general counsel of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. since October 31, 2007. McMillan served as senior corporate and securities law attorney of FCX since 1995. The Tulane University Law School graduate joined FCX after a 30-year career with the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, L.L.P., where he served as partner. McMillan served as head of Jones Walker’s corporate and securities section and also served as a member and chairman of the Jones Walker’s Executive Committee.

David Mulvihill
Vice president and general counsel
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
Mulvihill is general counsel of the Make-A-Wish, a national nonprofit organization with 74 chapters that grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. A substantial portion of Mulvihill’s time is spent protecting the Make-A-Wish name and trademarks from infringement by sound-alike organizations and others. In connection with these efforts, he has worked closely with various state charity officials, as well as with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to joining Make-A-Wish, Mulvihill was a partner in a firm in Pittsburgh, where his practice focused on commercial litigation.

Carmen L. Neuberger
Senior vice president and general counsel
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
A hospital that is a part of the ever evolving health care environment “requires a knowledgeable talented and dedicated general counsel,” said Debra Stevens, director of marketing and communications for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Neurberger not only possesses the knowledge and talent Stevens speaks of, but she essentially developed the hospital’s entire legal department. During this process, Neurberger was able to create a program which allows the hospital to manage and control its own risk. She is also credited with developing and implementing a code of ethics, and improving the relationship between the legal and human resources departments.

Daniel Oseran
Privacy counsel
eBay
Oseran has worked in the information technology and legal fields for more than a decade, ensuring legal compliance, designing network infrastrcuture and managing large project teams. He also enforced information technology laws on behalf of the 5th largest District Attorney’s office in the country, and prosecuted the first state level case of Internet anti-piracy in the United States. Oseran advises business units on developing privacy-protective products, campaigns, websites and other programs. He also manage internal tools to report compliance and communicate policies. Before moving to eBay, Oseran led Paypal’s innovation and continuous improvement of the IT control framework, including the integration of multiple compliance requirements.

John M. Pons
Executive vice president and general counsel
Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc.
Pons has been instrumental in guiding the legal department at Cole in supporting the company’s overall mission in the acquisition, management and disposition of real property. The company has seen tremendous growth, listed on the NYSE and has lined itself up for a merger/acquisition that is poised to make it one of the 15 largest REITs in the United States. Pons’ demeanor and guidance has helped make Cole’s legal department high-functioning, highly collaborative and highly-engaged. Before attending law school, Pons was a captain in the United States Air Force where he served from 1988 until 1992.

Deanna Pickering
General counsel
Lumension Security, Inc.
As the sole in-house lawyer, Pickering manages legal issues across the globe and is often called upon to do the day-to-day legal work, such as customer contract review, that helps the organization save money on outside lawyers. But as the general counsel for a software company with operations in North America and Europe and a sales force throughout the world, Pickering has to help the organization move forward with strategic initiative and work with other executives to manage risk, solve legal issues, and support and direct outside lawyers in a competitive and rapidly changing business environment.

Daniel J. Quigley
General counsel
Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise
Quigley began his representation of the Tohono O’odham Nation with respect to its gaming operations in 1995. However, it was in 2003 that the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise created its own in-house legal department and hired Quigley as its first general counsel. Quigley has faithfully represented the Nation’s gaming interests through a time when it has experienced exponential growth. Among his more noteworthy triumphs are the successful campaign for the 2002 Indian Gaming Initiative (passed by Arizona voters in 2002) and subsequent Gaming Compact negotiations with the State of Arizona.

Darrell Sherman
Vice president, general counsel, secretary
Taylor Morrison
Sherman joined Taylor Morrison as vice president and general counsel in June 2009 and helped the home builder launch a successful IPO in 2013. He is responsible for the company’s legal affairs including transactions, governance, litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Taylor Morrison, Sherman was general counsel at Centex for four years in the Southwest and Mountain States Regions and associate general counsel at Del Webb/Pulte for five years. Prior to joining the homebuilding industry, he was a finance and real estate attorney at the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in its Phoenix office.

James Silhasek
Executive vice president and general counsel
Discount Tire
Silhasek manages the legal and real estate departments and is specifically involved in all real estate acquisitions, matters of taxation and complex business litigation. Silhasek began his association with Discount Tire in 1980, while in private practice, and joined the company in 1988. During his association with Discount Tire, it has grown to become the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer with more than 870 locations in 28 states. Silhasek received his Juris Doctor from Creighton University Law School and a Master’s of Law in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc.
Legal department
The natural and organic grocery chain hired its first in-house counsel, Brandon Lombardi, in January 2012 and he set about assembling an in-house legal department that could provide the needed legal services with the quality, acumen, and responsiveness that he and his fast-paced client demanded. Sprouts’ recent success, including the IPO which was shepherded from commencement to completion by Lombardi and his team, serves as a model for how to aggressively yet responsibly build a business. That success could not have been achieved without Sprouts’ legal department. That this 10-person team did not exist two years ago makes their accomplishments even more impressive.

Karen Stein, IO’s legal department
General counsel
IO
Stein oversees all legal and risk management functions of the company. She holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from Emory University, an MBA from Loyola University with a concentration in finance, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Maryland, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has practiced law since 1994, focusing on business transactions, licensing, and intellectual property. Before joining IO, Stein practiced at the Troutman Sanders law firm in Atlanta and served as the Assistant general counsel for the PGA Tour for 10 years.

Matthew Stockslage
Vice president and associate general counsel
Dignity Health
Stockslage is the senior legal leader for Dignity Health’s Arizona and Nevada service areas, which includes six hospitals — including the world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute — and more than 40 affiliated outpatient sites. As one of three regional legal leaders reporting to Dignity’s general counsel, Stockslage supervises a staff of 11 and is the lead attorney for joint venture transactions and relationships across the Dignity system. He has helped implement a restructuring of the Dignity legal department, its work flows, reporting relationships and client accountabilities to facilitate Dignity’s implementation of healthcare reforms and to accommodate its growth strategy to become a national healthcare provider.

Randall S. Theisen
Executive vice president, general counsel, assistant secretary
Western Alliance Bancorporation
Theisen has served as general counsel of Western Alliance Bancorporation and its three bank affiliates includes Alliance Bank of Arizona, BankWest of Nevada and Torrey Pines Bank since February 2006. Theisen joined WAL from Squire Sanders & Dempsey and has more than 20 years of legal experience representing financial institutions in banking, corporate and financial services law. He was named a “Leading Lawyer 2006” and “Best of the Bar 2005.” He serves on the Business Law Committee and Consumer Financial Services Committee for the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Arizona Bankers Association.

Michael Walker
Senior associate counsel, labor and employment/litigation
Insight Enterprises, Inc
Walker is the sole litigator and labor and employment lawyer for Insight in the United States and Canada. Insight is a Fortune 500 company that provides hardware, software and related services to business and government agencies. Walker is “stunningly successful” at preventing, resolving, and promptly defending claims that go through litigation in labor and employment, commercial matters and in actions brought by government agencies according to Mark Rogers, association general counsel for Insight. Walker has also been able to reduce spending on several categories of work. “Above all, (he) is a practical problem solver and has excellent business judgment,” Rogers said.

Stuart Zigun
Assistant general counsel
Emerson Network Power
Colleagues say Zigun in the kind of attorney every business wishes it had. Zigun has an exceptional depth of understanding of his clients’ business and products and is intimately familiar with the company’s strategy and direction. In more than 30 years as an in-house counsel, Zigun has never had an agreement he worked on be litigated. This is a testament to his ability to successfully resolve disputes. Zigun, who earned an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Cornell and his law degree from Boston University, has represented large public companies that include Raytheon, Motorola and Emerson.

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Eastmark Grand Opening on June 1

The first new large-scale integrated community to launch in the Phoenix area in 10 years will hold a grand opening event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 to showcase its first phase of residential homes and the first phase of the Eastmark Great Park. Eastmark, located in the heart of the East Valley, is a vibrant new community focused on creating a connected life for its residents, employers and visitors.

To debut Eastmark to the public, DMB is planning a day of festivities that will include music throughout the parks system, family games and entertainment and activities for all ages to encourage the community to discover the lifestyle at Eastmark.

Tours of 20 new home models from seven homebuilders will be available to guests. Every home design in Eastmark features a new floorplan.

Eastmark’s phase one builders are:
Maracay Homes
Mattamy Homes
Taylor Morrison
Woodside Homes
Ryland Homes
Standard Pacific Homes
Meritage Homes Corporation

At the grand opening, visitors will be able to explore The ‘Mark, Eastmark’s Visitors and Community Center, enjoy the first 10 acres of the Eastmark Great Park, 11 neighborhood parks, piazzas and plazas and landscaped, tree-lined streets and parkways. Trollies and pedicabs will take guests around the community to enjoy outdoor concerts, kite flying and other demonstrations, food trucks and refreshments throughout the day.

“Eastmark is one of the most thoughtfully designed communities in the country. In our planning, we’ve artfully blended residential areas, employment cores, recreation and commerce to complement each other,” said Dea McDonald, DMB’s Senior Vice President and Eastmark’s General Manager. “Eastmark’s grand opening will give guests an opportunity to engage in ‘Life in Motion’ and enjoy fun, family-friendly activities and exciting looks at this community which is unlike anything else in Arizona.”

WHAT: Eastmark’s Grand Opening – Life in Motion
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2013
WHERE: Ray and Ellsworth Roads in Mesa
COST: Admission is Free

DETAILED SCHEDULE

Ongoing Fun
Star in the Eastmark Ad Campaign – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park
DJ – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park
Tillerman at Leisure World Yacht Club Demonstrations – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park Lake
DMB Community Life Block Party – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Kinetic Park
Summer Snowplay– 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Face Painting – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Food Trucks Open – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Eastmark Great Park
SuperTruck
Udder Delights
Aji Mobile Food
Sandra Dee’s Kitchen
Kinetic Point
Gourmet Command Center
Liberty Biscuit
Figueroa Green
Goodness Gracious Great Balls and Sliders
JG Superweenie

10:00 a.m.
Yoga in the Park – 10:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Selenium Park
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 10:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Lincoln Square

10:30 a.m.
Change on Three Jazz Group – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 10:30 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. – Radiant Grove

11:00 a.m.
Yoga in the Park – 11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. – Selenium Park
Rock Lobster Band – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Brad Zinn Magic Show – 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sports Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. – Lincoln Square

11:30 a.m.
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Cambium Court
Center for True Harmony Wellness – Stress Management – 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. –  Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. – Radiant Grove

12:00 p.m.
Yoga in the Park – 12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. – Selenium Park
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. – Lincoln Square
Change on Three Jazz Group – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden

12:30 p.m.
Rock Lobster Band- 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Brad Zinn Magic Show – 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 12:30 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. – Radiant Grove

1:00 p.m.
Yoga in the Park – 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Selenium Park
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band– 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Lincoln Square

1:30 p.m.
Sirocco Jazz Group – 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction- 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Radiant Grove

2:00 p.m.
Rock Lobster Band– 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Kinetic Point

2:30 p.m.
Night Groove Band – 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Cambium Court
Center for True Harmony Wellness Relaxation Techniques – 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden

3:00 p.m.
Sirocco Jazz Group – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden

3:30 p.m.
Rock Lobster Band – 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Kinetic Point

4:00 p.m.
Night Groove Band — 4:00 p.m. – 5 :00 p.m. – Cambium Court

Sheryl Palmer

Taylor Morrison debuts as publicly traded company

Shares of Taylor Morrison Home Corp. are rising in its debut as a publicly traded company. The homebuilder’s entry on the New York Stock Exchange comes on the same day that another homebuilder filed for an initial public offering, further proof that companies are riding the continued housing recovery back to the public markets.

Taylor Morrison’s stock gained $1.27, or 5.8 percent, to $23.27 Wednesday morning. The initial public offering of 23.8 million shares was priced at $22 each, the high end of its expected range.

The company’s IPO follows homebuilder TRI Pointe Homes Inc. in January, real estate investor Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. in December and real estate services provider Realogy Holdings Inc. in October.

And on Wednesday William Lyon Homes said in a regulatory filing that it plans to raise up to $200 million from a proposed IPO. It did not disclose how many shares would be in the offering, or what the expected price range would be.

Recent data has shown a strengthening housing market. Job gains and mortgage rates near record lows have helped lift home sales, more than six years after the housing market began to collapse.

Taylor Morrison’s offering raised $523.6 million. The banks managing the deal may buy more 3.6 million shares, adding to the proceeds. The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that after the IPO it plans to sell up to $500 million in debt for general corporate purposes.

The Scottsdale company operates its namesake brand and Darling Homes in the U.S. and Monarch in Canada. It booked $1.44 billion in revenue last year and closed on 4,014 homes. The company sells homes ranging from $120,000 to more than $1 million, targeting first- and second-time buyers.

Taylor Morrison is trading on the NYSE under the “TMHC” ticker symbol.

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Ashton Woods Tops List of Most Trusted Builders in America

Trust is the new currency by which customers evaluate the merits of new-home builders, according to ground-breaking national research of more than 21,500 new- home shoppers in the Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study SM.

The study finds that three-fourths of customers (76 percent) report that trust is a critical criterion by which they evaluate the merits of a home builder before making a purchase decision, placing significant emphasis on the perceived trustworthiness of home builder brands. “Home builders need to begin to ask themselves how consumers see their brand in regards to trust if they wish to effectively compete in the current marketplace,” said Lifestory Research President and CEO Eric Snider. “We find that the trust held by a customer toward a home builder is playing a central role among home shoppers as they seek to reduce uncertainty in the high-risk decision of purchasing a new home.”

The Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study tracks 133 home builder brands in the top 27 housing markets in the United States.  However, for purposes of examining builders at the national level for this release, a builder brand was included if a builder was in the top 30 builders in the United States and was selling homes in at least three markets.  Based on this, the following brands were included in the national study of the Most Trusted Builders in America: Ashton Woods, Beazer, Centex, DR Horton, David Weekley, Del Webb, Drees, Gehan, Highland (TX), KB Home, KHovnanian, Lennar, M/I, Meritage, Perry, Pulte, Richmond American, Ryan, Ryland, Shea, Standard Pacific, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, Trilogy by Shea Homes, and Woodside.

The Most Trusted Builder in America was Ashton Woods, the nation’s 25th largest builder selling homes in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio and Tampa.  Ashton Woods produced a Net Trust Quotient Score of 111, followed in order by David Weekley Homes (108.5), Trilogy by Shea Homes (106.9), Perry Homes (106.8), Drees Homes (106.8), Meritage Homes (104.2), Highland Homes of Texas (104.2), Taylor Morrison Homes (101.6), M/I Homes (100.8), and Woodside Homes (100.8). Trilogy by Shea Homes also was recognized as the Most Trusted Active Adult Builder in America.

In a shift away from product usage and satisfaction research, Lifestory Research’s investigation focuses on how brands influence the purchase behavior of home shoppers. “We have seen a fundamental shift in consumer psychology that has occurred in response to the massive social revolution that has taken place over the last several years,” Snider said.  “Consumers are referencing customer advocacy organizations less for product information; instead, people are turning to their peers, friends, and digital social networks to garner opinions.  Moreover, in the process of shopping for a home, consumers rely upon their direct experience they have with the multitude of builder brands in a given marketplace.  As a result, we have seen brands rise in importance in the consumer purchase process.”

The study, in its first year, evaluates attitudes from thousands of consumers who are actively in the process of shopping for a new home in one of the top 27 housing markets in the United States.  Trust is measured through the Lifestory Research Net Trust Quotient Score.  This score is based on the fundamental perspective that every organization’s customer can be divided into three categories: “advocates” are customers who feel a significant trust toward a given brand; “neutrals” are customers who trust a specific brand, but they do not see a specific brand as standing on the shoulders of other brands in regards to trust; and “antagonists” are skeptics who have little, if any, trust in a specific brand.

The most effective way to gauge the trust of a brand is to take the percentage of customers who are trust advocates and subtract the percentage of people who are dis-trusters.  Scores are standardized (using z scores and t scores) with 100 being equal to the overall average.  Scores can array above and below the 100 point average.  Each Net Trust Quotient Score represents the net value of a brand on trust.  A brand with a high positive score is an indication that the brand is trusted by a large portion of the target market.  Conversely, a low score is an indication that the brand is not trusted by the consumer marketplace.

To qualify to participate in the study, participants must have met all of the following criteria:  Household located in the metro area of one of the 27 markets in the study (see link for list of markets), a household income in excess of $50,000, between the ages of 25 and 69, actively shopping for a home during the last 90 days, and with intentions of owning their next home (versus renting).

Detailed information about the study can be found at www.lifestoryresearch.com/builderrankings.

Spice It Up Food Truck

Valley’s Best Food Trucks All in One Place at Vistancia

Enjoy Vistancia’s Food Truck Experience from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 featuring gourmet food samplings from 11 of the Valley’s best food trucks, tours of 11 model homes throughout the Vistancia community, Blackstone Country Club clubhouse tours and menu tastings.

The West Valley’s first food truck tour begins at the Vistancia Information Center, 12026 W. Lone Mountain Parkway in Peoria, where guests will receive a map of the gourmet food trucks located throughout the community’s builder model homes by K. Hovnanian Homes, Meritage Homes, Rosewood Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison and T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes. Complimentary food samplings will be available from all food trucks to the first 400 guests during this open to the public community event.

Located amongst a stunning backdrop of Sonoran desert mountain beauty, guests can rediscover Vistancia and all it has to offer as they enjoy 11 diverse gourmet food trucks featuring Carte Blanche, Hey Joe!, Filipino Street Food, Island Loco, Luncha Libre, Mojo Bowl, Pizza People, Q UP BBQ, Spice It Up!, Sweet Jonez Cupcakes, Tom’s BBQ Pig Rig and Torched Goodness.

Specialty food offerings will range from Chipotle mushroom and mozzarella  quesadillas, smoked beef brisket sliders, pulled pork on coleslaw, bacon mac and cheese bites and ancho chile braised steak tacos to vanilla, sea salt caramel and chocolate crème brulee; mini cupcakes, strawberry banana, orange and pineapple mango smoothies; with gluten free and vegetarian options.

Blackstone at Vistancia’s private Blackstone Country Club will feature tours of the club and menu tastings from an active Paella station featuring pork loin, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp and saffron rice, located in the courtyard of the stunning hacienda-style clubhouse.
In addition, The Village at Vistancia community will be offering tours of the 15,000-square-foot Mountain Vista Club and the Blackstone at Vistancia will feature previews of new custom homesites during the special event.

Vistancia offers the best in family life and neighborhood involvement among miles of open space away from the city and close to what’s especially important in life. The community offers a wide range of living choices and amenities for enjoying truly diverse experiences.

“We’ve created a community that offers a wide range of living choices and amenities for enjoying varied experiences at Vistancia,” said Mark Hammons, vice president/general manager of Vistancia. “From the playful spirit at The Village at Vistancia to a comfortable luxury found in Blackstone at Vistancia and the genuine, overall feeling of being connected by pure, unspoiled nature away from the bustle of the city, we do have the best of everything,” Hammons said.

“Master planned communities like Vistancia are very appealing to today’s homebuyers as they provide exceptional value with a variety of housing choices, architectural integrity, recreational amenities, multiple schools on site and magnificent nature trails such as the 3.5-mile Discovery Trail, all with respect for the natural beauty of the land and plenty of open space,” said Hammons.

A quicker access to metropolitan Phoenix with the opening of Vistancia’s second entrance off of the Loop 303 and Lone Mountain Parkway has accelerated the vibrancy of the Vistancia master plan.

Distant mountain ranges provide a perfect setting for Vistancia featuring dramatic views of White Peak, Twin Buttes and the Bradshaw Mountains in a pristine desert landscape.
Take Loop 303 to the new Lone Mountain Parkway (exit 127) to enter the Vistancia community. The Vistancia Information Center is located at the guard-gated entrance of Blackstone at Vistancia. For more information about Vistancia or the Food Truck Experience event Oct. 27 visit www.vistancia.com or call 623-933-6233.

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JEN Partners closes land deals in Gilbert

JEN Partners closed five separate land transactions totaling 163.79 acres and 569 lots, in the master planned community known as the Bridges at Gilbert – located just east of the northeast corner of Higley and Ocotillo Roads in Gilbert.   JEN Partners sold to local builders: Maracay Homes, Lennar, Taylor Morrison, David Weekly/TW Lewis, Shea, and Woodside for $23,114,317. All transactions were negotiated by Nathan and Associates Inc.

According to JEN Partners’ Mike Jesberger, “We’re pleased to work with these builders to bring the Bridges at Gilbert community to the marketplace.  We will continue to work together to develop the property and look forward to seeing it take shape.”

“Maracay is very pleased to join these other builders in developing this master planned community in the heart of Gilbert and the East Valley,” said Tom Lemon, Vice President of land acquisitions and development for Maracay Homes.

The Bridges at Gilbert community will include the following lots: 111, 45’x115’ lots on 24.42 acres purchased by Lennar; 97, 60’x120’ lots on 30.48 acres purchased by Taylor Morrison; 78, 80’x130’ lots on 35.49 acres purchased by David Weekly/TW Lewis; and 97, 45’x115’ lots on 20.49 acres purchased by Shea Homes.

JEN Arizona 5 LLC, a Land Banking entity controlled by JEN Partners and managed locally by TerraWest Communities, purchased the remaining 113, 50’x115’ lots and 73, 70’x125’ lots, totaling 52.9 acres for $7,886,163. Under separate Option Agreements JEN Arizona 5 LLC will sell the 73, 70’ lots and 67, 50’ lots to Maracay Homes and 46, 50’ lots to Woodside.

dmb associates

DMB Associates Names 7 Builders To Be Part Of Eastmark

The first phase of residential development at DMB Associates’ Eastmark includes seven of Arizona’s most respected homebuilders, adding more than 700 new homes in Mesa, Arizona. In keeping with Eastmark’s commitment to create a mix of residential options for its neighborhoods, the mix of builders includes national, publicly traded, regional and local homebuilders. The builder roster includes: Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Mattamy Homes, Taylor Morrison, Woodside Homes, Trend Homes, Standard Pacific Homes (NYSE: SPF) and Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH).

“The commitment of these builders represents an unprecedented level of confidence in Arizona’s residential market backed by promising economic indicators,” said Dea McDonald, DMB Senior Vice President and Eastmark General Manager. “We are seeing a resurgence in homebuilding activity in Arizona and in the East Valley. These builders see the value in Eastmarks’ strategic location and integrated plan, which positions this community to be an economic and employment engine for the East Valley and greater region.”

According to a report by Arizona State University’s Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business, the inventory of previously owned houses for sale in the metro Phoenix area dropped 54 percent in April 2012 from a year earlier. This lack of supply is driving the demand of new homes, sales of which surged 43 percent from April 2011.

“As the first large-scale community to launch in Arizona in nearly a decade, Eastmark is being closely watched,” said Charley Freericks, DMB President. “We are designing the community with the ‘new normal’ in mind. People are putting higher values on a sense of community, proximity to employment and environmental stewardship. Each building partner is creating designs specifically for Eastmark and all are equally committed to the vision of this community.”

Homebuilders are accredited at the Energy Star 3 level for constructing energy efficient homes. They will soon break ground in preparation for Eastmark’s grand opening in May 2013. The seven builders’ combined investment in land and improvements is nearly $50 million and hundreds of jobs are expected across the ten neighborhoods within this first phase.

Each neighborhood will take advantage of the planned 100-acre Great Park and their own community parks, while also encouraging connections to the planned employment and retail centers. The first phase of development features 12 parks throughout Eastmark, providing gathering points for neighborhoods and enhancing the sense of community.

DMB’s Eastmark Phase One Builders and Number of Homesites:

  • Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY) – 165
  • Mattamy Homes – 163
  • Taylor Morrison – 103
  • Woodside Homes – 96
  • Trend Homes – 84
  • Standard Pacific Homes (NYSE: SPF) – 58
  • Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH) – 40

At five square miles (3,200 acres), Eastmark is a vibrant, integrated and evolving regional community poised as “The Heart and Hub of the East Valley.” Eastmark sits at the center of a major transportation hub anchored by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, three major freeways, numerous businesses and acclaimed educational institutions. An expansive 100-acre Great Park connects residential areas, resort components, employment cores, recreational spaces and commerce. Eastmark is the largest privately held, contiguous property in the Southeast Valley.

To learn more about Eastmark, visit www.Eastmark.com. Visit DMB Associates at dmbinc.com.

taylor morrison

Eller, Lane Join Taylor Morrison Board

Taylor Morrison, the largest North American privately owned homebuilder in the U.S., announced that home building industry veteran Tim Eller and Valerus CEO Peter Lane are joining its board of directors, with Eller to serve as chairman of the board.

As chairman, Eller succeeds Rajath Shourie of Oaktree Capital and Kelvin Davis of TPG Capital, who served as co-chairs. Both Shourie and Davis will remain as directors, while Avi Banyasz of TPG has resigned his seat on the board.

“We’re very pleased to add Tim and Peter to our board of directors,” said Taylor Morrison President and CEO Sheryl Palmer. “Their knowledge and industry experience will prove to be invaluable assets as we continue to capitalize on market opportunities and grow our U.S. and Canadian operations.”

With more than 40 years of industry experience, Eller currently serves as principal of Cordalla Capital, LLC, directing major investments in real estate and related businesses. He is also CEO of Tegrity Homes, Cordalla’s home building subsidiary. Prior to Cordalla Capital, Eller served in various industry roles, including president, chairman and CEO of Centex Corporation; president and CEO of Centex Homes; and board vice chairman of PulteGroup Inc. Eller currently serves as a director for BuildLinks; is an advisory board member of Encore Housing Opportunity Fund, a private equity fund; and is a life trustee of the National Housing Endowment.

Eller is also past-chairman of the Policy Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, and served as chairman of the High Production Home Builders Council of the National Association of Home Builders from 1998 to 2009.

Lane currently serves as CEO of Valerus, an oil and gas business headquartered in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining Valerus, Lane was a partner in the operations group of TPG. Prior to TPG, Lane spent 12 years with Bain & Company, leading the Dallas and Mexico City offices, as well as the oil and gas practice. He began his career with Schlumberger as an engineer and operations manager. Lane also serves on the boards of Valerus and Petro Harvester.

For more information about Taylor Morrison or Monarch, please visit www.taylormorrison.com and www.monarchgroup.net.