Hail to the valley's home builders


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by Todd Franko (Contact)   | 340 entries


Every activity has its greats, and greats deserve a place of honor.

Last night, the Home Builders Association of Mahoning Valley had an induction ceremony for its inaugural class in the HBA Hall of Fame. Ten area builders were honored, including some posthumously, at The Georgetown.

In announcing the event, Josh Aiken, HBA executive director, said the event helps "tell the story of the 10 inductees who helped build a solid foundation for the HBA of Mahoning Valley. Without these gentlemen and their dedicated service to the HBA over the past 64 years of our existence, I cannot say for certain where our association would be at without them."

Here's a look Josh's presentation for each honoree:   

Lynn Dieter
Lynn Dieter was born in New Bedford, Pa. and came to the Youngstown area in 1960. A  graduate of New Castle Union High School; Jacksonville State College, Alabama; &  Youngstown University School of Engineering, he entered the construction industry in 1953. In 1965, Mr. Dieter formed Dieter Home Construction, specializing in single family homes in the $30-40,000. price range.  Although the majority of Dieter Homes were in the Austintown area,  the company also built throughout Trumbull and Mahoning counties.  He joined the HBA in 1966 believing that participation in an organization that represents your industry is vital not only the industry but to the individual member companies well being. Elected to the Board of Directors in 1970, Lynn was Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President, and President in both 1976 and again in 1991. Active as a committee man, he served on the following committees: Budget, Building Code, Labor Relations, PAC, Home & Garden Show, and Membership. He attained NAHB Life Spike Status for recruiting more than 25 new members. Lynn was also a OHBA Trustee.   Among his other interests are Little League and Pony League Baseball and charity golf outings.  

David Marino
DAVID MARINO, OF  MARINO CONSTRUCTION, joined the HBA in 1966. A graduate of East High School and a Korean War Veteran, Dave began in the construction industry in 1958, building multi-family units, condominiums, custom-built residential homes and commercial buildings.  He was elected to the HBA Board of Directors in 1975. David served as Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and then became President in 1983. During his presidency the Home & Garden Show found a new venue at Mr. Anthony’s. He was an OHBA Director and at the local level served on the following committees: Budget, Home & Garden; and Golf Outing.  At the National level, Dave achieved Spike Status in 1981 for his recruiting efforts and served as a National Director.  He was instrumental in the construction of 3 Habitat for Humanity homes and supervised the building of three HBA Dream Homes.  The HBA further honored him by naming the “Chairman of the Year” award after him.  But Dave, himself, will tell you his proudest HBA service was Co-Chairing the remodeling of the newly purchased HBA building in 2003.  The building at 8526 South Ave. was transformed into efficient office space and housed a beautifully appointed training/meeting room under his and Andy Profanchik’s watchful eyes and talent.  

Vern Ostovich
We all know the housing industry has taken its share of hits in this current economic crisis…But this is not the first time housing has been shaken. In 1987, when BLACK MONDAY, Oct. 19th hit, VERN OSTOVICH, OF OSTOVICH BUILDERS, was finishing up his second term as HBA President.  In his November 1987 Courier article, Vern cautioned fellow HBA members to be optimistic, but sensible in their businesses.  Twenty-two years later, these words still ring true.  Mr. Ostovich graduated from Poland High School and served three years in the US Army Engineers.  Starting in the construction business in 1954, he built custom homes and commercial buildings, but his specialty became remodeling. Joining the HBA in 1969, Vern was elected to the Board of Directors and then went on to hold the offices of Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice President, and 1st Vice President.  He served his first term as President in 1981.  Vern has been active on the following committees: Budget, HBA Building, and House Plan.  He attained not only his Life Spike status for recruiting 25+ members, but also in 1987 received the prestigious GREEN BLAZER for recruiting 50 members. In September of 1989, Vern was named “Remodeler of the Month” by the NAHB.  Currently the HBA the “Remodeler of the Year” award is named after him. Vern remains a vital and active member of the Board of Directors.  And was of great assistance during the recent move from the South Ave. location to the new HBA office on Mahoning Ave.    

Joe Perkins
Our next inductee was recruited in 1975 by Charles Heck of Heck Insulation. JOE PERKINS, of PERKINS BUILDERS COMPANY has served on the HBA Board of Directors for over 35 years and continues to be an active HBA member.  As President of the HBA in 1989, Joe was also a builder in the Whispering Meadows Parade of Homes that year. Joe’s committee service includes Executive Board, Parade of Homes, and Nominating.  Serving on the Parade of Homes Committee was a labor of love for Joe as the Parades each year were his favorite HBA event.  In the 1994 Parade of Homes, Perkins Builders’ entry won “Best Kitchen & Best Formal Dining Room” awards. Along with the Parades, Joe enjoyed the NAHB Conventions with all the other 70,000 attendees and recalls fondly his journey through the chairs to becoming HBA President.  Joe is also a member of Old North Church, the Poland Community Baseball Assn., Better Business Bureau and the Builders Assn. of Eastern Ohio and Western Pa.  

William Petrollini
At this time, we honor posthumously an associate member who is fondly remembered by many of you here tonight.  William Petrollini – Petrollini Floor Sanding.   Bill left us in August of last year.  A decorated World War II veteran, he was an HBA member for 50 years.  Petrollini Floor Sanding Company was founded in 1940.  Bill was an active and enthusiastic HBA member who sat on the Board of Directors for 28 years and served as Home & Garden Show Chairman for 18.  In 1991 Bill was awarded the “Associate Member of the Year of the State of Ohio” and in 1995 the local association named the Associate of the Year award after him. Along with his HBA and Veterans activities, Bill was a 32nd Degree Mason, served on the Properties Committee of Camp Stambaugh and was the Education Officer for Argus Lodge.  Fellow Hall of Famer, Vern Ostovich remembers the year he and Bill attended the NAHB Convention in Las Vegas. . .Vern had fallen off a ladder and ended up with a broken arm, nose and other injuries but was determined to go to the convention.  Bill carried Vern’s suitcase, helped Vern on the plane and stayed near by Vern and his wife Betty during the entire convention to help them out. There are some wonderful photos of Bill on display. . .Perhaps they will stir your memories of him.  Unfortunately, Bill’s family was unable to join us this evening; however, the family was delighted to hear of Bill’s election with this first class of the Hall of Fame and would like to thank the Committee and the HBA for this recognition.

Stan Malkoff & Jim Davies
Stanjim Homes. . .We all remember their catchy newspaper ads throughout the 70s. And their numerous developments. Tonight we induct the partners of this firm: Jim Davies and posthumously Stan Malkoff.  Homes By Stanjim was founded in 1956, building single-family homes in the $22-$31,000 range. They joined the HBA in 1960 because they felt it was important to have a voice in local government regarding zoning and construction.  Their developments include Brookwood, Bryant Woods, Christine Valley, Fairlawn Heights, Nob Hill and Presidential Estates. In 1971, Jim Davies was honored at the NAHB Convention held in Houston. Davies received the “Million Dollar Circle Award” for housing sales in excess of $1,000,000 for 1970.  Stan Malkoff was the first HBA president to serve two consecutive terms, 1971-1972. After receiving HUD Grants for Solar Heating homes in 1976, Stanjim built 4 solar homes in the Mahoning Valley: a story and half in The Meadowlands in Hubbard, a 2-story in Lockwood Village; and a basementless Ranch and a Bi-level in Austintown.  In 1983, when mortgage interest rates skyrocketed, Jim Davies announced that Stanjim Homes would offer first time home buyers a 30-yr. mortgage with 6.98% interest rate that would increase 1% per year and cap at 9.98%.  This was quite an offer with mortgage rates as high as 12-15% in the mid 80s.  Also in ’83, Stan was recognized in two national publications with his articles “Houses & Profits” and “Tales of the Economic Recovery”.   As the industry evolved, Stanjim Homes kept up with the “dreams” of home owners. . .In 1986 these dreams were those of people needing barrier free homes.  Based on the barrier-free design of their own office building on Mahoning Ave., Stanjim began constructing barrier free housing, specifically designed for those in wheelchairs.  At the time, Walter Roshetsky, HBA Excecutive Director noted that he was unaware of any other local builders who had designed homes for the handicapped. Once again, we see the importance of our HBA members making a difference in peoples’ lives

Joe Sylvester Sr.
A life-long Youngstown resident, Joe joined the HBA in 1956.  After graduating from East High School, Joe served in the Army from 1951-53. As an accomplished musician, Joe was a member of the US Army Band.  He began building single-family homes in 1954.  Throughout the coming years, his company would go on to build multi-family units, restaurants, stores, medical buildings and other commercial properties in Boardman, Poland, Liberty, Brookfield, Hubbard, Cortland and parts of western Pennsylvania.  Joe was elected to the Board of Directors in 1965.  He then served as 1st Vice President and succeeded Chris Bode as president in 1970.   He served as an OHBA Trustee, a Spike Club member and attended all the NAHB conventions. Joe was the lead designer and builder of the 1970 Dream Home and served on the Parade of Homes Committee for 4 years.  Recalling his favorite HBA Event. . .The Home & Garden Shows held at the Idora Park Ballroom.  Joe, I hope you had the opportunity to look through the photos from those shows in the pictorial history display and once again, you are a part of the Home & Garden Show as your Shepherd Self-Storage facility on South Ave will house this year’s show on May 1,2, 3 .

Dan Titi & John Sliwinski
Dan Titi and John Sliwinski of Titi and Sliwinski Construction are our final two Hall of Famers.  Formed in 1959, Titi & Sliwinski began building homes throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties in the $60-$250,000 price range.  They joined the HBA in 1969.  Both men have served not only the HBA but have also served their communities in a variety of positions.  John Sliwinski went through the HBA Chairs starting in 1975, first as Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and served his first term as president in 1980.  He later returned to serve as President again in 1988. Along with his service on the Board of Directors, John was on the following committees: Budget, PAC, and HBA Building Committee. He was elected OHBA Mid-East Area Vice President in Nov. 1980.  Sliwinski also sat on the Trumbull Planning Commission.  Ten years later, in 1990, his partner, Dan Titi became HBA President, after serving as Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President.  Dan is a member of the Life Spike Club of the NAHB for recruiting 100 members.  He chaired the Scholarship Fund Committee and worked on HBA Dream Home, Executive and Budget Committees, Membership and Retention, PAC, and the Home & Garden Shows.  In local government, Dan was the Chairman of Niles City Planning Commission and was a member of the Trumbull County Board of Appeals for Building Codes.  

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