Associate Council Chairman, Commercial/Fleet Sales Manager, Breeden Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram
Dean Pendergrass works as a Commercial/Fleet Sales Manager for Breeden Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. For the last six years Dean has been Certified in Chrysler Commercial sales and is a Certified Ag Dealer. He’s served as a board member for Downtown Fort Smith Business Association, been involved with the Steel Horse Rally along with the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center. He’s the Associate Chair for the GFSHBA, a member of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and a member of Business By Referral.
His involvement with GFSAHB came about naturally through the organization’s partnership with Ram. He’s proud to be involved with an organization that brings the local Builders and Remodlers of the industry together.
He’s married to Misty Pendergrass, has 4 children and one son-in-law.
Associate Council, Greater Fort Smith
Risk Management Adviser, BHC Insurance
Ryan Lee is a Lead Program Manager at OG&E. He has eight years of utility experience focused on energy efficiency. He became involved with Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders after he was invited to join by a colleague. He believes that the organization’s value lies in the education that it brings to the public and the housing industry. Ryan Lee is married to his wife, Lindsay, of five years. They have one three year old daughter, Norah, and one on the way. As a personal motto, Ryan firmly believes as Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
SWBC Mortgage Group
Rose Catalano is a top producing Branch Manager for SWBC Mortgage Corp for the past 10 years. She’s a survivor of breast cancer and is celebrating 6 years of remission. She’s worked diligently to help Arkansas and Oklahoma residents received home loans for the last 37 years. She’s a licensed Mortgage Banker, and MBA member, and has received the Presidents Club Production award for the past seven years. She’s also an active member of the Fort Smith and Crawford Co Board of Realtors. For 35 years she has volunteered to help with the Special Olympics. She’s an active member of her church, Woodlands UM Church, along with many local charities. She considers volunteering and charity work to be her hobbies.
She’s been a member fo the GFSAHB for 37 years and has been active on local and state Associate and Builder boards for 24 years. She says that what sets GFSAHB apart is it’s dedication to serves the people by working with other homebuilders to do the right thing, fight for the industry politically, and knowing the importance a reputation of caring about the quality of work a professional homebuilder member represents.
Rose is a married to her husband, Bob, of 32 years. She’s the mother of two children, Jennifer who resides in Tulsa, and Dustin who, as a special needs adult, blesses his parents by living with them. Roses’ father, a homebuilder by trade, passed away at 67 from cancer. She has two brothers and sisters as well as a mother still living, at the age of 94.
Inside & Outside Sales, Lumber One
Brandon Sterling works as an Outside Sales Associate for Lumber One. Brandon has worked in the lumber industry for 17 years and has been in sales for over 12 years. He became involved with the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builder’s through his company, Lumber One. Many of his customers are also supporters of the organization. He enjoys his partnership with Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders as it brings professionalism to the building community and a sense that he is giving back. Brandon has been married for 17 years and he and his wife have a teenage daughter together. A personal motto of his is, “winning doesn’t always mean being first”.
Godfrey & Black Brick & Stone
After 25 years in public Accounting, Emma Pratt and her husband, Irvin, needed a change of view. They purchased Godfrey and Black Brick And Stone. They combined its location with their previously purchased business: Fort Smith Medical and Janitorial. After a while their businesses grew—adding locations in Clarksville and Rogers. In addition to Brick and Stone they also operate two more Fireplace stores – Fireplaces and More. For the last 15 years they have enjoyed the success of their business and being self-employed.
They have four grown children and seven grandchildren. Emma and Irvin enjoy living with their dear son Cody, who is 38 years old; Cody works at Abilities Unlimited and has Down Syndrome. They love the time spent with family when all the kids and grandkids are together.
Emma loves working in the children’s ministry at Grand Avenue Baptist and going to Honduras to visit lots of friends at Orphanage Emmanuel.
Emma and Irvin saw the importance’s of being a member at GFSAHB early on in our business. They took the adage, “you get out of something what you put into it” seriously, and for that reason they are active members on the Associate Council. Emma enjoys working on several committees and being active in the community. They are proud to be a part of an organization that is active in community-building by offering scholarships and working in the schools with Little Builders.
Emma’s father always told her “you needed to learn something every day or you wasted a day!”; she tries hard not to let one day get wasted and believes that there is always something new to learn.
Godfrey & Black Brick & Stone
Lacey Witcher, a Fort Smith native, loves being involved with the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders and helping her community grow. She works in the family business as the office manager for Godfrey & Black Brick & Stone. The best part of her job is helping people design the home of their dreams. As a member of GFSAHB, she believes that the organization brings positive relationships through community involvement and growth. She lives with her husband, Garret and their three children, Will, Beau, and Ruby, along with two dogs, one cat and several chickens. She tries to live by the motto “God did not give me a spirit of fear and I know that through Him I can do all things.”
Director of Marketing, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority
As Director of Marketing and a professional consultant for Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority since 2009, Lorie has worked alongside FCRA staff to develop branding and marketing strategies that have helped establish Chaffee Crossing as the premier mixed-use community in Arkansas and the surrounding multi-state region.
Lorie has thirty years of experience in sales, marketing, advertising and public relations for local and regional businesses as well as non-profit fundraising and event organization. Prior to joining FCRA, she was a Client Services Executive for Rightmind Advertising, Director of Business Growth and Development for Sparks Clinic, local and national sales manager for Clear Channel Outdoor, Vice President of Client Services for Advertising Plus, and Marketing Coordinator for Baird, Kurtz & Dobson CPAs.Continued learning and community leadership are very important to Lorie. Currently, she is serving her first term as an alderwoman on the Lavaca City Council and is a board member of the Lavaca Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Fort Smith and the Community Development Institute (CDI-Central) at UCA in Conway, Arkansas. She actively participated in the CDI Advanced Year "Kick Start" projects for the City of Alma, and served as class director for Kick Start Sheridan and Kick Start Camden. Her civic and community involvement includes serving as a founding board member of Manes & Miracles at Chaffee Crossing, a non-profit provider of equestrian-assisted physical therapy for disabled persons and veterans. She is the founder of “Paint the Park Pink”, a breast cancer event for Komen Ozark, which has raised hundreds of thousands for breast cancer awareness, education and research. Her other areas of learning and service include graduating Fort Smith Citizens and Police Academies, serving as chairman of the Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Commission (four years), serving on the Fort Smith Bicentennial Committee and the Lavaca Centennial Committee, and chairing the Regional Veterans Day Parade at Chaffee Crossing since 2013. She is the founder and primary contact for the Sebastian County, Arkansas Quilt Trail. Lorie and her husband Eric have been married for 33 years. They have two daughters and two grandsons. She balances work and family time with photography, sewing, gardening, riding UTVs in the mountains, and raising two Nigerian Dwarf goats. As a 15-year breast cancer survivor, she strives to weave breast health education and awareness into everything she does. In 2019, one of her highest honors was being named a finalist for the Giving Recognition In Tourism (GRIT) “Polly Crews Hospitality Person of the Year” Award.
Manager, Better Homes Supply
Michelle McGowen has worked in the building supply industry for over 32 years. She started working at Payless Cashways Lumber when she was only 16 in 1987. She worked there until the store closed. From there she went on to work at Sutherland Lumber for 10 years as an Outside Salesmen. After that Michelle was employed National Home Center for 5 years until it was bought out. Michelle turned entrepreneur for a couple of years and sold Lighting and Appliances on her own until offered a position at Better Homes Supply in 2014. She’s been there since then and is the Manager.
Michelle became involved with GFSAHB when she was working her first job and their store opened their Commercial Sales department. She feels that the association is a great opportunity to meet with community leaders and individuals in our area wanting to better our industry and promote our town and businesses.
Michelle has been married to her husband, Mike McGowen, for 25 years and together they have on son, Dustin. She lives by the adage, “ Treat everyone with the respect you want in return.”
Vice President For Commercial Lending and Private Banking, First National Bank of Fort Smith
Travis Neer has been in the banking industry since 1999. For the last three years, he has had the pleasure of working at First National Bank of Fort Smith serving as a Vice President for Commercial Lending and Private Banking. Working with business owners and high net worth families, he provides comprehensive financial solutions and tailored wealth strategies. Travis graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and currently holds his NASD series 6,7,63 and 66 licenses. He lives in Sallisaw with his soon be wife Jennifer and their five wonderful children. He is serving his second term as an Associate Council Member, and has been involved with the Fort Smith Home Builders Association for over two years. About his service in the organization he says, “It is nice to serve on an association giving back to the River Valley much like First National Bank of Fort Smith. I have had the privilege of seeing the efforts of FSHBA, and the services they provide to our community.” Travis is also involved with the Sallisaw Lions Club, and is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Fort Smith with the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce
Arkansas Valley Electric
Wendy Kozeny works for Arkansas Valley Electric Company. She holds a Building Analyst Certification, a BA in psychology, as well as an Associates Degree in Deaf Communications System/American Sign Language. Wendy fell in love with Arkansas in 1995 but it took 8 years before she was able to make Arkansas her home after she accepted a potter’s apprenticeship at Terra Studios in Washington County—known for their glass-blown Bluebirds of Happiness.
She has been serving on the Associate Council with The Greater Fort Smith Home Builders’ Association since 2017 as the representative for Arkansas Valley Electric and received the Associate of the Year award in 2018. She is passionate about energy efficiency and sustainable living and has used her knowledge and skills to build and insulate her own Tiny House. She was a Master Gardener in Washington County for 5 years and received the Rookie of the Year award in 2011. She loves the outdoors, making wheel thrown pottery, felines, cooking, baking and gardening. She and her fiancé are looking forward to building their own house with energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy as the guiding principles.
Wendy feels that the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders facilitates continuity and community within the region through its volunteer efforts, community outreach, educational programs and the annual Home Builders show each February.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi
“Out beyond the field of right doing and wrong doing there is a field, I’ll meet you there.”-Rumi
Closing Manager, WACO Title Company
Emma Bridewell works as a Closing Manager for the Waco Title of Fort Smith. She has 15 years of experience in the banking and title industry. Emma is new to the Fort Smith community, with previous experience serving on the board of the NorthWest Arkansas Home Builders Association. She’s excited to be a part of the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders and the amazing programs that she’s heard so much about.
She is married to David Robertson and they have a one year old daughter, Madeleine. Emma enjoys traveling, reading, and roller skating. A motto she lives by is: “Can’t never did do anything”.
Sales, Foster Roofing
Jordan Vasquez, a native of Dallas Texas, began his career as a roofing material sales representative. He spent 6 years in roofing supply before going relocating to Arkansas with his wife, Jessica, and two sons, Tucker and Hunter. As a family that loves the outdoors, they have loved making Arkansas their home. Jordan left the roofing supply industry to accept a position with Foster Roofing. Jordan takes pride in knowing that Foster Roofing provides the best materials to their customers and makes customer service a priority. While working, his goal is to treat every customer’s roof as it it were his own. Jordan is a former Ambassador for the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce and previously held position on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Alma Area. He served on the Advisory Panel that oversaw the merger of the Boys and Girls Club of Alma with that of Paris. He became involved with the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders in 2016 when he saw how active the organization was in the community. He appreciates that GFSAHB holds its members to a higher standard and promotes builders that are properly licensed and insured, who will not cut corners in the building process.
“Success is not owned, it is leased. And rent is due every day.” J.J. Watt