Association News

The BIA of Orange County raised $31,000 for its non-profit Building Industry Technology Academy through the annual Wine and Food Event at the new Children’s Museum Pretend City in Irvine.

BITA is a four-year high school program that exposes students to diverse career paths within the building industry. The California state budget crisis has resulted in decreased education funds for woodshop, construction technology, and many other vocational classes on high school campuses.

The opportunities offered through BITA also benefit Special Education and at-risk/under-achieving students through the program’s high level of applied hands-on learning.

BITA is in place at Katella, Western, Anaheim, Valencia and Brea-Olinda High Schools in Orange County.

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The BIA of San Diego raised more than $60,000 at its second annual BIA Cares Furniture Fantasy sale of furnishings supplied from area decorated model homes and offices.

More than 1,000 people lined up as early as 4 a.m. to attend the sale, where hundreds of couches, bedspreads, framed pieces of art, plants and desks were offered at a fraction of the original retail price.

“We exceeded our expectations at this years event,” said Lora Heramb, vice president of sales and marketing from Brookfield Homes and a co-chair of this year’s event for BIA Cares. “Considering the economy, we were wildly pleased to exceed last years number of $45,000. We were sold out within three hours and attendees walked away with designer selected items for a fraction of the price.”

H. G. Fenton donated the 22,000 square foot warehouse for the second year in a row.

BIA Cares has raised more than $2.8 million for local charities in its 19 years of operation. More information is available at

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The BIA of Orange County has received two prestigious Association Excellence Awards at the NAHB Executive Officers Conference.

The BIA/OC government affairs team was awarded the Association Excellence Award for Best Government Affairs/Lobbying Program Administered. The award recognizes the Orange County Chapter’s successful implementation of fee deferral programs in more than a dozen local agencies, including the state’s first school district to defer facilities impact fees.

The BIA/OC operations team was recognized for its successful Underwriters Sponsorship Program.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments of my association and the hard work of our staff,” said Kristine Thalman, CEO of BIA/OC . “To receive an Association Excellence Award and to be recognized by one’s peers is truly the ultimate compliment.”