Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council Recognizes Eight Industry Advocates

Dec. 17, 2012

The Milwaukee Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for more than 51 years, recently announced the recipients of its annual President’s Awards.

Association President Dave Amoroso, presented the awards to eight Milwaukee/NARI members in recognition of their efforts on the association’s behalf. “The Milwaukee/NARI President’s Awards allow the association president to provide formal acknowledgment and a appreciation for a group of members for their contributions during the year,” Amoroso said. “The members recognized embody what the association seeks to offer area homeowners – quality contractors that follow the NARI credo of ethical conduct, sound business practices, and professionalism.”

The 2012 Milwaukee/NARI President’s Award recipients, with Amoroso’s remarks included, were as follows:

David Pekel, CR, CAPS, CCP, Pekel Construction & Remodeling, Inc., Wauwatosa, Wis.: This individual has played a key role in Milwaukee/NARI activities for many years, not only on the board of directors, but as a committee chair, as well as at the National level. This gentlemen bleeds NARI blue, and as an officer, he dove head first into his role as committee liaison, plus served as the chair of the Remodelers & Suppliers Expo task force.

Wayne Abendschein, 1st Choice Heating & Cooling, Inc., Waukesha, Wis.: This person has been very giving of his time to Milwaukee/NARI. A former board member, he has served as Chair of the Show Committees. His leadership has been invaluable, and he has made himself into a tremendous spokesperson for the association. He makes sure his company stays active and supportive of Milwaukee/NARI, serving as a sponsor of association activities and participating in events.

Josh Brown, Bliffert Lumber & Fuel Co., Milwaukee, Wis.: The next recipient was new to the board of directors in 2012, but he jumped right in and became a valuable contributor. He has been an integral part of the Membership Committee the last few years, and an enthusiastic supporter of association events and activities, donating materials for use at the Shows and for the Rummage Sale.

Bingo Emmons, CR, Creative Construction of Wisconsin, Inc., Franklin, Wis.: This person has a passion for education and for sharing that passion with as many people as possible through the Education/Certification Program. His commitment to coordinating the training classes for those pursuing Certification knows no bounds, as he will work with those going through the training as long as they wish. He is a wonderful role model for those who earn their Certification, as he proudly promotes his accomplishment to those with whom he works. He and his family have also given their time to help Milwaukee/NARI promote its brand by volunteering to wear the Gerry mascot costume at several events during the year.

Susie Feia, Feia Construction, LLC, Waukesha, Wis.: This person gladly jumped at the opportunity to lead a committee when I asked her last year. This committee plays a vital role in the growth of the association, and her enthusiasm was unwavering. As a result of the Strategic Plan, this committee had a significant amount of new initiatives, in addition to the regular work that is done each year. She and the people she selected to complete the various tasks did a great job, and the association is already seeing benefits. In addition to chairing the Membership Committee, she is an active member and contributor to the Marketing Committee.

Chris Holum, Kohler Co.: This individual was new to the Milwaukee/NARI board in 2012, but he had played an active role in the association for the last several years. As a vendor representative, he is known as a person that will do what is needed for his clients, and he has applied that same mantra to his work and roles with Milwaukee/NARI. In his role as the vice chair of the Tour of Remodeled Homes Committee, he has helped gain new participants, as well as coordinates the wonderful prize package that event attendees can win. A member of the Milwaukee/NARI Foundation board of directors, he is a person open to doing what is necessary to best suit Milwaukee/NARI members.

Paul Kraemer, CRM, CIC, The Starr Group, Greenfield, Wis.: The next honoree received a call from me last spring, asking for a commitment to lead a group that was being looked to for undertaking a task that would help shape the association now and into the future. He is a past committee chair and officer, including a two-year term as President, so I knew I was asking the right person to lead the Nominating and Leadership Committee, as the group worked on creating a plan that would allow Milwaukee/NARI to restructure its board and executive officer positions, giving volunteer leaders a more streamlined timeframe to serve the association. Under his leadership, the committee created a plan that was well received by officers and board members, and the new leadership plan is now in place.

Patty Johnson, President of Ron Sonntag Public Relations, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.: This person is always thinking about ways for Milwaukee/NARI to be recognized. She likes to say she prefers being in the background, but she plays an active and vital role in many different aspects of the association – the Shows, Marketing, the Foundation, the WRAs, nearly everything that relates to getting the good name of NARI in front of homeowners and prospective members. She attends each monthly membership meeting, and she cares deeply about the association, its members, and staff.

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, sound business practices, and professionalism in the remodeling industry have led to the growth of the remodeling industry nationwide and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry.

For more information on the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, the largest NARI chapter in the nation, or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI’s Remodeling Guide,” call 414-771-4071 or visit the Council’s website at

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