Eight to Join Builder Hall of Fame : 29th Annual Pacific Coast Conference Opens Wednesday

Eight dominant figures from the California housing industry will be inducted into the California Building Industry Foundation's Hall of Fame on Wednesday in San Francisco at the first evening function of the 29th annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference, continuing through Saturday.

The dinner at the St. Francis Hotel serves as the major fund-raising event for the foundation which sponsors more than 50 college scholarships throughout California for students majoring in construction industry subjects.

The foundation is the educational and research arm of the California Building Industry Assn.

The Southern Californians to be honored are:

John B. Clark, San Diego builder and former president of the California Building Industry Assn.

Ralph M. Lewis, head of Lewis Homes, an Upland-based diversified builder, and both an accountant and a lawyer.

Randall E. Presley, Newport Beach, who began his home building career in Bakersfield and later founded Presley Development, which merged with Pacific Lighting Corp. in 1984.

Raymond A. Watt, nationally known builder and head of Watt Industries of Santa Monica, diversified builder of residential and commercial properties, a 1985 inductee into the National Assn. of Home Builders' Hall of Fame and former assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Merrill Butler, Orange County builder, past president of the National Assn. of Home Builders and a national Hall of Fame member, will serve as master of ceremonies and induct this year's members with entertainment by Les Brown and His Band of Renown.

Other honorees are H. C. Elliott of Sacramento, whose firm has built homes in California and Arizona for 40 years.

Alvin Hayman, third generation San Francisco builder.

Harold W. Smith, Walnut Creek builder, now retired, instrumental in the founding of the Building Industry Assn. of Northern California.

Paul McCarron, industry lobbyist and former executive vice president and legal counsel for the CBIA and winner of the Rodney Radom Award in 1977 for his service to the PCBC and the state association.

Earlier Wednesday, registration will commence at the Moscone Convention Center, where industry exhibitors will display products and where various educational sessions will be held through noon Saturday.

The Gold Nugget Awards of the "best in the West" design competition for residential and commercial projects, co-sponsored by the conference and Sun/Coast Architect/Builder magazine, will be presented there Friday night.

Keynote speaker Stanley Marcus, entrepreneur and author, will address the conference at a Thursday breakfast session hosted by Joseph Farina of Fresno, president of the CBIA and Donald McCormick of Sacramento, president of PCBC.

Following Marcus' talk, "The Quest for the Best," will be a forecast of the economy for the building industry by James Fischer, president of the NAHB from Washington, and three financial authorities, Preston Martin, a former governor of the Federal Reserve Board and head of the San Francisco-based H. F. Holding Co.; Stan Ross, Leventhal & Co., Los Angeles, and Michael Salkin, First Interstate Bank, Los Angeles.

Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. Fischer also will moderate a panel of building company presidents--"Housing Heroes" Bruce Karatz, Kaufman & Broad, Los Angeles; Timothy Unger, Laing Homes, Laguna Beach, and Robert Strudler, U. S. Homes, Houston.

The conference is the nation's oldest and largest regional building industry meeting, attracting participants from 14 western states.

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