Build It and They Will Join: History of the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association
In 1945, during a time of world war and scarce resources, 200 home builders in and around Fort Worth, Texas, came together in the spirit of unity and laid the foundation for the Fort Worth Builders Association, an affiliated local association of the National Association of Homebuilders. With only $750 in the bank and under the leadership of President Joe Driskell, the Association was formed to serve as a voice of the housing industry while promoting and protecting the interests of members and consumers—just as it does today.
The Association celebrated several milestone moments since its humble beginnings, including hosting the first New Home Tour in 1951, publishing its first magazine in 1954, honoring the first Builder of the Year in 1955, and purchasing its first offices in 1956.
In the years that followed, the Association grew in number, jurisdiction and in ability to serve.
After a name change in 1960 (Home Builders Association of Fort Worth & Tarrant County), the Association expanded by five counties in 1961. Kaleidoscope of Homes debuted in 1962, and another Association name change followed in 1967 (Builders Association of Fort Worth & Tarrant County).
By 1971, Association membership reached 400 and continued to climb over the next decade, reaching more than 1,700 by 1981, while also acquiring multiple awards for membership during this time. In 1985, the Association’s Women’s Auxiliary became the largest in the nation. In 1989, the first BuildPAC golf tournament was held, and in 1997, the Association underwent a final name change to what it is termed today – the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association (GFWBA).
Today, the GFWBA has approximately 500 members and comprises seven counties including Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Wise, Parker, Somervell, and Palo Pinto. The GFWBA members fall into two categories: builder members and associate members. Builder members are engaged in single and multi-family building, land development, remodeling, and general light construction. Associate members are subcontractors, sales and marketing specialists, architects, interior designers, title and settlement experts, lawyers, people in the financial services industry, product suppliers and manufacturers, and many more who are essential to the challenging task of providing housing for a growing population.
The GFWBA is governed by an elected board of directors that oversee policies and operations of the Association according to its bylaws. An executive committee – comprised of board members who serve on the policy, finance and steering committees of the Association – oversee affairs of the GFWBA. A professional staff is retained to implement policies and to carry out the work of the GFWBA: governmental and community relations, education and training, meetings and programs, administration of business affairs, management aids and materials, and many other membership services.
The GFWBA is a not-for-profit trade association that has been granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.