Bringing Together St. Jude & The She Built Movement
Group Two is honored to have spent more than fifty years in the trenches alongside our builder partners. While bringing buyers to builders is our core motivation, the innovations our industry needs are more meaningful than the next social media trend. From the affordability crisis to addressing diversity within the construction industry, Group Two is proud to play its part as champions of much-needed change.
This past August, when St. Jude invited Mollie Elkman, Group Two president and author of The House That She Built, to join a panel of powerful women in the building industry at the Dream Home Builder Summit, there was not a moment of hesitation. This opportunity to promote women while supporting a cause as worthy as St. Jude perfectly aligned with our goals to make a lasting impact within the building industry.
Women in Building Panelists:
- Moderator: Erin Eslinger, Program Advisor – St. Jude Dream Home
- Panelist: Paula De Young, owner and Executive VP of De Young Properties
- Panelist: Leslie Stiles, Project Manager at GHA Companies
- Panelist: Johnna Kosechata, Design Studio Manager at Shaw Homes
- Panelist: Mollie Elkman, owner and president of Group Two and best-selling author
All the panelists shared aspirational stories for women considering a career in construction. For Mollie, “it was an honor to be on this panel of trailblazing women in the building industry. Erin has a background in housing, so she was the perfect moderator for this discussion. Paula, Leslie, and Johnna have all used their skills to support women in the industry.”
A particularly moving moment was when designers shared stories of the patients, or tiny heroes, and how they inspired the themes for several rooms in the 2022 Dream homes. Building a home is always a personal undertaking, but seeing the attention to detail and level of thoughtfulness that went into these designs was a reminder of how we can each contribute in a meaningful way with our unique skills and talents.
In a world of Zoom meetings, the summit also allowed Mollie to connect in person with one of our Group Two builder partners, Alvarez Construction. Alvarez, a home builder based out of Louisiana, has proudly supported St Jude since 1999 and is responsible for raising more than 20 million dollars. With that kind of commitment and support, it is not surprising that St Jude recently awarded the team at Alvarez Construction with the Dr. Donald G Mack Lifetime Achievement award.
Mollie shared how incredible it was to see “what we can accomplish when we join together as an industry to support a good cause.” More than 40 Builders across the country participate in this massive fundraiser each year, and building industry members are responsible for raising over 600 million dollars to support the St. Jude mission.
Furthering the industry impact, the NAHB donated copies of The House That She Built to all the summit attendees, and “I was so happy to personalize the books for the inspiring Building companies involved in St. Jude.” Mollie further explained how she dreams “of the day, in the not too distant future, when a young St. Jude survivor will build a Dream Home for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.”
When asked about the biggest takeaway from the summit, Mollie said, “it was a humbling experience and a reminder that no matter what we have going on in our individual lives, we all can help in the places it matters the most. Thank you to the team at St. Jude for seeing an opportunity for aspirational thinking about careers in construction for patients and families.”