Building More Than Homes - The Bend Magazine

Building More Than Homes

In a historically male-dominated industry, Hogan Homes is leveling the playing field with a growing team of leading women.

Leading ladies of Hogan Homes, clockwise from top left: Diana Summers, CFO; Nancy Summers, President & CEO; Shannon Kerwick, Operations Manager and FAST Administrator; Kelsey Renteria, Sales Manager; and Krista Lara, Closing Officer & Senior Business Analyst.

Since 1983, President & CEO Nancy Summers has led Hogan Homes to a long list of successes: record-breaking sales, expansion into new areas, a continued focus on building strength—and growing a diverse team that stands out in a male-dominated field.

Five of Hogan’s leading women sat down to talk about their experiences in the home-building sector—and discuss how gender diversity benefits everyone.

The gift of perspective

At Hogan Homes, the team goes beyond merely discussing floorplans and materials.

“One of the reasons people love Hogan Homes is that we can help you imagine your life there,” said Nancy Summers. “That means we have a 360 view of everything that touches your home: the location where your community is developed, the materials going into your home and the way you want to feel when you’re there.”

The only way to ensure that? By having a team with a balanced perspective to help bring each customer’s vision to life.

“Women are uniquely fit for this because ‘building a home’ is what we’ve been encouraged to pursue our whole lives,” said Operations Manager and FAST Administrator Shannon Kerwick. “It isn’t a one-dimensional process. We know the details inside and out.”

As a rule: no project goes completely as planned. When challenges pop up, it’s beneficial to have a mix of mindsets and backgrounds working behind the scenes.

“I think women bring a fresh, new perspective that can help solve problems and create different outcomes,” said Closing Officer & Senior Business Analyst Krista Lara. “Not to mention—we as women just put a little extra sparkle into everything.”

A culture of opportunities

At Hogan Homes, the company is structured to provide opportunities and promotion from within. Leadership has seen that when every employee is motivated and engaged, customers get a better experience, too.

“Anyone who wants to work hard and learn—these are our people,” said CFO Diana Summers. “When we have people of any gender who want to grow, our senior team will throw all kinds of opportunities their way.”

Sales Manager Kelsey Renteria learned firsthand about those opportunities as she set her sights on a new role.

“I wanted to be more than the assistant to management. I wanted to be the management,” said Renteria. “I found that I loved being innovative and breeding change in a sometimes-stagnant field. I had a clear goal, and I ran towards it.”

Of course, the benefit of female-driven teams goes beyond any one single position someone holds.

“What’s especially exciting about Hogan being mostly women-led is that other women get to see us in positions of power and know that it’s possible for all of them,” said Renteria.

Leading industry change

While the assumption is that the home construction industry is male-dominated, the numbers have been changing over the years.

“Throughout these past 15 years in the field, I have seen more and more female superintendents, CFOs, purchasing agents and architects!” said Lara. “I think that is amazing and a testament to how far this industry has come.”

Of course, progress doesn’t happen overnight. While there are still hurdles to climb, Hogan Homes is leading the way.

“To be honest, I don’t know if the field in general makes it easy for women to succeed,” said Renteria. “I feel lucky to be at a company that empowers every employee and I think that helps with the representation in our field as a whole.”

Advice to other women looking to grow

Pursuing new opportunities of your own? Take advice from these leading ladies at Hogan Homes.

“Have an appetite to learn and work hard,” said Diana Summers. “The construction industry is not for the faint of heart. Making customers truly happy is what sticks with you and makes it so worthwhile.”

“Don’t be scared and don’t be intimidated,” said Renteria. “People’s insecurities and attitudes have nothing to do with you.”

“Open your own doors. Don’t wait for someone to hold it open for you. Go to the training, learn from the mentor, mess up, learn how to fix it and keep going,” said Kerwick. “Eventually, you will see those hurdles as opportunities to show off your greatness.”

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone,” said Lara. “We as women can set the new standard.”

Ready to build something with the Hogan Homes team? Visit our website.