Building Industry Association of Washington welcomes new leadership
January 5, 2023
Olympia…The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), one of the nation’s largest homebuilding associations, welcomes its 2023 leadership, representing Washington’s housing industry from across the state.
President Gary Wray
Laser Construction and Development, Coupeville
Gary Wray of Laser Construction and Development has been a member of his local home building association, Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA), since 1998 and a SICBA board member for nearly 12 years.
Over the last 10 years, Wray has served on BIAW’s state-level committees on education, legal issues and workforce development. He’s also active in the association’s legislative policy and political action committees.
In his community, Wray chairs the Habitat for Humanity of Island County board of directors. He also supports Hearts and Hammers and serves on the board of directors for Civility First. Before his homebuilding career, Gary served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a Petty Officer Second Class.
As president, Wray looks forward to supporting the BIAW family of builders, remodelers and associate members. He also wants to build stronger connections with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to help address the state’s housing crisis. Finally, he’ll focus on developing the future workforce for residential construction.
First Vice President/Treasurer Jay Roberts
Cascade Custom Homes and Design, Inc., Whidbey Island and Chelan County
Jay Roberts, vice president of Cascade Custom Homes and Design, Inc., is a BIAW Certified Builder, a state director and past president of Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA) and a Central Washington Home Builders Association board member.
Roberts serves on the BIAW Workforce Development Taskforce and chairs the Legislative Policy Committee. A proud Husky active in his community, Roberts serves on the Public Stadium Authority Board for Lumen Field and Event Center.
Second Vice President Luellen Smith
Rhino Wine Cellars & Cooling Systems, Issaquah
A dedicated and prolific membership recruiter, Luellen Smith is an owner/partner in Rhino Wine Cellars & Cooling Systems with her husband, Doug. She enjoys serving in leadership at BIAW, her local home builders association, Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties (MBAKS), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Smith currently serves as Chair of the BIAW Membership Committee, is a BIAW Director, an NAHB Remodelers Council member and NAHB second vice chair of the Professional Women in Building Council.
Third Vice President Kent Arola
Wind River Homes, Tacoma
Kent Arola has owned his residential construction company, Wind River Homes, for 20 years. He has served as a BIAW director for 13 years, sitting on the Washington Affordable Housing Council since 2012, and serving as a member of the Legislative Policy Committee since 2016, including chair in 2020.
Arola has served in several leadership positions at his local home builders association, Master Builders Association of Pierce County, and at the state and national levels. He has earned numerous awards and accolades including multiple awards for remodeling excellence from his local association and BIAW. Master Builders Pierce named him Member of the Year in 2015 and Recruiter of the Year four times.
Secretary Nicole Ahola
Ahola Benefit Consultants, LLC, Cle Elum
As a health insurance broker for Ahola Benefit Consultants, LLC, Nicole Ahola has been active with multiple local home builders associations over the years. In recent years, she has served in several leadership positions, including the 2023 CWHBA Vice President, 2022 CWHBA treasurer and vice president and chair of the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce.
She has also worked with the BIAW Health Insurance Program since 2007. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Ahola looks forward to lifting up BIAW’s next generation of leaders.
Immediate Past President Joseph Irons
Irons Brothers Construction, Inc., Shoreline
Washington’s second Certified Builder, Joseph Irons, of Irons Brothers Construction, is a past president of his local home builders association, Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties (MBAKS), as well as past chair of BIAW’s Remodelers and Education Committees.
In 2010, BIAW named him Remodeler of the Year. Irons was BIAW’s state representative for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) from 2016-2018. An active BIAW instructor and accredited educator, he holds many NAHB certifications and sits on NAHB’s Design and Education Committees. Irons is a four-time MBAKS Remodeler of the Year and recipient of NAHB’s 2018 Young Professional Award for Region E.
The Building Industry Association of Washington is the voice of the housing industry. The state’s largest trade association with nearly 8,000 member companies, BIAW promotes and protects the vitality of the building industry so more Washington families can enjoy the American Dream of owning a home. Learn more at: www.biaw.com