BIASC Taps Riverside Chapter's CEO to Lead Principal Office

Riverside CEO Mark Knorringa takes on the role of CEO of BIASC today.The Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc. (BIASC), which represents more than 1,000 member businesses involved in the homebuilding industry, has tapped Riverside BIA CEO Mark Knorringa as its new Chief Executive Officer.  He starts the new position today.

Mark has worked in the industry for more than 35 years as a builder, developer and association executive and has been the Riverside County Chapter's CEO since 2008.  He was named BIASC's Executive Officer of Year in 2010.

"Strong leadership and member involvement are critical as BIASC continues to fight for homeownership and the professionals that work hard every day to deliver the American Dream," said Bob Yoder, President of the Southern California Division of Shea Homes and this year's BIASC President.

"Mark has a unique perspective given his breadth of experience in Southern California. He understands the business and the impacts that legislation and regulations have on members, and he has the organizational skills we need to continue providing members with valuable programs and services." 

Mark is a longtime leader in Southern California's homebuilding and community development industry. His real estate expertise includes oversight of large-scale master-planned community infrastructure installation; entitlements; and the development of several all-suite hotel projects and residential subdivisions.

"I'm honored to have been asked to take on this new challenge, especially during these unprecedented economic times," Mark said. "For many years, the BIA has forged great alliances with local government and community leaders. Holly Schroeder has achieved great results, and I'm committed to working with our members and staff to sustain our momentum. I look forward to furthering relationships and achieving tremendous results on behalf of the men and women of the building industry and most importantly for the economic benefit of our region."

Bill Blankenship has been tapped as Riverside BIA's new CEO. The Riverside County Chapter's leadership will change, but familiar faces remain.

Bill Blankenship, Deputy Director of the Riverside County Chapter, was selected by the Riverside Board of Directors to lead the Chapter's as its new CEO. 

Bill joined the Riverside County Chapter as Director of Governmental Affairs in March of 2000. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Deputy Director. Bill's duties included overseeing the Riverside Chapter's governmental affairs, which consist of Chapter involvement in election issues throughout Riverside County.  He led both the targeting and recruiting efforts in various elections in Western Riverside County, monitored the governmental issues in the various municipalities of Western Riverside County, directed the Legislative Affairs Committee, which meets on a monthly basis, and played an integral role in day to day office operations.

Bill's combination of education and extensive experience in the legislative affairs area include being both the District Director and Campaign Manager for Congressman Gary Miller. Bill also served as the Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Gary Miller. Other activities include the position of Field Representative for California State Senator Cathie Wright and Assemblyman Paul Woodruff. In addition, Bill has worked in numerous political campaigns and has served as Field Director for Cathie Wright for Lieutenant Governor, Campaign Manager for Paul Woodruff for Assembly and Voter Outreach Director for the Riverside and San Bernardino County Republican Party.

Bill resides in Redlands with his wife Tonja, his daughter Caroline and their Chocolate Labrador, Libby.

Riverside BIA Awarded Chapter of the Year & EO of the Year Honors

For the third time in four years, Riverside BIA has been named the BIA of Southern California’s Chapter of the Year

This is a very high honor, and we are proud of our exceptional Board, members and staff for making this incredible feat possible!

BIA of Southern California CEO Rich Lambros cited many reasons why Riverside BIA stood out from the pack this year, particularly highlighting the following:

  • Desert Region—Riverside BIA assumed control of all of BIA operations in the former Desert Chapter’s coverage area this year.  We’ve met continually with members, elected officials and staff of all cities in the region to help smooth the transition.  We are exploring new alliances and ways to offer added value to member in the Desert region.
  • Government Affairs—Riverside BIA has been tenacious in obtaining fee reductions and deferrals.  In fact, though June 30, 2010, savings from fee reductions totaled more than $13.5 million!  We waged a successful campaign to defeat the New Water Demand Offset Fee (NWDOF) of $3,280 in the Rancho California Water District.  And ALL of the 16 school districts in western Riverside County that updated their School Facility Needs Analysis so far in 2010 reduced their fees!
  • Membership—Our membership has remained strong in 2010.  Through June, our net primary membership had increased 9.8%.  Our May membership drive was enormously successful with 17 new members added in two days.  And in the Desert Region, we’ve worked to rebuild and renew memberships.

What’s more, our illustrious CEO, Mark Knorringa, was named Executive Officer of the Year!

Lambros recognized Knorringa for his outstanding leadership during a tumultuous year for both the industry and the association.   In particular, Knorringa was honored for his leadership of the Chapter’s tremendous Government Affairs program and the takeover of the Desert Region’s advocacy, membership and sign programs.

Lambros also noted the Riverside Chapter’s continually successful programs and events and said that Riverside was the only one of the BIA of Southern California’s five chapters with a net membership gain this year!

Again, we must thank our imaginative and supportive Board for its visionary leadership, as well as our hundreds of member volunteers and staff who work so hard throughout the year on behalf of the association and the industry!

Thank you!!

Photo Credit: Applied Photography

Housing Starts Down in Sept But Up for 2010 to Date

Anyone related to the building industry in Southern California knows that housing starts have fallen dramatically from where they were six years ago. So it's really no surprise that housing starts fell again in September, as reported this week.

The good news is that there are signs of improvement. As reported in today's Contra Costa Times, builders in Riverside and San Bernardino counties pulled 4.1% more housing permits in the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009.

Our own Riverside BIA CEO Mark Knorringa was quoted in the article:

"There won't be anything that will return to what we've historically seen," Knorringa said. "But little by little we're going to find our way out of this."

 Read the full article


Riverside County cities could keep impact fee discounts

There's a great story in today's Press-Enterprise about the positive impact fee reductions have had on spurring development (and economic recovery) in the Inland Empire. The news is so good, in fact, that many councils and boards are looking to extend fee reductions set to expire this December.

Our own Riverside County Chapter CEO Mark Knorringa is quoted in the article commenting on how builders have used reductions to help keep projects going:

They have said specifically there were some projects they built when they did because of the fee reduction.

The article includes an interesting city-by-city comparison of permits issued during the first eight months of 2009 vs. the first eight months of 2010.

Read the full article

Photo credit: twoGiraffe

Riverside County Building Permits Rise in August

More good news this Friday!

The Construction Industry Research Board and CBIA are reporting that the number of pulled housing permits were up in August versus the same time last year.  Our own Mark Knorringa was quoted in today's North County Times in their piece about the permit trend.

We're also hearing anecdotal stories from a few members that traffic at model homes is picking up. More on that later.  Happy Friday, everyone!

Read the full North County Times article

Read the CBIA press release

Download the CIRB statistics

Photo Credit: Flickr user Terinea IT Support

Online Magazine Highlights Riverside's RED TEAM

Ever wonder what your BIA is doing for you? Look no further than this article in for answers. is an online magazine for California city managers, county administrators, public executives and elected officials, and an article posted yesterday describes the Riverside Economic Development RED TEAM's efforts to identify ways to minimize the economic downturn and transition to recovery through increased job opportunities in the construction industry.

In the article, Scott Mann, a Menifee City Councilman, describes how development impact fee reductions helped stimulated economic activity in his city "without a doubt."

A sample of the quotes from our own CEO, Mark Knorringa:

"This isn't to build homes so much as create jobs," Knorringa said. "We're just trying to get some people back to work and turn this thing around."

Read the full article