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Top 20 Housing Industry Experts Worth Following

If you want to learn about trends in the housing industry, the following twenty people may help you find a way through that maze. For instance, Mike Hodgson (listed below) stated in 2008 that while home builders were suffering from the nation’s then-current economic downturn and housing crisis, hope was at hand in the form of energy-efficient construction and green building. The media has picked up on green building as well, and many of the experts listed below are part of that sector.

However, you also can find builders, sociologists and low-income housing experts here as well. Each person is listed alphabetically by surname.

  1. Paul BishopPaul Bishop, PhD is vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR). He leads the research division’s survey and market research activities including analysis of real estate business and policy issues. Prior to joining NAR in 2001, Dr. Bishop was a senior financial economist in the Division of Insurance at the FDIC.
  2. Barry BluestoneProfessor Barry Bluestone is Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and
    founding dean in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. At the Dukakis Center, Bluestone has led research projects on housing, local economic development, public finance, and the manufacturing sector.
  3. Maeve BrownMaeve Brown is an expert on predatory lending. She is executive direct of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), a non-profit group based in California. Ms. Brown has published articles on affordable housing issues and authored a chapter in the American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development. She also was lead organizer and founder of People’s Community Partnership Federal Credit Union.
  4. John BurnsJohn Burns is a leading expert on the housing market. With over 20 years of national real estate consulting experience behind him, he leads a talented team of trusted advisors at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. His firm provides builders/developers, banks/lenders, investors and building product manufacturers with the timely analysis they need to make smart decisions, quickly and cost effectively.
  5. Gord CookeGord Cooke has been an educator and advocate for better building practices, improved indoor air quality and energy efficiency for over two decades. Gord has delivered sessions at such conferences as the NAHB’s International Builders Show, Energy Design Conference, JLC Live, West Coast Green and the National Green Building Conference and is an active Energy & Environmental Building Association (EEBA) board member and certified trainer.
  6. Beth DucklesBeth Duckles is an assistant professor of sociology at Bucknell University. She firmly believes that sociology has something to offer in trying to understand and explain the rapid growth and influence of sustainable building practices. “As we define and redefine sustainability, we further discuss what it is that we (whatever that collective we is) want to see in our built environment. That process of definition is a social one.”
  7. Rob FreemanRob Freeman, founder of, got to know green building principles as a former real estate asset manager and property manager for a real estate fund. Rob is a LEED Accredited Professional and is active as an organizer in the sustainability community. He is the lead organizer of the Neighbor to Neighbor Challenge in Ridgefield, Connecticut, an occasional energy efficiency consultant and supporter of many local U.S. Green Building Council Chapters.
  8. David GottfriedDavid Gottfried is the managing director of Regenerative Ventures and serves as a board and advisory board member to ten venture funded green tech startups. Gottfried is the CEO of WorldBuild Consulting, a subsidiary of Regenerative Ventures. Since 1994, WorldBuild has advised many of the U.S.’s leading green building organizations and their projects across the many sectors of the built environment.
  9. Frederick HarveyFrederick “Bart” Harvey has been an innovator in providing decent, affordable housing and a path out of poverty for low-income families. As the former chair and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, Mr. Harvey is credited with growing Enterprise’s impact from investing $200 million supporting 5,000 affordable homes annually, to more than $1 billion supporting more than 20,000 homes annually.
  10. Mike HodgsonMike Hodgson brings over twenty-five years of experience in resource efficient consulting to ConSol, the company he founded in 1983. Mike has worked extensively in resource utilization, market research, and assisting in the development of energy regulations. More recently he took part in the creation of the California Building Industry Association’s California Green Builder Guidelines [PDF], which provides California builders an consistent and rigorous program.
  11. Mike ItalianoMike Italiano founded or co-founded Capital Markets Partnership, MTS, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) Leadership Council, and American Society of Testing & Materials (ASTM) Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment. He is a director of MTS, USGBC, USGBC CEO Board, Sustainable Furniture Council, and former Director of ASTM and Chairman of ASTM E50.
  12. Ron JonesRon Jones is co-founder and president of Green Builder Media. He is recognized as one of the fathers of the green building movement. Instrumental in establishing guidelines and programs through NAHB, USGBC and a variety of regional initiatives, he has more recently worked with the International Code Council in the development of both the National Green Building Standard (ICC 700) and the International Green Construction Code.
  13. Mark LaLiberteMark LaLiberte reaches more than 8,000 builders in the U.S. a year through his private services. He has been a featured speaker at such events as the NAHB International Builders Show, PCBC, Sunbelt Builders Show, and JLC Live conferences. He was a co-creator of the Houses That Work program, an educational series provided by the Energy & Environmental Building Association (EEBA).
  14. John McIlwainJohn K. McIlwain is the Senior Resident Fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. As the Senior Resident Fellow for Housing, McIlwain’s responsibilities include leading ULI’s research efforts to seek and promote affordable housing solutions in the U.S. and other nations, including development and housing patterns designed to create sustainable future environments for urban areas.
  15. Robert NielsonRobert F. Nielson [PDF] is a home builder from Reno, Nevada, and the 2011 Chairman of the Board of the more than 160,000 member National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). A long-time advocate for affordable housing, Nielsen is committed to supplying high quality, affordable “workforce” housing in Reno and Las Vegas. He was instrumental in the creation of the Nevada Low Income Housing Trust Fund.
  16. Randy NiklasRandy Niklas is a mechanical engineer who concentrates on advanced building technologies through applied building science and sustainable construction technology. He has traveled throughout North America for 30 years delivering seminars on building science and high performance technologies to thousands of builders, architects, engineers and code officials. Randy is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and one of the first energy raters in the United States.
  17. Steve NorthwaySteve Northway is co-founder and CEO of Northway Construction. He retired in 2003 to pursue his growing interest in the field of building science, and embarked on a second career as CEO of Building Knowledge, Inc. (BKI), the building science/green building practices company chosen by the U.S. Green Building Council to develop the national LEED for Homes program.
  18. Cliff RossiCliff Rossi is a Tyser Teaching Fellow and executive-in-residence at the Center for Financial Policy. Cliff has nearly 25 years experience in banking and government, having held senior executive roles in risk management at several of the largest financial services companies. His most recent position was Chief Risk Officer for Consumer Lending at Citigroup where he was intimately involved in TARP funding and stress tests performed on Citi.
  19. Nick SassoNick Sasso has been a contractor since 1991 and an inspector since 1997. Because of his credentials, Nick was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board in 2005. He was reappointed in 2009 by Governor Charlie Crist. He is certified as a building official (C.B.O.) by the International Code Council.
  20. Jerry YudelsonJerry Yudelson has been involved in marketing renewable energy systems, environmental remediation products and services, and green building design and consulting services for 25 years. Jerry is one of the leading green building consultants in the country, specializing in helping project teams in the conceptual design and schematic design phases, and assisting with goal setting and facilitating eco-charrettes.

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