BUILDER Announces 2019 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award



Hanley Wood, the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries, has announced that Hayden Watson, Chairman of Hayden Homes, is the recipient of the 2019 Hearthstone Humanitarian Award, presented annually by BUILDER magazine and Hearthstone, a leader in financing single family development.

“It’s an honor to recognize operational talent, yet it’s a gift to honor individuals who are giving beyond that in the way that the Hearthstone BUILDER Award recognizes the elite for their time, energy and resources to helping others,” said John McManus, Editorial Director and Vice President of the Residential Group at Hanley Wood. “Hayden’s generosity has impacted hundreds of people in the local community and is a shining example for the entire housing industry.”

Hearthstone and BUILDER, together with founding sponsor Kohler Company, joined forces to recognize builders who go the extra mile to help others. Now in its 19th year, the Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award has given nearly $6 million to charity, making it the largest philanthropic award in the homebuilding industry, to honor builders who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to making their communities a better place to work and live.

“Year after year, we receive dozens of entries for this elite award,” said Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone. “It’s so encouraging to witness the leadership and self-sacrifice of those in home building. Every year gives us the unique opportunity to honor someone new that has an entirely different and meaningful impact. In today’s housing environment, it’s so important to showcase and recognize the accomplishments of leaders like Hayden Watson to provide models for more attainable housing for more people across the country.”

Watson has been leading Hayden Homes for close to three decades, starting as CEO in 1999, and becoming Chairman in 2016. Under his leadership the company became one of the top 35 private home builders in the country, with an economic impact of more than $3 billion since inception. Hayden has been sure to build a strong foundation of giving and generosity, throughout the company’s entire suite of brands including Simplicity Homes, WiseSize and Hayden Homes. The companies each commit ten percent of profits and 0.125 percent of every home sale to charitable causes.

The trio of home building companies led by Watson have donated more than $18.3 million funneled through the non-profit, First Story. Watson founded First Story to provide hardworking, deserving and capable families with an affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom. Hayden Homes has provided more than 16,000 new homes to price conscious, value-driven home buyers in underserved, secondary markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

“I feel fortunate that I was able to nominate Hayden and I know he feels incredibly honored to be receiving this recognition,” says Claire Duncan, Executive Director at First Story. “Hayden is changing lives—his program is changing the way that work feels to the Hayden Home group as they are able to give one of the most meaningful things that they can to people in need – a safe home. Our hope is that Hayden’s generosity and vision can inspire others across the country to provide for more housing opportunities for more who are in need.”

Hayden Watson was selected by a panel of top industry leaders with experience in humanitarian outreach:

John McManus, Vice President and Editorial Director, Residential Group, Hanley Wood
Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone
Bert Selva, CEO of Shea Homes
Larry Webb, CEO of The New Home Co.
Dan Ryan, CEO of Dan Ryan Homes
Chris Gaffney, Group President, Toll Brothers
Lori Sanson, Executive Vice President, DeNova Homes
Pat Hamill, CEO, Oakwood Homes
Watson will be honored at the 2019 Housing Leadership Summit, taking place May 13-15 at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel at Dana Point, Calif.

“I’m extremely humbled as well as honored to receive this award and recognition,” said Watson. “I am proud to be part of a family that makes serving the community a priority, it’s probably the most important part of my job. I also am proud that we are directing efforts and resources to one of the country’s most profound issues – housing affordability and homelessness.”

About Hearthstone
Hearthstone was the first, and today is the largest institutional investor solely focused on for-sale residential development in the country, with over $15 billion committed to the homebuilding industry since 1992. This commitment represents the financing of over 500 communities in 20 states.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood is the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential, commercial design and construction industry. Utilizing the largest analytics and editorially driven Construction Industry Database, the company provides business intelligence and data-driven services. The company produces award-winning media, high-profile executive events, and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit