2014 Case Award Winner Bill Simone

Bill Simone, president of Custom Design & Construction, El Segundo, Calif., has won the 2014 Fred Case Award for showing entrepreneurial spirit in the remodeling industry. The award, regarded as one of the most prestigious in all remodeling, was presented during a banquet May 8 at the Remodeling Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Va.

Simone has been in the business for 27 years, and his firm recorded $4 million in sales last year. He won out over three other finalists in part for two achievements.

First, Custom Design is a rarity among full-service design/build firms in that it offers in-house financing. That option figured in 47% of the projects the Southern California firm did last year. The offering of it was a big reason why financed jobs were 32% bigger than cash projects that year, and the gross margins on those financed jobs were 5.5 points higher.

Second, Simone's business has a state-of-the-art Design & Inspiration Center that makes it possible for Custom Design to in effect get paid for the leads it generates. The firm rents its facility to outsiders and offers it to past clients for their use. Custom Design also has gourmet food truck vendors come in twice weekly, a practice that lures employees (and thus potential customers) from such nearby major corporations as Boeing, Raytheon, Mattel, and Chevron.

Simone is the eighth person to receive the annual award, which was created and is funded by Fred Case, the founder of Case Design Remodeling of suburban Washington. He was selected by a panel that judged the nominees for business acumen, financial company strength, community and industry involvement, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Aside from the $10,000 prize given to Simone, he also will be profiled in the July issue of REMODELING magazine. In addition, $2,500 checks went to the three other finalists: Rick Wuest, president and CEO, Thompson Creek Window Co., Lanham, Md.; Vince Nardo, president, Reborn Cabinets, Anaheim, Calif.; and Steve Barkhouse, owner, Amsted Design Build, Ottawa, Canada.

Read REMODELING’s profiles of past Fred Case Award winners:

·         2013: Nick Richmond, Matrix Basement Systems, “A Spark from Flint”

·         2012: Brian Elias, 1-800-Hansons, "The Life of Brian"

·         2011: Tom Kelly, Neil Kelly Co., "Making His Mark"

·         2010: Matt Plaskoff, Plaskoff Construction, "Driven To Succeed"

·         2009: Iris Harrell, Harrell Remodeling, "Fully Vested"