Established in 1984, the Lewis Cenker Award is the HBA’s most prestigious award honoring an individual’s lifetime achievements and their contributions to the advancement of the housing industry. To symbolize the status of this award, it was named in memory of one of our industry’s icons – Mr. Lewis Cenker who was President of our Association in 1960 & the only member of our HBA to serve as President of the National Association of Home Builders. The 2013 Lewis Cenker Award Recipient is Bob Chapin.
An industry veteran with a distinguished career spanning three decades, Bob Chapin is recognized as one of Atlanta’s most prominent construction lending professionals. Bob is highly respected as an expert in the building community for his uncompromising integrity and personal character. These qualities, along with a genuine compassion for others, were the framework for the significant contributions Bob has made to the housing industry, the HBA and his community.
Bob grew up in Doraville and is a graduate of Sequoyah High School. A natural athlete, Bob played on the school’s soccer team and polished skills in the sport that he later put to good use as the father of four boys. Next, Bob attended Georgia Southern University where he traded in his soccer cleats to “go Greek” and pledged of Delta Tau Delta. Even as a young college student, Bob relied on his personal values to make thoughtful decisions such as joining the Delta Tau Delta fraternity whose core principles: Truth, Courage, Faith and Power, closely align with his own ideals. Bob is recognized as an Honored Alumnus of Delta Tau Delta’s Epsilon Omega Chapter for his role as a chapter advisor and contributions to the house fundraising campaign.
While in school, Bob was an intern at Peachtree Bank, a community bank. Bob’s work ethic, reliability and enthusiasm to learn didn’t go unnoticed. The bank’s management recognized the talent and potential of their industrious intern and upon Bob’s graduation with a BBA in Finance, he was recruited to join the bank’s Management Trainee Program.
Bob’s introduction to the housing industry was conducting inspections on homes under construction by the bank’s builder customers. Bob’s ability to quickly establish strong relationships and gain trust with builders at a time in which the residential construction lending division was growing caught the eye of the executive management.
Peachtree Bank was acquired by SunTrust Company and Bob was promoted to the position of Relationship Manager and eventually led the Residential Construction Group as a Group Vice President. During Bob’s tenure as Vice President of Residential Construction Lending at SunTrust Bank, he oversaw the region’s largest portfolio of residential construction loans, which included as many as 335 residential builder/developer clients at its peak. In 2008, Bob joined CharterBank as Senior Vice President and has been honored for five consecutive years with the Residential Construction Lender of the Year award.
Bob has served in a variety of volunteer roles to further the goals of the association and for the advancement of the industry. At the chapter level, he has held the position of Association Vice President for Cherokee, Cobb and Forsyth chapters and was honored as Associate of the Year for both the Cherokee and Forsyth chapters. Bob is a Life Spike and has recruited approximately 100 new members.
His leadership and behind the scenes counsel have made an impactful difference on numerous areas throughout the association including the Budget/Finance Committee, Builder Resource Fund and the Builder Developer Lender Council. Bob has served as a member of the HBA Board of Directors since 2006, as the Associate at Large on the Executive Committee in 2007 and in 2008 was elected as Associate Vice President. He has also supported HomeAid Atlanta, the designated charity of the HBA, and is a popular guest lecturer at Georgia Tech.
Bob’s association involvement extends beyond the local level. He has served on the Home Builders Association of Georgia’s Board of Directors, Associate Council, Mortgage/Finance Committee and the Audit Committee.
Equally dedicated to community service, Bob has served multiple terms on Gwinnett County’s Revitalization task force as well as the County’s Planning Commission. He was instrumental in creating a “student friendly” gathering spot on the Norcross High School campus by turning an unused grassy knoll into what is now known as Blue Devil Plaza.
Bob and his wife Jenny celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in October 2013. Originally from Dayton, Ohio Jenny is a graduate of Wesleyan College and earned a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. Jenny is a practicing attorney with Savell & Williams LLP. At the end of the day, what matters most to Bob and Jenny is their family. They are the very proud parents of four boys.
Jed (22) A Notre Dame graduate resides in New York City, Patrick (19) is a freshman at the University of Georgia, Luke (15) is a sophomore at Norcross High School and Ben (14) is in the eighth grade at Pinckneyville Middle School. An important Chapin family tradition is their commitment to the Boy Scouts of America. Jed and Patrick have earned the distinct designation as Eagle Scouts, Luke is an Aspiring Eagle and Ben is a Second Class Scout.
Bob and Jenny served four years as Co-Chairs of the Norcross High School Foundation of Excellence and remain active members of the organization’s Board. Bob is involved in his sons’ sporting activities, coaching soccer and as an assistant baseball coach.
The Chapins reside in Peachtree Corners and are members of Mary our Queen Catholic Church. Bob teaches two youth Sunday School Classes and serves on both the Capital Fund Raising Committee and the Parish Finance Committee. Together Bob and Jenny enjoy leading Baptism classes for newly expecting parents as well as classes for engaged couples.
A devoted husband and father, Bob is best described as a consummate professional, often quiet and always modest and humble. He is a true gentleman who has remained true to his values, and is a steward of the industry providing counsel and advice to his customers and industry colleagues alike. Bob Chapin has certainly set a new standard not only in terms of how he navigated unprecedented economic challenges within the industry, but more so how he managed it with dignity and grace and all along the way found joy in helping his colleagues survive and succeed.
Join us in congratulating the 2013 Lewis Cenker Award Recipient, Bob Chapin.