Atlanta Real Estate Forum congratulates Mike Smith with Harcrest Homes for being named the recipient of the 2015 Lewis Cenker Award by the Greater Atlanta HBA during this year’s OBIE Awards. Presented by the Atlanta Sales and Marketing Council, the OBIE Awards are the premier awards given in the Atlanta new home construction industry.

Growing up in Conyers, Mike Smith developed an interest in the building industry at a young age, working with his father as a plumber’s helper during summer breaks and in a cabinet shop after school. It was while working with his father that Mike learned the value of hard work and a high standard of ethics which fostered one of his core principles – growth and success mean progressing to a level where mistakes are not made and customers and employees are always satisfied.

Mike attended Georgia Southern University on a soccer scholarship where he earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 1989. He joined what was Carl Riden Homes in 1992 as an assistant superintendent. He quickly rose to partner, and started Harcrest Homes with Carl Riden in 1998. He assumed ownership of the company in 2005 after Riden chose to retire. During his quick rise to partner, Mike was instrumental in developing efficient systems that led Harcrest to be named America’s Best Builder by Builder Magazine in 2001. With Harcrest, Mike has built more than 1,100 homes.

Mike is an active member of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and served as president of its Gwinnett chapter in 2000. In January 2011, he was installed as the HBA’s President. Mike also served as the president of The Housing Institute for five years and is still active on the Housing Institute Board of Directors. He is the only HBA leader to ever serve simultaneously as the HBA and the Housing Institute President.

Mike has also been a proud supporter of HomeAid Atlanta. In 2006, he built an award-winning mountain retreat playhouse. This past year, he was the Builder Captain for a six-unit apartment complex for HomeAid Atlanta and Rainbow Village in Duluth. He donated countless hours and company resources to this project.

He and his company have won many awards and industry recognition. Harcrest Homes has won more than 100 OBIE awards.  Mike was also named the Greater Atlanta HBA’s Builder of the Year in 2009. In addition, he was named as HomeAid Atlanta’s Builder of the Year in 2013.

“Mike combines a keen intelligence with his commitment to excellence, which makes him a very special leader. As an industry leader, Mike has shown time and time again his ability to listen, build consensus and get things done,” said David Ellis, executive vice president of the Greater Atlanta HBA. “No matter what he sets out to do, the result is always the same – excellence. When I contemplate leadership and industry commitment, I think of Mike Smith. He continues to work and give his all to improve his industry and his association.”

“After working with Mike for many years, I can tell you he is one of the best people that I know,” said Carl Riden, former partner. “He is level-headed, detail oriented and he truly cares about his customers and his staff. He is an all-around great guy.”

The HBA is proud to recognize Mike Smith as the recipient of the 2015 Lewis Cenker Award. Congratulations, Mike!

Established in 1984, the Lewis Cenker Award is the Greater Atlanta HBA’s most prestigious award honoring an individual’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the advancement of the housing industry. To symbolize the status of this award, it was named in memory of one of the industry’s icons – Mr. Lewis Cenker, who was President of the Association in 1960 and the only member of the Greater Atlanta HBA to serve as President of the National Association of Home Builders.

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association’s OBIE Awards celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2015. The awards began in 1980 and have grown throughout the years to include more than 100 building, remodeling, marketing and personal achievement categories. The OBIE Awards are named after the obelisk shape of the actual award given. To see all of this year’s OBIE award winners, visit Make sure to like, share and comment on this story.

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