Recognizing A True Advocate in Home Building

By Douglas Buck, Director of Governmental Affairs

In the lifelong career that I’ve had with the Florida Home Builders Association – focusing on statewide issues such as the Florida Building Code – I can honestly say that Richard Browdy stands out as consensus builder, true gentleman, and a staunch advocate for the home building industry in his service as Chairman for the Florida Building Commission (FBC).

Richard, a Jacksonville local and loyal active member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, established Browdy & Browdy, Inc. in 1977, where he has a long history of building award winning custom homes. And, while his effects on home building are evident in his region, most FHBA members and Florida’s industry are more familiar with the impact he’s had statewide – whether they realize it or not.

Richard has represented the building industry and protected interests as an unpaid volunteer, in a position that impacts everyone who pulls a permit – before there was a Florida Building Code.

When the need arose, post Hurricane Andrew, Richard was at the table in the development of the building code. Appointed by former Gov. Bob Martinez to what was originally the Florida Board of Building Codes and Standards in 1988, and then again by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 as Chair of the FBC, Richard knew establishing and upholding a statewide code would not always be smooth sailing. But, the FHBA worked closely with Richard, calling on past and current FHBA building code experts such as Jack Haslam, Jack Glenn, and Joe Belcher to maneuver through proposed changes and interpret potential impacts. Richard’s noble ability to address all concerns and lead the FBC to reasonable conclusions was key to allowing the FHBA team, on behalf of its members, to walk away successful from many FBC meetings.

Last week, Richard Browdy resigned his position as Chairman of the FBC for personal reasons. This action greatly impacts the industry, as we lose a staunch advocate in a key role. The FHBA owes Richard much. I owe Richard more than I can say in this simple article.

Richard Browdy cannot be replaced and we can only hope to approach his legacy as a representative of the FHBA.