The Florida home building industry lost one of its most influential advocates on August 5, 2018 with the passing of prominent Pensacola developer Joseph Daniel “Dan” Gilmore. A Past 2nd Vice President of the Home Builders Association of West Florida (HBA) and President of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA), Gilmore was a strong and articulate voice for the vital role his industry played in support of housing, jobs, and economic development.
“If you ever made friends with Dan, you knew you had a friend for life,” said longtime friend and HBA Past President John Harold, of J.M. Harold Construction, who served with Gilmore on the HBA Senior Board and HBA Board of Directors. “He had a passion for his family, friends and the housing industry. I’ve always tried to emulate his ability to want to be with people. He loved to be with his family, friends and he could meet a stranger and talk for hours. No one was more passionate about the development business and a fighter for our industry than Dan Gilmore. He truly will be missed.”
Gilmore began his career in the field of real estate/mortgage finance before becoming one of Northwest Florida’s most successful developers of residential and commercial properties as the President of RGB Development. He was active for over 30 years with the HBA serving in many capacities as a Senior Officer, Governmental Affairs Chair, Growth Management Chair, Golf Committee Chair, and Membership Committee Chair. For his efforts, Gilmore was recognized twice with the HBA Associate of the Year Honor (White Hat Award), HBA Eagle Award, and he was the first recipient of the J.B. Hopkins Distinguished Service Award. Gilmore was a Life Director of the HBA Board of Directors. Gilmore would also serve as Chair of the Escambia County Planning Board. In addition, Gilmore spearheaded the first Habitat for Humanity subdivision in Northwest Florida. He was a 30+ Gallon Blood Donor, and a member of Five Flags Rotary.
In addition to his work in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Gilmore became active with FHBA in Tallahassee. Gilmore, with his knack for understanding codes and regulations, quickly worked his way up to the top elected leader of the 10,000-member FHBA in 2005. This is where he made perhaps his biggest impact. “He led an ongoing battle against excessive impact fees on new homes, and considered them the enemy of affordable housing in Florida, said former FHBA Executive Vice President Paul Thompson. “He fought for reasonable building codes that protected the health, safety and welfare of homeowners without burdening them with unnecessary, expensive regulations. Dan was a wealth of information and an extremely strong force for the housing industry.”
In one of his landmark achievements, he led the industry response to a series of devastating hurricanes by creating “Operation Rebuild” and the “Disaster Contractor Network” so that people could locate reliable, licensed contractors to perform needed reconstruction and repairs. Under his leadership, FHBA aired public service announcements on radio and TV, advising consumers about how to prepare their homes for future hurricanes, and warning them about the potential problems of dealing with unlicensed contractors.
Gilmore also served as Chair of the Board of the Florida Home Builders Insurance (FHBI) where he worked to reduce the cost of health, workers’ compensation, and liability insurance that builders needed to protect their employees and businesses. He was also a strong supporter of the Future Builders of America program that trained young people for careers in the construction trades.