Our History

The Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association (CVHBA) is a non-profit trade association that was officially established in 1972 as the Eau Claire Home Builders Association.

Our Beginnings

In 1971, a group of 12 men met to discuss the formation of the Association.  They included: David Blakeley, Everett Blakeley and R.P. Blakeley with Blakeley, Inc.; C.C. Ellis; Larry Fagan with Fagan Construction Co; R. T. Gannon with First Wisconsin National Bank; Charles Haselwander and Neil Haselwander with Haselwander Bros.; Bob Hokeness with Stout State University; Wayne Jensen with Wayne Jensen, Inc.; Bob Market with Market Construction and Hans Solem with Solem Real Estate Inc. The Wisconsin Builders Association President, Harry Macco, and Executive Director, Robert Buntrock, were also present. The initial dues were set at $130 and Hans Solem was named as the first president of the Association.

The charter from the National Association of Home Builders was officially received on March 21, 1972. The Association was run as a fully volunteer & member-run Association until 1975 when the first Executive Officer was hired in a joint position with the MLS and the Local Board of Realtors.

Growing the Assocation

In 1977, the Association had grown to 177 members, from approximately 20 in 1972. In 1991, the name of the Association was changed to the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association to better reflect the service area of the Association. The CVHBA now has over 350 members and serves 6 counties: Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire and Pepin.

Signature Events

The Parade of Homes was the CVHBA’s first signature event, starting in 1974; it was founded just 2 years after the CVHBA was chartered. For many years, a separate Menomonie Parade of Homes was held, but beginning in 2004, the Menomonie event was incorporated into the Chippewa Valley Parade of Homes. The Home & Garden Show started 4 years later in 1978. The show made the downtown convention center its home for 26 years until it moved to the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center in 2004. In 2020 the event grew event more with a move to the Chippewa Valley Expo Center which allowed for more vendors to participate in the event.

Our Awards


For a social media pandemic LEGO building contest that went viral had 522 submissions.

Volume One best of award 2021 - 3rd place best hybrid / virtual event

For the pivot to a virtual Parade of Homes in 2020 followed up with a small in-person Parade in the Fall of 2020.

National Association of Homes Builders 2010 Best Publication Award

For the Home Inspirations Magazine that was started in 2010.

National Association of Home Builders 2013 Association Excellent Award: Best Community Service Project

For the Backyard Dreamhouse project, a ‘Hobbit House’ that raised money for the CVHBA Foundation and the Boy Scouts.

Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Community Development Award

For the Phoenix Park Bathroom Community Service project.