By Kathy Day
A year’s worth of planning comes together this week for Dawn and Bill Davidson, whose design and homebuilding companies share offices in Del Mar. More than 10,000 building industry representatives land in town for the annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). The couple is co-chairing the event, which is being held June 5-6.
Being held at the San Diego Convention for the first time this year, the two-date event formally kicks off even earlier, on Tuesday morning with several forums. But for early arrivals, there’s also a train trip up the coast Monday to San Juan Capistrano on the horizon. Since its inception in 1959 as a small educational conference, PCBC had been based in San Francisco, but the sponsoring California Building Industry Association (BIA) board decided last year to start alternating locations — meaning it will return to San Diego in the future.
Bill Davidson, who started Davidson Communities in 1978, and his wife Dawn, who opened Design Line Interiors in 1985, know the conference well. The Davidsons have been honored many times by their peers. Bill was named the local BIA’s Industry Professional of the Year and is a member of Builder Magazine’s Hall of Fame; his homes have won many a Gold Nugget. Dawn was saluted as the local Building Professional and Design Professional of the Year and is a member of the California Homebuilding Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Bill attended his first PCBC in 1973 and has been to every one since.
“As a builder, it’s the only place to go to see the future and, boy, has the industry changed,” Bill said. While they used to go to see the latest in home designs and products, today it is a place to meet bankers and investors, who initially didn’t attend – and stayed away during the recession.
Dawn first attended the event in the mid-1980s after starting her firm.
“I wanted to see the products and get clients,” she said. “It’s great for networking and lots of fun … It really strengthens relationships and gives you an opportunity to learn a lot.”
It’s an opportunity to connect with clients from all over the 14 Western states, Canada and Mexico, who are all there “relaxed and wanting to learn,” she added.
The Davidsons, who were asked by the late Horace Hogan and Steve Doyle – like them, veteran members and leaders of the San Diego Building Industry Association (BIA) — to chair the event, are excited about the prospects for this year’s program. It is appropriately titled “Start Something New.”
Over the years, through good times and bad, it expanded to include architects, developers, lenders and investors, marketing, design and construction specialists, as well as product mangers. It features an exhibit floor with the latest building materials and technologies, as well workshops on topics ranging from architecture and design to financial strategies and digital technologies.
One of the highlights is the annual Gold Nugget Awards ceremony, honoring those who have created the best in design, planning and development. Bill said he and his team frequently go out and visit the winning projects after the awards to find out about innovative approaches.