[caption id="attachment_57291" align="alignright" width="194" caption="Greg Hurd"][/caption]

Greg Hurd, principal and vice president at BKF Engineers in Santa Rosa, is the 2012-2013 president of the North Coast Builders Exchange, a nonprofit construction industry advocate representing 1,250 members in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties.

It is the first time in the exchange's 58-year history that a professional who is not a building contractor has held the position.

“I look at it as a whole industry,” Mr. Hurd said of builders, engineers and other professions related to construction.

Mr. Hurd assumed the role on July 1, following five years on the group’s executive committee and his chairing of the exchange’s political action committee since 2009.

The appointment of Mr. Hurd marks the first time that the year-long position has been assigned to an associate member, a group that includes architects, engineers and suppliers to the construction industry. Regular members – licensed contractors -- have occupied the role for the past 57 years, said Keith Woods, CEO.

A member of the Santa Rosa-based builders exchange since 1988, Mr. Hurd said he joined the group with a recognition of the broader construction industry ecosystem, where varied fields like accounting and law share a mutual goal in supporting the industry’s growth and prosperity.

"This has always been our definition of construction -- it's not just the trades themselves," said Mr. Woods. "We view the professionals involved in construction as part of the construction industry."

In his new role, Mr. Hurd said he hoped to continue the work of past presidents to grow membership and respond to the economic pressures challenging the construction industry. That work will involve enhanced outreach, including drawing on his network as a former president of the Sonoma County Alliance and member of several economic and professional groups in the region.

“When you boil it all down, it’s all about having a healthy economy,” Mr. Hurd said.

With Mr. Hurd’s ascension, former president Todd Cowan will step into the “past president” role. Officers transition their roles annually, with new positions including Monica Soiland Nelson as first vice president, Warren Brown as second vice president and new committee member Clay Green as secretary-treasurer.