Our speaker this day was Gretchen Gutierrez.  Gretchen Gutierrez is the CEO of the Desert Valleys Builders Association (DVBA), a position she has held since August 2011.  Prior to joining the DVBA, she served as CEO for Friends of the Desert Mountains from April 2010 thru May 2011. 

The DVBA is the regional non-profit trade association focused on the regulatory impacts to the building and construction industries.    Her role at the DVBA consists of oversight and management of the Association; interaction with local and county jurisdictional agencies on legislative and regulatory issues; management of the Associations programs and membership.  The Association incorporated in June 2010 and has since grown to nearly 200+ member companies with the board of directors representing the diversity of membership, a robust committee structure and active engagement throughout the Coachella Valley and Imperial County.

Prior to joining the DVBA, Gretchen worked in a variety of career fields since graduating from college.  She began work while in school with the Dallas Cowboys, starting with a summer intern job her junior year of college and then full time employment in Texas when she graduated from college.  She also has worked within a home health care business; an international oil storage manufacturing facility firm; a national leveraged financing corporation, as well as several national homebuilders.  All of these various career paths have brought together a diverse set of skills to the management of the DVBA.

Gretchen relocated to the Coachella Valley in April 2010 from the North Los Angeles County area of Palmdale & Lancaster.  A resident of that area for 26+ years, she worked for 16 plus years as the Executive Director for the BIA/SC -Antelope Valley Chapter.

Gretchen is a native Californian and grew up in Thousand Oaks, California as part of a construction based family business.  She is a graduate of California Lutheran University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice.  She is also the proud mother of Andrea, 30, who is a UC Davis graduate (2010) and is married to Dr. Kyle Mihaylo, and became a first time grandmother to a little girl (Colby) in Oct 2018. [Courtesy Dr. Bruce]

Gretchen did a great job explaining how she and her organization advocate for the developers and builder’s rights with 51 different agencies here in the desert and the surrounding communities.  The main benefit of their advocacy is keeping a lid on these agency’s fees which keeps the costs to build new homes down thus insuring more reasonable pricing to the end consumers.

Gretchen was a dynamic and entertaining speaker and everyone in attendance enjoyed her presentation.