NAHB Mourns Passing of Robert Arquilla

Filed in Leadership by on December 4, 2017 0 Comments

ArquillaIllinois builder Robert Arquilla, who served as president of NAHB’s Board of Directors in 1977, died this weekend after a long illness.

Mr. Arquilla had a long record of volunteer leadership in the NAHB Federation, serving on the board and chairing the National Housing Endowment and the NAHB Research Center (now known as Home Innovation Research Labs), where he oversaw a significant reorganization and expansion.

Mr. Arquilla was president of Arquilla Industries and a member of the HBA of Greater Chicago, and led the two associations that preceded it: The Homebuilders Association of Chicago and the Home Builders of Greater Chicagoland.

A second-generation builder, he was also a partner in the family-owned business, Burnside Construction Co. in Glenwood, Ill. and served as president of the Residential Construction Employers Council, a Chicago labor negotiation association.

In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Arquilla was elected to both the HBA of Illinois and the NAHB National Housing Hall of Fame.

Mr. Arquilla was “old school” when it came to manners – wearing blue jeans on a plane trip when representing NAHB was cause for dressing down – but understood how the future of the industry required leadership that included both old hands and firebrands, each showing mutual respect for the other, said Home Innovation president and CEO Mike Luzier. “He was remarkably open to new ideas,” Luzier said.

“Bob believed deeply in NAHB, its subsidiaries, and the industry,” he said. “He believed that NAHB and the Federation at large not only represented builders and remodelers, but in a very fundamental way, consumers – especially on issues of housing quality and affordability. Bob believed there was an obligation that the industry represent the least among us by building affordable housing and by being professional, honest businessmen and women.”

National Housing Endowment Executive Officer Bruce Silver has similarly fond memories of Mr. Arquilla, who was the endowment’s founding chairman.

“Bob steered our ship and always led us to calm waters. I’m convinced that we would never have become a leading name in today’s housing philanthropy if it wasn’t for Bob. I personally owe him a great sense of gratitude,” Silver said. “But most of all, Bob was our friend, and we will miss him terribly.”

Funeral services are pending.

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