Membership Moment: Art Alvarez with Mortgage Works

This month is a pretty epic milestone for Art Alvarez of MortgageWorks as he was recognized as Affiliate of the Year by the Greater Palm Springs Association of Realtors.

Art has been originating loans for 42 years as of January 2024! That kind of expertise is unparalleled and Art’s knowledge and innovation in his industry are worth noting. He also produces a weekly YouTube show with industry updates, housing trends and more, the Mortgage Minute, which you can find here:

Please help us congratulate Art when you see him at an upcoming DVBA event, or connect with him here:

Written by Erin Hyland, DVBA Community & Membership Liaison

There are always some incredible milestones, promotions, and awards happening amongst our esteemed DVBA Membership, so I am committed to highlighting these at least once a month so you can learn more and connect with other members of our Association. Do YOU or your company have something worth bragging about? We’d love to highlight you, please email me at

DVBA President Gretchen Gutierrez Honored at Luncheon

More than 200 women and approximately 20 men gathered at the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells Nov. 3 to honor two outstanding local businesswomen at the 2023 GoGirl! Luncheon benefiting the Girlfriend Factor. Gretchen Gutierrez, CEO of DVBA, was recognized for her leadership and engagement in legislative matters with local, county, state and federal agencies with a focus is on home ownership for all.

Click here to read the full Desert Sun article

Membership Perks

Hello Valued DVBA Members,

Erin here, your friendly connection to Community & Membership.
I love connecting with all of you amazing members at local events and mixers supporting our local businesses & chambers of commerce. One thing I am finding is that not enough members know how many perks you receive with your DVBA/NAHB memberships. Let’s fix that!

First off: computers. We all use them, and inflation has definitely increased costs for this crucial business necessity. Did you know that your membership affords you up to 40% all Dell computers, servers, electronics, and accessories?!

Next up is shipping. Whether it’s materials like custom tile or fixtures, or overnighting contracts and documents, with flat rate pricing for members you get a 50% discount on Next-Day Shipping, and 30% off for ground commercial/residential! You cannot beat those savings.

I will continue to highlight your perks and future events for you to network & connect with other members, public officials, and elected offices alike. Hope to see you at our annual golf tournament on Friday, November 17th as we return to Classic Club!

Byline:  Erin Hyland, Community Membership Liaison

New Housing Costs to Rise in Cathedral City

New home construction in Cathedral City just got more expensive. This summer saw two fee studies pass through the ranks of the city administration and City Council. The first study was for land use and regulatory fees. Fees were to increase on a previously approved step of basically a third. Additionally, they were also increased by a Consumers Price Index of 8.7%. Combined this is not insignificant amount.

The city has also submitted a development impact fee study. These mitigation fees for streets, police, fire, and other government facilities have increased 498% over the existing fees. The good news is that these fees will not increase until January 1, 2024.

The Desert Valleys Builders Association has contested several aspects of these proposed fees. In the end we still believe that the existing population owes a share of the administration fee as several studies/plans are driven by existing population needs. Then the city is also charging new construction more than double the cost for parkland facilities. At $750,000 per acre this cost adds up quickly.

Should an applicant builder or new resident filing after Janauary1, 2024, wish to challenge any of these fees the DVBA is readily willing to assist in providing the facts.

By: James Brownyard, VP Legislative & Government Affairs/DVBA

DVBA Leads Homebuilding in Desert

Desert Valleys Builders Association leads builders in Coachella and Imperial Valleys to build better communities

For over 13 years, the Desert Valleys Builders Association (DVBA) has been working diligently to help builders and associated building industry businesses work with local city governments, Water Districts, the state of California, Tribal Governments, and other organizations to ensure that residential building projects continue to thrive in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

Under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer, Gretchen Gutierrez, the organization has grown from a small office with only one employee and 30-odd members, to a 3,000+ square foot office with three full-time employees and over 150 members. The organization is also an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) which gives DVBA members access to the national organization’s wealth of educational opportunities, networking, awards programs, and political lobbying efforts.

As one of the fastest-growing regions in Southern California, the Coachella and Imperial Valleys have an important role to play in developing and building a wide variety of homes and communities to serve the needs of both full-time and seasonal residents. The DVBA plays a large role in assisting builders and developers in navigating the various housing and development regulations handed down by Riverside and Imperial Counties and 17 cities in the region. Since its inception, the DVBA has assisted many builders and developers in building thousands of single and multi-family homes in the region.
“The DVBA has been instrumental in ensuring that new communities and housing developments have been able to successfully overcome the various challenges our members face when they begin the entitlement process. We are proud to have been able to assist our builder and developer members with a variety of issues they have faced over the years. I am proud of the work that the DVBA legislative and membership staff have done to help our region continue to build successful communities throughout the desert,” said Chief Executive Officer, Gretchen Gutierrez.

About: Established in 2010, the Desert Valleys Builders Association is an association of building industry professionals, representing all levels of the construction industry who are committed to ensuring that construction of all types of buildings remains vibrant and strong in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, while also maintaining and protecting the natural beauty of the region. The organization strives to be a leader and collaborative partner with its members to assist in navigating the complex economic and regulatory environments in the region.

Training a Workforce

Options Presented by College of the Desert

A well-trained workforce. That is the goal for most of our local businesses, isn’t it? I should add, “looking for reasonable renumeration”.

Prior to Covid-19, we would hear in the news talk about the “Baby Boomers” who will be retiring soon, and who will make up the loss in the workforce? Well, we were locked down with physical restrictions, and repeatedly threatened with more lock downs.

Upon return to “normal” there became a huge gap where employees used to be in our brick-and-mortar businesses. A predominant majority of those that could work from home wished that option to continue. Depending upon the skill set and business management style, the practice may be extended, or retirement may have become the option of choice. Now, it isn’t as simple as that. My feeling is many “Baby Boomers” just didn’t wish to deal with jobs and bosses anymore. The government was providing some nice temporary handouts, so it was a good time to retire.

The panic of “we need bodies”, and “we will train” is something I have been hearing going on for 2-years now.

Recently, the College of the Desert held a public brainstorming meeting to focus on the needs of local industry. What many don’t know is the College of the Desert has your typical undergraduate studies for students preparing for an A.A./A.S. or who plan on attending a 4-year university, but they have a targeted vocational aspect as well.

Not everyone is geared for academia. A college/university degree has no guarantees for success. But vocational training can give our students a direct path to self-sufficiency. The College of the Desert offers certificates and licensed fields of training in Law Enforcement, nursing, hospitality, construction management and other construction mechanical skills.

College of the Desert is asking business owners and managers, what skills are needed to prepare our young people for interesting and sustainable, and fulfilling careers. At one-time we (under a different name) teamed up with College of the Desert to promote hands-on vocational training in home construction. Building Horizons was geared towards older high school students and community college students. Over the course of 2 semesters students would get both book learning and hands-on skills training. These students got a taste of the construction industry and the experience to see if just maybe they have the aptitude for construction.

What is lacking is skilled and knowledgeable instructors. Students of Building Horizons could point out homes they helped build. That is satisfying. College of the Desert needs skilled and knowledgeable contractors willing to put some hands-on time with our young people. We need skilled labor for our construction industry.

Working in the construction industry doesn’t always mean coming home dirty. College of the Desert offers courses in design and architecture, electrical engineering (low volt, and high), accounting, banking, legal, etc. 35% of the population has a job contributing to new construction, whether that be a home or a new business.

How to get involved? Contact the DVBA at 760-776-7001 for additional information and referral info to COD to assist in meeting this need. Together we can work together to Build Our Labor Market Strong!

By: James Brownyard, VP Legislative & Government Affairs/DVBA

Professional Women in Building

Desert Valley Builders Association forms NAHB’s Professional Women In Building Council

The Desert Valley Builders Association (DVBA) recently formed the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building Council (PWB). PWB is the voice of women in the building industry and is dedicated to promoting industry professionalism and supporting members at the local, state, and national levels. Since its founding in October 2022, there have been over 25 women who have joined the DVBA’s Professional Women in Building Council. The council has a goal to reach 50 members by Spring 2024. PWB members are nationally recognized as leaders in the home building industry and have benefitted greatly from the collaborative nature of the council.

NAHB’s Professional Women In Building CouncilIndustry data show company earnings of PWB members are 22% higher than those of non-members. PWB members attribute much of their success to the support they receive from peer members, in addition to receiving exclusive access to professional development resources and participating in forums that hone leadership skills. Plus, the national recognition they attain through the largest network of residential construction professionals also gives them a competitive edge. In addition, PWB members have access to Building Women an annual magazine that includes content that promotes enhances and supports women in the homebuilding industry. Also, PWB council members get an additional 10% off the member price of every book from Builder Books, the publishing arm of the NAHB that offers valuable publications specifically created to help NAHB members streamline their business operations. Other benefits include awards and recognition, networking, promotional events, and women in homebuilding-focused conferences and events. NAHB and the DVBA are celebrating Professional Women in Building Week, September 11 – 15, 2023. For more information about the activities during this week, visit:

“As an NAHB affiliate, we are excited to offer our women in building professionals the opportunity to be a part of the Professional Women in Building Council to assist them in growing themselves both professionally and personally. As a female leader in the building industry for over 30 years, I am delighted to join our founding PWB council members to create a dynamic and impactful council that will serve to promote women’s voices in the homebuilding industry in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys and beyond, said Chief Executive Officer, Gretchen Gutierrez.

About: Established in 2010, the DVBA is an association of building industry professionals, representing all levels of the construction industry who are committed to ensuring that building of all types remain vibrant and strong in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, while also maintaining and protecting the natural beauty of the region. The organization strives to be a leader and collaborative partner with its members to assist in navigating the complex economic and regulatory environments in the region.