Lifetime Achievement Award Caps Off Extraordinary 6 Months


(Mike Arnett, President of COBA and Jim Norman | Photo Courtesy of Norman Building & Design)

Norman Building & Design, LLC didn’t become one of Bend’s most successful and proficient custom homebuilders by sticking with a tried-and-true, cookie-cutter approach year after year. They continued to push boundaries, to explore new styles and ways to save costs and energy. Yet even by the company’s normally dynamic standards, the past several months have brought on a considerable amount of change and growth, as well as some significant recognition.

Most recently, the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) honored the company’s founder, Jim Norman, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Excellence Awards held January 15 at the Bend Golf Club. In joining past recipients Dennis Pahlisch and Brooks Resources, Norman was recognized for his “passionate pursuit of beauty, function and fun,” which has resulted in the completion of more than 400 exceptional Central Oregon homes as well as a close-knit company that’s going strong after more than 40 years.

“While it took a lot of grit and long hours to get the company started back in 1977, we wouldn’t be here today without the ingenuity and dedication of our employees over the years,” said Norman. “They’re the ones who have helped us continue to build homes that capture the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and support the lives of our clients. I couldn’t be prouder of what our company has achieved and where it is heading.”

In 2018, Norman decided to withdraw from the day-to-day responsibilities of running the business and focus strictly on designing custom homes. Armed with a dozen years of experience as a project manager and a master’s degree in business administration, Norman’s son-in-law Brian Murphy was more than ready to step in as president.

In the year-and-a-half since Murphy took the helm, Norman Building & Design (NBD) has won back-to-back Best of Show awards on the Central Oregon Builders Association Tour of Homes (2018 and 2019), experienced significant growth in its remodeling business and added five key employees. That kind of progress and success indicates why Murphy, 38, recently made the Cascade Business News list of “Accomplished Under 40.”

“Jim Norman is a legend in this community,” said Murphy. “Not only has he designed and built dozens of custom homes that fit with Central Oregon’s lifestyle and landscape, he has created a close-knit business that has sustained itself for more than four decades. I see my role as maintaining the company’s core values and exceptional customer service, while expanding our horizons with new techniques and technologies.”

With a sharp eye toward the future, NBD turned to Kinetic Branding of Bend to update its identity and provide a thorough overhaul of its website. Like most logos created in the 1970s, NBD’s was showing its age with a gradation element that gave away its stylistic time period. Kinetic designer Paul Ruettgers kept the spirit of the original logo by using the triangle shape as a design element. But instead of having it make a generic roof, he used two triangles and a rectangle to make an “N” out of the negative space in between. He also chose colors that reflect the natural palette of wood materials used throughout most Norman homes.

“We are delighted with the new brand identity,” said Greg Garrick, NBD’s director of sales and marketing. “It definitely shows respect for our past, yet it has a refreshing timeless quality that will eventually look great on our vehicles, shirts and hats.”

Similarly, the new website introduces a fresh new look and feel with a streamlined approach that is much easier to navigate. Ruettgers and his team eliminated multiple layers of color and content that created a cluttered and dark visual experience. Using the new theme “Extraordinary is the Norm,” he introduced more white space that helps enhance the stunning images of Norman homes throughout the site.

Ruettgers also worked with drone footage shot by Fred Gunnerson of Butterfly Multimedia and Brent Barnett of Future Filmworks to create a breathtaking introductory video featured on the Home page.

“The new website and video are the ultimate showcases for what Norman Building & Design is all about today,” said Garrick. “As evidenced by the COBA Lifetime Achievement Award, the company has a tremendous history as well as a long list of satisfied customers who have become part of the family. Yet, supported by new marketing materials and Brian’s energetic leadership, we’ve laid the foundation for an even more promising future.”

Norman Building & Design has been designing, building and remodeling fine custom homes in Central Oregon since 1977. Our unique approach includes home design and construction, cabinetry design and craftsmanship, and interior doors and front entry systems, all under one roof. Our team also includes interior designers to assist in making your home building experience complete. Our goal is to deliver a residence that reflects the owner’s individual tastes, desires and budget, and to make the entire process enjoyable throughout. • 541-280-6753


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