Fred VanNatta spent his working career as housing advocate and governmental affairs representative for the homebuilding industry. On Dec. 1 he was awarded the 2017 Home Builders Association (HBA) Lifetime Achievement Award at the Builder’s Ball in Portland.

The Home Builders Association presents the award “in recognition of involvement and leadership in the association, contributions to the industry, and community involvement, over a longer period of service.”

Past award recipient and national leader himself, Jim Irvine, presented the award. In his speech, Irvine, VanNatta’s longtime friend and former business partner, emphasized VanNatta’s humble beginnings as farmer in rural Oregon. He emphasized VanNatta’s drive for success, his multifaceted talents and his compassion for others. Irvine also spoke about how VanNatta established the first statewide building code in the country and how he worked to support the needs of homebuilders in Oregon’s legislature as a lobbyist. One of VanNatta’s main goals as a lobbyist was to make it easier for Oregonians to own and purchase homes.

Irvine closed by saying that “Fred’s legacy continues to be a testimony to the attributes called the Masterpieces of the Renaissance. He has an unquenchable thirst to humbly enrich the lives of Oregon’s citizens and to make a better place for those who choose to call Oregon home. This has been and continues to be the life of Fred VanNatta.”

After receiving his award, VanNatta said he felt “flattered and appreciative” to have been recognized for his work for the homebuilding industry. In his acceptable speech, Fred VanNatta said that “I truly believed that a person could not experience personal and financial security without an owning a home. I had that dream for myself and my children and for all Oregonians who wanted that kind of stability.”

HBA of Metropolitan Portland CEO, Dave Nielsen said VanNatta received the award because of his “leadership and participation in the Home Builders Association and his support for and impact on the building industry and community involvement.”

VanNatta continues to be active in the Salem community and closely follows political issues.


Fred VanNatta is the founder of VanNatta Public Relations, (VPR) originally known as “Public Affairs, Inc.” VanNatta’s continuous leadership and guiding vision has been a stable force in this dynamic company for five decades.


The Oregon Home Builders Association is a trade association dedicated to providing a voice for builders at the Oregon capitol and state agencies, delivering educational opportunities for Oregon contractors, and promoting practical building code changes.