Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Duffin.
Hi Amber, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was raised by a builder and always believed people in the building industry worked harder than anyone I know. I learned a lot about running a business and working with others from watching my dad growing up.
I was an Executive Assistant for a list brokerage. The owners had several subsidiary businesses that kept me involved in the building industry, including a trash hauling business, property management, and storage units.
I started a windows and doors business in 2003 and ran the back-end of the business while working full-time at my other job. It was through these businesses that I was given the opportunity to join the Home Builders Association, a group made up of builders and trades in the building industry.
As a member of the Association, I built relationships with other members and was able to network and grow my knowledge and build long-lasting friendships with others in the industry. The Association was somewhere I wanted to stay and be a part of.
I was offered a position within the Association and knew that is where I needed to be. I have been working as the Director of Events ever since. I organize and manage meetings and special events, including the Utah Valley Parade of Homes, which draws over 35,000 attendees from not just Utah, but people from all over the nation now.
I have built on a strong foundation from leaders before me and thrive to continue to make it better each year. My goal is to work well with the builders in Utah Valley and help them the best I can, which in turn helps the Home Builders Association. I love what I do and I am very grateful to be where I am in my career.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No, it has not always been a smooth road, but there really is a joy to be found in the journey!
The professional challenges I’ve faced up to this point have taught me so much. One challenge would have been the recession in 2007-2009 with fears and reality of losing business and also the fear of losing my stable employment. The pandemic in 2020 and the covid restrictions in place created roadblocks left and right, and truly still are.
Finally, the delays in materials in the building industry and labor shortage. All of these past events did affect builders and trades and suppliers, which in turn affect how we do certain things in the Association. I try to help our builders and have answers to anything they need.
Personal challenges can definitely create struggles along the way as well. I have learned that no matter what, you have to keep going and moving forward. What’s done is done and the only way to go from here is forward. I have pushed through a divorce, lost my son in 2019, and raised kids for several years on my own.
My career many times are what helped me keep my head above water. It has not always been a smooth road, but I have learned to rise above many valuable lessons along the way.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I grew up dancing. I was extensively trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and other various styles of dance. I was fortunate to have some of the greatest and most professional teachers around. I was very dedicated to dancing for 4-6 hours after school every day.
From a young age, I was given the opportunity to teach and assist in dance at many studios in both Utah and Salt Lake County. I trained with many choreographers from LA and New York. I was granted several scholarships to the New York broadway dance center and a Presidential dance scholarship for school. I went on to dance professionally for the Utah Jazz basketball team. As a mom, I have enjoyed watching my daughter dance and enjoy it as well.
My career in the building industry began shortly after dancing professionally. I worked for several companies managing books and operations while owning a company.
I got involved with several volunteer positions including Habitat for Humanity Women’s build projects, Utah Valley Home Builders Association committees before working for the Association, and most recently as a board member on the Women’s Business Network in the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.
I love what I do, day in and day out! I’m grateful to be surrounded by building professionals who I look up to and learn from every day. My first mentor was my father and grandfather. They taught me how to work hard.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
To spend more TIME with my kids! Work will always be there, and the house can get cleaned another day, but our kids need our time no matter how we spend it with them.
Time goes fast and you will never regret spending more time with your kids. Nothing is as important to me as making sure my family knows they come first and foremost, then work and hobbies.