Creating a Legacy

5th-Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Invitational held at Copper Creek.

Anyone who knew Doug Mayo will tell you that he loved to socialize, especially if he could socialize on a golf course. It comes as no surprise, then, that his friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even strangers would honor him with a golf outing every summer.

Doug was also known for his passionate support of the Home Builders Association of Iowa (HBAI) and its scholarship program. So, naturally, that annual golf outing honors Doug by raising money to support the scholarship program he helped start.

The 5th-Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Invitational was held late last month at Copper Creek in Pleasant Hill. It was a fitting tribute to the man it honored.

“We always hoped it would be an annual event,” says HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson. “When we planned the first one, everything just came together naturally, and we saw this as a way to honor Doug over the years.”

Doug’s wife, Leslie, says, “Mike Farr, who was president of the state HBA at the time, suggested this when we were chatting at Doug’s visitation. He thought it would be the perfect way to honor Doug and something he was passionate about, too.”

Long before the “skilled trades gap” was a common theme, Mayo had been observing the shortage of young workers in the industry. He recognized that there just wasn’t a generation of young people following along behind and learning the trades.

“That’s why Mike Farr approached him about starting the scholarship program,” explains Leslie. “That was back in 2003, before it even became a national issue.”

Since then, the HBAI has given out over 150 scholarships to students pursuing degrees or training in such fields as electrical, carpentry, masonry, HVAC, plumbing, construction management, and engineering. Many of those scholarships have been funded through the Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Invitational.

“The average scholarship is $1,000,” Leslie says. “This year, we’ve given out $16,000 in scholarships. Three of those recipients participated in the outing.”

Held at Copper Creek every year, thanks to the generosity of Hubbell Realty and Doug’s longtime friend Rick Tollakson, the event includes 18 holes of golf, a live auction, raffles and other fund-raising games, and a brisket cookout (one of Doug’s favorite foods).

“For the most part, it’s been the same group of players and sponsors every year,” Iverson says. “People just plan on it every year and keep coming back.”

In fact, the event is so popular, Leslie says they’ve had to cap the participation at 144 golfers. “We sell out every year and even had a waiting list this year,” she says. “But having more golfers than that just slows down the pace of play, so we decided it was better to just cap it.”

Many of the golfers attend because they knew Doug. And that brings folks from across the state. “He was a longtime HBA member, worked in the cabinet industry, and served on a number of boards,” Leslie explains.

“And he was a highly social guy,” Iverson adds. “Everybody who knew him has a story.”

“He was social, outgoing, loved golf, and was very, very passionate about the scholarship program,” Leslie says.

Iverson says, “Scholarship applications are due March 31 every year, and the criteria is really wide-open. There are some essay questions, and they have to provide a transcript. But as long as they’re pursuing training or education in the construction field, they’re encouraged to apply.”

Most of the applicants learn about the scholarships through family members. The HBAI provides information to high schools and skilled trade programs across the state as well.

Fewer women apply than men, but Leslie says that number is growing. “We’ve had about a dozen women receive scholarships as more women recognize that there are good jobs to be had in these fields.”

Doug Mayo knew that, and he valued this industry. The passion he brought to his work, his friendships, and the scholarship program at the HBA may be his real legacy. Those who knew him are just as passionate about honoring his memory, and that has provided the resources for dozens of young people to pursue careers in the industry Doug loved (see “Prepared for the Future” below).

Prepared for the Future

Established in 2003, the Home Builders Association of Iowa Scholarship Program offers financial assistance to young people interested in pursuing training or education in the construction field.

In a time when the shortage of skilled workers is on everyone’s mind, these scholarships are helping to bridge that gap. Over 150 scholarships have been awarded, many to students who are following in the footsteps of parents or grandparents.

Michael Madden, a 2014 graduate of West Des Moines Valley High School, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in construction management along with a minor in business comes from a long line of home builders.

“Eventually I do plan to join my dad, being the fifth generation at Madden Construction,” he says. “But my dad said it was important to get experience elsewhere, to get other ideas and perspectives before then.”

His dad and uncle were both good friends of Doug Mayo, whom Michael met several times over the years. They were also the ones who advised him to apply for an HBAI scholarship.

“I received the Doug Mayo Scholarship three times, and it made a big difference. Without that, I would have had to borrow and go into debt,” Madden says.

Scholarship recipient Tanner Iverson feels the same. “The biggest thing to me was that I was able to go through my program debt-free. And I didn’t have to work as much during school because of
the scholarship.”

Iverson, a 2017 graduate of Ankeny Centennial High School, is scheduled to graduate from Des Moines Area Community College’s Building Trades program in a few weeks.

“Originally, I was interested in teaching vocational education classes,” Iverson says. “I took pretty much every shop class I could take in high school. But I realized I could do the Building Trades program and be done and working at a good job in less than two years, compared to going four years for an education degree and probably graduating with a lot of debt.”

Iverson, too, was encouraged to apply for the HBAI scholarship, receiving the Doug Mayo scholarship one year and the Des Moines Home Builders scholarship the second.

Madden is employed at Kimberley Development in Ankeny in the warranty department, learning all sides of the business. Iverson, currently an intern with Happe Homes, will be working full-time for the home builder after graduation.

2018 Scholarships Award Winners

  • Alexa Callaway (Marshalltown)
    Des Moines Area CC
  • Keaton Duwa (Riverside)
    Kirkwood Community College
    Tim Ruth Scholarship
  • Brandon Farr (Swisher)
    Kirkwood Community College
    Garrett Farr Memorial Scholarship
  • Lydia Frey (Cedar Rapids)
    David Ealy Memorial Scholarship
  • Sienna Hancock (Coggin)
    Simpson College
  • Tanner Iverson (Ankeny)
    Des Moines Area CC
    Des Moines HBA Scholarship
  • Gabriel Kjeldgaard
    Iowa State University
    John Small Memorial Scholarship
  • Chase Koch (Cedar Falls)
    Iowa State
  • Eduardo Lerma (Des Moines)
    Charlie Wasker Memorial Scholarhip
  • Ben Lorenz (Cedar Falls)
    University of Northern Iowa
  • Drew Madden (Waukee)
    University of Iowa
    Doug Mayo Memorial Scholarship
  • Brianne Messer (Solon)
    Drake University
  • Cole Perkins (Madrid)
    Des Moines Area CC
    Bob Friedrich Sr. Memorial Scholarship
  • Michael Salazar (Alta)
    NW Missouri State University
  • Caleb Statler (Wellman)
    University of Iowa
    Kenny Selzer Memorial Scholarship
  • Delaney Sturtz (Cedar Rapids)
    Kirkwood Community College
    Jeff Tegeler Memorial Scholarship
  • Abby Tornow (Washington)
    Iowa State University
  • Sean Wahle (Council Bluffs)
    Iowa Western Community College
  • Braden Wheeler (Glenwood)
    University of Nebraska Omaha

You may notice that some of the scholarships have names attached to them. What a great way to keep your name alive every year—think about a legacy gift to the Educational Corporation. And you do not have to pass to have one named after you—it can be set up now. Email HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson at for details.

Learn more about the various scholarships available through the Home Builders Association of Iowa and find the application link here.