The Chronicle

Lewis County OMB Scholarship Recipients

The OMB Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educate, foster and stimulate interest in the construction industry. The OMB Education Foundation offers scholarship grants to college or vocational/technical school bound students intending to pursue studies leading to a career in the construction industry. This year, the Education Foundation awarded over $13,000 in scholarships to seventeen students, throughout Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties to assist them in financing their education.

Congratulations to the following The 2018 Lewis County SCHOLARSHIP RECIPENTS!

  • Hunter Stephens of Raymond: Construction Management at Central Washington University
  • Kolby Sharp of Rochester: Construction/Business Management at Centralia College
  • Maleaha Smith of Oakville: Construction Management at Centralia College or Central Washington University
  • Walker Oblad of Raymond: Energy Technology and Power Operations at Centralia College

Lewis County OMB members help fund SkillsUSA Students to Nationals!

On the weekend of April 20-21, nine students at Centralia High School won SkillsUSA state championships and are now qualified for the SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, KY in July. SkillsUSA is “a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce,” according to

On May 16th, 2018, Mitchell Smith and students of the SkillsUSA program from Centralia High School, gave an information presentation at the May chapter meeting of the Lewis County Olympia Master Builders. They updated the membership on the details of their State Championship and discussed plans to attend the SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, KY in July.

Determining the need to support these students and the program, Kelly Jensen from DJ’s Plumbing, suggested the Chapter pass a bucket around the table for donations to help send these kids to the National Competition. With the approval of Chapter President John Johnson (Johnson Custom Homes) the bucket got passed. The Chapter ended up raising over $1600 at the meeting, in which 100% of the donations will go towards the competitors and pay for their costs to compete. Along with these generous donations, OMB President, Karen McClennen and the Lewis County Chapter President, John Johnson pledged additional funds from Olympia Master Builders as well.

Erik Jensen, First Vice President of the Olympia Master Builders states, “The industry as a whole, across the nation, has an extreme labor shortage. I joke, but it has truth, if you put two contractors together, in about five minutes they will be complaining of the lack of labor. Skills USA, High School Construction programs and Trade/Community College Construction programs are the answer to this dilemma. We need people to fix and build our homes, period. As a community we should encourage young people to enter into the trades.”

Jensen adds, “There are a lot of great jobs, LIVING WAGE JOBS, that are available NOW! Portions of our community, Lewis County Chapter of the Olympia Master Builders, Olympia Master Builders and key individuals in our community have taken one step in solving this problem. That step is supporting a program like Skills USA and sending these kids on to Nationals. I am extremely proud of our Lewis County Chapter for putting their money where their heart is.”

On behalf of the Olympia Master Builders and the Lewis County Chapter, we congratulate those competing in Kentucky next month and wish you luck. You make Centralia proud!

OMB Member Spotlight

This month OMB Lewis County Member Spotlight is on Becky Carver from Prime Lending in Centralia. Becky has been an active member of OMB Lewis County for over three years and has been a celebrated resource for home lending needs in the Lewis County community.

Becky states, “When dealing with your home financing, I not only work with one of your largest personal financial investments; I also handle one of your biggest dreams. As your mortgage planning specialist, I will give you my best consistently.”

When you are in the market for a new home, ready to refinance your existing home, or perhaps need to make some renovations or repairs, call Prime Lending at 360-338-7992 or email Becky at who is ready to assist with all your lending needs.

To learn about membership or for a complete list of Lewis County OMB members, please visit


Modernize Your Home’s Features and Preserve Its Charm

Many of the latest trends in remodeling, focus on modernizing a home while maintaining key elements of its original design to preserve its vintage charm. Modern building techniques used during renovations can easily transform an 80-year-old residence from a cramped abode into an expansive estate with a large kitchen, an adjoining great room and outdoor pavilion, as well as an all-new master suite with latest state of the art technology. If you’re thinking about updating or remodeling your home this year, here are a few simple and affordable approaches to modernizing your home without losing its original charm.

Updated Vintage Exterior
If your home has vintage or historic elements that add character but need to be brought back to life, talk to a professional remodeler to see if they can be salvaged or refurbished. For example, restoring ironwork of a staircase or repainting an existing front porch can add beautiful and economical solutions to maintaining the original design.

Steve Barnett, of MDK Construction in Centralia suggests, “We have many great period homes in our area. If you are looking to modernize your home’s features while preserving its charm, we suggest updating vintage exteriors with low maintenance products that maintain the look and offer great long-term value. Replace old wood siding and trims with fiber cement trims, siding and shingle panels, for example. And if it’s time to replace concrete walks or porches, consider stamped and colored concrete for spectacular curb appeal!”

Going Green
Energy efficiency should be a key component of every home remodel project or in just simple home updates. The home’s top-rated green building certification was made possible by incorporating state-of-the-art green and sustainable building products like spray foam insulation, high-SEER air handlers, automated LED lighting, and a full array of energy-efficient appliances—all of which enhanced efficiency without diminishing any of the vintage charm.

When planning your remodel or home updates, a professional remodeler can identify ways to integrate the latest strategies in energy efficiency that will compliment your home’s original design. Not only is it good for the environment, but you will also save money through lower heating and air conditioning costs and smaller monthly water bills.

Mike Brown of Brown Building Contractors says, “We are looking into high efficiency and tankless water heaters with recirculating features to save wasted water while waiting for the hot water to reach the fixture.  The recirc pump can also be activated by Alexa or a light sensor at the edge of the bed (that knows when you’re heading for the shower).  Very cool!”

Whether you are updating, remodeling or just looking to spend less, make sure to check out OMB member Puget Sound Energy’s valuable rebates and offers to save on energy efficiency upgrades to your living space. The more energy-efficient your home becomes, the lower your bills can get, and the more return on investment if you consider selling anytime soon.

Balancing the Past and Present
For the interior, the style of the finishes you choose is equally important. For example, choosing new wainscoting can create a more open feeling to your home, but it is important to make sure to choose a traditional style that fit seamlessly with the original style of your home.

Similarly, new light fixtures with antique designs can marry new, green technology with classic, vintage design. And your choice of flooring can have a dramatic impact on your home’s overall character.

Smart Technology
One of the easiest ways to modernize your house is to turn your home into a Smart Home.  It seems as if most homes you walk into now has some feature of smart home technology. Where as, wireless speaker systems and smart thermostats have already because a staple for many homeowners, there is a never end list of new and upcoming “toys” available to integrate into your update or remodel that make life in your home easier, safer and just plain fun!

There is very little that can’t be done with smart phones and handheld devices, so it’s no surprise that innovative technology has connected the smart phone with the smart home.  Progressive items like Z-Wave Locks allow you to lock and unlock doors with the tap of a finger and a swipe up and swipe down on your smart phone can open and close your garage door with a wireless garage door opener kit. And who hasn’t left home once or twice with the panic that you may have left the curling iron plugged in or coffee maker on? Wi-Fi-connected electrical outlets make it possible to turn on and off your outlets from your device.

If you’re looking to renovate your home, give yourself permission to be picky about what materials and fixtures you choose. Invest in things that are functional and well-made but that don’t detract from what you loved about your home in the first place. Think about updating the exterior with new materials that look vintage, always consider going green wherever possible and have fun with the technology available on the market.

To find a full directory of local remodelers in the Lewis County area, who can help update your home and keep its original charm, visit today!


Established in 2015, Eli’s Paver Patios is a family-owned and operated paving stone installer that has been an active member of the Lewis County OMB since 2016. With over 15 years of experience, Eli’s Paver Patios is guaranteed to give you the hardscape of your dreams.

James Domaschofsky, owner of Eli’s Paver Patios recalls, “I grew up with paving stones being a huge part of my life. My dad was the sales manager for a paving stone manufacturer in Oregon. This opened the door to limitless learning about the product and proper installation techniques. My favorite projects are the types that will see a lot of use. I enjoy patios since once summer finally arrives they will likely get used every weekend.”

Because Eli’s specializes in paving stones, they are able to stay up-to-date on the latest installation techniques and provide quality paving stone installation in the South Sound and Southwest Washington.

If you are in the market for a new patio or have any upcoming paver projects, contact James at (360) 388-6223 or visit their website at