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    Press Releases

    Friday - October 6, 2023


    Zonda has announced Rex Jensen as the 2023 recipient of its Legend Award, presented by BUILDER, today at the Future Place event at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, Florida. 

    “The Legends Award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the planned-community sector,” said Jeff Meyers, chief executive officer of Zonda. “Rex Jensen’s career is an inspiration for everyone in the industry, let alone the tens of thousands of people who have built their lives in his communities.”

    Jensen is the president and chief executive officer of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR), a company he joined in 1990 as vice president of planning. SMR is the developer of Lakewood Ranch, a 27,000-home master plan comprising more than two dozen unique villages.

    “It’s been gratifying to look back at the results,” Jensen told BUILDER in a feature interview. “Sometimes when you’re in the heat of it, when you’re wondering if you are going to be allowed to continue developing or when you hit a large economic downturn as we did in 2007 – which was an economic quagmire or ‘great extinction’ where 90% of our industry died – those were not particularly enjoyable experiences. But, you know, we have come through them, and overall, it’s been a tremendous ride.”

    Jensen will be honored at the conference and featured on the cover of the October edition of Builder Magazine with the “Ground for Growth” feature story by Leah Draffen. Previous winners of the Legends Award include Fred Balda of Hillwood Communities, Larry Johnson of Johnson Development, and Emile Haddad of FivePoint Holdings.

    “Rex has played a crucial role in ensuring Lakewood Ranch stays innovative and up to date with the latest design, development, styles, trends, and business models – reflecting his dedication to delivering high-quality, modern, and desirable communities,” said John Cannon, president of John Cannon Homes, which has been building custom homes in Lakewood Ranch since its inception. “Besides his forward-thinking, he is in tune with enhancing the human experience by understanding the importance of intertwining green spaces, various recreational areas, and modern conveniences within the community. By including these elements in the planning and development of Lakewood Ranch, he has made it the successful master-planned community it is today.”

    About Zonda

    Zonda provides data-driven housing market solutions to the homebuilding industry. From builders to building product manufacturers, mortgage clients, and multifamily executives, we work hand-in-hand with our customers to streamline access to housing data to empower smarter decisions. As a leading brand in residential construction, our mission is to advance the home building industry, because we believe better homes mean better lives and stronger communities. Together, we are building the future of housing.