Don DeBat, former real estate editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, will be the first media person ever to be inducted into the Court of Honor of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago.
DeBat will be inducted along with four other 2004 Court of Honor inductees – Buz Hoffman, president of Lakewood Homes; Tracy Hill of Property Specialists, Inc.; Robert E. Cowhey of Cowhey Gudmundson Leder, Ltd.; and Stephanie Kiefer of the HBAGC – on Jan. 10th at the organization’s inaugural ball and installation dinner.
DeBat, an award-winning editor, columnist and real estate writer, currently is chief executive officer of DeBat Media, Inc., a Chicago-based real estate consulting and public relations firm.
“A housing advocate, Don DeBat is the first news media person every to be inducted into the Court of Honor, our association’s Hall of Fame,” said Stephanie Kiefer, an executive of the HBAGC and a co-inductee. “Don was very active in the 1980s working with builders on the problems of record-high interest rates,” said Stephanie Kiefer, an executive of the HBAGC and a co-inductee. “He marched on Washington, D.C. with industry leaders and was part of an audience with U.S. Senators Charles Percy and Adlai Stevenson.”
DeBat’s main service to the association was as real estate editor and assistant manager editor of real estate with the Chicago Sun-Times. He developed an extensive residential real estate section with a consumer-oriented focus on home building and home buying. He also developed special Homelife sections to promote the association’s Parade of Homes in the city and suburbs.
DeBat also created an annual builder-panel discussion and developed recognition programs for the housing industry such as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Builder of the Year and Development of the Year awards.
He won the coveted National Association of Home Builders’ Golden Hammer Award for real estate news coverage. Homelife, with DeBat as the editor, won the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ Best Real Estate Section in the nation award four times.