“Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants”
Nicholas Hill is the owner/operator of Ritchie Custom Homes. He took over from Ted Ritchie the company founder in 2010. Ritchie Custom Homes strives “to build beautiful, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly homes.”
Taking over an established company with its own established reputation and client base and turning it into your own was a challenge, but one that Nick has managed to successfully overcome. Through long hours and dedication, Ritchie Custom Homes is well on its way to achieving its goal of being the “leading boutique builder of choice for custom housing in the Okanagan.”
Nick’s passion for building is not limited to his business but covers his community and industry. Nick volunteers with and has served on the board of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association South Okanagan, is a member of the Climate Action Advisory Committee for the City of Penticton and is the Chair of the Human Resources Development and Training Committee with the Canadian Home Builder’s Association of BC.
His community participation stems from what the community of Penticton means to him. It is the city he calls home, a place of “unparalleled beauty, a dynamic place that has great potential to grow into a diverse demographic and outdoor adventure haven.” Perhaps it is this sense of vision which has allowed him to succeed in matching creative and innovative architectural designs and detail with his clients. When not working on his businesses or volunteering in the community or industry, Nick cherishes the time he spends with his family, wife and 16 month-old son.
Nick’s vision for the building industry has always had a strong sustainability component. He has been instrumental in bringing new and innovative building strategies to the industry. In 2006, starting a company called Solum Rammed Earth Builders Ltd., he pioneered a sustainable building method called rammed earth. This process “greatly reduces the embodied energy that goes into building a house. You get effective insulation value with these homes and high thermal mass that maintains ambient temperature levels, which saves you money.” Nick also co-founded the North American Rammed Earth Builders Association and has worked closely with the local First Nations Band and other local associations to build “cutting edge sustainable homes”.
Ritchie Custom Homes has recently been lauded as a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Georgie Awards, in the Fortis BC Conservation Leadership Award and in the Department G Award – Most Innovative Certified Home for the Penticton Indian Band Eco Sage Housing Award.
Not resting on his laurels, Nick has started a new custom home building business for the Greater Vancouver area and aims to build on the success that Ritchie Custom Homes enjoys in the Okanagan. The next five years will see Nick concentrating on cementing his businesses’ position in both markets.
When asked to share words of advice for young entrepreneurs, Nick has the following to offer: “Thoroughly understand financial statements and how the numbers relate to your business planning; don’t be afraid to ask for advice but also listen, evaluate and act on good advice; hire good people that are proficient at what you are not.
For more information on the Penticton Top 40 Under 40, including how to nominate someone click here.