David J. Belman '98
2022 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service
Community service is a strong part of David Belman’s ꞌ98 identity, so much so that he has made helping others part of his company’s mission. He positioned Belman Homes as a company committed to helping the community, believing it is a person’s duty to give whenever possible. He cares deeply about philanthropy and is best known for giving away mortgage-free homes to wounded war heroes in Wisconsin.
Belman is a second-generation homebuilder in Milwaukee, currently serving as president of Belman Homes and Belman Builders, one of the top 10 largest builders in the metro Milwaukee market. Founded by David’s father, the late Don Belman ꞌ61, Belman Homes has built a reputation as one of southeastern Wisconsin’s most reputable builders.
In 2017, Belman was honored with the Waukesha Citizen of the Year by the Waukesha Freeman, becoming the youngest recipient of this award, which acknowledged his dedication to his community and his work with Operation Finally Home. Belman Homes was the first builder in Wisconsin to build a home for the organization, which provides mortgage-free homes to wounded combat veterans so they can transition back to a civilian life. This expansive program works with the community and the trades to make this amazing project come to life. Through David’s leadership in Wisconsin, their team turned this into an annual philanthropic activity.
Since spearheading the program in Wisconsin back in 2015, Belman has built six homes and has plans for more in the future. He runs the task force for Operation Finally Home Wisconsin and oversees the building of the projects, the events, and community outreach for the state chapter. This includes seeking donations of materials, labor, and land to complete projects. He also leads the charge in supporting the annual fundraising events such as golf outings, 5K Run/Walk, Operation Rock the House Concert, and indoor shoots.
David is very active in the home building industry, giving his time to better the sector. He served as past president of both the Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) and Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA), as well as director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He also chaired and volunteers on numerous industry committees. In 2018, he became the Wisconsin Trustee for the National Association PAC fundraiser. David recently completed a two-year term on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA).
In 2020, David was recognized as an “Emerging Leader of Waukesha County” by the Waukesha County Business Alliance. Other recognition for his work in the Building Industry and with Operation Finally Home came when he was awarded the 2021 Builder of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Builders Association, which is the highest honor they can bestow upon a member.
Belman also volunteers his time speaking at local schools including Waukesha County Technical College where he guest teaches the home building process to construction and real estate students. He annually hosts design students at his homes to talk about careers in the building industry.
David was appointed to serve on Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow’s Neighborhood Initiative, actively speaking on housing affordability challenges and solutions. He also is a financial contributor to the Toys for Tots program and Make-A-Wish-Foundation.
In the winter of 2019, David began a consumer-focused podcast called the “Home Building Hero,” which educates consumers on industry trends, news, how-to’s, and much more. To date he has recorded over 300 episodes that have been downloaded over 250,000 times.
Last year, Belman published his first book “Leadership Growth Hacks: A Guide for Emerging Leaders to Think Differently, Kick-Start Performance, and Get Ahead Quicker” sharing his experience as a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and an enthusiastic mentor to rising leaders. David also helped found the Young Guns Movement which trains and inspires the next generation of business professionals through in person events and online programming.
Belman graduated from Carroll in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree business administration. David, and his wife, Susan, have a daughter named Kaitlin. He has lived in Waukesha his entire life and is also part of a legacy family, with his parents, Donald ꞌ61 & Carol (Schmidt) ꞌ62 Belman, both attending Carroll.