By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
When opportunity knocked, Joe Pusateri answered.
Now, the president of Elite Homes in Louisville wants to share his story of answering that call and achieving success at the 44th annual New Albany Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 10. The event begins at 8 a.m. inside the New Albany High School cafeteria.
Pusateri started Elite Homes 36 years ago. The company builds 40 to 75 custom homes a year, according to its website. The company was also recognized as the 68th largest full-service remodeler in the country by Remodeling Magazine in August 2010.
“Everyone in life will have an opportunity, so you have to be prepared for it,” Pusateri said last week.
And when producers from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” came calling twice, Pusateri and his company answered the call to be the builders of the new homes. The two families who received the homes and were featured on the show — the Lampe Family and Patrick Henry Hughes and his family — benefited from Pusateri’s perseverance along with a host of volunteers and those who donated money and supplies.
“One of the things we have done in our 36 years is build relationships in the community, which you have to have to venture into the ‘Extreme Makeover’ program,” Pusateri said. “What people don’t realize is the show doesn’t pay for anything, so everything has to be donated. I had to reach out to the community without knowing who the family was. They had to trust that relationship I had built over the years. They had to trust me.”
Pusateri has been a speaker at several events in the Midwest including leadership groups in Cleveland, Akron, Louisville, South Bend and Southern Indiana. He said he hopes his story will inspire those at Saturday’s event.
“The mayor has heard him speak and he said he is very much the motivational speaker,” said Floyd County Clerk Linda Moeller, a member of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Committee. “The mayor felt he was the right person to send out a good message to the community.”
Moeller said the prayer breakfast has a rich tradition and is still an important event for the community.
“Once a year we are able to come together and pause, and see what we have done as a community,” she said. “I think that is what it is about. It’s a time to reflect, and a time of re-evaluation.”
The prayer breakfast has featured speakers from various professions through the years. Last year Bellarmine basketball coach Scott Davenport spoke and in 2010 it was retired hall of fame jockey Pat Day.
“I’m eager to carry on the long-held tradition of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast,” New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said. “I would like to invite everyone to come join us in a morning filled with faith and inspiration.”
Tickets are available in the mayor’s office on the third floor of the City-County Building prior to Saturday’s event for $7. Tickets will also be available at the door for $8 the day of the event.