It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ralph Drees, former CEO, President and Chairman of the Board for Drees Homes. Ralph was instrumental in the development of The Drees Company, taking over for his father and founder Theodore Drees in 1965.
It was Ralph’s philosophy of diversification and industry leadership that took Drees into new markets and spurred an era of exponential growth. Under his leadership, Drees gained national attention and was named “America’s Best Builder” by Builder Magazine and “National Builder of the Year” by Professional Builder Magazine. During his tenure, the company also earned the “National Housing Quality Award” from the National Association of Home Builders.
In addition to blazing a path in the industry, Ralph was also an influential thread throughout the local community. From 2004 to 2010, he served as Kenton County Judge Executive. He also held positions with the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, the Kenton County Airport Board, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More University. Ralph has been recognized for his charitable giving on a national level, earning the Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award. Additionally, he has been named to the Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Carl H. Linder Award for Entrepreneurial and Civic Spirit as well as the Kenton County Pioneer Award.
Current President and CEO David Drees shared, “Ralph was a bold innovator, forging the company to new heights, but on the other hand, he was also my father, a loving, devoted family man and an exceptional role model who will be missed by many.”
Memorial contributions to honor Ralph can be made to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky.
3 thoughts on “Remembering and Honoring Ralph Drees”
Ralph Drees was a man of strength, determination and thoughtfulness. He knew what he wanted out of his employees, and he expected that! He knew what he wanted out of the building industry, and he expected that! It was this determination and expectancy that made him the successful businessman & family man he was.
Ralph gave me a chance to expand my work ethics in a positive way & taught me a lot in the business world. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work for this man (& his family). Ralph, Irma & the children are friendships I cherish, and all of you will be in my thoughts and prayers!
Thank you for your thoughtful note! We will definitely be sure to share this with the Drees family.
Great legacy of ralph drees in all of ohio communities even up here in northeast ohio. Fellow developer and project manager.