Q&A With Estrin-Hinds’ Superintendent John Villela

‘On-The-Board’ with Area Foster Children

Passion is a word often heard within the walls of Estrin-Hinds. It’s used by team members in all aspects of the business to describe the foundation of the company’s core tenets, on and off the job. Passion is evident in the homes and business dwellings built by the (26-year-old) company that define much of the beauty of the SoCal valleys and shorelines.

Once a month, if you head to Mondo’s Beach in Ventura, you may see passion-in-motion as John Villela, superintendent at E-H, volunteers for More Than Conquerors Surf, a faith-based non-profit organization created to share the challenges and rewards of surfing with MTC youth who live in foster care.

“Our mission is to provide an ultimate surf experience in a safe and fun environment, while encouraging personal growth and community,” said Villela.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I’ve lived in Newbury Park, California, my whole life, but it’s fair to say I did a lot of growing up on the beaches of the greater LA area. I fell in love with surfing and eventually opened a surf shop in Camarillo, CA, which I operated for 17 years.



Q: What can surfing teach us about life in general?
A: Surfing has a grounding effect. Most of the time when you’re in the water you are only thinking about one thing, the next wave. Sometimes in business and in life we need to slow down and realize that a healthy existence is comprised of more than just work. At E-H we have several core values and one of them is “staying on the board” a metaphor for remembering to keep our work-life balance in check. Surfing helps with that.

Q: Why do you think community service is important?
A: It has always been important to me in my faith to give back wherever I can. I always try to look for ways to help others. I’ve also been involved in a youth group for high school kids for over 10 years.

Q: Why do you support this organization?
A: My friend Elle Miller, founder of More Than Conquerors, came to me with this idea to start helping kids in the foster care system by sharing the thrill of surfing. I have literally had a kid whose temporary foster parent said they had never seen him smile in all the months of being with them until he stood up and rode a wave with me. When someone tells you something like that, you know you are making an impact, and once you start helping others it becomes its own reward.

Q: Are others within in E-H also involved?
A: Eric is also a lifelong avid surfer, so he gets what we’re doing and supports my desire to dedicate Saturdays to help the kids.

Q: Do you see a link between the More Than Conquerors organization and building better communities at E-H?
A: I feel that anytime you’re doing good things, only good can come from it. Being supported by my workplace in one of my outside passions helps build a sense of purpose and, of course, a better community.

Q: How long have you worked at E-H and in the industry?
A: I jumped feet first into construction in 2014 and have been with E-H since the beginning of 2017.

Q: What do you love most about your role at Estrin Hinds?
A: Running construction projects is like getting to be involved in an episodic version of a home improvement show. We are constantly learning and being challenged to rise to the next level.

ESTRIN-HINDS SHINES LIGHT ON MALIBU’S DARK SKY ORDINANCE

New Outdoor Lighting Rules Benefit Wildlife and Residents Alike

At Estrin-Hinds, we care about the communities we serve and endeavor to create a positive and lasting contribution enjoyed by residents, businesses, and LA’s diverse and abundant wildlife.

In Malibu, we proudly support the city’s Dark Sky ordinance to reduce light pollution and protect Malibu’s coastal terrain and the animals that depend on it.

An overabundance of outdoor lighting can cause unnatural sleep patterns that are harmful to many species and the ecosystem at large. The Dark Sky regulations reduce detrimental effects of exposure to unnatural light after dark, when animals hunker down for the night, through new citywide outdoor lighting standards. The new directives minimize light shining onto adjacent properties by directing light down and by reducing maximum light brightness by roughly 30 percent.

Light pollution effects people, too, by stimulating the production of serotonin, which can prevent us from falling and staying asleep, and it has been linked to conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions. At the end of the day, we all need a good night’s sleep.

We at Estrin-Hinds invite you to learn more about Malibu’s Dark Sky initiative and the new actions in place to keep Malibu a haven of wildlife.

Today, with sorrow, we share news of the passing of Ron Estrin, co-founder of Estrin-Hinds Construction and a pillar of excellence in the California construction industry.

Ron fell in love with building at an early age and dedicated his life to creating cherished homes and communities enjoyed by generations of families, as well as business spaces that helped define modern relevance and the lasting beauty of the region’s architectural expressions. 

Ron left behind an enterprise that felt like family to all who worked for him and his long-standing partner and co-founder, Eric Hinds. 

Through his mentorship, Ron gave so many a chance to grow, test their skills and achieve their own dreams. By fostering a workplace of personal and professional growth, Ron created a company that produced more than amazing buildings — it has established an ongoing legacy of integrity and quality.

Ron Estrin, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, cousin, boss and friend. We will miss his nurturing leadership, humor, daily inspiration and passion for his art and life’s work.  And we thank you, our customers, partners and contributors to the Estrin-Hinds enterprise. May we all endeavor to live life as fully and passionately as Ron.

Building Beautiful: West Hills

Our mission is to “build something beautiful,” and this week’s spotlight home is the perfect example of the beauty we create. A two-story addition and remodel project located in West Hills, the most impressive element to this home is the use of cedar and teakwood. Cedar is used on the siding and, although an expensive material, comes with many benefits. This wood is dense yet lightweight, making it ideal for construction and is naturally rot-resistant. Its tight, straight grain with few knots, gives the project a sleek finish and a look that will last a lifetime thanks to cedar’s ability to resist expansion and cracking. Beauty continues inside the home where teakwood was used to create the handrails. With many similar characteristics as cedar, teakwood is known to be resistant to many harmful agents including moisture, light, heat, and pests, contributing to its durability. Moving farther into the house, beauty takes on a different element in the shape of a mosaic floral tile in the Master bath, kissed with gentle light to complete the feeling of luxury. They say beauty doesn’t last forever, but we are confident that this home will defy the odds.

Building Beautiful: Mar Vista

Many times, our clients choose the location of their new house based on the view and this week’s spotlight home is no different. A ground-up project located in Mar Vista, the structural steel and wood framing was completed last December, and we could already see the beauty in what we were building. As the project progressed into February, you can see how the home’s design utilizes windows to flood the spaces with natural light, provide a luxurious entrance to the master suite, and frame the stunning view of Century City. This client clearly chose the perfect location as their new home truly embodies the “vista” in Mar Vista.

BUILDING BEAUTIFUL: SANTA MONICA

Building from the ground-up means building new life. In the case of this week’s spotlight home however, it is a ground-up ADDITION that is giving the home a new look. Still, the process remains the same. It is in this beginning stage of any ground-up construction when the imagination may struggle to see what the final masterpiece will look like. However, as all good structures require, step one is a strong and solid foundation. Within a month’s time, the framing and support structure begins to take shape. At this point, spaces and rooms are defined and the home’s skeleton is formed. Have you heard the saying about a house having “good bones?” This is that process.