Tell us about Dennis Neal, his professional background, family, interests, etc.
I grew up watching my dad work construction so it was natural for me to gravitate toward the building industry. I became a General Contractor and started my own company, and spent years building higher-end homes. Despite enjoying the trade, I sensed there was something missing and when the opportunity to work for Habitat for Humanity Greater Chattanooga Area came along, I felt that was the answer. I have been the Director of Construction and Land Development for HFHGCA for almost 10 years. My wife, Lynn, and I have one daughter, Tiffany, son-in-law Stewart, and 10 year old grandson, Aaron. On most weekends and time off you will find me and my family at the ballfield or basketball court cheering our grandson’s teams on.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Chattanooga Area – their mission and impact on the community
Building houses for Habitat is unlike any other construction company. The mission of Habitat is to build decent, affordable housing for those who, otherwise, would be unable to experience the physical and spiritual benefits of homeownership. Most Partner Families are the first in their family to own their own home. Working with volunteers and deserving homeowners to build the houses keeps the cost of construction down. The Chattanooga Habitat has built almost 273 homes and over 47 Neighborhood Revitalization projects. I'm quick to tell anyone that building Habitat houses is building a future for generations to come and that having a child take you by the hand and show you which room will be theirs is the reason to do what they do day in and day out.
How has being a member of HBAGC been a benefit and why would you encourage others to consider an HBAGC membership?
I became a Builder Member around 1997 and continued that membership representing Habitat after coming to work for them. I've been a member of the HBAGC Board of Directors for the past four years. I would encourage others who are not members to look into joining. Membership keeps you in contact with contractors and associates within the building industry in Chattanooga as well as informed as to what is occurring in the industry at large. I have seen first-hand how having these contacts and staying educated and informed is crucial to helping keep up in today’s world of building.
Jody Millard Pest Control
Tell us a few things about Clay Cochran, his background, family, hobbies, etc.
"Wonderfully and happily married to Bekah Cochran. Our son Cole, 6...daughter Charlotte Grace 3 and Ripley, our Boxer, make up the family. We attend Calvary Chapel on Sunday while we play, work and school the rest of the week.
I am from Kennesaw, GA. I graduated flight school in Dec 2001 and went immediately to Southern Polytechnic in Marietta. Life took me to South Florida for several years then here to Chattanooga 10 years ago. In the spring you will find me coaching Cole's baseball team...summers by the pool, at the beach or lake and by the grill...fall is hunting season. From August to December if you need me I will most likely be up a tree. I have been active in HBAGC for almost 3 years now and belong to RCHBA and ORHBA as well."
Describe Jody Millard Pest Control's products and services.
"Jody Millard Pest Control is a full service pest control company. We provide traditional pest and termites services as well as wildlife control, encapsulated crawl spaces, attic exclusion, TAP insulation, Mosquito and Snake programs as well as non traditional GREEN pest control for most of the pests listed above. Our parent company, Northwest Exterminating, is a family owned business operating over 65 years now with third generation leadership. I'm responsible for business relations and development."
Why would you encourage others to consider becoming a member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga?
"I would encourage others to join because it really pays off. Members do business with members and the cornerstone to my success are the HBA builders who gave me a chance. And the public needs to educate themselves on the politics behind new home construction...I am embarrassed at how little I knew about the industry until I became involved with the HBACGC."
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, education, family, interests, etc.
I grew up in the very small town of Palmer, Tennessee. I'm married to Dr. Jason Scott and have two children, Zachary age 15 and Abby age 13, and a dog name Einstein. Our children are very involved in school sports so I spend most of my free time at football and basketball games and cheer competitions.
Professionally, I'm a shareholder and manager at Matheney Stees & Associates where Ive been since 2001. My primary focus is in accounting and tax services for construction and real estate clients and for small businesses.
I'm a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, where I serve on the board and has also served as President and Vice President of the Associate Council. I graduated from Tennessee Technological University with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting.
My "Happy Place" is on a beach with as good book!
Please share with us the products and services that Matheney Stees provides?
Tax services and planning, consulting, audit or reviewed financial statements. I specialize in working with homebuilders, realtors and healthcare providers.
How long have you been a member of Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga and why would you encourage others to consider becoming an HBAGC member?
I've been an HBAGC for many years. Becoming a member of HBAGC has been invaluable. The best reasons to be a member are the friendships, networking opportunities, and knowledge of industry. You get out of HBAGC what you put into it. If you get involved you will gain great opportunities to network, make friends and great business contacts.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, education, family, interests, etc.
I was born and raised in the Chattanooga area. I have a BBA in Management and earned my J.D. from Nashville School of Law in 2011 while working for First Choice. I am married and have two boys, ages 13 and 6. When I find free time, I enjoy Bible study, playing with my children, and doing pretty much anything outdoors.
Tell us about First Choice Title, your responsibilities there, products and services the company provides, etc.
First Choice Title is a full service closing and title insurance company. We serve all of the Greater Chattanooga area, and handle closings and issuance title insurance for all types of real estate transactions – from simple single family residences, to complex commercial transactions. We have two locations – on Cherry Street in the historic Loveman’s building, and in Collegedale on Apison Pike. I currently serve the role of title attorney and Vice-President of First Choice Title and manage our Cherry Street office. I have been with the Company since 1998, and have worked in each position within the company. First Choice Title is family owned and operated – started by my mother (Kitty Thompson) in 1995. She remains an integral part of the day to day operations, and both of my sisters now work for First Choice as well.
How long have you been a member of HBAGC, what is it you enjy most about being a member of HBAGC, and why would you encourage others to consider joining HBAGC?
I joined HBAGC in 2012, and have served on the board since that time. I love being a part of a group that strives daily for the interests of its members. I consider it both a privilege and a duty to serve. I love Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, and find it applicable here: “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has the moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.” HBAGC fights for the regulations and legislative issues that impact its members. This is one of the many reasons that anyone employed in any industry related to the home building industry should join HBAGC.
Stuart Gaines, New Blue Construction
~President, New Blue Construction, Inc.
~CGP, CAPS; Leed Green Associate; President 2014 Remodelers Council HBAGC; HBAGC Board of Directors 2014-Present
Type of company:
~Full Service renovation and new construction focusing on large-scale home renovations, additions, as well as light commercial renovation and build-outs. We are increasingly focused on residential, new construction projects as well.
Who started your company?
~I did. Stuart Gaines. I am still 100% owner of the company.
When and how did you choose this career?
~There's trade history in my family, and I did pick-up carpenter work in college. I then worked as a carpenter in North Carolina and Tennessee before going to work with my father Steve, who was building new custom homes before the recession. I worked with dad as project manager, carpenter, laborer, roustabout--whatever was required. When the economy tanked in ’08, we were already planning to move forward with starting New Blue and just stuck with it, despite the obvious hardships at that time.
What did you do before becoming a remodeler?
~I studied journalism in college and worked for a time as a music writer, columnist, and occasional news writer for various smaller publications in and around Asheville, NC and beyond.
What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
~Teamwork. Education. Being part of an organization that helps keep our business strong. I joined NAHB in 2008 when New Blue began, and was encouraged to do so by my father, who was also a member during his homebuilding days. The continuing education designations and opportunities, as well as the advocacy on certain key issues are all major factors in our company’s decision to remain members and stay involved.
What motivates you every day?
My children and wife first of all. Nothing I have done is possible without the exceptional support of my wife, Jamie, and my four beautiful daughters. Second would be the amazing team of craftsmen and managers we have assembled here at New Blue. The company is only as strong as the team that supports it, and New Blue has an amazing team for each of our projects.
Ethan Collier, Collier Construction
Tell us a little about your background, where you grew up, family, school, interests, etc.
"I grew up in Chattanooga, Lookout Valley actually. I attended Chattanooga Christian School all the way from Kindergarten through High School. I didn't attend college, I did spend 6 Months in Africa right after graduating High School. The experience in Africa had a significant impact on me. I came back to the states and went right to work for a Builder. I loved building, I loved the people more than anything. I started Collier Construction when I was 22. We had over 40 employees within two years. Now we are about 15 years in business. I still love the industry, the people and the building. I wouldn't trade it for another path. "I met my wife in 3rd grade, we have been married for 15 years on April 1st of 2016. Yep, I got married on April Fools’ Day. It’s been a wild ride, we've got two kids, Caleb (nine) and Julia (seven).”
Describe Collier Construction and the different services it provides?
"Collier Construction, does a little of everything. We build some pretty expensive homes in the$2 million price point, we build commercial, and we build entire communities. A few years ago we built a soccer/football turf facility for a local private school."
How long have you been an HBAGC member, why did you join, what has been your experience as an HBAGC member, why would you encourage others to consider an HBAGC membership, etc.
"Collier has been a member of Home Builders since we started the company. I view membership as a duty, a responsibility to an industry that I reap the benefits every day I come to work. I can't see being in this line of work and not being a member. It’s the minimum amount that one can do to support the industry. It's my responsibility, that’s the way I see it."