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.