2015 C-Suite Awards presented by Venue & Lead Magazine
What is the most challenging aspect of being leader?
The most challenging aspect is also the most exciting. It is to create an environment where bright people can thrive and live and work in an exciting environment where they can utilize their individual talent and bring them together so that when we put all the talent together the value is so much greater. It is creating a living, working entity that changes every day because people change every day and the work you do changes every day. But there is a constant in terms of you beliefs as a company and the things you stand for. So it is maintaining those fundamental beliefs within a living, breathing, working and exciting environment that changes every day.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A long time ago someone told me to never forget where you came from. I have tried to follow that. I’ve been very fortunate enough to have achieved a lot of great things in my life and have fantastic friends but I try to think that I am still the same person that I was because I have never forgotten where I’ve come from and I’ve never made others forget where they’ve come from. So I think it’s that old tried and true wisdom, but it’s so true and so important.
What aspects of your personality have contributed to your success?
Probably a sense of humor would be one that is probably at the bottom line of everything. I think my personality trait is I am a believer. I am just fundamentally someone who lives with their glass half full. I have been so blessed to be in situations with great people, great partners, great companies to work with and individuals to create things with that help our community and our city be better. The thing that I think is my most unusual trait is that I believe we can make a difference, and I believe that through hard work and commitment, things will get better and we will be successful and those people whose lives we touch will also get better.
How do you think your employees would describe you?
If you ask them, they’d probably get a smile on their face with tight lips. But I think they would probably say I’m passionate about what we do and I believe in what we do.
What aspect of your company are you most passionate about?
To me the most important thing that we do, the thing I am most passionate about, is the creation of new products. In our case it is the creation of new homes and new communities to meet the lifestyles of not only today’s families but tomorrow’s families and families of all shapes and sizes, so it is very exciting to be on the front end of thinking where will people want to live in the future, what type of residences and communities will they want to live in. Our business is actually quite sophisticated to put all those pieces together with the demographics and to evaluate where we should be and what type of community we should create. That’s my passion. I’ve been doing it for forty years and I’ve loved every minute of it.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
There’s a long list. But the one that I can talk about would be, for my fortieth birthday, my wife gave me a trip to the Reds Dream Week. The opportunity to get out there and follow your lifelong dream of playing for a week with the Reds was great. I was playing third base in the championship game and the leadoff batter was Pete Rose and pitching against us was Joe Nuxhall. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven. It was really the greatest week of my life.