State Farm

State Farm Agent Christina Smith Ushers In a Kindness Revolution

Christina Smith Photo

christinasmiththumbSix years ago, Christina Smith’s engineering career was long behind her. In January of 2010, she sat down for the first time behind the desk in her new Huntsville State Farm office, a newly minted agent, unsure of what to expect. She was thoroughly trained, competent, and ready to serve, having been appointed to this agency for a retiring agent. Her previous engineering background made her a natural fit for serving Huntsville, where hundreds of engineers lived and worked. “We tended to speak the same language,” Christina recalled.

But Christina hailed from Alexander City three hours away, and had uprooted the lives of her husband and young son to take on this opportunity. Her agency’s slogan, “Helping people live life confidently!” became somewhat of a personal reminder for her, as well, in her new role. She was completely new to this community, and she was eager to embrace her new life with gusto. “It was extremely challenging, but I felt like it was God’s plan for us to do it, so we did.”

Today, those first few weeks of her new agency are a distant memory. Christina is a busy agent with five licensed team members in her office, and more than 85 State Farm products she can offer her clients for every touchstone in their lives, from home mortgages and car loans — and the insurance to protect both — to banking and checking accounts.

Near the front door of her office on Governors West NW, a bowl filled with rubber wristbands greets her guests. There are two versions: one says “Pay It Forward,” and the other says “It’s Cool 2B Kind.” These wristbands are the visible souvenirs of a movement in which Christina has found meaningful work – as a community champion for the national non-profit initiative called “The Kindness Revolution.”

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“It’s given me an opportunity to partner with an integrity organization that shares the same values that I do as a business owner. That was the appeal for me. I was able to join an organization that basically spreads the values of respect and kindness,” she explained.

The Kindness Revolution is a grass-roots organization that encourages people to hand out the signature wristbands recognizing those who do acts of kindness. Their “Spirit of Kindness” awards are given to students, volunteers, employees and organizations. Last week Christina presented an award at a local pre-school, and recently spoke to the American Heritage Girls Club about this growing movement.

There are many unsung heroes in the community, from first responders and police to small business owners, and Christina looks forward to ensuring they are acknowledged, since most volunteers tend to fly under the radar and not call attention to their good works. “We’re just getting started — there are so many deserving recipients out there,” she declared.

Christina’s community involvement and professional recognitions over the past six years have demonstrated her ability to flourish in her new community. In addition to her work with the Kindness Revolution, she has been recognized for the following:

  • North Alabama Best in Business Award Recipient
  • 2012 Start Up Business of the Year for Madison Chamber of Commerce
  • Christian Women Job Corp Advisory Council
  • Ambassador Travel Qualifier

It wouldn’t be surprising if someone tapped Christina on the shoulder one day, gifting her with a Kindness Revolution wristband, coming full circle.

For information about the State Farm products Christina offers, please call the Christina Smith Agency at (256) 270-9898 or visit http://christinasmithagency.com. If you are interested in participating in The Kindness Revolution, Christina would be happy to share more information about it, as well, or you can visit her Facebook page at CSmith.ThekindnessRevolution.org.

granite transformations Nashville, TN

Granite Transformations in Nashville — The Remodelers for Homeowners Who Want Less Downtime

Granite Transformations franchise owners Bret and Kathy Foster admit it. Their company name may confuse some Nashville residents who think they’re “just another countertop company.” In truth, they’re so much more. They specialize in reducing the pain of kitchen and bath remodeling projects. They transform kitchens countertops and backsplash in as little as one day and do complete bathroom makeovers in a week.

Granite Transformations is the answer for homeowners who want their lives returning to normal as quickly as possible. Rather than living months on end dining out with their kitchen torn apart, or having the entire family sharing the master bathroom while the kids’ bathroom is remodeled, Granite Transformations is the quick-change artist.

We caught up with Bret and Kathy on their mobile phone as they were driving to see their youngest son at a University of Tennessee football game – their love for college football has them toggling on their free weekends between Knoxville and Mississippi State University, where their oldest son is a student. They had some interesting things to say about kitchen and bath trends, the Nashville market, and their unique approach to home remodeling, which we are sharing here:

A: What is the incentive for homeowners to remodel their kitchen or bathroom?

Bret: Depending on where you are, you’re looking at an 80% to 110% return on your investment. That’s why most of those remodeling shows on HGTV focus on the kitchens and bathrooms first.

 

A: What are the hottest trends in kitchen designs today?

Bret: Shaker-style cabinets done in lighter colors—mostly greys and whites. Homeowners are moving away from beiges and browns in cabinets and countertops. In terms of countertops, quartz has overtaken granite. Again, lighter color is in.

Kathy: I agree. It’s because quartz is easier material to maintain. It’s not porous, you don’t have to seal quartz like you do granite, and you needn’t worry about what you’re cleaning it with. It’s also a more uniform look. People like a more consistent, clean look. There’s no pitting to the surface of quartz like you see with granite.

Bret: We’re not seeing as many farm sink installations in updating kitchens as you might assume from all of the Houzz.com and Pinterest pages people are saving out there. Farm sinks are hard to install if you’re not doing huge re-modification work to your cabinets to support the weight and size of them. The homeowners who are requesting them seem to request mostly white ceramic farm sinks.

Kathy: Homeowners love converting their bottom kitchen and bath cabinets into drawers. It’s been in the European market forever, and we’re glad it’s growing here. For us, it’s just a slight modification, but it makes the homeowner so much happier because their kitchen is now functional for the first time. They are gaining so much more useful space for storage. It’s a smart, easy design alteration.

BEFORE                                                         AFTER

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A: How are you able to complete a major kitchen or bath remodel in five or six workdays?

Bret: We are organized and efficient using our own labor or subs who work with us every day. We do cabinet refacing and countertop resurfacing only. We can add and raise cabinets, make all of the modifications, and then reface everything to look the same. Once you start tearing out cabinets, you’re dealing with plumbing, flooring and electrical modifications. We avoid that. We get in and get out. Even our bathroom remodels takes a week or less.

 

A: What’s the most unique design request you’ve had?

Bret: We had a Jamaican woman who insisted upon bright red countertops with sparkling mirror chips embedded in the countertops. I didn’t dare show that to my mom or she would have wanted it, too!

We embedded the mascot for a local high school into the countertop of their concession stand, but probably the most intricate piece lately was the mosaic profile we did of Johnny Cash, all hand-cut glass for a beautiful wall accent based on one of his photographs. Our team can create any customized design you request. This is a great asset for interior designers, artists, and creatives out there who want to see their unique art, logo, or image design interpreted in a wall accent, shower, backsplash or even the bottom of a swimming pool.

 

A: How do you transform countertops? What is your approach?

Bret: We’re a very unique product – there’s no one who does what we do the way we do it. Our material is a thin product that we fabricate to overlay existing surfaces, so it’s a unique technology. No one else has taken the time and money to develop the same technology and equipment. People have tried, dabbled and gotten back out of it. Our signature quartz characteristic product has been around for 40 years and we have covered countertops for 20.

Granite Transformations has continued to improve the technology, and no one else has gone to the time and expense to fabricate it. Our countertop material is 1/4″ thick. We’re not tearing out old countertops. We’re recovering existing countertops. We’re putting a lighter-weight, more durable material on top of their existing countertop. From a sustainability standpoint, we feel good about the fact that we’re not filling a landfill with our customers’ old countertops. Our proprietary material is thin and easier to work with. We can even use this material to place in a shower and slope it downward so it will drain.

 

A: Which areas do you service?

Kathy: We cover a 1.5-hour radius from Nashville, butting up to our colleague’s Knoxville location. We chose to base our operations here because we wanted to live in Nashville. There’s so much opportunity here that we have no plans to expand beyond Nashville.

 

A: Are there any projects you won’t take on? Too large or too small?

Bret: We do a lot of unique work, but we keep our scope very tight. We don’t do jobs that require painting. We’ll do our portion of a remodel and then let the homeowners hire their own painter. We don’t do much drywall work. We’ll move a wall if we’re making a tub smaller or a shower bigger, but we won’t do full-blown remodeling projects. There’s no project too small for us. We’ll take on the small projects that many will turn down.

 

A: Tell us about your team in Nashville. How many employees do you have?

Kathy: There are 13 of us, including Bret and me. We’re small enough to be hands-on, and big enough to not be a one-man band. We are always aware of where everyone is and what they’re working on. We run a tight operation.

 

A: What were your backgrounds? How did you get into this business?

Kathy: We both hail from the building materials industry. I met Bret during my first job out of college, working with a sales rep in a Pella Windows showroom in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Bret: My mom owned a residential contracting business in South Carolina, so I guess you could say I grew up in the business. After college I worked at Pella Windows in Greensboro, installing their CAD system, doing their technical drawings on the commercial side of the business, and I eventually worked my way up into sales, operations and marketing.

 

A: Do you have any final advice for a homeowner considering a remodeling project?

Bret: Be open to the suggestions your contractor makes, but get more than one opinion. And, of course, call us for sound advice and an economic solution!

 

A: How can our readers find you?

 Kathy: Our website is http://www.granitetransformations.com/nashville/ and we welcome you to call us at (615) 332-8434. Our store is located at 5215 Linbar Drive Suite 207, Nashville, TN 37211.

Valley Title & Closing Services

Wendy Worley: The Heart and Soul of Huntsville Real Estate Closings

Surviving cancer—twice—has made Valley Title and Closing Services, LLC founder Wendy Worley’s focus on being even more present and in the moment to those around her. “My goals are not five years ahead. They’re every day,” she explained. “I want to continue servicing the clients as well as I do now. Always. I just want to make sure my clients are happy.”

To say Wendy is accommodating to her customers is a bit of an understatement. Even prior to her cancer, Valley Title and Closing was renowned for being attentive to their customers. They are the rare title company offering “travel closings.” If the customer cannot come to them, they go to their clients. Wendy answers her phone after hours and on weekends, understanding that the busy schedules of her clients demand that level of high-touch service.

Wendy Worley

“My favorite part of my work is when we hand them their keys. Especially first-time home buyers. They’re just so happy. I like being a part of someone’s dream.”

Born in Chicago where her mom hailed from, Wendy’s parents moved back to the Huntsville area when Wendy was two, as her dad wanted to raise his family in the South.  His hometown was Owens Cross Roads, and Wendy considers the Huntsville area her true home.

Her career started out working with Tommy Adams at Rise Real Estate as his assistant. “While I really loved real estate, I was more interested in the closing part,” she recalled. She worked for another title company after Rise, eventually opening her own title and closing company in 2007.

Valley Title and Closing Services, LLC is infused with Wendy’s warmth and caring nature. The company culture is family-oriented—her mother and son work there while her husband helps out regularly—and they are dedicated to community service.  Every year they play the role of a true Santa, adopting one family at Christmas, based on leads they get from their community contacts, helping them identify which family has true needs. Last year the program was so successful, the adopted family couldn’t fit all of the donated presents inside of their mobile home.

In addition to Valley Title and Closing’s yearly Santa program, they are involved in supporting Memphis-based St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which became familiar to them when they toured the facility, as Wendy’s husband’s work is one of St. Jude’s largest contributors.

Valley Title and Closing also works closely with the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation, since Wendy has first-hand knowledge of how important they are to the community. “They’re affiliated with Clearview Cancer Institute, and we’re very lucky to have that facility,” she declared. Russel Hill is dedicated to helping people who don’t have insurance and helping families who come from out of town in assisting them with a place to stay and any other needs they may have.

Outside of work, Wendy and her family share a love for travel. Their free time is spent on Guntersville Lake, and feeding Wendy’s love for island adventures, with Cabo San Lucas being her personal favorite.

In recounting her personal heroes, she counts among them Tommy Adams for mentoring and supporting her as well as he did, her admiration for the oncologists (including Dr. Kim at UAB in Birmingham) and the nurses who were so caring and saved her life, but most importantly, she recognizes her parents, who live 40 minutes away from CCI and for six weeks, they never missed a day, joining Wendy for every single early morning treatment. “They were there before I was!” she laughed.  On a more serious note, she added, “Once you’re a parent, you’ll always be a parent. I have the best parents.”

Legacy Homes - Best in Business

Legacy Homes: The Homebuilder Dream Team Delivers Exceptional Value

In the tech world, the phrase “user experience” is often mentioned, referring to how easy and pleasing a software or website is for the user. The same could be said for Legacy Homes, who have applied this high concept to homebuilding, giving their homeowners more functional, spacious, and comfortable living spaces, yet maintaining beautiful craftsmanship at an incredible price. In short, they build homes that give families a nest for creating memories and a lasting legacy. As President Jeff Korotky explained, “We wanted to deliver the most luxury home for the money.”

Legacy Homes in North Alabama - Best in Business Award

In the fall of 2013, the four Legacy Homes founders met with a blank white board before them, discussing their concepts for a unique, new homebuilding company. “We wanted to build quality, energy-efficient homes with innovative designs at an extraordinary value,” Korotky recalled. They left that meeting forming a homebuilder’s dream team. Their combined work experiences equaled more than 100 years in the building industry—experiences ranging from small, custom homebuilders to high-production builders—as well as dovetailing skill sets. Korotky, a CPA, ended up partnering with Dan Nash, a Civil Engineer (PE), Mark Hunter, an attorney, and Shawn Fairburn, an architect. As a man of faith, Korotky elaborated, “We’ve each been given unique talents and abilities, and it’s our responsibility to use these to the best of our ability for the glory of God, per 1 Corinthians 10:31.” Together, the foursome took great care in thinking through everything from the fine-tuning of the name to the mission statement.

In 2014, the four partners began acquiring land, developing new subdivisions, designing home plans, and creating solid master cost estimates. That year, they closed 14 homes. They took stock, assessed what they learned, and refined their internal processes and procedures. By year’s end 2015, they had closed 82 homes. In 2016, they are forecasted to close 130 homes, with their stretch goal of 160 closings.

In refining their internal processes after 2014, the Legacy Homes team focused on thorough communication. Their daily meetings include all of the stakeholders for every home project. In any given meeting, one can find the Contracts/Closings Manager, Design Center Coordinator, Accounting Manager, VP of Construction, Estimating Manager and any other relevant staff plus the owners getting together, to foster accountability, identify action items and ensure they hit their targeted deadlines.

Today they have 25 employees in a family-oriented environment, fostering each person towards interpersonal and professional growth. That growth includes getting involved in community charities in Huntsville and Madison. The owners are big believers in giving back to their community, and that includes providing, time, money and talent to organizations like the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), 305 8th Street, BUDS (Bringing Up Down Syndrome), and more.

The team at Legacy Homes works hard and plays hard. Between monthly catered birthday celebration lunches, trivia contests and the recent March Madness bracket contest (each year, the person with the worst bracket gets an unopened bag of peanuts that gets passed each year to subsequent losers while the winners enjoy gift cards to local restaurants), they are never at a loss for cultivating fun in the midst of their blueprints and Gantt charts.

The end game for Legacy Homes is instilling a culture of excellence that runs throughout the organization, and is ultimately recognized by the homeowners. Concluded Korotky, “It’s important to surround yourself with employees who want to learn and grow and feel like they are part of accomplishing our mission.” Together, their mission is “providing a First Class home buying experience that exceeds our client’s expectations.”

Richard & Barbara Lapidus

How the Moon Race Helped Richards Lighting Grow

It was the spring 1963. President Kennedy was still alive and the moon race was very much on. Richards Lighting founders Richard and Barbara Lapidus moved to Huntsville, AL from Birmingham and soon, the locals were witnessing a Richards Lighting-branded panel truck traveling back and forth between Birmingham and Huntsville.

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These were heady times. Engineers flooded Huntsville, working on the space program, and they were all buying up new homes. They all needed lighting. By August, Richard Lapidus had a building up on north Memorial Parkway, and he was traveling to New York City to source the best lighting products for his customer base in Huntsville. On September 27, 1963, Richards Lighting Distributors, Inc. officially opened with four employees: Richard, a bookkeeper, and two stockroom workers.

In their first 15 years of operation, the Lapidus’ made two additions to their first building, but rumors of a new road were flying, and eventually, they decided to roll the dice and build a new location on University Drive. In October of 1978, the new location premiered. It was 20,000 square feet, with an 8,000 square foot showroom and front offices. Today the building is 30,000 square feet, thanks to customer demand for product, prompting the need for an even bigger warehouse.

In May 1980, Richards Lighting was recognized as the cover story for Home and Lighting Accessories, the premier trade magazine devoted to the lighting industry. In June 1990, the same magazine touted Richards Lighting as “The store that has everything.” In 1994, Richard Lapidus was named to the Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association Hall of Fame.

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The Ladipidus’ three sons Brad, Mike and Jeff eventually joined the company. Today, Brad serves as president, Mike serves as vice president, and ownership has been transferred to the younger generation. Their father’s commitment to “Serving the Customer” has continued with their generation.

Sadly, Richard Lapidus passed away on June 19, 2012, and missed the August 2012 50th Anniversary celebration of serving the Valley, but his legacy lives on with the new generation of Richards Lighting.

Richards Lighting is located at 1811 University Drive NW, in Huntsville. To call for more information, their phone number is (256) 533-1460 and their hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Kemp's Flooring

Lasting Impact of Kemps’ Mission Trips

Several times a year, you might not catch Greg or Paige Kemp when you call Kemp’s Flooring. If your message is urgent, you’ll need to travel down to the Baja peninsula of Mexico, and in particular, the tiny town of San Quintin, where you’ll find them helping the poor.

 

As members of the Mayfair Church of Christ, the Kemps have been doing mission trips since their daughter was in high school. It started out as a spring break service trip. From building homes, repairing roofs and building churches, to serving meals and meeting the medical needs of this impoverished community, the Kemps never feel as though their work there is done.
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The residents there are mostly field workers, either planting or picking strawberries six-and-a-half days a week. While there, Greg and Paige focus on problem solving, purchasing supplies, and driving the volunteers to and from the areas where they’re needed. Greg admits he doesn’t add value to the actual construction side of the work done there.

 

One particular story of the human condition has stayed with the Kemps. A woman named Sylvia had three children. She was so poor, she had no choice but to put her children in the care of the City of Children orphanage in Ensenada. Sylvia was allowed to visit her son and two daughters one Sunday a month, always bringing them her delicious, homemade food. Word soon spread of Sylvia’s excellent cooking, and she was offered a full-time position at the orphanage, which was the happy ending to a very sad situation. Today, her two daughters are happily married, and her son Misha works full time as a leader at the City of Children. “It’s inspiring how God works and how people can overcome these horrible circumstances,” Greg mused.

 

Thanks to Misha’s ongoing relationship with the Kemps and other Auburn fans, he also has become an enthusiastic Auburn fan and has traveled to the U.S. to attend football games. This past November, the Kemps took him to a basketball game, where they happened to run into the very gracious Charles Barkley, who posed for a photo with Misha. “For this kid from a Mexican orphanage to be standing there with his arm around Charles Barkley was really cool,” marveled Greg.

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Misha’s story has a particular resonance for Greg, whose own grandmother lost her mother at an early age. Her father was a poor dirt farmer, and he was forced to give up his four daughters to a wealthier family, who essentially used the girls as indentured servants. “It wasn’t until my grandmother finally married that she was able to leave the family she was given to,” Greg explained. He notes the similarities between the people of two cultures thousands of miles apart are striking.

 

During Greg and Paige’s first visit to Mexico, Greg donated his red and khaki jacket. Years later, he attended church on a Sunday night and was surprised to see his jacket again, this time, on a man at church—a man whose name was Gregorio.

 

In the future, the Kemps hope to focus on expanding educational opportunities in San Quintin, as they’ve noticed the children who do get educated there tend to leave for work in Tijuana or San Diego. The Kemps hope the children they help educate in the future will sustain their faith in God and remain in the area to benefit their homeland.

 

If you are interested in helping with the mission trips, please contact Kemp’s Flooring at (256) 830-5969 or contact the Mayfair Church of Christ at (256) 881-4651 or visit http://mayfair.org.

home inspections

Ned Dominick Wants to Keep Your Marriage Safe

Ned Dominick's Home Inspections Photo copyIf you’ve ever received an “NSFW” email, you know it’s one you shouldn’t be viewing at work. But what about a “NSFM” website – one that’s unsafe for your marriage?

With more than 50% of married Americans–including 29% of women–viewing sexually explicit material online, not to mention 70% of children under age 10 accidentally stumbling across this content while innocently researching key words, Ned Dominick wanted to find a computer browsing solution that wouldn’t be overridden by the adults in the household.

As a Christian, after Ned himself briefly fell victim to perusing adult sites online, he sought a solution in 1998 that forced accountability, so that couples could trust one another again to rebuke this temptation. To that end, he founded WiseChoice.net, which is a $49 per year software subscription for up to three computers in one household, disabling anyone’s ability to seek out adult material online. The system forces you to contact WiseChoice.net to disable the software, which Ned admits does happen on occasion. “I had one Christian man who was addicted to internet porn, and he ultimately forced me to disable the software. He ended up divorcing his wife, leaving his children and moving to Florida to live with a friend who was also addicted to internet porn. It’s a real problem. I think it’s a losing battle.”

Said Ned, prior to the internet, there was a stigma and a sense of shame to seeking out pornographic materials. The advent of the internet has ensured there’s the “Three A’s of Internet Porn” — Availability, Affordability (free), and Anonymity.

Ned recommends that households safeguard their marriages and their children by placing computers in the center of the household, in a highly trafficked area where no one would be tempted to view this kind of material. He also recommends that parents ensure children keep their cell phones in a public place, and never allow their children to take their cell phones with them alone in their bedrooms.

Today, there are mobile porn-blocking solutions, as well. Ned recently discovered one smart phone solution he recommends to customers called MobiCip.com, which offers a version for Apple and Android phones, and provides reporting to parents.

According to Ned, in Japan, they’re reporting there’s a real problem where Japanese men are not dating women, because virtual sex is easier and less work for them. With the advent of virtual porn on the forthcoming augmented reality viewing devices, as were highlighted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Ned worries that America won’t be far behind Japan.

For more information on internet porn blocking software and advice, please contact askned@housetalk.net or visit http://wisechoice.net.

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Franklin Iron Works Owner Doug Mosley – “One Person Can Make a Difference”

Two to three times a month, Franklin Iron Works owner, ordained minister, and former police officer Doug Mosley makes the 70-mile round trip drive to a maximum security women’s prison in Tennessee. His mission? Prison ministry.

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A 2010 study showed 46% of people released from prison or jail in Tennessee were reincarcerated within three years’ time, which is a little higher than the national average of four in 10. Mosley sees his role in these prisoners’ lives as helping these women change the way they look at situations, which then changes their behavior for the better. Many have improved their behaviors, becoming model prisoners to the point of earning early paroles.

“The captain guard out there loves me,” Mosley explains. “He tells me he definitely sees changes in behavior that they cannot get out of them – it’s permanent change. They go from being troublesome prisoners to becoming model prisoners as the result of our worship services.”

This year, Mosley’s prison ministry was recognized as #1 in the state of Tennessee. From its meager start with 12 inmates attending his services, today it has grown into a regular congregation of 60 to 80 women, or up to one-third of the prison’s population. “I resisted going for a long time, “ Mosley recalls, “I used to be a police officer, and I believed that these people were unredeemable. Now I know that isn’t true. Now I’m hooked. I can’t wait to go back and preach to them. I plan for it all month.”

Mosley is not compensated for his time volunteering, and he is held to strict standards in his interactions with the prisoners. For example, he must have a woman accompany him to every sermon, and he cannot bring anything besides the words he preaches. “I can’t give them so much as a pen or a stick of gum, or I’d be kicked out of there.”

When Mosley started his prison ministry three years ago, most of these women had never read a Bible or been in a church. “They didn’t know protocol. While I was preaching, they’d blurt out questions. They are a rough bunch—murderers, drug traffickers, armed robbers. One woman offered to stab another woman just because she was speaking up and asking me questions during my first sermon there,” Mosley recalls. “I realized, ‘Wow, they really do need me here.’”

Mosley carries with him a level of authority and authenticity that resonates with these women, because he used to police the women in his jurisdiction who were just like them. “With my background as a former police officer, I know the environment they came from. I prevented women just like them from getting beaten by their husbands or molested by their fathers. They know I understand how they got there. I speak frankly with them on a level that other people cannot.

“Every time I go, I have them fill out their personal prayer requests. It’s something that only I see. I know what their personal needs, wants and desires are, and I base my sermons on those prayer requests. Many of them have commented to me how this has impacted their lives, how they’ve improved, and how it’s improving their stay there.

“The key takeaway is, ‘Don’t judge others.’ These people don’t judge you. They are very humble people. They are truly sorry for what they’ve done, and they are trying to change their lives. I’m proud of every one of them. They’ve been beaten down all of their lives, being told they were failures, or that they weren’t good enough. Everyone needs someone to believe in them. If we all just lifted each other up instead of looking at the negative all of the time, the world would be a better place.”

In the end, Mosley feels these prisoners have changed his heart as much as he has changed theirs.

Brian Byrd

On Veteran’s Day, Roscoe Brown Proudly Supports and Employs Our Troops

We’d like to begin today’s blog by personally thanking everyone out there who has served our country in the military, and we especially honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as their surviving families. “We treasure our freedoms because of these patriotic men and women of the U.S. military, said Norman Brown, Roscoe Brown’s president. “We are proud to employ military veterans, and we feel that their training and dedication makes us a better company.”

An estimated 215,000 military veterans are currently living in Tennessee, giving employers like Roscoe Brown and others throughout our state an enormous talent pool to pull from. According to CareerBuilder.com, an estimated 86% of the force is enlisted for all services, whereas 14% are officers and warrant officers; however, many non-commissioned soldiers have bachelors and masters degrees, since the military has made education a focal point.

In our experience, there are several reasons why veterans make excellent Roscoe Brown employees, and we encourage employers out there to hire our returning military veterans. Here are a few of the reasons we find military veterans to be excellent employees:

Brian Byrd

Brian Byrd, Roscoe Brown’s CFO

They are self-disciplined. Veteran military training is all about learning discipline, from their physical fitness regime to the time and care they take shining their shoes and making their beds, to their moments of reacting calmly to situations in a disciplined manner in a theater of war.

They are deadline-oriented. Veterans take their responsibilities seriously. The military doesn’t tolerate excuses because in a war situation, it can mean life or death. Military veterans are trained to complete their projects on time, and they are groomed to complete their missions.

They value collaboration. While our military veterans can work independently with minimal supervision, early on they learn the value of collaboration and cooperation. Their fellow troops are all for one, one for all.

They are well trained. The military has already spent the money training our veterans, and we are fortunate to leverage that training towards careers at Roscoe Brown.

They understand crisis management. Being cool under pressure is their forte’. Our military veterans have laser-sharp focus and are trained to quickly assess and resolve a situation while under pressure, whether it’s a refrigerant leak or a pipe that has burst. They have been trained to react quickly and logically, not allowing emotion to cloud their judgment.

 

Roscoe Brown - 75 Years Logo

If you or someone you know is a military veteran seeking a career with Roscoe Brown, we invite you to click here and read the opportunities we currently have open:

http://roscoebrown.com/contact-us/careers

John Maher 2015

Builder Helps College Bound Students

 

Over 1900 Middle Tennessee families call a John Maher Builders house their home. The company’s reputation is building, one house at a time.

Building futures one student at a time is also the reputation Maher is known for in Williamson County. Academic and athletic excellence has always mattered to this builder, who has been constructing homes in the Spring Hill community for almost three decades. In the late 1970s, Maher began his career as a teacher and coach in Franklin after playing football at Middle Tennessee State University.

His passion influenced his four children as evidenced by their active and competitive participation in sports both in high school and college, as well as their career choices. His oldest daughter was a member of the Blue Devils’ track and field team at Duke, where his son is currently a student and member of the track and field team. His other two daughters are now teachers in Williamson County, the youngest of which teaches where both her parents taught–in the Franklin Special School District.

It’s for these reasons John Maher is entering his 10th year as the title sponsor of the Williamson Herald’s John Maher Builders Scholar Athletes Program.

Each month during the school year, one male and one female Williamson County student-athlete is selected as Scholar Athlete of the Month. Winners are chosen from nominations made by coaches, principals and parents.

The Scholar Athlete of the Month exhibits Academic Achievement, Athletic Accomplishment and Community Service. Each winner is featured in a write-up with photos in the Herald and on the JMB website.

At the conclusion of every school year, the Herald hosts the annual John Maher Builders Scholar Athlete banquet. The monthly honorees along with their coaches and families are invited. Each student is recognized individually.

2014-2015 John Maher Builders Scholar AthletesPerhaps the highlight of the night comes after each honoree attending puts his/her name in a hat. Each year Maher draws at least one male and one female name to receive a $2,000 scholarship. In recent years, he has typically given a pair of scholarships. However, this year Maher gave away two extra scholarships in memory of his father, who passed away in late spring, citing his father’s influence on his life and the importance of education. “He really set the stage and taught me how to be someone that would give back to the community,” Maher told the Herald. “It’s in his memory.”

The 2015 recipients of the $2,000 scholarship are Katie Kemp of Brentwood High, Korrie Sauder of Battle Ground Academy, Mason Foley of Page High and Josh Filbey of Franklin High.