Veteran Spotlight

David Weekley Homes is quickly becoming the company of choice for transitioning military and their families.

In a recent survey of David Weekley Homes Team Members who were hired through Orion, David Weekley received a 9.7 on a 10-point scale rating the company's "military friendliness."

One respondent said, "I would recommend them as a good employer to anyone, especially the military. You need discipline, drive and professionalism to succeed. If you were able to harness that in the military, you might be a good fit for Weekley."

In 2015, David Weekley Homes was ranked #10 on the "Best Companies for Veterans" list through a joint survey by Monster and Military.com.

AJ Bautch

On Veterans Day 2013, Orlando Team Member AJ Bautch, Air Defense Artillery Captain in the Army National Guard, sent the following message to his manager:

Brent:

Today is a sacred day for me. With all the thanks Vets get today, I think it's important to say thanks to all of those that support us. David Weekley Homes is clearly committed to bringing in Veterans, and it is important to me. I am very thankful for you and the Team Members around me.

The opportunity to be a part of your Team is not taken lightly, and I refuse to believe something is simply a "job." After leaving active duty, I was anxious about landing in a place where I felt the same sense of responsibility and importance. Nothing will ever match the feeling that putting on the uniform brings, but I'd be hard pressed to imagine another environment where values and excellence are TRULY cherished. You are leading an organization that I am proud to be a part of. I commit to continuing what you have started and building upon the standards you set.

An organization is only as good as its people. I hope that I represent hiring a Veteran in the best way, and that you keep people like myself, Ken Wood and Zac Brown in mind when building and developing your teams. Tampa has represented the belief in hiring Veterans in a similar way, with the onboarding of Steve Coppins (US Navy, Builder), Kelly Fields (US Marine Corp, Builder) and Jimmy Miller (US Navy, WSR). The best way David Weekley Homes could thank Veterans for their service would be to continue to seek out those that you are willing to challenge. The men and women I served with were incredible, and you have an opportunity to develop and build teams that include those people.

On behalf of us that have transitioned from defending the American way of life to building it, thank you. Please pass this onto the other managers as you see fit.

Proudly,

AJ Bautch
Builder

Cole Ballard

Cole Ballard, Senior Builder
SGT, Cavalry Scout, US Army

Former Cavalry Scout SGT, Cole Ballard, enjoys feeling a sense of accomplishment when he completes a home that exceeds Homeowners' expectations. Cole said the experience he gained planning, organizing and working with a diverse team in the Army prepared him for his career at David Weekley Homes. His success in his over three years at Weekley has earned him recognition as Production Builder of the Month in his division and promotion to Senior Builder.

The former scout sniper ended his four-year military career as a combat course instructor for basic trainees. He's grateful for all the skills he learned along the way, and is enjoying his career in home building.

"The sense of community and family at David Weekley Homes is superior to that of any other company I have seen."

Here's what some other veterans have to say about being a member of the David Weekley Team:

Adam Bruneau, Builder, Dallas/Fort Worth

Adam Bruneau

"For anyone leaving the military, it is important to be in an environment that truly looks after its own. David Weekley Homes epitomizes this," said Dallas/Fort Worth builder, Adam Bruneau. "I have never heard of a company that is all about taking care of its Team Members. I don't think there will ever be a time that the lengths this company goes to for us will cease to amaze me. I thoroughly enjoy going to work every day. Despite being in a profession that is very competitive, the other builders and I are always looking for ways to help each other. We work toward a common goal and want our fellow Team Member to succeed just as much as ourselves."

Adam joined the Weekley Team in September 2014 after three years in the Army. His military experience prepared the 1st Lieutenant for the corporate world, and taught him how to be an effective, respected leader.

"Being a builder is similar to being a Platoon Leader," Adam said. "The subcontractors are essentially Squad Leaders. Each day you manage them and oversee their work. Throughout the day, and upon completion, you inspect their work to make sure it is done properly and to standard. As a builder, you are also looking for ways to take care of our trade partners because they are the workforce of this industry. It was the same way in the Army. As a leader, it's your job to take care of the men and women on your team."

Pete Prikazsky, Builder, Charlotte

Pete Prikazsky

"The task of exiting the military is pretty easy. The task of exiting smoothly is not. No one cares about your transition as much as you do. Having someone help relieve some of that pressure by actively trying to find your new career is fantastic. When Orion told me about David Weekley Homes, their fast-track hiring process, and the benefits of joining this awesome company, it seemed a little too good to be true. Through prior coordination, Orion is able to pick out the type of people David Weekley Homes is looking for. Then, David Weekley brings them in for a couple days versus going through a long, drawn-out process. A final answer on employment is given in a couple days, not weeks. Orion, working with David Weekley Homes, made it an incredibly easy process."

Pete Prikazsky spent eight years in the Marine Corps and joined the Weekley Team in July 2014. For this Captain, the best thing about his new career is working with customers to create their dream home.

Ron Ellison, Builder, Tampa

Ron Ellison

When asked what's his favorite thing about working at David Weekley, Ron Ellison quickly responds, "The support from my fellow Team Members and management." After nearly 21 years in the Air Force, Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) Ellison joined the Weekley Team in April 2014 after hearing the builder's presentation at an Orion hiring event.

"There were three builders giving presentations about their companies," Ron said. "David Weekley Homes stood out to me because of their Noble Journey initiative. I saw a future with David Weekley Homes. They were also looking to provide a career... that's what I was looking for. David Weekley Homes knew I had no previous home building skills, yet they hired me and trained me."

Ron's military background falls right in line with his duties as a builder.

"Coordination is a critical skill; so is scheduling and sequencing all the phases of building a home. Additionally, organizational, written and oral communication, and administrative skills are needed. Interpersonal skills are very important as well because you deal with approximately 50-60 different trades, vendors and agencies on each home. My military experience in logistics provided the scheduling and sequencing component, and it also provided the necessary interpersonal and administrative skills needed to be able to transform into a home builder."

Will Crawford, Builder, San Antonio

Will Crawford

"Orion helped me transition to civilian life by providing me with a solution to the biggest worry I had, which was, 'What am I going to do now?'"

Captain Will Crawford served nearly six years in the Army before joining David Weekley in February 2014. Not only did Orion help place him with the home builder, the company also helped him tailor his resume to highlight his military training and skills.

"Working as a builder at Weekley is very much like your job as an officer," Will said. "You have subject matter experts who have been in the construction industry for years. It is my job to use their expertise in a coordinated manner to build homes. My job involves backwards planning, coordination, and many management and motivational tools that I learned in the military."

Will has already earned several performance honors during his time at David Weekley Homes, including an Outstanding Customer Service award. He is proud of his new career and couldn't ask for a better company to work for.

"Weekley is a very military-friendly employer. They place values above profit, and as such, they are willing to provide a hard working veteran the opportunity to learn a new job. They have been very supportive of all of my military requirements, including my participation in the Reserves."

Rich Carr, Business Systems Analyst, Home Services Team

Rich Carr

Six years in the Air Force equipped Rich Carr for a seamless transition to the culture at David Weekley Homes. The E-5 Staff Sergeant Select joined the Weekley Team in December 2013 and credits the company with the successful mental switch from his military mindset to that of the professional world.

"There are a lot of veterans in the company, and DWH offers a wide range of assistance if counseling is needed or just someone to listen," Rich said. "In my role, I implement a lot of change to existing systems and processes, and the military prepared me well for understanding the difficulties of change and how best to approach the matter. Team spirit, cohesion and brotherhood is vital in the military. David Weekley has really matched that sense of "Team" and it has made the adjustment to civilian work extremely easy and fun."

From Jake Wise, Army Field Artillery Captain, Executive Officer

We already have a number of former Veterans here at David Weekley Homes who are familiar with the challenges faced when transitioning to civilian life. Most of these people would go out of their way to assist a newly hired Veteran with any struggle they might face.

Also, as a home builder, we are presented with the opportunity to manage an array of multi-function groups in the field, something that most combat arms officers have a great deal of experience with. This provides the recently transitioned employee the ability to continue leading in the field.

For me personally, the issue of health care was a very large consideration as I transitioned out of active duty. The health care package that is offered by David Weekley Homes is outstanding and has alleviated many of the concerns that I had about moving away from TRICARE. Also, the 401(k) matching that the company offers is nearly unheard of.

Jacob Wise
Builder

From Aaron Recko, Navy LtJG, Surface Warfare Officer

David Weekley Homes is a great place for Veterans to work because there is a sizeable veteran presence within the teams. The camaraderie among Team Members is comparable to the military, because we are working in a "Team" environment, and we have a "Noble" cause (the Noble Journey of David Weekley Homes). Building homes for families is basically a new way to serve your fellow man, but on U.S. soil.

There are many benefits that David Weekley Homes offers that I think are especially helpful for Veterans. For example, they offer Chaplain visits when you request them. Also, they have options for therapy visits that may be a big benefit to people suffering from PTSD. It's also helpful that David Weekley Homes offers rigid training programs for all jobs, so there are clear expectations about your job performance.

Aaron Recko
Builder

In early January 2014, we received an appreciation letter from one of our newest Homeowners who is a Veteran of the U.S. Army:

Gentlemen,

I am writing to you about trust. I am a 25-year Veteran of the US Army and in my time, trust has grown to be extremely valuable and something that is sacred.

When I left the service, I began a journey to seek someone I could trust to take care of my family. I was seeking someone who understood that we were not just seeking to build a house, but that we were building a home.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Ms. Shelley Proctor and Mr. Steven Tennis, as well as Ms. Misty Vickers along the way. I have even had the pleasure of interacting with several other David Weekley representatives along the way. They all took time to ensure my wife's and my questions were answered to the utmost satisfaction.

I want to take a minute to tell you of the genuine feelings and a sense of family we have grown to develop with Shelley and Steve. From day one, they have assured us that they were here for us and would be by our side the entire way. Buying a home, let alone building one, can be a very confusing, stressful, joyous time all at once. With their watchful oversight, we have thoroughly enjoyed our building process. They have gone above and beyond to ensure we are informed and educated in the building process.

But beyond that, they have earned my trust to take care of my family; not just today, but in a home that will be all of our tomorrows. Earning the trust of a service member is not always easy.

We feel blessed to have Shelley and Steve come into our life, and I look at them as family now. I wanted to share this with you because it is hard to come across people who are as dedicated to their clients as Shelley and Steve.

Thank you for your time and I would like to invite all of you to please join my family and I as we "cut the ribbon" to our new home on our closing date. I want to make it a special occasion for Steve and Shelley as they have certainly represented you in a highly professional fashion, without losing the personal touch of building our home.

Warm Regards,
Michael Howk, U.S. Army, Nancy, Brandon and Tanner