Four businesses headed by former students from Texas A&M’s College of Architecture are among the 2011 Aggie 100, a list of the fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.
The former students, Shan Jenkins ’88, Richard Garza ’88, Phillip Wales, ’78, ’79 and Ryan Pape ’01, were honored at a Nov. 4, 2011 luncheon hosted by the Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, which compiles the annual list.
Shan Jenkins, a Bachelor of Building Construction graduate, heads Jenkins Custom Homes, an Austin luxury custom home builder, sixth on the 2011 list.
“We strive to provide superior quality and service in our market, and if we continue to grow it will only be a byproduct of our company mission and core values,” he said.
The company features the Jenkins Lifestyle Analysis System, which focuses on designing and building a home around a family’s lifestyle and interests. The company produces a unique preliminary house plan with a guaranteed cost estimate for the client based on a JLAS interview and lot survey.
Jenkins Custom Homes earned the 2009 Star Award for Custom Builder of the Year by the Texas Association of Builders and was ranked fifth in the list of top homebuilders by the Austin Business Journal in 2010.
Jenkins’ heads the company with his wife, Bethany ’88. Pegi Fry ’88, Marjorie McClendon ’11 and Ryan Bates ’02 are other former students also on the Jenkins Custom Homes team.
Richard Garza ’88, a Bachelor of Building Construction graduate, heads Garza Program Management, 11th on the list.
The company provides expertise and assistance to owners, investors and financiers of real estate development and capital building projects. Its clients include public agencies and private sector firms involved in development, construction, addition, renovation and deferred maintenance of facilities and infrastructure.
Garza’s experience includes 20 years of leading capital building programs for office buildings, industrial plants, hospitals, data centers, K-12 schools, higher education classrooms, laboratories, dormitories, theaters, arenas, prisons/ juvenile detention centers, museums, historic preservation, municipal and state parks, fish hatcheries, defense projects and water, wastewater, telecommunications and utility infrastructure projects.
“Be memorable,” is some of the advice Garza has for budding entrepreneurs.
“You will never have enough money to start your own company; it will never be the perfect time. So start anyway!” he said. “Everyone will think you can't make it. Don't be one of them.”
Don't take no for an answer, and be persistent, he said.
The company also employs associates Marty Gunderson ’78, a former Bachelor of Building Construction student, and William Garth Hodge ’71 and ’73, a former Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture student.
Phillip Wales, ’78 and ’79, a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture graduate, heads Ebusiness Strategies, 12th on the list.
The consulting firm is a nationally recognized leader in providing corporate real estate and workplace management services, helping clients develop and articulate an enterprise-wide workplace strategy, standardize business practices, increase mobility, and align technology solutions.
“The Aggie ring on your finger will open doors,” said Wales. “Remember the honor and responsibility it brings.”
The firm, headquartered in Houston, serves a national client base from its Austin, Dallas, Sacramento, Denver and Minneapolis locations.
Ryan Pape ’01, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture graduate, heads PapeScapes, 28th on the list.
A full-service design-build/landscape company in Burton, Texas, PapeScapes offers residential and commercial design, irrigation design and installation, swimming pool design and construction and lawn maintenance.
“Don't ever let a person tell you your company will not succeed,” said Pape. “My company is proof it can be done anywhere; PapeScapes was founded and continues to thrive in a town of 300 people. Follow your heart, and let your passion become your work; pursue your dreams.”
PapeScapes provides professional in-house design services representing the needs of the client through an educated and experienced approach, creating balanced, unified, aesthetically pleasing sustainable landscapes.
After the design and installation phase, PapeScapes offers an array of maintenance services, including seasonal color rotation, spring and fall cleanups, tree and shrub pruning, bed cultivation and weed control.