Tag Archives: after hours

Jerry Thomas (Right)

After Hours: Jerry Thomas

Jerry Thomas
Superintendent, Wespac Construction
Years at HINES: 11

Jerry Thomas handles on-site supervision of day-to-day construction activities, including quality control, material delivery, subcontractor schedules, daily reports, safety meetings, detailing, project closeouts and project meetings for owners, architects and subcontractors. After a long day of work, though, Thomas puts in a few extra hours at the gym to train for extreme activities, including one of the most eccentric and challenging races in the country — Escape from Alcatraz, which he completed last April.

What did you think you’d be when you grew up? 

Fireman or police officer.

Of what personal or professional accomplishment are you most proud?

I’m most proud of a Wespac project I did in Central Coast, Calif., The Clubhouse at Trilogy Monarch Dunes. This elaborate and one-of-a-kind clubhouse won a Gold Nugget award.

Best business advice you’ve been given?
Always put your family first and no matter how hard you work, it will always be there tomorrow.

Advice you’d share with people early in their real estate career?

Location, location, location.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I love old-time movies and musicals, including Turner Classics.

One of your hobbies includes extreme racing. Why did you register for the Escape from Alcatraz race?

During Christmas time, I was surprised over dinner by my 10-year-old godson, Bennett Curran, who told me he was escaping Alcatraz and swimming to shore with his swim team. I thought he was crazy, along with his parents, for letting him do this. However, he explained that he is on a team that supports F.A.S.T. (Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training), which encourages kids saving kids. His excitement was contagious and inspired me. The more I thought about it, I thought this is a great cause and a way to get into shape, so I decided I’d like to join and swim with my godson. Of course, then everyone thought I was crazy — my wife even increased my life insurance benefit. As it turned out, Bennett was one of the youngest and I was one of the oldest to swim with F.A.S.T. and escape Alcatraz. What an experience!

What was your experience like?
It was harder than I originally thought, especially once we started training. This consisted of jumping into Bartlett Lake every week in the middle of winter. The water was 50 degrees, which was rough. It was difficult to support one another and, at times, we definitely had second thoughts, but we both hung in there, toughed it out and kept training. During the actual Alcatraz swim, when we were all jumping off the boat, I ended up swallowing half of the San Francisco Bay thanks to another little swimmer who accidentally jumped on top of me in his excitement to escape. After choking for a long while, we were guided to a different and farther route to swim because of the changing rip tide currents. The sea was very choppy, but in the end we both went on to finish in 1 hour 17 minutes and swam just under two miles. We ended the race tired and cold but very proud. We celebrated with everyone at Ghirardelli Square over a gigantic ice cream sundae called the “Earthquake.”

Have you competed in any other extreme races or have any similar adrenaline-rush activities/hobbies?

I parachute, scuba dive and am a mono ski racer. I am looking forward to swimming with Bennett again next year to support F.A.S.T. 2015 at Alcatraz, as well as swim under the Golden Gate Bridge. We also recruited Bennett’s brother, Jonathan, so it’ll be another exciting year.

How much time to do train every day/week?
After work, I swim three to four times a week and work out at the gym two to three times a week. It’s definitely difficult to balance extreme sports training with a work schedule and personal life, but it all was worth it and very rewarding in the end. I proudly display my medal at my home to keep me motivated.

Bill Olson

After Hours: Meet William M. Olson

WILLIAM M. OLSON
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT,
DIVISION MANAGER,
NEWLAND REAL ESTATE GROUP

YEARS AT COMPANY: 1; in commercial real estate development industry: 31 years
BORN/RAISED: Michigan

EDUCATION
HIGH SCHOOL: Scottsdale, Ariz.
UNIVERSITY: Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Dual General Contractors Licenses
AZ Real Estate Broker’s License
Several professional certifications

FAVORITES
SPORTS: Hockey, golf, football
MUSIC: Too numerous to list
TRAVEL DESTINATIONS: Snow and ocean
LEISURE ACTIVITIES: Hike, bike, climb, motorcycles and sculptures

WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU’D BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A medical doctor

OF WHAT PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD?
Father of my daughter

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN:
Work hard, be genuine and finish what you start.

ADVICE YOU’D SHARE WITH PEOPLE EARLY IN THEIR REAL ESTATE CAREER:
Find a firm where you can have a mentor that will help show you the ropes and work you tail off.

WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I do metal and stone sculpture.

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO SCULPTING?
I started welding go-karts in Michigan as a kid and then spontaneously tried some metal work and it took off from there.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO WORK ON SCULPTURES?
Infrequently today, but it’s best when I have a person who has a need and I can design the piece to the space they need/want it.

WHAT KIND OF SCULPTING MEDIUMS DO YOU USE AND WHAT KIND OF SCULPTURES DO YOU MAKE?
Metal, stone, wood, patina solutions for color and special effects.

DO YOU SELL YOUR WORK?
No. Once I start selling, it becomes work.
I do it for creative outlet and for people I care about.

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After Hours: Stephen Kovach

Vice President
Kovach Building Enclosures, Chandler

With Kovach for 15 years

Born and raised in Tempe

Graduated from ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction

Wife Drew; 2 children ages 2 and 4

Responsibilities:
Strategic direction of the company, preconstruction and product development

Favorites:

Music — Anything that’s clean with a good beat. Big music fan!
Destinations — My family is full of travelers. I like to see a new place each year, off the beaten path and away from the tourist traps
Activities — Snowmobiling, exploring new terrain, scuba diving and playing with my kids

What did you think you’d be when you were growing up?

I have been all about our family’s business since I was a kid. I grew up around construction and always wanted to be a part of new construction projects.

What accomplishment are you especially proud of?

If being a dad is considered an accomplishment, I would say that’s No. 1. On a professional level, problem solving construction methods is a lot of fun

What would people be surprised to know about you?:

I can walk on my hands.

Giving back:

The company is involved in various Arizona-based charities such as ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods), which included donating the metal roof, metal walls, canopies and all associated labor for the project, while also volunteering personal time from the leadership team.

Advice:

Given — Listen before you speak.
To share — Plan for the long term and enjoy the people you work with.

September/October 2012

AZRE Magazine September/October 2012

AZRE Magazine September/October 2012

More face time for people in the industry

Peter MadridSpectacular structures and beautiful buildings dominate the images that grace the pages of AZRE magazine. However, we can never forget that the real superstars are the people behind all those projects.

That’s why you will see more (familiar) faces in this issue, with a twist on two of our regular features.

  • I am finding that many of you commercial real estate professionals do some pretty cool things when you’re off the clock. With that in mind, we will now feature two people in After Hours. Check out page 28.
  • With business picking up, firms are promoting from within and hiring more people. Those announcements, which filled the Newsmakers page, are now being posted on azbigmedia.com. In its place is a new feature, Executive Q&A. Each issue will offer a glimpse of four top decision makers in the various industry sectors. On page 26.

Starting with this issue and beginning on page 30, AZRE magazine unveils its inaugural Big Deals awards. We recognize the top brokers and brokerage-related firms in 20 categories. Helping make the selections were our staff, votes cast on our website, managing directors from the top brokerage firms and a handful of Arizona’s commercial developers.

Our three supplements also include member profiles and a Q&A with the respective “head honchos.”

You will find a lot of smiling faces in this issue — present company included.

Editors Letter Signature

Peter Madrid, Editor

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