Ira Fulton’s name has adorned the School of Engineering at Arizona State University since 2003. Each Spring that school sends 2,000 new graduates out into the world to design and build the things that improve daily life. But his true legacy sits just one office down from him and calls him “Dad.” Doug Fulton, the CEO and son of Ira Fulton has only had one boss for his entire professional career going back to his days in retail men’s clothing at Eagleson’s Big and Tall. It was at Eagleson’s that Ira taught Doug the value of marketing, which is a skill that Doug has leveraged for the last 27 years at Fulton Homes.
Despite their long tenure as father and son and boss and employee, Ira and Doug haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. In fact, Doug says “I’m easier on my own children because I know I’ve given my dad fits over the years.” Any disagreements aside, hard work has always been the key to their relationship and the key to success for Fulton Homes. Until recent years, Doug had never taken a vacation or done any travel that wasn’t exclusively for work. He clearly gets that from his father who wonders why anyone would want to take a vacation when “working is like being on vacation every day,” says Ira.
Hard work is in their blood and the impression this father-son duo have left on the Valley landscape is very tangible. More than 25,000 homes have been built by the Fultons throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties.
In addition to hard work, Doug also attributes the success of Fulton Homes to what he jokingly calls the “SOB” or “Son of Boss” effect. Doug says, “I’ve always had to live up to higher standards because my Dad demands it. When you work for your father, you not only have the expectations of being a good employee, but also being a good son.”