As the son of the company founder, a lot was assumed about David Sellers and he knew what those assumptions would be.
“Anytime you’re coming in as a son or a daughter of a founder, I think people are looking at it like you got a free pass,” said Sellers, who followed his father, company founder David R. Sellers, as President and CEO of LGE Design Build. “If you pay attention to that, you’re not going to be able to do anything. I would rather focus on the things that I knew that I wanted to do to be successful in the business.
“I’ve always put in as many or even more hours than anybody here. I always wanted people to see that I am working really hard and I’ve always wanted to treat people really fair. And after a while, any of the people that doubted me saw that I was in my position for a good reason.”
The younger Sellers has definitely done a lot to prove his worth as the company’s top executive since 2010. Under Sellers’ leadership, LGE has expanded its reach. First, LGE launched its architectural branch, LGE Design Group, in 2014, and in 2018, LGE expanded into development with its Creation arm. Then, in July, LGE announced it is expanding into the residential building sector with LGE Residential Design Build.
With these recent additions, LGE has jumped to more than 70 employees, 70 active projects, and revenues are growing each year.
“I’ve been part of the LGE team
for nearly 20 years and if my dad
was around today, I think he would
be floored by the amount of passion and talent that our team has,” Sellers said. “I think he would also be impressed with the direction we have taken this company.”
His father founded the company in 1994, and Sellers grew up in the industry. He admits that there were a lot of opportunities afforded him in the business, but he wasn’t always ready for them.
“My dad, he almost gave me opportunities too fast because I really didn’t know what I was doing at that point,” Sellers said. “But, it allowed me to mess up in areas that I did mess up. I learned pretty quick and I learned on the job.
“Pretty early on, I was able to get in and implement things that I wanted in order to grow the company.”
Sellers said he and his father had a special relationship and that his father’s passion wasn’t in construction or development, but in simply working with his hands. Sellers said his father was quick to point out how other generational companies functioned, and Sellers remains thankful for the way his father treated him as he prepared to hand over the reins.
“Typically, what we would see, and my dad would always point this out, was that the dad’s would never want to let go. That was their life, that business,” Sellers said. “There would always be tension between the father and son. The son couldn’t make any decisions and the father was still running it.”
For Sellers, expanding LGE’s focus has been important to future success. Also, he said that the design-build model is “just a really fun process.”
“We’re able to be part of every piece of these projects,” Sellers said. “The collaboration that happens from the very first step makes it a faster process and we end up with a higher quality product for a better price.”
LGE Design Build has really made its presence felt in the Valley the last five years, with projects like Overstreet in Chandler, Heritage Marketplace in Gilbert, The HUB Goodyear and Scottsdale Galleria. Sellers said the LGE approach is simple: Build the box as efficiently as possible and then fill that box in with high-quality features.
“We are very hyper-focused on building the box as simply as we can and making it look as great as it possibly can as opposed to over –
engineering a very simple building and having to skimp on everything after that,” Sellers said. “You look at our buildings and they have a specific look to them and we think it’s best in class because we are able to put a little more into the buildings.”