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Von-Jac Developments 3

ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY

It is a long history of high ethical standards of environmental consciousness and customer service that keeps this female-run construction company on the top of the list in Newcastle, Calif.

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Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange Creative Director Emily Detoro Art Director Stephanie Hess Director of Advertising Julian Vu Production Coordinator Jason Rone Assistant Production Coordinator Elizabeth Macks Photography Editor Ian Palmer Video Director Susan Maybach Editorial Director Kate Darling Editorial Production Rachel Goldberg Copy Editor William Finch Assistant Copy Editor Amy Roberts Correspondents Brandon McBride (W), Aaron McGaskey (SW), Juan Orellana (NE), Steve Peters (Nation), Mike Rodgers (Nation), Juan Stewart (SE) Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Eric Miller, Dov Teta Advertising Sales Coordinator Patricia O’Brien Advertising Sales Director Peter Jostens Advertising Sales Moe Kazemi, David Levi, Tom Nichols Publisher Steve Reed

oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1330 New Hampshire Avenue Suite B1 Washington D.C. 20036 Construction Leaders Today is a quarterly B2B trade journal that services the construction industry in architecture, custom build, geothermal, green building, specialty architecture, posttentioning, and new technology sectors. CLT has a readership of 100,000 C-Level executives within the energy industry. We do not accept subscription requests from the general public, however an abbreviated version is available on our website.

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Defining Ethical Business by Jane Caffrey

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aintaining business integrity is a central source of inspiration for Cheryl Gibson, who solely manages Von–Jac Development. For this female entrepreneur, the responsibility of owning a construction company not only means building custom homes and other structures that exceed client expectations, but also extends to the realm of business ethics. As a family–run company, Von–Jac Development has a long history of high ethical standards, and maintains such values today in regards to social issues, environmental consciousness, and relationships with clients. “The ability to make sure that we are looked at ethically is my best advertisement,” Gibson said. “Ethics and morals are the most important representations of our company.” Unlike many businesses, which start out small and expand, Von–Jac Development has evolved to become an intimate, family–run company over the years. Gibson’s father and a group of principals took over the original corporation, Challenge Development, in the late 1960s. Challenge Development was self–contained, with a large team of employees, and later became an aluminum developer called ALCOLA. The company shifted to become a family–run operation with the sale of ALCOLA and the foundation of Von–Jac Development in 1974. The name of the company also ties into the family history: the wives of the founders were named Ivon and Jackie, and thus, a fusion of their names became the title of the innovative new company. Cheryl Gibson began working at Von–Jac with her father and his business partner in the 1970s as well, running operations from Sacramento. Today, based out of Newcastle, California, all operations


custom home | west

Von–Jac Development focuses on integrity in the social, environmental, and professional spheres.

Summer 2010 5


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at Von–Jac Development are carried out by Cheryl Gibson and one secretary. “A lot of times companies start out little and grow big, but we’re a lot smaller now,” Gibson said. “They started out huge, and now we’re family run.” Gibson proves herself to be exceptionally qualified to handle the business, standing out as one of the only women managers within the construction industry. After a decade of serving as a member of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Superior California, Gibson was elected President of the association in 1999–2000. This was the first appointment of a female president of the BIA in more than fifty years. Gibson also currently serves as the Director of the Placer County Contractor’s Association, and is in her third year of leadership. Yet although plainly an excellent one–woman–band, Gibson also works closely with a team of outsourced subcontractors in developing her various construction projects. “These relationships are very important,” she said. “I have had some of these relationships for the last thirty years, and I feel that it is a really great team.” Such business collaborations have been a success; over the course of Von–Jac’s history, the company has completed subdivisions, commercial projects, and more than 20,000 homes. Serving Sacramento and San Francisco, and more recently returning to markets such as the Bay Area and the Tahoe region, Von–Jac has completed residential developments, large apartment complexes, shopping centers, warehouses commercial projects, and land development. “When Von–Jac first started we did subdivisions. Now we’ve done commercial, we’ve built churches, we’ve built apartments. We have built just about everything,” Gibson said. Gibson is keenly aware of the ethical importance of the projects that she undertakes, and has made an effort to affect positive social change through the complexes that Von–Jac develops. Company projects that have led to major impact on the community include a 10–floor senior housing project in Redwood, as well as a home for women escaping from domestic violence in the Bay Area. Von–Jac Development also offered key support in the construction of a California organization called Kainos, which helps developmentally disabled young adults learn to live independently. Von–Jac built a community of several small houses at the organization for these adults to call home. 6 Construction Leaders Today

WEST-CAL West-Cal Concrete, Inc. does foundations and f latwork for new residential housing tracks, custom homes, light commercial and some ADA renovations. The owners have over 40 years of experience in the concrete business. “Concrete Solutions for Concrete Foundations” is the Company’s slogan embodying a dedication to technical precision and quality control governing not only the projects undertaken, but also the technical know-how and expertise that power all the projects undertaken by West-Cal Concrete.

“Concrete Solutions for Concrete Foundations”

OUR CLIENTS’ BEST INTEREST IS OURS AS WELL. Embodying a dedication to technical precision and quality control, governing not only the projects undertaken but also the technical know-how and expertise that power all the projects by West-Cal Concrete 916.488.1800 tel | 916.974.0181 fax 4868 Pasadena Avenue Sacramento, CA 95841


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“We’ve done lots of building projects throughout the years that we can be proud of, but these stand out even more,” Gibson said. Recently, Von–Jac Development has broken ground in the custom home market by forming a partnership with Mike Stewart of Classic Homes. The two companies created a hybrid business called Legend Homes, which specializes in custom housing in California. Ethical consciousness is reflected in these tailored buildings as well, through sound devotion to sustainable building. As a certified green building professional, Gibson uses Energy Star products in her projects. Legend Homes houses include green products such as bamboo floors, recycled countertops, slay–based insulation, and solar panel roofing that reflects heat. “I’m really into solar and green building,” Gibson said. “Energy conservation is very important.” While the values of a family–run company, social consciousness, and environmental awareness are all evident at Von–Jac Development, high ethical standards additionally extend to simple business relationships with clients. Endeavoring to create strong working relationships, Gibson hopes to fulfill the unique dreams and visions of each individual customer. “My clients are very important to me. I want to walk away from projects and still be friends with clients,” she said. “I never want to compromise our integrity. I always want to be proud of what I do.” Successful in this goal as well, Von–Jac Development continues to set itself apart not only for exceptional projects, but for ethical responsibility within the construction industry. CLT Summer 2010 7


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