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Meet the BFL Team JoAnne Klemmer, Controller JoAnne Klemmer, controller for BFL Construction, was business manager at a nonprofit osteopathic foundation before she came to Garry Brav’s company with a degree in accounting from California State University, Fullerton. Klemmer and her staff produce financial statements, depreciation schedules, audit preparation and many other reports for Brav and his more than 30 business entities. “It is not a boiler-plate type operation,” she said. As Brav takes on business partners for various endeavors, “we work with his partners and their desires and needs.” On Alta Vista Communities, one of the entities building the AVILLA luxury rental home brand, she prepared numerous financial reports before and after properties were built out, including those required as construction was completed. “The variety makes it more interesting. It’s enjoyable to put together the entire account from start to finish.” Klemmer said her work requires creativity and “that satisfies that part of me.” As Brav began to form new sister companies, Klemmer said she asked him to stop after the sixth. “Did he listen to me? No,” she said. Brav has been a “great mentor to me about the business world. He’s certainly sponsored a team effort” among the staff. Brav is known for his longstanding open-door policy. Anyone can talk with the boss. Logistically, when working with so many entities, it is important “to strive for as much perfection as we can get,” Klemmer said. That requires utilizing new systems and adapting others to BFL’s changing needs. Her staff must provide calculations across all entities – determining soft costs, for instance, to give more control over the execution of development of the various properties. Klemmer said Lourdes Skyes, the company’s chief information officer, has been “very clever in modifying the various tools that can accommodate any of the entities. We feel confident we can present our financials to any owner,” she said. “It goes to our credibility, in the end.” Accounting is the hub of the company, she said, providing data to contractors, estimators, production supervisors and the owners. She has enjoyed seeing the company grow over the 15 years she’s been with BFL. “It’s great to see all these buildings completed.”


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Winter 2014

continued from page 170 and BMW motorcycles. Just a few years ago that they took their dirt bikes, BMW F 650 GSs, 2,300 miles down Baja and back. They also have BMW R 1200 GSs and continue to ride both bikes when they can. Fourth Avenue Beer & Burgers Back in Tucson and with a $5,000 loan from a college girlfriend’s father and a partner, he opened a bar-restaurant on Fourth Avenue in a small storefront and sold quality hamburgers and 10 kegs of beer a day, seven days a week, for 18 months. One of his selling points – the beer was a reliable 34 degrees. Today the site is the bar IBT. Brav found he was a good manager, but didn’t like the bar business. He sold it for $60,000. He bought the building for $50,000 after opening the bar – and sold it for $75,000. What next? “There weren’t too many choices in 1973 – Hughes Tools, the Post Office, the UA, Circle K or sell real estate,” Brav said. Rather than sell real estate, he decided to build it. He bought a lot on Wilshire Drive near Broadway and Craycroft for $7,000 and with a $35,000 loan from Southern Arizona Bank and a partner, built a house – then sat on it for a year when it didn’t sell. He got $47,000 for it when it did. From Homes to High Rises Brav built custom homes through the ’70s and - ahead of his time - introduced solar-powered homes to Tucson with solar power technology from Israel and Popular Mechanics magazine. People were curious to see the homes, he said, but he only sold four. Lesson learned? “Pioneering doesn’t always pay off.” He moved on to tenant improvements in high rises – the Home Federal Tower – after knocking on doors there for over a year looking for work. He knew he wanted longer lasting relationships with clients - built on performance. That would help him expand his portfolio. “We put in a door for $147. It was a two-day job. Then they hired us to continued on page 174 >>>

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