The Jacksonville Business Journal has released its list of 2021 Ultimate CEO Honorees. This year, that Ultimate CEO award is being bestowed on 15 individuals who have led their companies to success despite the challenges they have confronted. Selected by the Business Journal with the input of local business leaders, these honorees stand as an example of leadership in the Jacksonville area.
“It’s an honor to be named among the impressive list of Ultimate CEO honorees by the Jacksonville Business Journal,” says James Gray, CEO and co-founder at FaverGray.
What have been your biggest accomplishments over the course of your career?
Co-founding FaverGray with our president, Keith Faver. Since its founding, FaverGray has completed every project on time and within budget. We provide innovative multifamily, student housing, and senior living experience, having built over 100 projects in 15 states and 61 cities throughout the Southeast and other areas of the United States.
What have been your biggest accomplishments over the past three years?
The Flamingo Crossings Village project. The Flamingo Crossings project is located on two parcels of land situated East and West of Flamingo Crossings Boulevard near Orlando, Florida. The student housing project consists of 3.83 million square feet across approximately 120-acres of land. For the East Parcel, the project consists of 20 four-story residential buildings in eight building types containing 1,323 units.
The East Parcel design includes three exterior/roof design concepts that are to provide variety and interest in distinct residential neighborhoods. The East Parcel buildings are comprised of 12 unique unit types containing 5,284-bed accommodations.
In conjunction with 20 residential buildings, the East Parcel also includes one 25,000 square foot Education Building in non-combustible Type II construction and one 27,000 square foot Community Center in non-combustible Type II construction. Other structures on the East Parcel include one Maintenance and several ancillary amenity buildings. The East Parcel contains approximately 2,610 surface parking spaces and encompasses approximately 1,963,409 square feet in total.
For the West Parcel, the project consists of 21 four-story residential buildings in two building types containing 1,291 units. The West Parcel design includes three exterior/roof design concepts that are to provide variety and interest in distinct residential neighborhoods. The West Parcel buildings are comprised of 12 unique unit types containing 5,156-bed accommodations. In conjunction with 21 residential buildings, the West Parcel also includes one 27,000 square foot Community Center in non-combustible Type II construction.
Other structures on the West Parcel include one maintenance and several ancillary amenity buildings. The West Parcel contains approximately 2,618 surface parking spaces and encompasses approximately 1,866,122 square feet.
What’s been the biggest lesson about leadership you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Successful leadership begins with nurturing relationships and creating an environment where our employees can thrive. When we started FaverGray, we had the vision to build better than ever before. Since day one, we have been committed to serving our clients and building a legacy as the leading general contractor in our core markets. We are proud to say that 90% of our volume is with repeat clients. That only goes to show that we develop and maintain strong relationships with our employees, clients, various architect teams, engineers and subcontractors across the board.
How do you shape the culture of your organization?
Company culture starts with hiring the right people. Within our company, we have a group of people with very diverse backgrounds. We all are able to use the strengths of others’ backgrounds to improve on our own strengths and weaknesses. With half of our employees working in the field across various states, we have always needed to be able to keep our employees engaged with each other. We have had company events for everyone within the company invited to participate. The company will set up an event and bring employees to a particular location to ensure everyone can participate and mingle as a group. We try to include those remote employees at least 3-4 times each year. We usually have a very large event around the holidays that brings the entire company together. We have a company newsletter that is distributed monthly to all employees by email.
How has your organization responded to the challenges and opportunities presented by the past year?
As the market continues to regain normalcy, FaverGray intends to closely monitor and track critical materials and equipment essential to maintain uninterrupted workflow at its projects and will continue to pre-purchase a significant amount of materials and equipment to ensure projects progress with minimal disruptions or delays.
FaverGray will continue to invest in its employees to provide best-in-class customer service, superior products and certainty of outcome.
What is your vision for the future of your organization?
FaverGray will continue to invest in its employees to provide best-in-class customer service, superior products and certainty of outcome. FaverGray will continue to expand our reach in the multi-family, student housing and senior living markets. FaverGray has expanded its markets/services with a dedicated Senior Living Division and launched a new company, FaverGray Homes, a luxury residential general contracting company.
In what ways have you helped shape or give back to the community, through things like volunteering and board affiliations?
FaverGray not only cares about our employees, but we care about building the future of our communities. FaverGray aims to build relationships with our local communities and engage diverse businesses to join our team in the process of improving the lives of others. We partner with charitable, community-centered organizations across the country to support their efforts for a cause. From our annual Artscapade with Patrons of the Hearts, to the Hope Town Rising Bahamas Relief, we donate our talent and time while we strive to make a difference.
Patrons of the Hearts is a charity that holds a special place in Jim and Keith’s hearts. The Patrons of the Hearts Foundation brings children from developing countries, who are suffering from complex congenital heart problems to Wolfson Children’s Hospital for medical treatment.
James has been passionately involved in the foundation since 2005 and has grown it into a sustainable charity endowment.
Thanks to the collaboration with Wolfson Children’s Hospital and UF Health Pediatric Cardiovascular Center in Jacksonville, each $5,000 donation sponsors a surgery and can save the life of a child born with congenital heart disease who has doesn’t have access to specialized care in their home country. The first sponsored child came to Jacksonville in the spring of 2006 and since then over 126 children from 25 different countries have received state-of-the-art care.
Hope Town Rising is an organization we launched in 2019 after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas and left behind a path of destruction. Dorian made landfall on Hope Town, Elbow Cay as a Category 5 hurricane, ushering in a 20-foot storm surge and packing winds in excess of 200 mph, making it the most devastating natural disaster the island has ever experienced.
James Gray and FaverGray president, Keith Faver share more than 30 years of cherished memories with the heart and soul of the island – the people. They feel a personal responsibility to support the Hope Town Community because they are family. Our mission is to help the people of Hope Town to rise again by providing the resources and expertise needed to assist the community in recovery and rebuilding.
Our achievements and ongoing initiatives include:
- Air transportation with 8,000 pounds of medical supplies, doctors, nurses, & EMT personnel
- Establishing the Hope Town Medical Clinic
- Generators, building and roofing supplies
- Materials and support for Abaco Inn as an initial relief center
- Financial support, housing, and donated goods
- Assessment and documentation of Elbow Cay structures
- Site and architectural work for rebuilding the Teachers Cottage and School
- And a fundraising documentary