Rhonda McDonald owns and operates CreekStone Homes, the largest female-owned home-building company in Colorado.
She started the business about 10 years ago and is one of only a handful of women who own home-building companies in the state.
CreekStone has grown to build 100 homes a year worth about $300,000 each, and along with her business, McDonald’s reputation as an authority in the industry has grown.
She has been selected to serve as the 2006 president of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs – one of only two women to hold the title.
McDonald took time recently to tell CSBJ about herself and her business.
Name: Rhonda J. McDonald
Organization: CreekStone Homes Inc.
Hometown: Sunfield, Mich.
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Since 1983. Doesn’t that just about make me a native?
Education: College coursework in business law along with indispensable life experience – 26 years in the building business.
A few words about your company: CreekStone Homes provides single-family homes in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. We offer a diverse selection of product that caters to families and empty nesters as well as single “up and coming” entrepreneurs.
We are one of only a few female-owned building companies in the nation and one of the largest in the state of Colorado.
Ten years ago we started with less than a handful of employees. We built in only one neighborhood and closed less than 20 homes — the average sales price was around $150,000. Our company has grown to more than 30 employees and we’re excited to be closing nearly 100 homes in six communities – the average selling price is over $300,000.
Recent accomplishments: We recently completed construction on The CreekStone Building to house our staff. I am looking forward to serving as the 2006 president of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs. I also act as an alternate director for the National Association of Home Builders.
Biggest career break: After many years of working for other builders, I had the opportunity to open CreekStone Homes and was terrified – sure that I would fail. My husband, Tom, never wavered in his support and was sure that this was something I should and could do. Ten years later it is safe to say that without him, there would be no CreekStone Homes.
The toughest part of your job: The increasing demand on my time as the company grows is what I find most difficult. It is my preference to deal with each facet of the business and the staff that handles the task personally. With increased time demands, it is almost impossible to do this. We all know how hard it is to get a tiger to change its stripes.
Someone you admire: Goldie Hawn. She’s a very centered, spiritual person, who values family above all and is still extremely successful. She capitalized on her talents and built her career from the ground up.
About your family: I am married to a wonderful man who supports everything I do. I have one son and three step sons. Our son Jason, his wife Daria, and our 2-year-old granddaughter recently moved to Colorado Springs, which is very exciting for us. Jason has accepted a position with our company as the onsite sales manager for University Oaks, one of CreekStone’s newest communities.
Family is one of the most important areas of my life. I grew up with six girls in my family, plus my parents. We led an exciting, if unconventional, childhood. We have all remained very close and I spend as much free time as I can with them.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: I used to say I wanted to be the mayor of Colorado Springs, but let’s see if I make it through being the president of HBA before I jump in with both feet. On a personal level, I want to spend more time traveling around the world with my husband and our children.
How your business will change in the next decade: The exciting part of any business is that it will change. We would love to open our own design center to provide the level of individual customer service to our customers they have come to expect from CreekStone Homes.
The home-building business is an ever-evolving industry and any changes CreekStone will make over the next 10 years will depend on market indicators as well as what new home buyers want. We are constantly searching for new ways to expand our operations and our product to better meet the needs of the changing demands of our customers.
What book are you currently reading? I have read “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” a lot lately. It is my granddaughter’s favorite book right now.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? I would like there to be a more effective way to educate our citizens about the needs of the Colorado Springs community. I would like to see better support by the voters for our area school districts and better support for the Economic Development Corp. in its efforts to secure new jobs for our community. The residents of Colorado Springs are our community and will be the ones to ensure future generations the high quality of life that we now enjoy.