Reid Inaugurated as President Of WestTNHBA Board

By Kate Simone

James Reid

James Reid, president of Memphis-based homebuilder Reid Homes Inc., has been inaugurated as board president of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association. Reid previously served as the 2016 vice president of the WestTNHBA executive committee and chairman of the 2016 VESTA Home Show.

Hometown: Memphis

Experience: I graduated from Christian Brothers University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. 
I started working odd jobs in construction during the summers of my high school years. I worked with cleanup, landscaping and painting crews each summer. When I finished high school, I wanted to remain in the housing business and decided to become an architect. However, low math scores caused me to switch majors to business administration. After taking a fundamentals of real estate course, I took the state licensing exam and after graduation was hired by a local firm, John R. Thompson Co. I sold real estate for three years.
Then in 1983, I began working for Reid Homes. My first project was a home addition in East Memphis, followed by new homes in Cordova. About 16 years ago, I moved into the office, handling the permitting, budgeting, pricing and contract negotiations. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? I would say my dad had the greatest influence on me. He started out pumping gas at Sears before landing a job at DuPont and then gave homebuilding a try. He taught me to always try to better yourself, take care of your family and treat people with respect.

What are your goals for the West Tennessee Home Builders Association? My goal is to continue to make the West Tennessee Home Builders Association stronger both in numbers and also by our presence in the industry as we advance homeownership in West Tennessee. Equally important is addressing the labor shortage our industry is facing. 

What’s the outlook for Shelby County/West Tennessee real estate in 2017? I believe we will continue our slow climb back to more normal levels of starts and sales. On the positive side, the incoming administration has indicated his willingness to look at excessive regulations strangling the market. But on the negative side, we will see higher interest rates and probably higher material and labor costs. Housing starts are still lower than normal, so there is still some pent-up demand. Overall, I see continued improvement, but affordability is a concern.

WestTNHBA executive director Don Glays says the association plans to focus on addressing ongoing labor shortage issues in 2017. What caused the shortage, and how do you plan on addressing it? We, as an industry, need to let young people know that the construction industry can be very rewarding for skilled tradespeople and they won’t have to be burdened with mountains of college debt to learn the skills they need. Of course, the shortage was made worse during the Great Recession when so many people left for lack of work. WestTNHBA can work with schools and city governments to make sure we have a place at the table with their programs such as Memphis Employ and the workforce development aspects of the Memphis 3.0 initiative.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Steering my company through the recession, when sales fell 90 percent, was my greatest accomplishment to date. 

What do you most enjoy about your work? I like that the product we provide typically has about a 100-year life span. People will be living in and enjoying homes that I built long after I’m gone. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Be prepared for unforeseen circumstances and obstacles; be flexible enough to change paths if new opportunities arise.

Anthony Norris

Anthony Norris, senior vice president, Information Technology, FedEx Services, has been named a 2017 Premier 100 Technology Leaders honoree by IDG’s Computerworld. The Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges. Norris was recognized for his leadership and collaboration with internal business partners throughout FedEx’s Digital Transformation initiative.

Lisa Geater

Leslie Lynn Smith

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has added two new members to its 2016-2017 board of directors: Lisa Geater, chief of staff for the city of Memphis, and Leslie Lynn Smith, president of EPIcenter. Both Geater and Smith will serve on the Education, Research and Advocacy, and Grants and Programs Committees.  

Jonathan Davis has joined the Memphis office of Cordell & Cordell law firm as an associate attorney. Cordell & Cordell, the nation’s largest domestic litigation firm focusing on representing men in family law cases, has more than 200 attorneys working in more than 100 offices across the United States.

Danielle Dudding Irvine has joined the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. Irvine, who earned her law degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 2016, is part of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group, which represents clients in business disputes and breach of contract disputes.