Houston's Award Winning, Home Remodeling, New Construction & Client Services Company.
An Interview with the FounderNot your average company, not your average owner...
As soon as you meet Will, you get the impression he is not your average Builder / Home Remodeler.
It's more than his positive attitude and gentleman like politeness - "have I called you at a good time" or the way he quietly listens to your needs and creates numerous possibilities.
If you ask his secret to success, Will says "I am just a steward of Gods things and his people. Everything I have, success, clients and friends do not belong to me, they all belong to God. I do my best every day as thanks for the gifts I have been given."
Indeed Will is a different breed. He was an Aerospace Ground Support and Aircraft Mechanic with the US Air Force, Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, worked as a Engineer for Bernard Controls/Bettis, he was a Product Support Manager at The Friedkin Companies and a District Rep for Gulf States Toyota. He has flown planes in the United Kingdom, piloted yachts across oceans and currently charters sailboats out of Kemah. He is also an avid motorcycle rider, cyclist and an Ironman. Not what you would expect from someone who makes his living remodeling homes.
With such a progressive and distinguished career, one asks why did you open a construction company?
"My life became one of constant travel being sent to wherever I was needed. On an average week, I would fly out on Monday and return Friday. I was often away from home for more than 14 days at a time. Since my friends and family are very important to me, my wife and I decided we needed some balance. We hoped to one day have a family and decided that the constant traveling I did in the corporate world just wasn't going "to work for us."
Do you remember how you started?
"Yes. In 1998 we started remodeling homes and by 2002, with the construction of two townhomes a few blocks from Memorial Park, Divine Destinations Inc. was born. We sold one of the townhomes to the VP of Marketing for BMW North America. I'll never forget how at closing he found out I was a District Rep for Toyota and said, "I can't believe I bought a house from a Toyota Guy." It was one of those smile and don't know how to respond moments."
Do you ever miss working for a large corporation?
The benefits were lavish and we joked of living the life of a Rock Star. My most memorable moment was when Connie (my wife) and I attended a private Phil Collins Concert in LA with probably less than 100 people there. Sadly though, I was often living out of a suitcase and eating at fancy restaurants alone or with people I scarcely knew.
How did you grow your business?
"First and foremost through blessings. Secondly, by doing the best job I can each and every day. Our motto is "under promise and over deliver". When things go wrong, apologize for the inconvenience, don't make excuses and do whatever it takes to make it right. With this philosophy, and by being blessed with the right people, Divine Renovation has grown one referral at a time. Not to mention that I truly enjoy meeting with our clients and have a real knack for helping them achieve their dreams within their budget."
Will does have a knack for this business. As I conduct this interview (October 2011), Will's company continues to succeed in the worst economy since the mid 80s. Divine Destinations Inc. aka Divine Renovations is A rated with the BBB and Angies List. The company has been featured on the radio, in Qualified Remodeler Magazine (Kitchen Trends) and most notably won a Master Design Award.
Your wife Connie says you are a second generation builder following in your grandfathers (Ned A. Cole, Architect) footsteps.
"That's nice of her to say; however, I'm not even close to filling those shoes. My grandfather built several houses in Houston (Oak Forest), Austin (Twin Oaks), Dallas, Kansas and in other states. Some houses like Twin Oaks are considered Mid Century Modern Homes and are prized by collectors. They follow a Frank Lloyd Wright style and are unique. In my grandfathers time, he was considered an "architectural innovator" and a "new technology driver". He built one of the first 21 air conditioned houses in The United States as part of a government study. The products and methods he developed changed the way architects design houses today. He was a state planner, assisted developing countries and much, much "more".
Do any of your clients own one of your grandfathers homes?
"Yes, we've remodeled a few. Just recently I was in a house in Oak Forest that contained a full set of my grandfathers (Signature, Mid Century Modern) Fabricon cabinets. When I asked her where she got them from, with great pride she replied, "those are Fabricon cabinets. I had to special order them". Now that Mid Century Modern Houses are once again becoming very trendy, we may build a few using my grandfathers (updated) plans."
Why are you changing your company name from Divine Destinations Inc. to Divine Renovation?
"It's not really a name change. Divine Destinations Inc. will remain the parent company. It is more of shift in our branding to fully explain our services and to prevent confusion about who we are and what we do."
Divine Renovation: www.DivineRenovation.com
Divine Renovation: "We are Divine Destinations Inc a construction and client services company with a BBB A rating and etc. There is also a travel company named Divine Destinations (DBA). They are not members of the BBB. The rebranding to Divine Renovation will prevent this confusion in the future".
Back Office Executives:www.BackOfficeExecutives.com
"Some of our client services are not related to the construction and remodeling industry. The rebranding and assigning these services to Back Office Executives will additionally prevent confusion".
Will, his wife Connie and their son Daniel enjoy spending time entertaining family and friends in their inner loop home in Houston.
Information for references related to Ned A. Cole (Will's grandfather) can be found at:
Air Conditioned Houses: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/3/austinac.php
Mid Century Homes: http://www.modernaustin.com/twin-oaks/
Homes in Dallas Life Magazine January 1953