A wise man once said, “Leadership is an action, not a position.” And action is a pretty good word to describe Phoenix Construction President and C.E.O. Andrew Peeples — all one needs to do is see him in action in any business meeting.
Andrew came to Phoenix in 2018 with impressive credentials. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, Andrew says the fire was lit in college.
“I’d say I was your typical college kid, focused on the experience and not necessarily the grades,” he said. “With that said, funding a party lifestyle with no allowance became extremely difficult to do — I had to figure out a way to make money so I could keep up and that’s where I noticed an opportunity that would eventually set me on my career path.”
Every year in college, some of Andrew’s friends would move into a new apartment or house. He discovered that apartment communities and landlords were willing to pay real estate brokers a commission if they were involved in the lease process. So he put together a business plan and pitched the idea to his parents who were willing to give him a loan for the online classes in order to obtain a license.
“After spending my sophomore spring break at home while my friends were in Jamaica, I finally became a licensed salesperson and the rest was history,” he said. “Not only did I finally have some walk-around money, I also fell in love with the real estate business.”
Andrew continued with apartment location throughout the rest of his college career and knew he wanted to get more on the commercial side upon graduation. When Andrew moved back to Houston, he did just that.
“I had positions as a leasing agent, a property manager, and eventually moved on to become a capital markets broker handling investment sales and financing structures for commercial real estate all across the country,” he said. “It was in the latter role that I was first introduced to a shade tree development/construction company called Phoenix Construction.”
Andrew says Phoenix quickly became his top client as his business strategy became focused on energy-driven markets.
“Kaleb and I had done dozens of projects before grander conversations of the future began to take shape,” Andrew said. “We realized, through many ups and downs in all of our transactions together, that we were very similar in how we handled business and dealt with problems: No matter what, just get it done.”
He continued, “When our vision for the future started coming into play, we both knew something bigger was forming between us. After multiple hour-long conversations about the future of Phoenix, Kaleb asked me join forces with him and become his C.E.O. and President.”
Phoenix Construction founder, Kaleb Brewer, said he saw greatness right away.
“I knew what we were getting when we hired Andrew,” Kaleb said. “He is a deal guy with acumen that is second to none. This is only triumphed by his big heart and love for this company. There is no one that I would trust more to run the company that I founded than Andrew. We at Phoenix are so lucky to have him on our side and our future is bright with him at the helm.”
Andrew says being CEO and President is the biggest honor ever bestowed upon him, for now at least.
“I’m getting married in October, so that may change, but to date it is what I am most proud of,” he said. “It’s not for the sake of title, but for the trust and faith that was placed in me to take on this role.”
“What’s interesting is how my perspective of success has changed. In brokerage, success is measured by revenue and how many transactions you close, purely monetary,” he said. “Don’t mistake what I’m trying to say here, monetary success is still important and a goal we strive for at Phoenix. However, now it’s a byproduct of a larger mission, something that is rewarded to us by deriving all of our successes and failures from one Divine Source. When we focus on the big picture, all the other pieces of the puzzle we call life begin to fall into place.”
Since being at Phoenix Construction, Andrew has primarily focused mostly on enhancing the employee experience and empowering everyone to learn and grow.
“I’m not perfect by any means and have made mistakes along the way — been too quick to react sometimes, not quick enough in other situations. It wasn’t the first mistake I’ve made and certainly won’t be the last,” he said. “In every instance, I’ve always felt the support from my Phoenix family. Whether you know it or not, each of you has in some way picked me up when I was down, forgave me when I was wrong or made me proud by being awesome at what you do.”
“There is nothing more rewarding than being supported and that’s my vow to everyone at Phoenix — to always have your back, to always try and treat everyone fairly and equal and to always fight for this company and everything it stands for,” he said. “If we all do that, there is no doubt we will all be successful!”
The wise man who said “leadership is an action, not a position,” probably knew Andrew Peeples.
Dave Cowley is the Senior VP of Investor/Public Relations at Phoenix Construction.