I’m not sure if most millennials would recognize the name John Wayne, but for those of us who grew up as baby boomers, he was the ultimate “man’s man.” A real (on screen) hero!
Tall in the saddle, he didn’t say much, but when he did…people listened. In the movies, whether he was a commander on the battlefield, the sheriff of a wild west town, or a Manhattan business tycoon, he led with integrity and by example, earning the respect of those around him.
Much the same can be said of Phoenix Construction Chief Operating Officer, Kent Johnson. Kent came to Phoenix in June of 2017, with offers to join the company from Founder/Chairman Kaleb Brewer coming much earlier.
“I first met Kaleb at his home in the fall of 2008, at a party with my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) Quilene,” Kent said. “Over the years, Kaleb and I crossed paths and the conversation always came around to construction.
In early 2016, Kaleb offered Kent a job with his new company, Phoenix Construction.
“I turned him down, because as a single father, I felt it was more important to finish raising my daughter who at the time, had just started her junior year in high school,” Kent said.
Brewer was tenacious, making offers again in late 2016 and early 2017.
“In May of 2017, about two weeks before my daughter Kaitlyn was to graduate, I received a text from Kaleb saying, ‘I am offering you a job with Phoenix Construction, feel free to turn me down – Kaleb,’” Kent said. “I called him immediately, traveled to Fredericksburg, and accepted the position.”
Kaleb said Kent consistently raises the bar for the quality of construction that Phoenix Construction produces.
“He is man of few words and his actions and performance certainly do the talking,” Kaleb said. “His meticulous nature is perfect for his position and his performance on the job is only surpassed by his big heart, honesty, and loyalty to this company. I can’t imagine anyone but Kent as our COO.”
In October of 2018, Kent married his sweetheart of 12 years, Quilene. Together, they have four children and two grandchildren. Anyone who spends any time at all with Kent can see his passion for Phoenix Construction.
“It’s my belief, that if Phoenix fails, I fail — I will do everything in my power to help this company become the biggest and best construction company in Texas,” Kent said. “Watching Phoenix grow and seeing the team we have built has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my professional career!”
I tend to believe that somewhere, John Wayne is looking down and smiling.
Dave Cowley is the Senior VP of Investor/Public Relations at Phoenix Construction.