The following is a recent conversation with McCaffrey Homes Vice President of Construction Ash Knowlton, who recently celebrated 15 years with the company.
How did you get into the homebuilding business?
I have always been intrigued by real estate. My grandmother was a longtime realtor in the Central Valley, and I remember stuffing envelopes for her when I was young. I learned the homebuilding business from foundation to cabinets to finishes.
What is your role at McCaffrey Homes?
I oversee all construction operation for McCaffrey Homes. I am proud to be part of the third-generation leadership team and particularly proud to be part of a family business. My wife’s parents are Karen and Bob McCaffrey who founded McCaffrey Homes.
What is your educational background?
I played basketball for Portland State University before returning to the Central Valley to finish up a degree in Business Entrepreneurship at Fresno State University. Innovation and vision are two important tenets of entrepreneurship, and I am grateful to work with McCaffrey Homes that regard these two things are central to the success of the business.
How is it working in a family business?
First, I really enjoyed working with my wife, Lauren, who led the marketing efforts at McCaffrey Homes. While she has turned her attention fulltime to our children, I do look forward to her return to the office one day. Bob and Karen set a strong example for my children – their grandchildren – about the importance of hard work. On any given weekend, Bob and Karen will be at the office. Since we live close, my daughters will ride their bikes to the office and knock on their grandfather’s window. Bob will let them in through the window. This business is truly a family affair, and I am grateful for that.
What is your personal hope for your children?
No matter what path they choose, I want them to understand the importance of a strong work ethic. I want them to have confidence in themselves to try new things and grow. I guess you could say that’s the entrepreneur in me.
What do you regard as your biggest accomplishment?
I would say my role in the design and construction of the Ranch House – Tesoro Viejo’s resort-style clubhouse and recreation center. From the ambitious construction timeline to the scale of the project, the Ranch House really was a once in a lifetime kind of project. With nearly 12,000 square-feet of indoor and outdoor space, this was an exciting project to create spaces for families and neighbors to enjoy. Families can enjoy “The Hangout” with pool tables, a fireplace, and watch football on the big screen televisions, while another group can hold a small private gathering in the “Garden Bar.” It was gratifying to see this vision of having several groups of people enjoy different areas all at the same time come alive. The outdoor fireplaces and seating areas – along with the event lawn for star-gazing and movie nights – really creates that resort feel. I am proud to be a part of this special project that received national recognition when it was awarded the Silver Award by the National Association of Home Builders and a Gold Nugget Award of Merit this year. The Ranch House is unmatched in the Valley.
What about your job do you enjoy the most?
One of the best parts of my job is seeing the smile on the faces of new homeowners as they walk through their home for the first time. A home is one of the largest assets people can buy, and I take my role seriously in building a quality home that protects their investment. Each one is special. This is not just their home; it is their safe, healthy space that is a sanctuary for their family.
Ash at the Ranch House Clubhouse at Tesoro Viejo
Ash speaking with reporters at the Tesoro Viejo Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ash and Brent McCaffrey fishing at Beavers Pond.