Forty Under 40

Blake Fletcher


Written By: Business Magazine

1. Name:

Blake Fletcher
2. Birthdate:
July 29th, 1982
3. Where were you born?
AGH Hospital, Gainesville Florida
4. What are your community activities? (church or faith-based involvement, local, regional and national professional organizations, non-profits, etc)
President-Newberry-Jonesville Chamber of Commerce
Alarion Bank Advisory Board
Twice appointed Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organizations citizen advisory committee
Previously: PALS Board Member
Planning team: Alzheimer’s Association Twilight Round Golf Tournament
Graduate Leadership Gainesville: LG 35 GO RED!!
Graduate Businesses Community Coalition Public Leadership Institute
Treasurer Alachua County Republican Committee of 100
Alachua County Republican Executive Committee
5. What is your definition of success?

Making life better for my family, friends, & associates as well as everyone else. Success means helping others achieve and exceed their own goals.
6. What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
I can’t think of one single greatest professional accomplishment. However, bringing together and turning around two struggling subdivisions, an underperforming commercial portfolio, and learning how to expand my skills to include resurrecting a building company that had not been active since 1996 has been my most challenging project. So in just under 3 years, I have assembled the most talented and motivated team which enabled me to turn around a subdivision that had zero lot sales in 2010 (took over November 2010) to selling three lots in 2011, 4 lots in 2012 and am on schedule to double 2012 totals in 2013. After getting one subdivision moving again we focused on the other, with similar results zero sales in 2010, we implement a team approach towards the middle of 2011 resulting in 1 lot sale toward the end of 2011 but the ground work we started in 2011 really came through in 2012 with 6 sales and even more in 2013 with 9 lot sales and several more in the coming months of 2013. Through all these challenges we found an opportunity to resurrect our building company and are on pace to build close to 15 homes in 2013, which may not seem like a lot but this company wasn’t even on the chalk board in August of last year (2012). Our family commercial property is now 100% rented and performing at market levels with opportunity for expansion in the near future. Long difficult journey but we achieved our goals and have moved forward creating even greater opportunities for the future.
7. How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional?
I see an opportunity, seize the moment- I want to live, teach, and give back. I enjoy working with others and helping them know success.
8. Businessperson who has most inspired you:
While there are lots of people who have influenced me over the years my dad is who inspires me. Having come from a family who went broke in the depression, working on a farm growing up, never graduating college and yet he’s one of the smartest people I know. He also gave me the single greatest lesson of my life a short time after returning home from college, to quote him, “either add value to my company or go work for someone else. Nothing is ever given, it must be earned and if you think you’re going to come home and just have an easy job because it’s my company you are wrong.”
9. Best advise ever received:

Treat people how you want to be treated, the same people you see on the way up are the same people you’re going to see on the way down.
10. Greatest professional challenge:

Coming home after college during the 2nd worst recession in our country’s history. Our family businesses are by and large subdivisions development, construction, and commercial real estate. Had a whole lot to learn in a very short period of time.
11. First job:

Construction
12. What color crayon would you be? Why?

Green, in my childhood it was my favorite color more recently I think green represents GO! Full steam ahead and never slowing down. I find myself always thinking of new exciting opportunities and ways to get involved in the community.
13. Favorite after-work drink:

Crown and Coke
14. If I had a magic wand, I’d:

Make a better, safer, more caring world for our children. No child would ever go hungry or be without a home and the basic necessities to live.
15. What is your favorite Gadget?

IPAD mini
16. How long have you been in Gainesville?

Born here in 1982, went away for school and summer internships. Returned after receiving my degree in 2005.
17. What do you love most about Gainesville/Alachua County?
The challenges it brings to being a small business owner.
18. Three things people would be surprised to know about you:
1. I used to be extremely shy
2. I love to read
3. I am a home body
19. Advice you would give a younger you:
Grow-up, the world doesn’t care how special you think you are.

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