Jim Walter Homes 2006 rank:39

1986 rank:9

During his 20 years with Jim Walter Homes, Lane Caves has observed the builder's ups and downs, including a leveraged buyout, a bankruptcy reorganization, and several acquisitions. Jim Walter Homes' calling card has been on-your-lot construction, although recently it has diversified into land development, something that Caves, president of its Jackson, Miss.–based South-Central division, wants to see more of.

Caves was building homes in Baton Rouge, La., with his father, Ulysses, when Jim Walter Homes hired him in 1986 as a branch manager in Tyler, Texas. That led to a seven-year hitch in Tulsa, Okla., and then, in 1994, a move to Jackson, Miss., where, as senior branch manager, he helped Jackson keep its ranking as the builder's top-producing division for the next five years.

After a three-year detour into regional sales, Caves assumed his current post in 2004. South-Central has 14 on-your-lot locations in Mississippi and Louisiana and a subdivision in Houma, La., called Patriot Point, that will close 40 homes in 2006. Caves wants to eventually play a bigger role in developing land in other markets.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Baton Rouge, LA.