Tom Eggleston, 54, may be new to home building as the CEO of C.P. Morgan, but that is not stopping him from leading a run-and-gun offensive strategy. Since assuming the top job at the Indianapolis?based builder in June 2006, Eggleston has worked to expand the C.P. Morgan's presence from Indiana and Charlotte, N.C., to new areas of the state and beyond. Eggleston crossed over from the consumer market arena, where he served as chairman and CEO for Source Global OnDemand, a high-tech textile and apparel-sourcing firm in Miami. Earlier, he was COO and chairman for the Amway Corp. and was CEO for Amway Asia Pacific. At 6'5", he's a natural basketball player and played hoops at Dartmouth College as an undergraduate. He and his wife, Kathy, a pediatrician, have four children. Eggleston spoke with senior editor Judi Hasson in February.
BB: Welcome to home building. Though you are new to the industry, I understand you've found synergies between the experience you've garnered in other industries and this one?
Coming to C.P. Morgan, I brought a keen focus on how we can communicate online and deliver product information and community details so people are well informed even before they visit one of our communities.
BB: How does C.P. Morgan set itself apart?
TE: The real story is the efficiency of how we operate. It's a lean production model that has a very low tolerance for waste and materials purchased, less than 2 percent variance. Plus, there is a highly structured schedule for the trade partners. In exchange, they are paid every Friday and they become part of our family.
BB: You obviously see opportunity in this downturn given your expansion plans in North Carolina's Triad.
TE: We are expanding into the Triad, which is the local name for Winston Salem, Greensboro, and High Point. The economic development teams recruited us there to provide a solution to one glaring deficiency, which is workforce housing. A number of companies that have been recruited into the area across multiple industries. Advanced Logistics ... Dell is now there. We started our first foundations in February and presales [begin] in May ... Most of those sales will occur in the second half of the year. Between the owned land and the negotiated options, it's about 1,000 lots together.
BB: What about other new markets?
TE: We are quite bullish about our ability to grow through this market. Our intention would be to open other markets. We like the Southeast, but we haven't reached the point of selecting other cities yet.
BB: True to the Hoosier stereotype, I hear you have an affinity for basketball?
TE: I played hoops at Dartmouth College as an undergraduate. Now, I play in a league on Thursday nights through December. I really should retire.
BB: But you have passed on a love of the sport to your kids?
TE: Yes, Jack, who is 6'8'', is expected to play basketball next year as a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. And, Tommy, who is 6'4", plays high school basketball. We have four teenage children, [ages] 20, 18, 16, and 14–three boys and a daughter, Annie. My oldest son, Jimmy, is more of a fan than a player. Annie is a ballet dancer and plays varsity golf.
BB: Any other hobbies?
TE: My kids. Supporting them has been my joy.