February Black History Month is a month dedicated to recognize the achievements of African Americans. There is no gainsaying, it is good to study the history of people who paved the way for the present. It is even great to write about role models in the African American communities who young men in particular can emulate. It is on this platform, that East Texas Review is presenting Daryl Gregg, an accomplished home builder and businessman in his own right. Daryl is contributing immensely to the revitalization of Longview Metro by building the premier subdivision on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Birdsong. The homes are priced from $140s and up. Please, read all about Greg Daryl on Page 4.
Daryl Gregg, a Longview native is unassuming despite his many accomplishments. He attended Ware Elementary School, Foster Middle School and graduated from Longview High School. He is very proud of the Lobos.
His beautiful wife, Cecilia of nearly 3 decades is originally from Kilgore. She is a teacher at JL Everhart Elementary School. Gregg recollects meeting his wife at Kilgore Ceramics where they both worked prior to moving on to other things. He describes the years of his marriage as “blissful.”
Gregg is a member of Galilee Baptist church where he serves as trustee of the church. He also sings in the male chorus and serves as its president. Like most Texans, his favorite food is meat. “I like a good rib eye steak,” he said. His second choice is ribs. His best beverages are water and green tea.
He keeps very busy working to make life better for others. For example, he worked for Longview Police department from 1989 to 1997.
According to Gregg, he attended Kilgore College to discover that college was not for him. “I went to Kilgore College and learned quickly that college was not the place for me,” he said. “College was not the thing for me. Sitting down at a desk reading books is not for me.” Gregg gave a personal reason for not finishing college. “Am more of a risk taker? Sitting down day to day is too safe for me and boring at the same time.” Nonetheless, Gregg says education is important. “But you must get your high school diploma, then find the vocation that is right for you and stay the course.”
Even more, Gregg believes in higher education. “However, I do implore you to go college, if college is for you.” Gregg’s mother Sandra was an educator. His encouraged his wife and daughter to pursue higher education. His wife, Cecilia has a Master’s degree. She is an educator. Their daughter, Cambri took it to higher heights. She will be graduating soon with her doctorate degree.
After the storm
Prior to getting into building homes and developing communities, Gregg worked as an insurance catastrophe adjuster. He brought skills, expertise and most important of all, self-discipline, the drive to succeed and kindness to the insurance catastrophe adjusting business. He worked in the Gulf and East coast for Pilot Catastrophe Services in Alabama as an insurance catastrophe adjuster. He settled claims for families whose properties have been damaged by storms.
Building homes, Building community
In between flying out to storm damaged parts of the country to work, he ran for Constable but did not win. He was thinking of his next move. As Providence will have it, it was during this time that he started thinking of keeping himself busy during the off season when there were no storms. As a result, he came up with the idea to import his talents, expertise and experience from catastrophe adjuster to building homes. You see, Gregg was trained by one of the best in the insurance catastrophe adjuster industry, Jeff William. He taught Gregg the tools of his trade in Florida.
As an insurance catastrophe adjuster, Gregg rebuilt homes on paper showing how the original homes were before the storms destroyed or damaged them. Soon enough, he decided to move from paper to building homes thereby, taking an abstract concept to concrete. “I came home and implemented my plan,” he said. “Since then, I have been building homes.”
A business of this magnitude requires a bank loan. Texas Bank and Trust bankrolled his first home. “With good credit and a few assets, I was able to build my first home,” Gregg said. However, his first home did not sell as fast as he thought and wished. He remembers vividly how it sold. One fateful Sunday afternoon, the phone rang in his home and no-one wanted to answer the phone. Finally, the daughter picked up the phone. On the other line was a customer who has seen the home and wanted to look it that Sunday. On Monday, it was sold to the customers, Chregg and Melissa Henderson. Since then, “It has been a domino effect,” Gregg said. “We build and we sell, we build and we sell”
After several years of building and selling one home at a time, it was time to move on to bigger projects. Gregg said, “I knew I want to do a subdivision but, the opportunity never presented itself.” Soon enough, Mark Pruitt spotted the land on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Birdsong and contacted Gregg. This time, he will need more funds than before.
Spring Hill State Bank is bankrolling this new subdivision Gregg is building. He describes the day Wallace “Wally” Rhymes, senior vice president and his loan officer gave him the big news. “I was in a state of euphoria. I almost passed out,” Gregg said. “Finally, my dream is about to happen.”
“We are certainly impressed with Gregg and his work,” said Rhymes. “He did all the hard work and it took some time too. He came back to us a couple of times and made some more sacrifices.” According to Rhymes, Gregg is the one doing all the work-all the heavy lifting in securing a loan of that size. In addition, he is starting the project in small chunks.
Gregg also credits Akron Consulting for their marvelous and professional work in laying out the subdivision and more.
THE new HOMES
This subdivision will have 39 homes when it is completed. Each home will have its own unique design. For example the first one that is being built right now has:
* Cathedral ceiling in the family room
* Bay window on the east side of the home
* Cozy fire place in the family room
* Recessed lighting throughout the entire home
* Double front door with elegant transom
* Two car garage with approximately 1,500 sq. ft. of living area.
* A nice comfortable back porch for weekend and evening lounging
* New 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home and more.
The homes are priced from $140s and up
In the event that anyone wants a custom home, this is the opportunity to get one. For more information on these custom built homes, please contact Daryl Gregg at C&D Home Builders, (903) 736-7136.