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20th Anniversary: Keeping It Real While Doubling in Size

 In 2014 Brandywine Homes celebrates its 20th Anniversary as a homebuilder and developer in Southern California.  Join us this week as we look back at our history over the years.


Brandywine Homes Executives: Dave Barisic, Jim Barisic, Mark Whitehead, Brett Whitehead

Brandywine Homes Executives: Dave Barisic, Jim Barisic, Mark Whitehead, Brett Whitehead

Though Brandywine Homes has more than doubled in size in the past four years, the family company’s close-knit spirit remains.

“We try to keep Brandywine a family business,” founder and Chairman Jim Barisic says. “We don’t treat immediate family members any differently than other people in the company. We all share in the company’s success. We don’t have secrets and we don’t have high employee turnover.”

Jim’s three sons, Brett Whitehead (president and CFO), Mark Whitehead (vice president of operations) and Dave Barisic (vice president of sales and marketing) joined the firm within a few years of its founding, and each brought a different set of talents that helped the company grow into one of Southern California’s preeminent infill builders.

“I never intended to hire Dave, Brett and Mark — but I did so out of necessity,” Jim says.

In the past four years, Brandywine doubled its production as well as its staff and it now employs 19 people. Still, Dave says the company’s core values of cultivating community, long-term partnerships, craftsmanship and service have remained the same. “I don’t think the face of the company has changed over the years,” says Dave. “We’ve just added more faces.”

For Jim, keeping a lean and flexible staff is a key to success. “One of the greatest tools we have is our ability to move quickly,” he says. “We don’t have to follow any fixed plan. We can be very opportunistic. The big guys can’t do that.”

Everyone in the company wears several hats, and Brandywine’s glass-walled offices encourage communication and collaboration. All four of the company principals must agree before taking on any projects or making any major directional changes — another key to the company’s success.

“As a small, closely knit company, we don’t do a shotgun approach,” Brett Whitehead says. “If we make an offer, we’re serious, and that’s helped us a lot. We’re very good at establishing rapport with communities and regulators. They like us and trust us.”

Will Brandywine double again in the next four years? Jim says that’s not likely.

“We’ll continue to grow gradually,” Jim says. “We want to be up to having five properties at any one point in time plus two to three times that number in the hopper. Conservative growth is our style. Steady as you go.”