Today is the day – Happy 35th Birthday NDI! Well, our actual birthday is February 29, but since we’re not in a leap year, we celebrate today (and maybe tomorrow too!). Over the last several weeks, I’ve been retelling NDI’s 35 year history. It has been so fun to reflect on the people (so many people!) and events that have shaped our company. We’re not exactly the same company we were when Dad started in 1988, but the original core values are embedded in our identity and our desire not to be the biggest custom home builder in northern Virginia, but to be the best.
My last post left off in 2013, where we had successfully pulled through the biggest housing recession in recent history, and had settled into a normal pace of business. The next 4-5 years were focused on improving our process, our online presence as the local expert in custom home building, leadership structure, and giving back to the community in big ways.
In June of 2014, we launched The President’s Blog. We wanted to give people an online resource to learn about building a custom home, and about NDI. Posts range from a step by step of the process and homebuilding FAQs, to sharing my love of cooking and entertaining. It has been a labor of love for sure, but I’ve also enjoyed doing it since there wasn’t a comprehensive resource for potential buyers. So many people have told me how much the appreciate the content we provide. There is a lot of it! Here was one of my very first posts!
We also had a significant leadership change when my (baby) brother, Adam Alderson, was promoted. Adam had spent the first 10 years of his career with NDI in field operations, and then as our Director of Construction Operations. In 2017, Adam was promoted to Vice President of Operations. He is a busy guy since he interacts with everyone on our team as well as coordinating with all of our suppliers and subcontractors. He also works closely with clients throughout the process to ensure they are getting the home they imagined.
Oh my goodness – this picture. This was taken just a couple of years after Adam started (2008 or 2009?). We were babies! I get asked all the time what it is like working with my brother. And I always say that it’s great for me, but you really should ask Adam! Adam and I definitely balance each other, and I can’t imagine NDI without him.
These years were also big for our NDI Gives Back Foundation. Back in 2015, Dad approached me and said he wanted to find a local veteran, wounded in action, and build them a new home. I was stunned. Not by Dad’s generosity, but by the enormity of this type of project. We had the land, but where would we even start to look for a veteran who needed a better equipped home? How would we fund it? The story is pretty awesome, and to this day, this project is my most favorite.
We also issued scholarships as part of our NDI Gives Back Scholarship program. This program was started to encourage and equip young people who were interested in a career in construction. Unfortunately, due to lack of candidates we have only issued 3 scholarships so far, but we love the idea!
And since March 2020, we’ve been dealing with what everyone on the planet has been dealing with, COVID and it’s aftermath. I’m glad I didn’t know 3 years ago, what I know now. I’m not sure I would have handled the news well. Looking back on the destruction the pandemic levied is hard enough! I will say that 2022 (2 years after the start of the pandemic), was the hardest year of my career here at NDI due to the impacts COVID had on the industry. I won’t rehash it here, but you can read all my thoughts in my 2023 forecast post. Let’s just say, the entire world is changed because of the pandemic, not all bad, but not all good either.
As I wrap up this blog series, my family and I would like to express our gratitude. Without our amazing clients, NDI team members, subcontractors, suppliers, business partners, and friends, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Your support, your trust, and your love is overwhelming. Thank you!
I also want to thank my dad.
Dad – it is your entrepreneurial spirit that started this ride, and it’s been your goodness and exceptional business instinct that has led NDI to where we are today.
Thank you for saying yes when I phoned you that day in August of 2001 asking for a job.
Thank you for always teaching me and supporting me along the way.
And thank you for being such a wonderful dad, pops, and boss. Working for you has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I love you Dad!
Dream. Build. Live.