Welcome to “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” Sit back, relax and enjoy. Tom and I have been sharing our column on a monthly basis with the community for what seems like a gazillion months now, and what fun it has been.
TOM: “Yes Sandy, I would say it has been pretty cool and it has indeed been an honor to be your partner.”
We have had so much fun and the community has enjoyed the introductions to our community partners. We are introducing you to another cool cat this month.
Today, we would like to introduce you to John Bassous owner of Tierra Verde Builders. Tierra Verde Builders is a family owned, licensed residential and commercial general contractor that serves the Verde Valley and surrounding areas, including Sedona, Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Flagstaff, specializing in customer service and satisfaction.
John, how long has your business been active in Yavapai County?
22 beautiful, fun, great years.
Tell us about all of the services and products Tierra Verde Builders provides.
We are a general contractor that is multi-faceted in both residential and commercial construction, in new construction and remodels. We do homes, demolitions, commercial buildings, metal buildings, insurance work, repairs, non-profits, government contracting, schools, hospitals, churches, multi-family, restaurants and hotels. We do large-scale projects as well as small. In addition, we have our general engineering license, which allows us to work on roads, bridges, sewer treatment plant, parks, and rights-of-way. We also subcontract out our framing and trim services to large developers and contractors.
Whew, John, so with all that YOU do, are you an early bird or a night owl?
Early bird for sure, but likely will be asleep by 8:30 p.m.!
John, who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
Of course, my mom. She stressed working hard, being honest and having integrity. I was always told growing up: “You reap what you sow.” The other great influencer in my life is the teaching of Christ: “Treat others as you want to be treated.”
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute to your success and why?
Tenacity. Learning to not give up when things are not going your way. Construction has its ups and downs and you can’t quit at the slightest downward trend.
How do you prefer to start your day? Oatmeal, coffee, ice cream, leftover pizza?
Seriously, Sandy – all of the above.
What was your first job?
I worked at a company that was contracted to pull up old railroad tracks and I loaded the railroad ties into trucks by hand for resale. All I can say is, never again!
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it?
For six years, I was a schoolteacher. I loved the students, but the principal was difficult to work under. I learned that instead of complaining, I could effect change. I obtained my administration certificate and became a school administrator for six years. Positive change was implemented and the school became a model school in Arizona.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
Thinking that I had to be better than everyone I hired and had to know more than them. I am older and a bit wiser now and understand that the strength of any organization does not depend on any one individual, but the collective effort of all.
What energizes you at work?
Knowing that I have the great privilege of coming alongside others to help them accomplish their dreams and goals and doing it within budget.
What work-related accomplishment are you really proud of?
Out of all the projects we have been involved in, working for cash-strapped non-profit organizations, brings to us a sense of giving back to the community.
If you could add one thing to your office, what would it be?
Definitely a doughnut-making machine!
What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?
Adding two more grandchildren to our family tree.
What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?
My grandson riding his new bicycle for the first time.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Buying and selling old cars.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A racecar driver, of course.
If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose?
I love being 60 – old enough to have learned a lot, young enough to still move!
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Giving, laughing, honest.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
I fill in as a pastor for churches that are without a pastor.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
I like Spiderman. He can do amazing and dangerous things, and he does not even have his OSHA 10!
If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
Compass – I like to know which direction I am going. Maps – I like to know where I am going. Calendar – I like to know if I am showing up on the right day!
What’s one item you want to own that you don’t?
A 1966 Mustang Fastback.
What’s your favorite place to eat in town?
How do you spend your free time?
I rarely have free time, but when I do, I enjoy going to a car show.
Why do you like this industry?
The people, customers, vendors, employees. We all work together to build community. It does not get much better than that!
A big thanks to you, John Bassous of Tierra Verde Builders. It is an honor to know you and work with you. To reach John and his team, visit
tierraverdebuilders.com or call
Thanks for stopping in and reading “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” You’re in good company and we love sharing educational, fun and important information with you and, of course, sharing our industry partners with you. QCBN
Tom Reilly, Architect, Contractor,
Sandy Griffis, Executive Director,
Yavapai County Contractors Association, 928-778-0040.