Introducing CATALYST – An AR Homes® Leadership Development Program

In a recent Business Observer article, CEO Jim Rosewater discussed the evolution of AR Homes®. During this interview, Jim credited developing guiding principles with catapulting the company’s transformation, especially when it comes to company culture.

At AR Franchising, Inc., investing in talent is one of the guiding principles. This year, the executive leadership team launched its in-house emerging and next-level leadership program, CATALYST. The goal of this program is to build future leaders faster. 

Why “CATALYST”? In scientific terms, a catalyst is something that’s added to a beaker, speeding up the process of a chemical reaction. In AR Homes® terms, it’s the program in which emerging leaders are led through a 10-month long initiative to sharpen their leaderships skills and further their careers through mentorship, learning, collaboration, and execution. CATALYST will help retain, develop, and inspire high performers through growth and development.

During this immersive leadership course, a select group of individuals from differing departments meet at least once per month to focus on the following elements:

  • Leadership essentials
    • Members read Kouzes and Posner’s “The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in an Organization” and participate in open discussion to brainstorm on ways to apply these leaderships skills to real-life scenarios.
  • Coaching & learning opportunities
    • Catalysts meet with executive leadership team members from within the company for intimate discussions which lead to building relationships with executives and a better understanding of the AR Homes® business model.
  • Hack-a-thon
    • The executive leadership team and Board of Directors present a current business challenge to the Catalysts. The Catalysts apply the lessons learned in the aforementioned readings and discussions to problem solve. The Catalysts present their solutions with the goal of resolving the issue and implementing their strategy within the company.
  • Philanthropic project
    • Perhaps most rewarding is the opportunity for the Catalysts to select a charitable cause and plan a fundraising initiative on behalf of the selected organization. The Catalysts have no rules for this project and can choose to get the entire company involved, furthering the success of their philanthropic efforts while sharpening their skills.

Below are the members of our inaugural CATALYST program:

Colleen Roach

Associate Director of Interiors

Colleen has worked in the home building industry for 15+ years, starting off in commercial drafting and creating a path to model home design. She has been with AR Franchising, Inc. for 9 years and currently holds the position Associate Director of Interior Design. Colleen’s ultimate professional goal is to lead a fearless & progressive national interior design division. She believes in free thinking and relentlessly reaching beyond the expected. She is most proud of her dependability and loyalty to the AR Homes® brand. 

Corbett (Corbie) Walker

Revit Designer

Corbie grew up in North Carolina, living in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and finally Charlotte in 2012. At a young age, Corbie began to learn about the homebuilding industry as his mother worked for a large production builder in Raleigh. He was instantly hooked on residential design. From there, he attended UNCC for Architecture and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Arts and Architecture. Corbie joined AR Franchising, Inc. in 2019 as a Revit Designer and has grown in his design abilities very quickly. 

John Mazur

Senior CADD/BIM Designer

John has been in the home design industry since 1998. He’s worked for AR Franchising, Inc. since 2004.  As the Senior CADD/BIM Designer for the Custom Design Department in the Clearwater office, John’s days are filled with creating custom design homes to meet the dreams of AR Homes® customers. He is grateful to work for a company that has a culture to support his career path. The leadership team has supported his growth in expanding his design and construction knowledge by leaps and bounds over the years. He plans to share his experience and knowledge as AR Homes® continues to expand its design team.

Madeline (Madi) Klemm

Quality Control / Sr CADD/BIM Designer

In high school, Madi grew a passion for interior design and architecture. Completing her BA degree in Interior Design with a Summa Cum Laude honor has led Madi to more than two decades of work experience in the architectural field. She has flourished in her role and is a paragon of the company values and making our clients proud to be engaged with the AR Homes® network. She envisions a future in which she obtains an ennobled role where she inspires and is inspired, while influencing teammates to feel passionate about their work, enlisting them to learn the skills to produce remarkable results.

Marli Harrelson

Digital Communications Manager

Marli is a passionate marketing and communications professional. After receiving her degree from The University of Alabama, she ventured to Tampa, FL to begin her career in digital marketing. With production builder experience in both marketing and land acquisition, Marli brings a wealth of residential real estate knowledge to the AR Homes® brand as Digital Communications Manager. Outside of the office, you can find Marli reading, drinking craft beer or taking a group exercise class. Her latest venture? Beginner adult ballet classes. Cheers!

Natalie Wiseman

Interior Details Manager

Natalie is the Interior Details Manager and has been with AR Franchising, Inc. for 13 years.  In this position, Natalie works very closely with our Chief Creative Officer, Mario Vitorino, and the Interior Design Team to create the functional and beautiful interiors that make our model homes so great. Natalie’s background is in art and interior design/architecture. She has been drawing since she was in preschool and has been infatuated with architecture for as long as she can remember. She hopes to continue her career with the company and keep pushing for new and innovative designs for our model homes. 

Nikki Forbes

Senior Personalized Floor Plan (PFP) Designer

Nikki was raised in Mobile, Alabama where she fell in love with historical architecture and found her passion. As a single mother, Nikki worked diligently and earned two associates degrees in Interior Design and Drafting & Design. Nikki has worked for AR Franchising, Inc. for almost seven years and has held a few different positions in design. She feels that the knowledge that she has gained and continues to acquire will give her all the tools for success. She looks forward to the journey ahead and where it may lead.

Sean Kennedy

Operations Manager

Sean has worked for the AR Homes® Architectural Services team for seven years, specializing in process efficiency and tracking project progression. He educates associates to utilize programs and applications, including 3D modeling software, Work Operating System (Work OS) and mass communication procedures. He is determined to provide meaningful work and lead by example through his work ethic, encouraging others to work hard and succeed. He’s inspired daily by his wife. In his free time, he likes to go 4-wheeling, detail his car, and brew his own beer to share with friends and family.