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Community Highlights: Meet Jeff Steele of The Steele Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Steele. 

Hi Jeff, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I left home when I was 13 years old and spent 11 years studying to be a Catholic priest with the Legionaries of Christ. During my time in seminary, I lived in New Hampshire, Germany, and Spain. There are so many ways that experience shaped me. It was there that I first learned how to lead, how to solve problems creatively, and how to work with difficult people.

At 24 years old I discerned out of the priesthood and came home to Cincinnati. My first job back home was as a laborer for a high end remodeling company. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to school. I was burnt out from over a decade of rigorous studies and I didn’t love the idea of being in college at 30, but that summer I learned quickly that I didn’t want to be a laborer forever. As I thought about the new life I wanted now that I wasn’t going to be a priest, I knew that I needed to get my degree so I applied to the Construction Management program at The Ohio State University.

During my time at OSU, I met professors and fellow students alike who have remained friends and mentors. My first job out of college was as a project manager in the Olde Towne East neighborhood. After that, I worked as a project manager for an apartment company managing their annual capital improvements. All the while, I built houses on the side, hoping that someday I’d be able to build homes full time.

At the start of 2022, that dream came true and I left my full-time job to pursue my dream of building the highest quality homes in Central Ohio.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My biggest struggle is balancing everything. When I started building houses on the side, I was working 40+ hours for my full-time job and managing my own projects in the margins. Now that I am leading The Steele Group full-time, my employees and I are managing a growing number of projects. I have to wear a lot of hats these days, more hats than I anticipated. I’m the CEO, the accountant, the office manager and everything in between. I have two fantastic project managers who bring diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to the table and I couldn’t take on the amount of work we’re doing without them. We’re a young company and we’re still figuring out a lot of our systems. Some days it feels like a grind, but then I imagine going back to an office job, and I remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. Building this business requires late nights and the occasional sleepless one, too. But it also means that on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, I can cut loose at 3:00 to go to the pool with my wife and kids for a couple of hours. The level of responsibility may be overwhelming sometimes but it’s worth it to have the work/life integration I’ve found.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The Steele Group is a family-owned custom home builder. We build single-family homes and townhomes in Central Ohio. Our focus is on building a quality home where no detail is overlooked. Anyone can build a home that looks good. We pride ourselves on building beautiful homes that function seamlessly to meet your needs. We are committed to building homes where people can build lives they love. We are honest and transparent about our pricing and work with our clients to stay within their budget without sacrificing style or integrity.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
Since it’s summer, I’m thinking a lot about the summers I spent with my family at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The seminary I attended was on the lake, so even for those 11 years when I wasn’t living at home, I got to see my family for at least a day or two every summer. We’ve spent time boating, skiing, eating ice cream and just being together at the lake every summer for as long as I can remember and now that my wife and I get to share it with our children, being at the lake is like temporarily getting to be a kid again.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Jocelyn Rutherford
Brent Durken

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