I guess you can say it's in my blood.
Thomas Billups Jr. grew up around construction - his three older brothers include an electrician, a telecom technician and a carpenter. He got his start in construction in high school, earning an internship with the highway administration office in his hometown of Montgomery, AL. He then earned his engineering degree at Auburn University, before resuming his construction career as an engineer officer in the Marine Corps.
Thomas moved to Atlanta for graduate school, earning his MBA from Clark-Atlanta University. After grad school, he followed an unconventional path back into construction, completing the carpentry program at Atlanta Technical College at night while working as a carpenter by day. "I learned so much about how buildings go together, working with my hands on everything from homes to a fraternity house to an old jail."
Thomas then dove fully into home building, joining one of the top builders in America in 2006. Serving in roles from estimator, to purchasing manager, to lead builder and qualifying agent/licensed contractor. Thomas had the opportunity to help launch several new communities, open design studios, build clubhouses, and work on mixed-use developments across Atlanta. He experienced the joyous ups and painful downs of the business, including the Great Recession and housing crash of 2008.
Marine Corps circa 1999
Thomas also served as technical manager of the Weatherization Assistance Program for the state of Georgia.
Overseeing deep-energy renovations of over 15,000 homes, he saw first-hand the value of duct sealing, properly installed insulation and appropriately sized heating and cooling. This experience ignited his passion for green building and taught him the importance of building a home that performs as good as it looks. Thomas also returned to Atlanta Technical College as an instructor, passing along the lessons learned in the field to carpentry and construction management students for over 10 years. "Sharing my knowledge and passion for construction with students from the largely underserved communities of Atlanta was one of the highlights of my career."
Thomas serves on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity-DeKalb,
the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association Board of Directors, GAHBA's Earthcraft Council Board, and Atlanta Technical College Construction Advisory Board. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, fishing and motorcycling. Thomas has an adult son Tirrel, and lives in Stone Mountain with his wife Erika and son Tyler.