Meet the Builders
To know Bud Sturgill is to know a man who has made the central valley his home for most of his life. Although Bud was born in Monterey, California and spent a few brief years in Mississippi, he returned to the valley where he graduated from McLane high school.
Bud’s family has grown to include three loving children and a beautiful granddaughter. He has been married to the lovely Lois Sturgill for the past 25 years. Together Bud and his wife make their home in Clovis, CA.
An avid supporter of youth sports, Bud has coached girls’ softball and soccer. He has given over twenty years of service to the sports community and has coached competitive baseball teams from Little League and Rookie Babe Ruth to the collegiate level.
Bud has always found great satisfaction in watching young athletes develop into accomplished team players. He notes that many of his most cherished memories came from working with young people who did not have what some might call “natural ability.” By teaching them perseverance and a positive attitude, Bud helped many understand what it takes to succeed not only in sports, but in life.
A tireless supporter of the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserves, Bud and Lois are happy to have held an annual event to collect toys for needy children. Bud has donated his time to the Boy Scouts of America program, served on the staff at Camp Chawanakee and in other capacities. While Bud prefers to serve quietly in the background, the impact of his actions have improved the lives of many.
Active not only in the community, but also in his personal life, Bud has enjoyed good times with family and friends on many a boating trip to The Delta. He has also been actively involved in motorcycles for the past forty years. His passion for motorcycle racing has lead him to both motocross and to the flat track where he has found recognition for his skillful handling of powerful two wheeled machines. Starting at the age of twelve, Bud moved from dirt bikes into a three-year pro racing career on the flat track. Today, Bud continues to ride enthusiastically and can be seen competing at the Caruthers District Fair.
Among Bud’s prized collection of powerful bikes are the Ducati’s from Italy including an SP4, S4RS Monster and a Pikes Peak Multistrada. On cross-country rides, Bud takes his Kawasaki Sport/Touring bike.
Bud is a builder’s builder, having spent most of his life in construction. His now very skilled hands lifted a framing hammer for the first time at the age of 14. Bud began his career in building by drawing plans and learning about architecture while still young. Quickly his interest grew into a passion; to this day Bud uses his architectural skills in designing homes for a fortunate few.
Over the last twenty-two years Bud has been involved in almost every aspect of building from design to construction to fine finish work. A few highlights include extensive experience in framing, plastering, pre-fabricated wall manufacturing and interior finishing.
In 1989 Bud made the move again from being part of a construction team to being a business owner, opening his own general contracting company. Here he was able to use his skills in design and construction. With an emphasis on legacy construction and beautiful details, Bud began to create success in the market for which he had spent years in preparation.
LJS Construction has been a recognized provider of high-end work in both residential and commercial spaces for the last twenty-three years. With a list of clients that reads like a Who’s Who of families and businesses in the valley, LJS has established itself as a premier builder.
LJS continues to provide custom homes; tenant improvements, industrial construction, and high-end commercial finish work. Premier projects include work for the Dal Pezzo companies at Elevon as well as the Tenaya Lodge. With a backlog of projects and numerous repeat customers, Bud Sturgill has come to be regarded as a true one-of-a-kind builder.
Tom DeWitt is private investor, entrepreneur, leader, and visionary. His thirty-five years of business experience across multiple industries have given him a comprehensive outlook on manufacturing operations, business strategy, and strategic selling. Today, Tom focuses on creating value for individuals, communities, and the environment around us. By applying a lifetime of experience to areas that have been traditionally underserved by the investment community, Tom is actively engaged in helping others succeed. In addition to Morro del Mar Properties, he has significant holdings in other real estate properties, the learning/tutoring industry, the estate/business succession planning, and aviation industries.
Tom DeWitt has been a central valley resident most of his life and currently makes his home in Fresno. Born in Selma, CA and raised in the Fresno County farming community of Caruthers he was involved in Boy Scouts, youth church, and eventually lettered in 4 high school sports. As a graduating senior he was honored as the Outstanding Student in metal shop and Most Outstanding Player Varsity Basketball. He was further honored as First Team All-West Sierra League, and was selected to the County team to compete in the inaugural City-County All Star Basketball game. Tom’s father was a carpenter and he spent many summers helping his Dad; becoming exposed to just about every aspect of building & construction.
After high school with a desire to serve his country and provide for his family, Tom enthusiastically served for six years in the United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command. His selfless service as a Training NCO of airmen becoming Missile Systems Techs was recognized by his command and Tom was decorated with the National Defense ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Small Arms Expert ribbon, and upon receiving an Honorable Discharge was given a rarely awarded Air Force Commendation Medal.
During his time on active duty, Tom enrolled at Central Missouri University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology and a Master’s degree in Industrial Management. This education, combined with the hands-on experience of his youth and the qualities instilled as a military leader would become the platform of a very successful future career.
Tom went on to spend fifteen years as the key Operations and Supply Chain Officer for three unique manufacturers applying his knowledge of JIT, Lean Manufacturing, and ISO 9000 standards as core principles in process improvement and reducing manufacturing costs while growing revenues. Tom’s expertise also led him to a three year term as President and CEO of an irrigation valve & controller manufacturing company where he was hailed as a quick-turnaround leader who was able to identify, correct, and resolve troublesome business practices and process errors.
In 1987 Tom joined with a group of fellow co-workers and purchased a small company manufacturing closed circuit television (CCTV) “Accessories”. With revenues of about $12M per year, the company was virtually unknown outside of the industry. The new owners quickly set expectations very high for a new, industry changing “customer-centric” business model. This attention to customer needs coupled with similar attention to product quality and advanced methods in manufacturing/process improvement, Pelco realized consistent growth with revenues exceeding $600M by 2007. Tom was asked by his fellow partners to cultivate relationships with possible acquisition suitors and bring his recommendations back for review and action. Schneider Electric acquired Pelco in Oct. 2007. (Link to Press release)
During the acquisition, Tom played a primary role in the negotiation, due diligence, and closing activities that led to one of the most talked about acquisitions in the video security industry.
In addition to his role as a businessman, Tom DeWitt is a husband, father, grandfather, and a good friend to those with whom he comes into contact. Those who know Tom well know that he would rather be nowhere else than in the company of his wife Anna, their two daughters, son’s- in- law and of course their three grandchildren. Family is priority number one and if Tom is known for anything, it would be that he loves his extended family and adores his grandchildren. He is the consummate grandfather and when the little ones are at the house, they are always close to “Pop”. Tom’s extended family enjoys family gatherings and everyone is welcome to come and visit, enjoy the pool, or sit with Tom and enjoy a football game or a movie in the theatre room.
Tom is an instrument rated private pilot. His current aircraft of choice for serious travel is the renowned TBM850. He also maintains his Cessna T210 for fun flying and volunteer law enforcement flying. When the weather is just right, you may find Tom sporting his Harley-Davidson Ultra Glide along country or foothill roads. The owner of two restored Corvettes, a 1962 red convertible and a yellow 1966 coupe, Tom and Anna also enjoy the occasional drive with the top down and the music playing loudly!