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Business Profile: Development group supports community involvement

Since its formation by husband-and-wife team Rob and Christi Wolverton in 2004, R. Anthony Development Group has experienced tremendous growth.
“Now we have a bigger infrastructure,” Rob said. “Our marketing approach is less product-based and more specific to name recognition.”

Indeed, the name R. Anthony Development Group is best known for its development of the planned neighborhoods Arcadia and Park at Arcadia in northeast Columbia along with the Auburn Hills community near Highway 63.
According to the company’s Web site, current projects include The Cascades, a new neighborhood in southwest Columbia, where 50 of the 190 acres are set aside for green space, as well as Madison Park, a residential development off Chapel Hill Road.

Rob gives part of the credit for his business success to mentoring he received from George Reese, a developer in Seattle, and Lawrence and Jackie Bulgin of Columbia. After living on the West Coast for five years, Rob and Christi moved back to Columbia, where Rob joined House of Brokers under the guidance and instruction of Jackie Bulgin and Associates. During this period, Rob partnered with Jackie’s group and also met her husband, Lawrence, a developer in Columbia who has since died. Rob and Lawrence became business partners in real estate development, which eventually led Rob to organize his own company and pursue his passion — developing planned communities for Columbia.

Rob now spends his time researching property and creating a vision for development potential, as well as coordinating and assigning partners for all projects.

With a degree in business administration and extensive experience as a software and computer systems business consultant, Christi Wolverton manages marketing and accounting for each development project, as well as the daily management of the office infrastructure and the company’s Web site.

In addition to planning residential developments, Rob and Christi Wolverton also have a passion for community involvement.

“We believe in helping to develop a community where people want to live,” said Rob, who is involved with the Central Missouri Development Council Board of Directors, the Bonne Femme Watershed Plan and Woodcrest Church’s building committee.

Christi is on the board of the Coyote Hill Children’s Home. She and Rob are also active board members for their church’s social program, “Marriage Matters.”

Rob and Christi say they believe their involvement with the community and R. Anthony Development Group’s business success are directly correlated. They continue to be active members of Columbia’s Chamber of Commerce and have also have assigned staff to be a part of the city of Columbia’s ongoing visioning process.

“We consider our nomination for 2007 Small Business of the Year Award to be a tremendous honor,” Rob said. “We feel extraordinarily honored and blessed to be considered within the same category as the other nominees.”
Along with their commitment to community involvement, Rob and Christi have a 10-year plan for their company.

“We want to create strong systems and knowledgeable people within our company so that eventually, Christi and I can become irrelevant to our business,” Rob said. “The value of the business is what is important to us, not the value of the owners.”

Currently, R. Anthony Development Group staffs six full-time employees, including Rob’s brothers, Rodger and Jeff Wolverton, who both have backgrounds in business management and have founded their own successful businesses.

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