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/ Executive Team /


Thad Rutherford

Chief Operating Officer

Thad leads the team at SouthStar, guiding the vision of the company and its strategic investments. Thad handles the day-to-day operations for SouthStar’s $200 million portfolio of eight residential development properties across Texas and the Southeast, representing over 2,500 single-family homesites, and manages a 40-person team of real estate professionals. With Mr. Rutherford at the helm, SouthStar has turned successful deals into thriving communities for investors and customers alike.

Thad has experience across multiple markets and a broad range of deal structures including asset management, deal acquisition and project development. He has an MBA in International Business from the University of Miami and volunteers with the Urban Land Institute, United Way and the Real Estate Council of Austin.


Lundy Crabb

Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing

For three decades, Lundy Crabb has set unprecedented benchmarks in real estate sales and marketing. With expertise in primary and second home communities, from production home communities to luxury destination properties, Lundy’s vision has garnered his developer -partner’s unparalleled success.

As the head of SouthStar’s Sales and Marketing team, Mr. Crabb guides all aspects of sales strategy and process management, product development, market research and sourcing, and strategic marketing and business planning. Lundy provides support through all aspects of the development program, driven towards maximizing sales pace, revenues, and delivering communities and homeowner relationships that support long-term community success.


Jim Vater

Vice President of Land Development

Jim leads the company’s land planning and day-to-day development operations. With a career spanning over 30 years in land planning, project management, hydrology, soils and feasibility analyses, and a wealth of experience in master planned community planning and development, Jim brings a breadth of knowledge and a lengthy list of strong relationships across Central Texas and beyond.

Jim’s experience runs from raw land to completed community. His deft familiarity with the area and key municipal and private contacts provides the ideal backdrop for acquisitions across Texas and beyond.


BJ Jones

Vice President of Systems and Analysis

BJ leads the company's efforts in strategic analysis, financial planning and reporting, as well as the design and administration of all sales and marketing technologies.

He brings 10 years of real estate development experience in finance and planning along with a varied technical background in both computer hardware and software. He is a certified Salesforce Administrator and Developer and is a member of ULI. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida with a minor in Mathematics.


Gretchen Howell

Vice President of Marketing

A marketing strategist with a keen eye for problem solving, Gretchen Howell brings over 25 years of real estate and technology leadership experience to SouthStar. Gretchen’s background includes a breadth of experience in marketing and operations for myriad real estate, high-end hospitality, financial services and e-commerce companies.

She is a passionate board member for an area non-profit for children and serves on numerous advisory boards for technology start-ups.


Laura Ficco

Director of Administration

With over 25 years of industry experience, Laura provides strategic leadership in key administrative areas of the organization including workflow efficiency, cash flow management, contract administration and the implementation and oversight of our community associations.

Laura began her career with Southstar in 2000 and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for five community associations.


Cole Haley

Regional Sales Director

Cole Haley leads the new and resale sales efforts for the Texas Hill Country communities, including Vintage Oaks and Havenwood at Hunter’s Crossing.  With more than 15 years of experience, Cole has a strong real estate foundation in sales, marketing, finance and brokerage management.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Mr. Haley has both his Texas Real Estate Brokers License and his Mortgage Brokers License, giving him a deep understanding about real estate finance and lending.


Todd Richert

Director, Realty

Todd oversees all corporate bulk sales and the realty divisions for all of our communities. During his 10+ years in the real estate industry, Todd has amassed critical sales and management experience in all aspects of real estate including residential properties, land, vacation/resort homes and bulk acreage tracts. Todd has earned a level of success rarely seen in the industry. A graduate of the University of Texas, Todd has a license in five states and currently holds a Texas Real Estate Brokers License. 

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