EDGE mentees are young adults who are passionate about pursuing whole person development through intentional relationships. Our mentees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, career industries, and walks of life, but they all share a passion for growing in community. Meet EDGE mentee Anthony Drew Gary!
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Indianapolis with my wife, Ashley, our daughter, Maren, and our Wheaten Terrier, Lola. I have been in town since 2013. Prior to that, I grew up in Hobart, Indiana, and I studied architecture and construction management at Ball State University. I managed commercial real estate construction projects for five years before transitioning into a real estate development position with Village Capital Corporation, an affordable housing development company affiliated with The Pedcor Companies in Carmel.
Our company sources land, then builds and manages apartment communities specializing in affordability to the end users. Our business model is built on the concept of ‘doing well by doing good,’ and I lead development efforts from site selection and feasibility all the way to construction groundbreaking. I’m currently working on projects in Durham County, NC and Beaufort County, SC. When I’m not working, I enjoy working on my house and rental properties, playing golf, playing board games and lawn games, sushi dates with my wife, and watching true crime documentaries.
What brought you to EDGE and why did you choose to get involved?
I learned of EDGE in 2016 when then CEO Dave Neff was featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 40 under 40. At the time I was early on in my career and looking for like-minded folks to connect with regularly. It turned out EDGE was exactly what I was looking for, but I did not know I needed. I chose to get involved because EDGE represented an opportunity to grow in a space that was not with my spouse, not with my work colleagues, and not with my existing friendships. EDGE was a blank slate for growth!
How has your EDGE group helped you grow personally, professionally or spiritually?
Our EDGE video calls are our time to lay down whatever is on our hearts and know that on the other side of the call is a group of guys and a mentor who care about one another, support one another, and actively want to build one another up. Over the years we have learned we are all going through the similar things, and it has seemed to come in waves. From becoming husbands and career changes to now becoming dads, we have covered a lot of ground together and we’re growing through our own and each other’s experiences.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your mentor so far?
When I was deciding whether to enroll in an evening MBA program, our mentor, Michael, told me, “The person who finishes the race is not the same person who starts it.” That advice has transcended my educational pursuits into growing as a husband, father, and colleague. That is a specific example, but the real answer is that we learn from Michael every time we get together. His desire to be a top producer at work, as a husband, and as a dad is something our entire group admires. Michael’s dedication to his wife and daughters is an example we all hope to replicate.
How has your faith guided your work?
Two parts of scripture come to mind when I think about my faith influencing my work. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” and I fully believe that I can learn something new from every person I interact with every day. At the same time, if I can pour into relationships at work and leave a positive impact with someone else, I will always strive to do that. The second comes from 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” There’s no room for fear, only for boldness, in the pursuit of making real estate deals happen. Sometimes driving through cities or scrolling through Google Earth might not give the appearance that there’s a deal to be made. Real estate development takes grit and resilience, and this is a subtle reminder to work out of a place of disciplined power and love.
What causes or organizations are you passionate about or involved with that you’d like to share with the EDGE community?
I am passionate about financial literacy. Monetary debt in all its forms may be the biggest crisis in our country that not enough people are talking about. Reports suggest 40 percent of American adults cannot cover a $400 emergency, and I want to help spread a message that it doesn’t have to be that way. My wife and I have led financial courses at our home church, and I’ve recently taken to YouTube sharing videos about the importance of living on a budget, eliminating debt, setting goals, and more. I was also a beta tester for the ChooseFI Foundation’s online Financial Independence 101 free course that I cannot recommend highly enough.