St. Louis Small Business Monthly, Wonder Women, May 1, 2018
During the summers while Eva Fryar was in college, she decided to jump in and earn the professional experience she would later need. “My first internship in this profession was framing houses and storage units,” she says. “The next summer I worked for a residential company as a superintendent, and the following summer I worked for The Jones Co./Centex Homes in estimating.”
After graduating from Purdue University in 2002, Fryar started full time with The Jones Company/Centex Homes as an estimator. She received promotions over the years and then took a job with Payne Family Homes as its purchasing and estimating manager in 2009. In 2013, Fryar was promoted to vice president of construction operations, and today she oversees the company’s purchasing, estimating, architecture, construction and warranty operations.
While Fryar’s work ethic, strong organizational skills and willingness to change directions with an ever-changing market have helped her gain success in her industry, her love of learning also pushes her and her employees forward. “I love to see my team learn and grow and succeed,” she says. “I tend to be more of a collaborator with my team than a dictator, and I feel that when people know their voice is being heard, they feel more a part of the team.”
Just as Fryar enjoys seeing her employees succeed, she loves to see others in her industry succeed, especially other women. “I am the chair of our local Home Builders Association’s (HBA)’s Professional Women in Building Council,” she says. “I also spend a lot of time trying to get the younger generation involved in residential construction.”
Fryar is also proud of Payne Family Homes’ commitment to St. Jude as the St. Louis builder for the St. Jude Dream Home campaign. “This year, we are building our fifth Dream Home in one of our newest communities, Legends Pointe in O’Fallon, Missouri,” says Fryar. “Over the past four years, we have rallied our staff, our trade partners and suppliers, and the community to raise more than $4 million to help the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s a cause that is near and dear to me and our entire company.”
Believing that she has been blessed to have had a successful career and amazing opportunities that have come with that, Fryar sees her dedication to community improvement as a natural progression. “Giving back is so important because it teaches others that any one person can do most anything they want with hard work and dedication,” she says.