Ryan Newton

Photo by Kathleen Dooher

Ryan Newton: C.H. Newton Builders

“Don’t get too caught up and overwhelmed with the idea of success. Just find something that you enjoy doing, and that’s successful in and of itself.”

Growing up with a family business to your name, there might be pressure to follow in the footsteps of the generations before you and see to the company’s future. Ryan Newton never felt such pressure, but a career with C.H. Newton Builders—founded by his great-grandfather and grandfather in 1958—wasn’t always a certainty. After college he gave New York a try for a few years, working in finance. But he just couldn’t shake his passion for home building.

“It’s one of those things where you grow up in a business like this, it’s tucked away somewhere that you always love it but you don’t always appreciate it,” says Newton, now VP of C.H. Newton Builders. “I feel very grateful to be able to be a part of it. Not many people have an opportunity like this, where so much family history is here, and I feel grateful to be able to add to it and put my own spin on it.”

For Newton, 31, his own spin is one that respects the knowledge of his craftsmen—some of whom have been with the company for over 30 years—while seeking to enhance it. “We’ve rolled out a more structured, education-based program here,” he explains, which includes field seminars on the latest products and techniques. “I feel like nobody can do a better job than us—that’s what we strive for.”

Working alongside his father, CEO David Newton, has instilled in him how invaluable client satisfaction is. “That’s what he has built his reputation on, that’s what my grandfather built his reputation on, and I think it’s a huge ingredient in our recipe for success,” he says. Add to that recipe both father and son’s hands-on involvement, as they spend many hours visiting job sites, whether it be a custom home build or a property they maintain. “It’s exciting. There’s never a dull moment,” he says.

And what if some day Newton’s daughter—or possibly a future child—wants to take the reigns of the company? “I think that’s a very cool experience if it happens, and if not that’s fine,” he says. “I’d want them to find it on their own. That was certainly the case with me.”