Tony Alderson: From Broom to Boom
After graduating from Center Grove High School in 1984, Tony Alderson found himself second guessing his next step. With a scholarship to Herron Art Institute in hand, Tony quickly decided right-brain creativity wasn’t his forte. Soon he transferred to IUPUI to pursue architecture. As life goes, that goal took a detour.
Marriage and fatherhood prompted him to get a job selling appliances, later waterbeds, and finally lumber. Then in 1989, Tony’s father, Dave, hired him for $7.50 an hour to write purchase orders for his employer, a local commercial development company. With the building boom of the late 1980s, Tony soon found himself leaving his “broom technician” role to become a site superintendent. He soon graduated to management roles, including projector manager. Eventually, Tony served as the commercial group president for six years.
When that relationship ended, Tony’s passion for construction, real estate, and arranging business deals culminated in the start-up of Alderson Commercial Group. Not only was it a risk, its inception started as the building boom was bottoming out in late 2007. “I didn’t receive any pay for a year and a half. But it was a real blessing that my cousin, Brent Tilson, had enough faith in me to partner with me and my brand new company.”
Their first project, called the Signature Building, houses Tilson HR and MedTech College as well as the Alderson Commercial Group. Other properties owned by Alderson include County Line Medical Pavilion and the soon-to-be-completed Stones Crossing Health Pavilion located just south of Marsh on State Road 135.
Not only does Tony enjoy construction, but he also enjoys building companies. Currently, he is investing in other businesses such as an in-home health service, assisted by his sister, Lisa, a 1983 CGHS graduate. His 25-year-old daughter, Cassie, will soon lead Alderson Residential Group, whose boutique office will be located near Fountain Square at I-65 and Virginia Avenue. “I’m trying to teach my kids the power of working on their own.”
Another of Tony’s passions is team building. Business development necessitates teamwork. Previous companies he worked for modeled hierarchy rather than the team concept. “I like to lead from the back. A good owner of a company supports his staff and grows them. We empower, challenge, and reward our team.”
Each year, Alderson Commercial Group employees receive raises. Company growth from one-half million dollars in 2007 to $20 million in 2012 supports this philosophy. “When you’ve been blessed, you’ve got to bless back twice. It keeps everything in balance.”
Business partner Chris Hoffee is also Tony’s neighbor at the recently-developed Abaco Estates off Banta Road in Johnson County. Named after his favorite island in the Caribbean, Abaco Estates still has a few three- to five-acre parcels for sale.
Moving back to the Center Grove area was somewhat bittersweet. Before the Stones Crossing Health Pavilion was started, Tony’s father, Dave, passed away. What began with a broom has come full circle in establishing both a solid work ethic and a legacy. cg
Joyce Long, Greenwood Middle School language arts teacher from 1992-2000, has called Center Grove home for the past 25 years. Currently Joyce works as the communications coordinator for Center for Global Impact and is passionate about engaging people to empower the poor.