Lizanne Stoever gives “hands-on” a new meaning when it comes to managing construction companies. Not only does she have the experience and educational background to run her own construction company, but back when it all started, Stoever found herself crawling under houses fixing pipes, installing drywall and taking care of a variety of other property improvement projects.
Stoever found her love of construction while putting herself through school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She studied construction management and worked on a variety of projects, including the Mirage Resort. From there, she went on to obtain her contractor’s license and entered the world of commercial real estate.
Though she had the technical experience, Stoever didn’t necessarily have the funds when she first began, and she had to approach her properties with tools in hand. In fact, she didn’t have the option of deciding whether to personally take care of the maintenance of her properties. Since she lived off what she made doing rug cleaning for offices at night, she personally did as much repair work as she could to keep expenses down and increase her investment.
Stoever began Reno-based Magnolia Design and Construction with her brother in 1990. The company has consistently grown and is now called The Magnolia Companies. All this has occurred under the management of Stoever who, as president and CEO, maintains oversight of all strategic planning and activities for the company. The Magnolia Companies has enjoyed great rewards for her hard work by more than doubling its revenues and portfolio base each year.
Stoever’s background of being “chief cook and bottle washer” gives her the experience and love of seeing each aspect of her projects through from inception to completion. In fact, it’s still one of her favorite aspects of the work, even though the company has grown to the point where her chances to work alongside the craftsmen have decreased considerably. Randy Young, field general construction superintendent, recalled Stoever’s participation when it came time to stain and seal the floors at one of the properties, “She put on her coveralls and jumped right in. Whatever she does she really goes after it,” Young noted.
Stoever begins each project by selecting sites and personally spending significant amounts of time at the location working on the preliminary building sketches. While working on concepts and sketches, she is constantly brainstorming what businesses would be interested in going into the property. In the end, this combination inspires her to design a property that is custom-tailored to those businesses’ needs. She explained that most of the design work is done in-house, and she considers herself “the editor-in-chief of design” for the company.
In addition to in-house design, the firm also has an in-house construction company, and offers leasing and property management services. All of this allows the Magnolia Companies to deliver properties quickly, efficiently and with few miscommunication mishaps.
Currently, Magnolia Companies consists of about 500,000 square feet of commercial space in the Truckee Meadows. The Magnolia Village, Magnolia Commerce Center, Magnolia South Meadows and Magnolia Design Center have been planned to be “inspiring work environments.” The design philosophy behind these properties is the belief that “coming to work each day can, and should be, a joyful experience.” Stoever believes this signature style is part of what ultimately leads to a company’s success.
Though the Magnolia Companies’ long-range plans include pursuing opportunities in other markets, Stoever, a fifth-generation Nevadan, has invested her career in the Truckee Meadows and said she doesn’t plan on calling anywhere else home.