By Hollie Deese | Photography by Sam Calderon | Portrait by Anthony Romano
After more than 30 years of growth, the team behind Trace Ventures is making sure their legacy extends beyond the quality of the work they do to exemplify the quality of the company’s character.
Founded by Art and Martha Stinson in the early 1990s, the company was sold in 2015 and Adam Wayne soon joined the team as vice president to handle the company’s commercial development. Wayne left briefly to start another company, Clear Building Group, but last year he returned to Trace Ventures as president.
Putting Wayne at the helm is all part of Trace Ventures’ plan to wrap their arms around Nashville’s fast-paced growth and focus on the level of customer service that goes hand-in-hand with high-quality builds for commercial and residential clients.
“We are the full package,” Wayne says. “The design and build goes from the first phone call through the final walk-through. If you need a structural engineer, if you need an architect, if you need a pool designer or a landscape architect — we coordinate all of that. Our ideal client isn’t someone looking for the cheapest way to get things done. They want it done the right way.”
Born in Canada, Wayne went to college in Florida and was living in Miami when he met his wife while on vacation in Music City. She’s a Nashville native, and their relationship eventually brought him to town to stay.
For most of the time since Wayne moved here, he has worked with Trace, focusing on bringing quality and service to the growing firm, building the in-house team of contractors and expanding the range of clients.
In an effort to keep more things in-house, the company launched Trace Electrical a year ago, employing electrical contractors to use on their own jobs, but who can also hire out for other projects. They are aiming to do the same with carpentry.
“The company’s changed. The way we do business has changed,” Wayne says. Certainly, there haven’t always been many high-end condos in town. Now they are working on their second penthouse on the top floor of the 505 — the tallest residential building in the state.
Despite all the downtown growth opportunity — within a year there will be an additional 700 apartments within a one block radius of the Trace Ventures office on Church Street — downtown living and luxury builds in Nashville is just one area of focus where Trace shines.
Their expertise as a company, Wayne says, really lies with the historic homes that represent Nashville’s past. After all, he and his wife are raising fifth-generation Nashvillians, so the mark he makes and homes he restores are a little more than business as usual. It’s personal.
“We are striving to provide a higher level of service,” Wayne says. “We want people to feel comfortable with our guys in their homes.” In many cases, clients are living through the renovations — plastic curtains and all — so finding that comfort level with the team is huge.
“Our project managers get to know these people,” Wayne says. “We try to match personalities with the homeowners. We know the quiet ones. We know the ones who are more talkative.”
Because ultimately, a renovation project between homeowner and builder is a relationship of trust, and in Nashville, your name still means something in business.
“When people think of Trace,” Wayne says, “I’d like them to think of quality, customer service and trust.”