Each month, we choose a member of our team to brag about, so you can learn about who we are here at FTI. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on our Vice President, Jeremy Lawhorn, known for his kind heart & passion for people. We are grateful for his many years of service & look forward to what’s in store for FTI!
1. What brought you to FTI & how has your role evolved overtime?
Well, I started working here when I was 14. Angie [our Accounting Manager] would pick me up from school & bring me to the office so I could sort & file paperwork in the evenings.
I’ve worked at all 3 locations throughout the years & only spent about 4 years of my life away from the agency. So, FTI is pretty much all I know! During those 4 years I was away, I worked with my hands a lot – waiting tables, landscaping & exterminating.
One day, I was spraying for termites under a house in downtown Richmond. It was so hot & miserable. In that moment, something clicked & I thought, “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life.” So, I crawled up from underneath the house, walked to the registration building at VCU (still in my pest control gear), and signed up for classes right then & there. I graduated with a degree in IT and came back to FTI to work on our computer systems. I became IT Manager & worked my way up from there.
2. What’s a little-known fact about you?
I met my wife, Stephanie when I was in 9th grade Geography with Mrs. Watkins. There was just something so special about her. We haven’t broken up once since freshman year of high school and now we have two teenage girls! She has also worked in several departments at FTI & is now in HR.
3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Treat others as you’d like to be treated” has always stuck with me. It was something my parents drilled into me as a kid. I want our people to love working here & build confidence within FTI. I think you have to treat your employees with respect if you want to keep growing.
4. Where do you wish more people traveled to and why?
The first would have to be Israel. Even if you’re not a spiritual person, there’s something so special about that place. You step off the plane and feel it in your bones. It really is touching.
Jordan also has an incredibly friendly atmosphere that a lot of people miss when they tour the Middle East.
But I also wish more Americans would travel to Cuba. I’ve only been once, but it blows your expectations out of the water. The people are incredibly kind, hardworking & very open to talking about their lives. I made some good friends while I was there & met a variety of talented artists. Though, the antique cars were my favorite part.
5. What are your top 3 favorite things about working here?
The first would have to be the people. I love the atmosphere we’ve created & different talents brought to the table. The second are the travel benefits; it’s enabled me to see so many parts of the world that I never dreamed of visiting.
The third would be the family business aspect of it all. I enjoy building a company that I’m proud of that I know will one day be my own.
6. What brings you the most joy in life?
My family & surfing.
7. What’s your vision for FTI?
We’re one of the only agencies in the country that specifically serves non-profits; Our clients are passionate about serving others & exploring the globe. I never want us to become corporate & impersonal, so no matter how much we grow, I want our customers to feel like they’re part of the FTI family. I want them to understand that we support their efforts to better our world.
As far as growth goes, by the time I’m 50, I want our team to grow to about 60 – 70 employees. Of course, I want our business to flourish, but that comes with time & patience. Right now, I’m focusing on bringing in more business steadily. I want to make sure our associates’ workload is manageable so we can maintain the level of customer service that keeps bringing people back. Our reputation means more to me than money ever could.
For more on FTI & our wonderful team, visit www.fellowship.com/about-us.
It’s a big world. Get out there!
Your FTI Team