Call him a dreamweaver.
Brent Weaver, the owner of Weaver Lumber, continues to make his mark as an innovative, gutsy developer who has helped infuse excitement and energy into the heart of downtown Redding.
The third-generation Redding native began working in his family's lumberyard as a teenager. "From my eighth-grade summer until I left for college, I worked at the lumberyards," Weaver says. "It's one of the reasons I never thought I'd move back."
After he graduated from Shasta High School in 1993, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in Asian studies from Brigham Young University. He worked in the technology industry in Utah and then San Francisco, and as he was getting ready to pursue his master's degree in business, his father announced that he was planning to sell the family business.
"I had been accepted at Davis, and if I would have gotten in at Berkeley, I wouldn't have come back up here. And I did say no, but my wife asked me to reconsider," he says, adding with a chuckle, "My dad said I'd like being the boss better than working for him."
So he did. Nine years ago, he returned to Redding and bought Hughes Plywood. Four years ago, he bought his uncle's business, Hughes Redwood - the largest redwood and cedar lumberyard between Sacramento and Portland. Today, they're known as Weaver Lumber.
But the business-savvy, community-minded family man has been looking beyond the lumberyard from Day One. "I knew before I got back here that I wanted to develop," Weaver says.
"For my first four years, I built a few spec homes. When there was a shift in the market, I couldn't sell spec homes, so I started thinking about mixed use - an idea I got from living in Berkeley. In the downtown corridor, I saw some pockets of what I thought downtown could be ... I knew that was exactly where I wanted to be."
Many credit his entrepreneurial spirit, his strong work ethic and his solid value system as key to his success. He'd add something surprising to that list: The ability to speak Mandarin. In the summer between his freshman and sophomore years of college, he learned the language during a mission to Taiwan.