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VIProfile: Rick & Laurie Dover



"You can see the path through the rearview window but not through the windshield.” 
 
That’s how Rick Dover recently described events that took him from Knoxville to the Caribbean, to Houston, to San Diego and back to Knoxville. Laurie Dover, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, met Rick when both lived in Houston in the 1980’s.
Laurie, who has a degree in retail marketing, worked at the Galleria, Houston’s famed upscale mixed-use urban development shopping mall. “I went to Houston to make money,” said Rick. “My goal was to buy a boat and be a charter captain. I was at the right place at the right time.
Houston was booming.”
 
After he took a job with General Homes, a large residential builder, he became the top producer in his first year. “Real estate clicked,” said Rick. “I used to hide on job sites as a kid.
I’ve always been fascinated by construction. I decided I wanted to learn about commercial real estate. I was fascinated by downtown, by buildings.
I decided I wanted to be a real estate developer.”
 
“Rick encouraged me to get into real estate,” said Laurie. “I worked in the human relations department at Merrill Lynch Relocation Management. I became an image consultant and started my own business. I also went back to school and studied interior design.”
 
“I had decided I wanted to do my own thing,” said Rick. “We wanted to be able to set our own hours. I wanted to do my own projects in my own time. I wanted to be home for dinner.”
Houston’s boom turned to bust.
 
Rick was involved in what he describes as “one business deal that failed because the bank failed and took everyone with them.” It resulted in a complicated legal and financial situation that would haunt the Dovers for decades.
 
In 2017, Don Jacobs wrote “How Rick Dover Reconstructed His Life,” an article for the “Knoxville News Sentinel,” which lays out what happened. In that article, Rick said, “You do not want to get on the bad side of the federal government. You’re in the kill zone with them. It was
scorched earth for a while.”
The case was eventually settled, and Rick has moved on. In the Jacobs’ article, he described the lessons learned from the experience. “I look at the downside first,” he said. “I didn’t do that back then…
 
What happened to me has informed all my decisions since then…It reset me as a person.”

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