Skip to content

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.”

More Stories

  • Editor's Letter

    If it were a normal April, I’d wish everyone a happy spring and rhapsodize over the forsythia, dogwoods, redbuds, jonquils and tulips that never fail to lift my spirits. But this is not a normal April. We’re dealing with things that seemed unimaginable just a month or so ago. And it’s hard to predict what next week or next month may bring. Read More
  • Downtown Knoxville Alliance Helps Prospective Residents Explore Options

    Developers have started construction on a combined 420 new residential units in Downtown Knoxville, signaling continued housing demand within the central business district, which is a 0.67-square-mile area in the city’s core. The new rental and purchase options will push the district’s housing units to more than 2,000, in addition to units in surrounding downtown neighborhoods. Read More
  • The Christman Company Acquires Medco Construction

    The Christman Company, a national construction management and real estate development firm based in Lansing, Michigan, and with an office in Knoxville, Tennessee, has acquired MEDCO Construction in Texas. The acquisition allows Christman, which also has an office in Grapevine, Texas, to expand its construction services and sets the stage for growth in Texas and surrounding areas. Read More
  • Johnson Architecture Project Chesapeake's West Earns Keep Knoxville Beautiful Award

    Chesapeake’s West, designed by Johnson Architecture, has earned a 2020 Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchids Award for the transformation of a tire center into a modern, nautical dining experience. To accomplish their vision, the owners, Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants, collaborated with longtime partner Johnson Architecture to artfully remake the cinder block building into a 17,600-square-foot restaurant and event space. Read More