He hails from a homebuilding family, but Bill Darling grew up convinced he was cut out for more than building houses. “I didn’t think I liked homebuilding,” he says, “but really what I didn’t like was working for my dad, digging ditches in Tucson in the middle of the summer.” Now, on the downhill slope of developing Newman Village, Frisco’s new gated community, Darling finds himself 23 years and 34 developed communities into what he calls the best decision of his life: Darling Homes. In the years since he and his brothers started Frisco-based Darling, he’s realized homebuilding is in his blood after all. He’s reminded of it with every rush he gets from seeing the joy people have when he puts them in the largest investment of their lives. The one thing he’s possibly more passionate about is the philanthropic effort he co-founded with his wife, Pris, two years ago. ManeGait is a therapeutic horsemanship center that sprawls across 14 acres in McKinney. His wife’s passion for horses and vision for helping the disabled birthed the center that’s home to 16 horses that provided therapy to almost 100 riders last spring.
Co-founder and president of Darling Homes, 23 years
I received a B.S. in marketing from the University of Arizona in 1974.
Professional sports management
The one I have now
One summer in high school, I worked in pest control. It involved climbing under homes in the middle of the summer in Tucson, Ariz.
PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE
I’ve been involved in commercial Dallas real estate more than 10 years. I wanted to utilize my operation skills. This worked nicely because I had the association of brothers with homebuilding experience. We come from a homebuilding family; my dad built homes in Tucson.
BEST PART OF YOUR JOB
The fact that three brothers are closer now than ever. That’s the best thing to come out of Darling Homes. Besides that, creating communities that are special for residents and homeowners.
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. I’ve put this into practice a lot and I’ve encouraged my daughter to attack issues with that attitude. And when she does it she recognizes it was a molehill, not a mountain.
Attract top professionals and empower and motivate them.
Homebuilding has become more sophisticated in the past 23 years. It’s now recognized much more on Wall Street; it’s become much more corporate. With that comes quality and [more of a] customer focus. The industry has also become much more competitive.
I play golf, read, and exercise.
Same Kind of Different As Me. I’m reading it for my book club. A men-only book club; we don’t read any romance novels.
My wife and lifetime partner, Pris Darling, who I’ve been married to 27 years, and 24-year-old daughter Landon.
FAVORITE TV SHOW
IF YOU WEREN’T A CEO, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I’m doing it now. With my wife, we developed a significant Texas nonprofit to give back for all we’ve received. —HANNAH BOEN