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VIProfile: JD Haase

Story By Angela Reeves

As JD Haase was sitting in his office of the newly remodeled building at 911 College Street, he was emotional talking about his journey to get to where he is today - in a career he loves. It dawned on him, that the old weathered leather recliner he was sitting in as we spoke, was the same chair he was sitting on in his home five years ago, giving thanks for where life had taken him, when he was given affirmation that this is his ministry field and where God wants him to be.

For over ten years now, JD has been a commercial real estate developer, starting out as a flipper of several industrial and commercial buildings, to now maintaining a portfolio and gradually adding one or two each year. JD is the owner of Ewing Ford Properties, the management company for his current portfolio of Hilltopper Investments, Kingston Square Apartments, a 48-unit building in Owensboro, Fountain Square Properties, Beech Tree Properties, and Bolin Green Properties. In May of 2017, he purchased and remodeled 911 College Street, which houses his office for Ewing Ford Properties, his company Ment Cowork, a community working office environment, and popular Spencer’s Coffee. The building is over 135 years old and hadn’t been updated in 40 years, with green carpet and plenty of wallpaper as proof. When they started on the project it took on a life of its own. It became obvious, as problems developed in the building over the years they weren’t necessarily taken care of properly. “I realized I wanted to preserve the building and I want it to outlive me, and with what we did, it will,” said JD. “When I do something, I have to do it right all the way. That’s just who I am.”

JD grew up south of Indianapolis on 10 acres, always having chores at home, and working on a neighboring farm afterwards. He was no stranger to hard work! His family moved to Owensboro during his high school years when his father bought the franchise for Canteen Service Company in the area. He moved to Bowling Green to attend WKU and at 20 years old he was training to be a pilot in the Marines, but instead, went into the family business. His dad bought the Canteen franchise in Bowling Green and JD ran it business for 15 years, having purchased a few industrial buildings during the time to start a portfolio on the side. He continued to purchase other properties, such as a retail store in Louisville and in 2012, as a silent investor, partnered on a 172-unit apartment complex. His partner on the property was a divine appointment for JD and became a mentor in the business for him. After two years of watching him and learning from him, he decided to go into the real estate business full time.

“As long as I have my health this is what I’m going to do. I love getting up every morning, I love coming here, and I love what I do,” said JD. JD’s career highlight has been growing his company and adding people to team. In 2017 he added his Administrative Assistant, Valerie Russell, and since added Hayley Hoback to the team as the Community Manager for Ment Cowork. “I love coming to work every day. I can talk to him (JD) about anything. I like the flexibility and making connections with people,” said Valerie. “God has trusted me with these people just like he has my family and it’s not something I take lightly. I want to make sure at the end of the day I’ve honored the things he has trusted me with,” said JD. He prides himself on being a very loyal person, and says if someone does a good job, they will have his business forever. He takes great care to honor relationships along the way with his employees, contractors, real estate brokers, and others in the industry. “It’s always worth taking a chance on people and giving them an opportunity,” he said.

JD’s faith is of the utmost important to him, having been saved and baptized at Hillvue Heights Church 25 years ago. He lives by three guiding scriptures and principles: to try to increase what has been given to him to glorify God (Parable of talents), to run the race in such a way to get the prize (1 Cor. 9:24), and to be ever increasing in knowledge and grace (2 Peter 3:18). He and his wife Kim have been married for 26 years. They have two daughters, Taylor, 25, who graduated from Western and is planning a wedding next year, and Samantha, 20, currently a senior at UK. They love to travel and to serve together and are so grateful they’ve hit the sweet spot in marriage. “She’s my best friend,” said JD. “Being empty nesters has been good to us.”

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