Chris Tucker had a revelation at a tender age. When he was 6 years old, Tucker watched a house being built next to his family’s home, which inspired him to become one of the most well-regarded builders in Western New York.
After earning a degree in construction technology from ErieCommunity College in 1977, Tucker zealously pursued his dream, starting his professional career at MJ Peterson just after graduation. Those early days involved honing his skills, working with area builders to learn all aspects of the trade including framing, roofing, siding and trim carpentry. His responsibilities quickly expanded to project management, where he gained an expertise in contracts, scheduling, budgeting and customer relations.
Thanks to Tucker's early reputation, Victor Peterson, Jr. asked Chris to work with his son, Victor "Pete" Peterson III, as a construction laborer. "Pete was only 16 years old, but he did everything from banding lumber to cleaning out houses to assisting our trade professionals," said Tucker. "It was great hands-on training because it offered him a better understanding of each phase of construction." Peterson, now the President of his family's full-service real estate company, said his days as a laborer on Tucker's team forged a relationship that stands to this day. "My connection with Chris is based on mutual trust and respect. His customers all echo that his integrity and willingness to live up to each commitment are the reasons for his well-deserved success,' said Peterson, who served as President of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association in 2001, and in the same capacity four years later for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.
Confident that he had the well-rounded knowledge and talents to make his mark in the Western New York construction community, Tucker formed his own company in 1988. "It was a natural progression in my career, but even after I left MJ Peterson, we maintained our relationship," he said. "No bridges were ever burned."
In 2002, Tucker came back into the Peterson fold, forming MJ Peterson/Tucker Homes LLC. "This joint venture allows MJ Peterson, with the addition of Tucker, to return the 'builder' component back to our list of real-estate offerings, and secure our position as the only full-service real estate company in Western New York. It's a tribute to Chris that he started as an employee and returned to MJ Peterson as a partner," said Peterson.
Tucker, a North Tonawanda resident, married and the father of four children, still finds gratification in his dream job. "Home building offers so much variety as a career," he said. "Every day, I'm lucky enough to uncover new challenges and rewards. I'm immersed in all phases of each home, from the initial plans to the finished product. That's the way I choose to run my business – seeing to every detail."
That sentiment is echoed by the professionals who work closely with MJ Peterson/Tucker Homes. "Chris is the most detail-oriented person I've ever met," said Tom Praechtl, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the firm. "We worked together in the late '70s. Both went our separate ways for a while, and then came back. It’s a reunion of personnel, and it works, because our skills complement one other."