Forty years can be forever in the construction industry. In our case, it spans two generations of a local family determined to help others in the community fulfill the American dream of home ownership. Our first company was Dragas Mortgage Company, founded in 1968 by George Dragas, a first generation American and son of Greek immigrants who believed owning a home was part of the American dream. A few years later, George formed a partnership with his brother Mark to develop and build reasonably priced homes and attractive condominium communities in Hampton Roads.
From the start, the Dragas brothers believed that providing value would build their business and their reputation. They were right. The Dragas name became associated with quality and recognized for integrity, innovation and a commitment to excellence—long before "excellence" became just another industry buzzword.
Those traditions continue today under a second generation of Dragas leadership. George's daughter Helen E. Dragas began learning about her family's emphasis on value at the family dinner table. By the age of 13, Helen had her first "official" position with the company—as marketing agent. During many summers and school breaks Helen visited homeowners door-to-door. Even as a teenager, she knew that understanding the Dragas customer would always be key to the company's success.
Over the years, Helen has worn many hats in the family business. In 1996, she followed in her father's footsteps and was named President and Chief Executive Officer. Today, with the benefit of years with the company in many different positions, Helen has fine-tuned the company's vision and has continued the family tradition of providing value. And she's done it the way her family always did—by building strong relationships with homeowners, employees, government officials and industry professionals. Under Helen's leadership, The Dragas Companies has received dozens of civic, government and industry awards, including the prestigious America's Best Builder award from Builder magazine, one of the nation's leading housing publications.