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My Name Is… Chris Haugen

New president of White Construction Group works to restore Castle Rock ranch


About me

I was born in Fairplay, so I claim Colorado Native status. My parents moved from Dillon to Michigan when I was 2. I grew up in a small farm town outside of Ann Arbor, that actually reminds me a lot of Castle Rock. I moved to Colorado as soon as I graduated college. My wife, Rachel, and I started a family pretty young and have been married 21 years this month. I was 23 when my first son, Cedar, was born. My second son, Ike, just finished his freshman year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. My third son, Ole, will be a sophomore at Castle View this next year and my daughter, Annabell, will be heading to Castle Rock Middle as an eighth-grader.  

Why I got into the construction industry

My dad is the one who really got me interested in construction. He's a landscape architect, but really enjoyed building things and also was interested in historic architecture. When I was in high school, we salvaged an oak timber-framed barn that was going to be torn down for a development in Ann Arbor. We took it apart piece by piece and then re-built it at my parent's farm. To this day, that is one of my favorite building experiences.

I went to Wheaton College in Illinois, where I received a BS in geology.  When I came out of school, the mining and oil industry was in pretty bad shape, so I went to University of Michigan and got a teaching degree. 

I met my wife Rachel, a Littleton girl, and, as soon as I graduated from Michigan, I moved to Colorado to marry her. Because I grew up doing construction, I went to work as a carpenter for what was then Ash & White Construction

Much like today, Colorado was in the midst of a construction boom cycle. Tim White, the founder, heard I was looking for another job and if I would be interested in becoming a project manager and estimator. I jumped at the chance and, after a few years living in Denver and commuting to Castle Rock, Tim convinced me to take over the estimating department and move to Castle Rock so I could spend less time in traffic and more time with my family. Castle Rock seemed like a great place to raise a young family, so from 2002 until 2014, we lived in Castlewood Canyon. At the end of 2014, we found a little ranch on Wolfensberger Road that we bought and have slowly been bringing back to life.

Why I love my job

I've been with White now for over 21 years.  My favorite part is the opportunity that people are given here.  If you work hard, take risks, continue to learn and develop, doors open for you. We are also deeply focused on community and understand that, as builders and developers, we can help shape the world around us. We don't take that responsibility lightly.     

Outside of work, I…

If I'm not watching kids play soccer or there is no snow in the mountains, I'm working on my ranch. I call it my 30-year project because it was in such rough shape when we bought it. There are seven buildings on the property and they all need work. So, when I'm not building at work, I'm building at home. 

My advice

Learn to speak and write well, then, do what you love.  

If you have a suggestion for My Name Is... contact our reporter at jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com


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