Kyle Schnaufer is described as having a “calm demeanor” by his nominator. But underneath, he has a burning competitiveness. His motto? “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

That wisdom comes courtesy of Will Ferrell’s fictional race car driver Ricky Bobby in the film Talladega Nights. And it’s worked. He has received four promotions in his six years at D.R. Horton, rising from
superintendent to director of construction in short order.

In his truck are boxes of old business cards that his promotions rendered out of date before he could exhaust them. He keeps them to signify a job well done and motivate him to keep striving for more.

His current position puts him in charge of all D.R. Horton construction between south Sarasota and south Naples, encompassing 1,420 homes in 2018 and a projected 1,600 homes in 2019.

That work ethic persists from his teenage years, when Schnaufer worked construction every summer and almost every weekend while he was in high school.

Beyond his motto, Schnaufer can offer his own advice: “Do the right thing even when no one is looking. It will be noticed in the long run. An unprecedented work ethic will allow you to win even when you may be outmatched.”

Schnaufer and his wife, Deanna, have a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter who are at the heart of both their lives.