"I get a great sense of accomplishment building things I know will last. A building or business should be amazing and built for eternity." -Jeff Thurmon
Tito's Handmade Vodka: www.TitosVodka.com
Jeff's Business card from Tito's
2001 Still and "bottling line"
Pics of Tito's I took that were used on Tito's website
Jeff's drawings for the first phase of growth
Forms For new building Pouring Foundation
In 1998, Jeff began helping Bert Butler "Tito" Beveridge start and build a business known as Tito's Vodka from the Fifth Generation Distillery in Austin Texas. Jeff worked for several years distilling, building the distillery, and marketing the product. He and Tito built and operated the stills that built Tito's future. In the period following the marketing and expansion plans set up in 1998, Tito's has gone from 3000 cases sold/year operation to 200,000 cases/year. Jeff lived with Tito and spent many 24 hour days at the distillery during the initial construction and start up. His hard work and dedication was largely responsible for bringing Tito's to the national spotlight. Tito and Jeff worked side by side for these start up years and spent many hours working together and discussing options to improve quality and production.
Here is a link to an article from the Dallas Observer where Jeff is referenced as a "Dallas area sales rep":
Tito had originally stated the desire to grow one state at a time. At Tito's objection Jeff managed to thrust Tito's Vodka into the national spotlight using lots of Tito's Vodka, advertising gimmicks, media connections, and perserverance. Tito brought his own intelligence, determination, and credit cards to the table. Jeff convinced Tito to structure the stills and bottling lines to handle the growth that Tito did not expect, and Tito has continued to grow and thrive on the same fifteen acre site in Southwest Austin since.
Jeff enjoyed the distillers life and was privileged to give Tito's Vodka to many beautiful people including Willie Nelson and his crew, Vin Smith of the Superbowl winning Dallas Cowboys, Rachel Hunter, and many other actors, athletes, and celebrities. Jeff read an article that stated Texas Governor Rick Perry drank vodka and subsequently arranged for Tito to go to the Governor's mansion to deliver a case. Jeff gave vodka bottles or samples to thousands of other great people who would otherwise never have heard of Tito's. He gave Tito's samples, t shirts, and merchandise to liquor stores, bars, reporters, and thousands of fun loving individuals. He had tastings, went to bars, or gave vodka away while on location for movies or other projects. He gave a bottle to anyone who would show up at the distillery to include delivery and/or truck drivers, who Jeff made promise not to open the bottle until they got home.
While waiting for the still to run, Jeff would do laps around the distillery on a motorcycle that Tito had on site. After warming up for a few laps, Jeff would hit racing speed for a few laps and jumps, then put the bike up and go back to work. Distilling can be deadly bdoring while waiting for a run, and this helped Jeff keep his mind in high gear.
In 2001, Jeff convinced Tito to send out the bottles of Tito's that Jeff had distilled, bottled, labeled the night before. Those were the bottles that later won the Double Gold Award at the World Spirits Festival. From 1998 to 2001 Jeff and Tito ran the whole operation themselves, then in 2001 they were lucky to find Joe Herpin, an experienced brand manager, who used the recent World Spirits Festival as a prybar to open doors to new markets. Once Tito was set on the proper course, he refused to share profits. Tito and Jeff parted ways at that time.
Jeff still supports Tito's Vodka and hopes for the best for Tito and his family. Tito works hard to build his brand and produces a quality product.
Support Tito's Handmade Vodka. It is the best American made vodka available by far. www.titosvodka.com
A quick story about Tito's Vodka, Jeff, and Willie Nelson in Wimberly Texas in 2000
By Jeff Thurmon
It was a beautiful Sunday in 2000. Just another day for me working at Tito's Handmade Vodka. I woke up at Tito’s house by Lake Austin and started getting ready for the Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. Tito and I would be giving away vodka shooters all day, and my friend Ron Weber was coming down from Fort Worth to help us out.
Our task for the day was to set up free shots for hundreds of thirsty people who would be coming by the Tito’s booth for liquor and good times. We showed up early and found the booth, then got the ice, coolers, mixer, signs, tooters, T shirts, and whatnot from Tito’s SUV and headed into the show.
Set up went fast, and before we knew it we were surrounded by a party. Myself and Tito were giving away the liquor rapidly as well as imbibing a bit ourselves with the locals. Well, the Wine and Food festival lasts for about eight hours or so, and the line stays steady until they become unsteady, which does not curtail the revelry a bit. We were all having a great time.
Before you know it pictures have been taken, much vodka has been consumed. There has been a jazz concert, and it was a beautiful day. I have had a busy day informing and imbibing, and probably at this point I have had about fifteen to fifty shots of Tito’s Vodka, a few beers, and some wine. A typical day selling Vodka.
Ron, Tito, and I load up the trucks then start partying in the parking lot with the folks from the festival. There is a girl in a cowboy hat hanging on Tito, and a couple of ladies hanging around me and Ron. All is good as we are all single at the time.
Well, the ladies Ron and I are talking to keep saying they need to go see “Willie”, who I assume is their boyfriend or drug dealer, so I say "No way". It occurs to me that I should find out who this Willie character is, so I ask, “Willie who?” Their reply in unison was “Willie Nelson!” Now that changes everything. It turns out the ladies own a business in Wimberly. They told us that the business had a view of the stage where that night Willie Nelson would be playing in concert. They planned to go watch the concert from the front porch. Well, I was easily convinced, and Ron was too so off we all went to see Willie.
Ron and I followed the lady's car towards the concert. About five miles from Wimberly, the ladies said they had to go home to sober up or something like that, and gave us directions.
So, Ron and I head into Wimberly and park my BMW in the street. We get to the business where we are supposed to be able to see the concert and sit on the porch. We can hear the first band playing, but cannot see them at all. We sit there for a minute studying the scenery, and notice that the “door person” at the gate next to us is a girl too young to be a door person. Ron and I formulate a plan. We walk up to the young girl and Ron says, “I really have to use the bathroom. Do you think I could use that one?” Ron points to the bathrooms about fifty feet away inside the gates. “You can, but you have to come right back.” She says convincing herself this would actually happen. I chime in, “I have to go too, is that okay?” “Okay. But come right back.” She says. "I will." I state calmly, and in we are in.
Now we started partying. We buy beers from the vendors, and began speaking with some locals. One of the girls wanted a Tito’s T shirt, so I have Ron get some T shirts and Vodka out of my BMW so we could give some away. I figure we can give some to the people we are talking to and then if we get lucky to Willie and his band. Ron talks his way out the front gate, then back in again with T shirts and a over a case of 1/2 pints of Tito's Handmade. Next we had to get back stage, so Ron who is having to speak for me at this point due to the high level of alcohol I have consumed used a T shirt, and some of the Tito’s to get some back stage passes from Pootie. Once we got back stage, we gave the crew some vodka and T shirts, the I went out front again so I could watch Willie. Willie played an outstanding show, what an incredible talent! After the show, Willie stood out front and signed a hundred or more autographs. I watched in amazement as he signed babies, hats, arms, you name it. I have been to many concerts, but Willie spent more time with the audience than anyone I have seen.
When Willie started moving backstage, I did too. The crush back there was getting crazy. Willie was approaching, and I had Ron next to me with a pint of Tito’s and a T shirt to give him. “So, you’re the ones giving my crew all the vodka.” Says Willie. “That’s us.” I reply. Ron hands Willie the T shirt. “Is this for me?” asks Willie. It was, but Ron says, “Can you sign it?” and before I can say anything, Willie has signed the shirt, and taken the vodka. Ron was supposed to give them both to Willie, and I was too hammered to say anything at the time. Before I knew it Willie was locked down on his tour bus, and I turned and contemplated the day. Tito and I had given away cases of vodka a shot at a time at the Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, then Ron and I had given away about a case and a half of Tito's to the crowd and crew during Willie's concert. I began to wonder if Willie would be pissed at me for getting his crew bombed while he was on stage. It must have worked out okay, as I have seen pictures of Tito and Willie together since then. I hope Tito has given Willie at least one Tito's Handmade Vodka T-shirt, if not one for every day of the week.
The day was a great success from a marketing standpoint. Many people learned about Tito's between the Wine and Food Festival and Willie's concert, including Willie Nelson himself. I got to enjoy a concert by the greatest musician in Texas history. Thank you Wimberly. Thank you Willie. Thank you Pootie for letting us back stage. And God Bless Pootie who has since passed.
Some of the many custom homes built by Jeff
Pencil Drawings for Greenbriar Dr. Keller, Tx.- Above
Blueprints for Williamsburg Ln. Keller- Above
Jeff began remodeling homes with his father and neighbor in high school. He fell in love with construction, and later built homes with Blair Smith in Castle Rock Co. where he was a carpenter, then the foreman building custom homes. Jeff, with a three man crew, would prep forms for concrete, frame the homes, deck and roof, insulate, sheetrock, install cabinets, trim, doors, and hardware. These high quality custom homes stand as a testament to quality construction by quality individuals. Accompanying Jeff during this time were Tim Biddle, Dan Kaiser, and Don Buttermore. Jeff later built many homes, apartments, and commercial buildings in Denver.
Jeff moved to Fort Worth Tx. and was a Journeyman Carpenter in Fort Worth Local Carpenter's Union #1822. He worked on several locations such as the General Dynamics site, framing forms for large pours, walls, installing trade show displays, installing cabinets and trim, commercial framing, and much more.
Above this dialogue are photos of some homes Jeff designed and built from $160k to $325k. In addition to designing and building these homes, Jeff also designed and built pools and decks for several homes which were built simultaneously. Each home or pool sold and built by Jeff has increased drastically in value, and stands perfectly as built. A testament to great engineering and execution. Some of the homes built by Jeff can be seen in Quail Valley, Brentwood Estates, and Williamsburg Estates in Keller, and in Denver proper as well as Castle Rock Colorado. The pencil drawings on the top are from a home designed for a family by Jeff along with Diane Wood designs, then built on Greenbriar Drive in Keller. The blue line drawings are from another fabulous custom built home on Williamsburg Lane. The owner had plans pre-drawn in this case which Jeff built on the customer chosen lot. This corner lot presented several slope related issues which lead to a great post tension foundation that took quite a bit of additional work. It was well worth the effort, as the home is still remarkable, and now appraises over 30% above the buyer's purchase price.
If you would like to have a project custom design/built, use the "contact us" page for a fast free estimate of cost.
Blueprints for Twin Oaks Estates Keller Texas
Jeff co-developed Twin Oaks Estates in Keller, Tx. in a joint partnership with Stratford Investments and Lawry-Ian Builders. This land was involved in a dispute with the City of Keller. The city wanted to run the existing trailer lots out of town. The owner was hesitant to negotiate a sale. Through several intense negotiations, Jeff was able to convince the owner to sell the property with reasonable terms. The property was re-engineered to meet the standard set forth by the City of Keller and to match the future development needs of the city. Upon completion lots ranged from $125k to $225k and sold very quickly.
If you have raw land or the desire to do Land Development, email or call Jeff for more information.
Houston Astrodome Redevelopment Project
Interior Pencil Drawing shows Lazy River/Water Park/Concert Stage
One of several conceptual drawings submitted to the Astrodome Redevelopment Team
In 2003 Jeff submitted conceptual drawings to the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. along with plans to redevelop the Houston Astrodome. Seven developers made the effort to present plans as requested by the Harris County authorities.
Jeff's plan called for the property to be restructured to accomodate a Water Park in the interior, which would allow year round water entertainment. In addition, the property would contain a mall, hotel, and convention space, along with entertainment venues including a concert stage, movies, and more.
The renovation has stalled due to a member of the Harris County staff being indicted for bribery. The plans are still valid, and beat the alternative, which would be demolishing the Astrodome.
Bob Norwood A-12 Concept Car:
Jeff helped Bob Norwood, a famous car builder from Dallas, promote his self built supercar, the Norwood A-12. Bob was the brains behind the Oldsmobile Aerotech Aurora V8 which set several land speed records at Fort Stockton in 1992. In the A-12, Bob built a beautiful and unbelievably fast car. Due to government regulations Bob had difficulty bringing the car to the market. The authorities wanted to crash test two of the A-12s, but Bob did not want to have two of them crashed into a wall due to cost and other factors. Bob found it impossible to find a transmission capable of dealing with the horsepower his twin turbo driven V-12 was cranking out.
The picture above is the A-12 prototype on the outskirts of Dallas. Jeff spent time with Bob and his amazing staff watching them tune and build twin turbo Ferraris and Porsches, and testing them on a helicopter track out in Weatherford. Everything Bob built or overhauled was made for speed and performance.
Window Cleaning Services:
AAA Window Wizard: Jeff started this company in the 1990's in Dallas/Fort Worth. His company serviced the Dallas Stars, Four Seasons Sunrooms, Exxon Stations, Ryan's Steakhouses, and thousands other residential and commercial clients. Jeff let this company go in order to help Tito Beveridge start Tito's Vodka in 1998.
Century 21: Jeff was a multimillion dollar sales agent with Century 21 Earl McKinney serving the Fort Worth area. For several years, he lead his office in Sales and Listings, and won many regional awards for salesmanship.
Hartford Realty Group: After Earl McKinney sold his Century 21 franchise, now known as Century 21 Preferred Properties, he opened Hartford Realty in Hurst. Jeff moved here with Earl, and did well selling millions of dollars worth of repo homes along with regular listings.
Prudential Jack Roseberry: Jeff worked with Jack Roseberry selling and listing several millions of dollars worth of homes in the Bedford and Colleyville areas. Jeff set the standard for sales in the office and gained regional notoriety.
Ameritex Mortgage: Jeff worked as a Mortgage Broker for a period with Ameritex in Hurst Texas. Jeff met with clients, originated loans, and followed them up to closing, assisting his clients in any way possible. Jeff was the first Realtor in Texas to legally also do Mortgages simultaneously.
Telecommunications: Jeff and his workers worked during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi to restore telecom services for Charter Cable. They worked with Time Warner in Houston following Hurricane Ike. He holds many certifications and has the ability to Install and Maintain any system running in the United States, no matter whether DirecTv, Dishnet, WildBlue, Charter, Cox, Time Warner, Comcast, or any other system. Jeff and his workers do Internet, Security Cameras, Telephone, Cable, Satellite, Sweep, Ingress, Drop Repair, and Storm Restoration of all types.
They have worked in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, New York, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Kansas, and will travel anywhere to assist a system in need.
In addition to Cable Maintenance, we also offer:
DirecTv Satellite System Installation and Maintenance
DishNetwork Satellite System Installation and Maintenance
Modem Installation and Maintenance
Phone Line Installation and Maintenance
Cable Services Installation and Maintenance
Cable Line Sweep and Ingress Services
Cable Component Swap and Adjustment
Security Camera Installation and Maintenance
Audio/Video Installation and Maintenance