Encouraging the Next Generation of Business Leaders
Chris Cline, Owner and Operator, Cline Construction
Business entrepreneur, Chris Cline, created the Cline Family Endowed Scholarship for a junior or senior 2BLeader student who has an interest in real estate, construction and/or design. Cline owns multiple real estate construction and development businesses in the OKC metro area.
What inspired you to establish the Cline Family Endowed Scholarship for 2BLeader students?
Cline said he was involved in multiple businesses in the OKC area and appreciated the leadership skills he learned from UCO. He said, “I just felt like it would be a good way to give back to the university that helped me through the years and allowed me to get to where I am at today.”
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
“I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I just knew I was a born salesman. I really didn’t even know I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” said Cline. He shared about going to work in a warehouse, which was a lighting store. Cline said, “Everything just fell into place from there.” The lighting company he worked for sold lighting to builders in the local metro area as well as commercial items for restaurants and lighting packages to other clients. He started in the warehouse and then went into the back office to do purchasing, receiving and accounts payable. Cline said he basically learned how to operate a business through that experience. After going into sales and working for another manufacturing distribution company as a sales representative doing a lot of the operations and accounting, he decided to start his first business, Cline Construction, in 2011. His entrepreneurial ventures have led him to own multiple companies and LLCs doing various projects in roofing, flooring, home building, residential development, commercial development, title, siding and more.
Can you talk a little bit about the support you provided to our 2BLeaders students and what it is about the program that attracted you to give of your time and expertise as a mentor last year?
After graduating from college and coaching little league wrestling, Cline said that the older he’s gotten, he’s realized he’s a better coach than he was a wrestler. Cline said that the further he gets in his business development, while he’s proud of the things that he’s built, he’s in a season where giving back is a primary focus. He said, “I feel like I’ve got time that I should be giving because folks were giving of their time to me when I was growing up and learning things, and God put it on my heart to give back.”
What made you say, “yes,” to be a part of the Dean’s Advocacy Board?
While he admitted he did not know much about the business program at UCO until joining the Dean’s Advocacy Board, Cline said the offer to be a part of the board hit his heart and he joined to give back to the university. Cline said, “I really think Jeremy Oller is doing a great job with the leadership there at the College of Business, and the eagerness from what I’ve heard in the board meetings that their team has to try to interact with the community hits home to me because I’m in the community. I appreciate those things that create synergy between the college and the community here in Edmond.”
What are you passionate about?
Cline said his primary passions are giving and philanthropy. He said, “I feel like I’ve got a knack or a God-given gift to bring people together.” As an avid networker, especially with those in the building industry, Cline decided to start a nonprofit called the SHARE Foundation to build homes and gift deserving families who have had rough experiences with a place to live, raise their family and get back on their feet. He spoke about how within their building industry, there is really not a lot of access to similar programs beyond charitable organizations that help the homeless. He said, “This specifically stayed in my wheelhouse because we’re pairing a large group of community builders together rather than just one builder trying to do it themselves.” Through the SHARE Foundation, Cline and his team are bringing in 20-30 local homebuilders who all have a passion for giving back to the community. Cline said, “In turn, their businesses would not be successful if the community didn’t appreciate the services that they offered. So it gives an avenue for those builders to have some community outreach where there’s really not many programs that are doing a lot of that community outreach now, for local homebuilders anyways.”
Chris Cline’s Bio:
Chris Cline was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in April of 1981. Cline’s parents are Jerry and Patsy Cline and have been married for 47 years as of 2022. Cline has two brothers, one older brother, Matt Cline, and one twin brother, Marc Cline. Marc and Chris are identical twins. After moving to Katy, Texas, at four years old, the Clines moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, in 1989. Chris graduated from Broken Arrow High School in 2000 and received a scholarship to wrestle at UCO.
In 2004, he started his first job in the construction industry working in a warehouse at a local lighting company called Lighting Concepts. Chris worked his way through many different operational jobs on his way to becoming a construction industry salesperson for a variety of different companies over the next seven years and started his entrepreneurial endeavors in February of 2011. From 2011 until today, Chris has started and still owns and operates the following businesses, centered and geared around residential and light commercial real estate construction and development in the OKC metro area: Cline Construction (2011), Handmade Homes (2014), NewCon Flooring (2016), JDC Development (2018), ABC Title (2020), NewCon Siding (2022) and multiple other LLCs focused in the construction and real estate industries.
Chris has been married to the love of his life, Kelli Cline, since December 2015. They are blessed to have been raising their daughter, Josslyn Grace Cline, since May 2018. The family of three currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma, where they enjoy spending time together doing outdoor activities and growing in their faith and relationship with each other and Christ. The Clines are currently working on starting a 501(c)(3), called the SHARE Foundation, and look forward to its first year of philanthropic growth in 2022.