SANTA ROSA – Janver Holly has been working in the construction industry for 30 years, so it may come as a surprise to learn that he’s also a credentialed religious scholar, holding dual master’s degrees in Theology and Divinity. While he once considered becoming a full-time pastor, Janver ultimately decided to take a less formal path. “I understood the significant role of those working within the church, but I personally felt it was more important to be part of the working world,” he explains. “I wanted to live out my faith organically rather than within an organization, and that’s what I’ve been able to do.”
Janver’s fascination with construction began early in life. “My dad was a teacher and was actively involved in efforts to improve the educational system, which meant a lot of the household repairs fell to me,” he remembers. “By the time I was 17, I was building decks and performing home repairs for friends and neighbors.” Janver’s industrial aptitude enabled him to land a job that eventually helped fund his college education. After taking a few years off to work in youth ministry, he re-entered the construction industry in 1984 and founded Holly Construction, which he eventually incorporated as Holly & Associates, Inc.
While he’s lived in the Bay Area for more than four decades, Janver spent the first years of his life in an uncommon setting. “My parents and I lived in a Mennonite community just south of Fresno until I was eight years old,” he says. “I grew up milking cows and churning butter!” Now situated in mainstream society, Janver says his favorite thing about the Bay Area is its extensive diversity. “I’m fascinated by ideas, philosophies and how people think, so I really appreciate the wide range of people and ideas that pervade this area.”
Outside of work, Janver spends much of his time with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children, Jordan, Alex, Tony and Sarah. “My two oldest are in college, and the other two are juniors in high school,” he says. “We frequently have a house full of teenagers, so we try to keep a full refrigerator—there’s always a willing mouth to feed!” Besides being a full-time family man, Janver likes to engage in activities that elevate both his mind and body. “I’m a voracious reader and always enjoy learning new things. I also love being in the mountains, whether hiking in the summer or snowboarding in the winter.”
In both his life and career, Janver advocates the importance of living a goal-oriented life. “I’m a big fan of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the idea of living your life with the end game in mind,” he says. “In everything I do, I enjoy thinking through the steps and then watching them unfold.” Accordingly, Janver says he has put considerable thought into his future retirement, yet he’s doubtful he’ll ever really stop working. “I have too much fun doing it. When I retire, Jennifer and I will probably travel more often, but other than that I don’t think things will change much.”