HTP Homes Inc., a 501(c)(3) minority/woman-owned organization, was founded by Aaron Thompson and Claudia Jones to provide occupational training in construction trades for young adults and returning citizens.
For over 20 years, Aaron Thompson, a licensed general contractor, has dedicated his time to successfully train young men who have unlimited potential but limited opportunities. The verifiable results of this training demonstrate what can happen when young adults are given a second chance to succeed. Claudia Jones, a retired senior executive of a Fortune 10 company is now using her extensive leadership skills and knowledge to enrich the lives of those who society often ignores.
Combining decades of construction and corporate experience with ambitious, but achievable goals, HTP Homes, Inc. provides pathways and a second chance for young adults to thrive.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At HTP Homes, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core to our mission and guiding principles. We foster mutual respect, honesty, integrity, and fairness. Our pledge is to develop a rich culture, a diverse workforce, and a healthy work environment that empowers personal and career growth. Everyone will experience fair, equitable treatment, learn, grow, and have the freedom to contribute to company success.
Diversity refers to all the qualities that make individuals different from each other and comfortable being authentic; religion, race, ethnic origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or other differences. The wide range of experiences and perspectives resulting from such diversity makes us better— More productive, innovative, responsive, competitive, and creates value for our employees, constituency, donors, and the communities we serve.
Meet the CEO
Aaron D. Thompson
I know the value of learning a trade because it’s an integral part of my life story. I’ve been a licensed general contractor for over three decades. But my story begins very much like the young men and women we help through the HTP Homes initiative.
I grew up in an urban area in Maryland — a town weighed down with challenges including a high crime rate. Like many other young men in my neighborhood, I learned to box at an early age, and eventually became a professional boxer. To this day, I continue to work with young men at boxing gyms.
I also learned construction skills. I started out as a laborer and by working late hours, watching, and studying I progressed to become a master carpenter. That extra effort led me on a path to start my own construction and development business.
As a business owner I was able to pay it forward by hiring young men, some formerly incarcerated, into my construction business and teaching them the skills they need to make a living wage. Several former employees have gone on to start their own businesses leveraging the foundational knowledge and skills they learned. It’s this same “earn and learn” model with proven results and success that we are bringing to the HTP Homes program in order to enrich the lives of young men.
Aaron D. Thompson, CEO HTP Homes
Aaron D. Thompson
Co-Founder & CEO
HTP Homes, Inc.
My greatest passion is giving young men a hand up, not a handout.I know the value of learning a trade because it’s an integral part of my life story.Every day I strive to share my knowledge and reinforce the fact that everyone has a choice and is held accountable to make the right choices.I co-founded HTP Homes Inc. because young men need to see that they can earn a good living and be self-sufficient no matter where they start in life.I grew up in an urban area in Maryland — a town weighed down with challenges including a high crime rate; I relate to the young men HTP Homes Inc. strives to help because I’ve walked in their shoes.
Our Choices Shape Our Future
Like many young men in my neighborhood, I learned to box at an early age, and eventually became a professional fighter.Driven by a desire to help others, I joined the Guardian Angels in my early twenties, rising to the rank of Special Forces Commander before stepping down after twenty-eight years of service.These experiences shaped who I am and taught me tremendous discipline, leadership, the value of serving others and how to give unselfishly.
As a teenager, I also learned construction skills. I started out as a laborer and by working late hours and studying I progressed to become a master carpenter. That extra effort led me on a path to start my own construction and development business.Today, I am a licensed general contractor with a successful business and over three decades of experience, but like a lot of the young men in the HTP Homes Inc. program, I wasn’t privileged to go to college.My key to success was understanding that if you’re disciplined and dedicated there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Making The Connection
As a former Guardian Angel protecting the toughest neighborhoods, I understand the challenges young men are facing; the peer pressure of gangs and the desire to be the tough guy.My objective in co-founding HTP Homes Inc. is to show that it doesn’t make you tough because you went to jail, it makes you tough when you stay out of jail.My goal is to bridge the gap, letting young men know they have other options.I came from the same neighborhoods, but I made different choices.I go the extra mile to show that I believe in them and I’m there to help.Making that simple connection is what shifts attitudes and changes lives.
A Model For Success
I’ve dedicated my life to helping and inspiring others because I believe in their potential and I want them to believe in themselves.Over several decades, I’ve trained young men in construction trades, beginning with safety protocols and moving through multiple disciplines from demolition to carpentry. I expose trainees to business professionals in specialty areas like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC because I want them to know they can be self-sufficient at whatever they choose to do.The key driver of my training model is building relationships that go beyond the work.I talk about life and its pitfalls; I encourage fiscal responsibility – savings and investing.I set high expectations of these amazing young men and I do not compromise.Creating an environment of comfort and trust allows for necessary breakthroughs and reassures my trainees that I truly care.
Paying It Forward
As a business owner I’ve hired several at-risk men, some formerly incarcerated, into my construction business teaching them the skills they need to make a living wage. Many have gone on to start their own businesses, leveraging the foundational knowledge they learned and creating job opportunities for others.It’s this effective, structured “earn and learn” model that motivated me to establish HTP Homes Inc.I’ve seen it work and it worked for me.My vision is to place 100% of the program participants into full-time jobs and to instill in them the same passion to pay it forward.
Board of Directors
Marsha is a Social/Restorative Justice Strategist and Business Consultant with over 25 years of successful experience in policy and program development and implementation. Marsha is the former Director of Reentry and Transition Services for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services where she oversaw reentry program and services for 23 state correctional institutions, the Baltimore Pretrial and Detention Services, and the Division of Parole and Probation. As the Deputy Program Director of the Anne Arundel County Police Department Office of Re-Entry and Community Collaboration, she assisted with developing and implementing the re-entry strategy for the county. She is currently the Program Director/Reentry Coordinator for the newly established reentry initiative, Pre/ReEntryProgram (PREP) with Anne Arundel County Detention Facilities.
Marsha was recognized by Maryland Governor Wes Moore during his inaugural State of the State Address for her tireless services to the community and work in Reentry.
Claudia B. Jones
Former Senior Vice President Public Affairs & Communications, AT&T. Expertise in managing multimillion-dollar budgets, corporate governance, multicultural outreach and engagement.
Managing Director, Human Resource Transformation, Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Over 20 years experience in global transformation, technology and rethinking/reimagining learning.
Shirley P. Williams
Shirley is a retired educator, having spent 30 years teaching in the Montgomery County, Maryland school system. She is a proud member of the Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a member of the Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter Fund, Inc. and a former chairperson of its membership committee. Ms. Williams graduated from Howard University with a BA degree in Sociology and earned an MA degree in education from the University of Texas.
Executive Advisory Committee
Executive Advisor Committee
Tom is the founder and president of SoulSeed LLC. where he has built a practice to guide companies into an era of business performance that is measured and enhanced by trust leadership © . At the core, Tom is a thought-leader and innovator in the expertise of reputation/brand strategy and operational effectiveness. He has spent the better part of his career studying and crafting the art of the human factor business. Tom has strategized for some of the most recognized global brands (M&M Mars, Microsoft, Disney, History Channel, NASA, Bell Canada, Eaton, LivingSocial) and believes his purpose is to share his unique insights with companies that want to make a shift as they continue to grow in significant ways that build legacy.
Executive Advisory Committee
Kelley is a seasoned marketing and brand management professional with over 25 years of diverse experience, including launching products at Sara Lee Bakery and Equal Sweetener, leading global marketing strategies for online travel sites while managing strategic partnerships at Marriott International. She currently serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience at Bozzuto, where she leads marketing and customer experience strategy for the company's entire portfolio of managed communities. Kelley has been recognized for her notable successes, including being named Marketer of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards and a 2021 GlobeSt. Woman of Influence.
Executive Advisory Committee
Michele L. Turner, MBCP, FBCI, CISA, CRISC, CCRP, is an Amazon #1- best selling author and resiliency leader with close to 30 years’ experience with Fortune 5 companies in the areas of Governance, Risk, and Compliance. Michele has a Master of Science degree in Business Continuity from Norwich University, and is an international speaker on the topic of Business Continuity, Risk Management, Governance, and related areas. She is a requested guest lecturer at the University of Washington, on such topics as Cyber Security and Operational Risk, and a Course Instructor and Board Director for Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII).
Executive Advisory Committee
Christopher Dews is the Assistant Vice President of Cornerstone Government Affairs and lobbies primarily on behalf of lower-income workers and job seekers in Maryland. His mission has been to advance lower-wage workers to higher-wage jobs through the elimination of barriers to employment. Current policy efforts include expanding access to occupational licensing, reducing criminal record expungement waiting periods, eliminating criminal justice debt, repealing license suspensions for child support, and lowering the cost of auto insurance for Baltimore's workforce. His most recent success is the passage of the REDEEM Act, which cuts the waiting periods in half for criminal convictions currently eligible for expungement.