Executive Bios

Thad Rutherford
Chief Operating Officer
With more than 11 years in the residential real estate development market, Thad Rutherford leads the team at SouthStar, guiding the vision of the company and its strategic investments. Thad handles the day-to-day operations for SouthStar’s $200 million portfolio of eight residential development properties across Texas and the Southeast, representing over 2,500 single-family homesites, and manages a 40-person team of real estate professionals. With Mr. Rutherford at the helm, SouthStar has turned successful deals into thriving communities for investors and customers alike.

Thad has experience across multiple markets and a broad range of deal structures including asset management, deal acquisition and project development. He has an MBA in International Business from the University of Miami and volunteers with the Urban Land Institute, United Way and the Real Estate Council of Austin.

Lundy Crabb
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
For three decades, Lundy Crabb has set unprecedented benchmarks in real estate sales and marketing. With expertise in primary and second home communities, from production home communities to luxury destination properties, Lundy’s vision has garnered his developer -partner’s unparalleled success.

As the head of SouthStar’s Sales and Marketing team, Mr. Crabb guides all aspects of sales strategy and process management, product development, market research and sourcing, and strategic marketing and business planning. Lundy provides support through all aspects of the development program, driven towards maximizing sales pace, revenues, and delivering communities and homeowner relationships that support long-term community success.

Cole Haley
Regional Sales Director
As a Regional Sales Director of SouthStar Communities, Cole Haley guides SouthStar’s growth in all markets. Mr. Haley leads the sales initiatives with his creative thinking and excellent customer service skills. With more than 15 years of experience, Cole has a strong background that includes sales, marketing and broker experience. The Hill Country communities and sales staff report to him and he oversees training and development of sales and marketing strategies.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Mr. Haley has both his Texas Real Estate Brokers License and his Mortgage Brokers License, giving him a deep understanding about real estate finance and lending.

Gretchen Howell
Vice President of Marketing
A marketing strategist with a keen eye for problem solving, Gretchen Howell brings over 25 years of real estate and digital marketing experience to SouthStar. As Vice President of Marketing, Ms. Howell oversees all marketing and communications including public relations, branding and collaterals development as well as execution of marketing strategies. Gretchen’s background includes a wealth of experience in marketing and operations for myriad real estate, high-end hospitality, financial services and e-commerce companies.
Ms. Howell graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Advertising & Marketing, Economics and French. She is a Senior Board Member at an area non-profit after school program for children and serves on numerous advisory boards for technology start-ups.

Kristi Robinson
Marketing Director
Kristi Robinson serves as the National Marketing Director of SouthStar Communities, responsible for all aspects of advertising, public relations and marketing. With over 18 years of experience in the real estate industry, Ms. Robinson’s expertise in research and event planning are beneficial to the launch of new communities and the long-term success of their development. Kristi creates and implements media campaign strategies that focus on maximizing sales generation and ROI. She holds numerous awards for her work in copywriting and design.

Ms. Robinson is a graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is active in area chambers of commerce and civic organizations, serving as a committee chair and on the board of directors. She also serves as the company liaison to Operation FINALLY HOME, coordinating numerous events and fundraising campaigns to support the charity in SouthStar’s Texas communities.

Justin Stensrud
Internet Marketing Director
Justin Stensrud brings more than 16 years of experience and unparalleled expertise in his role as Internet Marketing Director for SouthStar. Mr. Stensrud excels in developing strategic online marketing campaigns and cross-platform advertising, with specialties including demand generation, online advertising, marketing planning, digital media buying, data analysis and social media marketing. He directs SouthStar’s online sales strategies for eight residential communities across three states. Additionally, he oversees the company’s mobile marketing initiatives, search campaigns and social media marketing. Justin manages multiple strategic partnerships and continuously leverages new media to generate lead sources, expand the company’s online presence and increase revenue.

Mr. Stensrud has a Bachelor of Science Degree from The University of Texas at Austin and studied at the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business. He serves on the Advisory Board for several marketing and real estate companies in Austin and Dallas, providing key leadership and strategic marketing consulting advice.