By J.B. Blocker
Parents and partners, builders and developers, artist and musicians, civic leaders and humanitarians, they are passionate and vocal about loving life.
George Fuller is the builder of McKinney’s Adriatica and was recently recognized in D Magazine’s Best Builders in Dallas for the fourth time. Adriatica is a Croatian-inspired village being built in the heart of Stonebridge.
Q: How unique is the Adriatica development?
George answers: First, I was enamored by the vision of Jeff Blackard, the developer. His vision was to go beyond the aesthetic appeal and create a true village, which by definition is a more green development. A resident of Adriatica, without getting in their car or crossing a main street, can buy groceries, shop, dine, bank and go to Starbucks. They can swim, play tennis or golf, rent movies, and fish. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants and other neighborhood professional are a walk, bike ride, or golf cart ride away. Additionally, our choices of materials and construction methods in Adriatica are focused on using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient while architecturally building a community that grows in aesthetic appeal with age. Ultimately, Adriatica will be a nice complement to our great Historic Downtown and other communities in our city.
Maylee Thomas Fuller is a well-known local musical talent with a newly produced 6th CD called ‘Raining Grace.’ The Maylee Thomas Band is a DFW favorite and her gutsy, bluesy and soulful sound is a reflection of the artist.
Q: Your newest album is a worship recording. Is that your new direction?
Maylee answers: Really, that’s a journey we’ve always been on. This is just the first time we captured our faith on an entire album. Our next record, called “Texas Home,” will be a collection of songs that reflect our deep Texas soul.
Q: George is a guitarist in your band. How’s does that relationship work?
George answers: Let me answer that! I went to see Maylee perform at the West End [in downtown Dallas], and I knew she was a real talent! My wife and I have a creative connection in music. I’m one of the lucky ones who get to play in her band. How cool is that! I get to play behind my favorite singer!
Q: Your latest endeavor is the Guitar Sanctuary and Music School in McKinney on Virginia Parkway in Adriatica. That must be a dream for a guitar and music family.
George says: It seems we use the word passionate a lot, but passion drives us both. Whether it’s enjoying our family and faith or inspiring next generation musicians. Opening the Guitar Sanctuary was definitely an indulgence. I wanted to create an intimate environment where people could experience both the instrument and instruction in a fulfilling way, specifically, not in a big box retail store. Sharing the world of guitars with our community, and its children, is fulfilling, especially on the teaching side.
Q: George made a strong run for the mayor of McKinney even with a late entry. What do you say about that campaign?
George: First, let me say that I am very proud of Brian Loughmiller who won that election. He is a great mayor for McKinney, and it was his time to lead. He has my confidence and support. I was really humbled by the highly committed support that rallied behind me. We learned from the dedication it takes to offer your voice and take a lead in your community. We have talented leaders in this community and they need to all lend their talents in the present for the benefit of our future.
Q: You are now serving as the vice chair of the McKinney Community Development Corporation, how are you involved?
George: As a builder in McKinney for nearly 20 years with a very active family, I am extremely sensitive to the relationship between McKinney and its residence. We are one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, certainly that is in large part a product of our appeal and roots as a small and family community. Maintaining that integrity is vital, and my involvement in MCDC allows me to be part of that process.
George and Maylee’s oldest son Austin [jersey No. 35] just played in the Orange Bowl as a sophomore starter for Virginia Tech. The youngest, a fourth-grader, Layla Grace is active in theatre and music and wants to be a performer like her mommy. 12-year-old son Raine is an avid reader and adventurous animal lover. He and his horse Jesse make quite a pair.
The newest member of their family is Milyan Hope. The adopted her in Ethiopia. George was on a mission trip to restore damaged orphanages when a young, fragile girl stole his heart. Milyan is now a fifth-grader who also loves music, soccer and life.
Q: Tell us about the Love Life Foundation.
Maylee says: Love Life is our mantra. It had a humble beginning when our band played at a fundraiser for a family in need back in the early 90s. We realized then we could use our music to raise money for other charitable causes and formed “The Love Life Foundation.” Since then, and with the expansion of other endeavors, we have raised close to $2 million dollars to help and support at risk women and children in our community and abroad. Over the holidays, we created the “Love Life Gift Wrapping” that took only donations for the benefit of local shelters and collected care packages for the troops. You should have seen the overwhelming support of our community that made it a huge success! … Even Santa showed up a few days!
J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Historic Downtown McKinney, Texas.