One of Us: Cliff Nelson


Cliff Nelson is the Jacksonville division president for Mattamy Homes who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach with his family.

Can you please briefly tell us about your background?

I’m a Minnesota native who went to school in Vermont. I have had the opportunity to live in New England, California, Virginia, Southeast Florida and for the past four-and-a-half years, Ponte Vedra Beach.

During the first 10 years of my professional career, I worked for two different manufacturers that supplied building products to both commercial and residential construction companies. In 1999, I went to work for Centex Homes and spent nearly nine years working for the nationwide homebuilder in Southeast Florida and Richmond, Virginia.  In 2009, I took the role of vice president of operations for the Mattamy Homes division in Minnesota. In 2013, I was promoted to division president and transferred to Mattamy’s Jacksonville division.

I’ve been married for almost 24 years, and we have three children.

What are your primary roles and responsibilities as Jacksonville division president for Mattamy Homes?

I’m accountable to run and grow Mattamy’s business in Jacksonville – everything from identifying new land opportunities to ensuring our homeowners have the best experience throughout the process, and everything in between. Increasingly, my job also is about ensuring we hire, develop and engage the most talented people. 

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Helping our team members succeed in their roles; helping our customers realize their dreams of home ownership and helping build an exciting future for the company in Jacksonville.

Are you working on any exciting projects that you want to share with our readers?

Mattamy acquired the RiverTown master planned community from the St. Joe Company in 2014.  RiverTown is located in Northwest St. Johns County, on the St. Johns River. Since the acquisition, our team has gone through an extensive and rigorous re-branding effort in order to re-launch RiverTown. Our aspiration is to grow the community into one of Northeast Florida’s premier residential destinations. We “launched” RiverTown in February 2017 and since then we haven’t looked back. RiverTown has neighborhoods, amenities and lifestyle to suit all types of people in and around NorthEast Florida.

What are some of the biggest challenges today in the development world?

Finding the right people to join our team. Mattamy has a unique and special culture, and it’s not for everyone, so great care is taken during the recruiting and hiring process to ensure the right fit within our company.

Dealing with trade shortages is also challenging. The housing recession that occurred almost 10 years ago took its toll on the trades we depend on to build our homes. Many workers left the industry to find work. When housing started to rebound, those people had new jobs, in new industries and weren’t interested in coming back to homebuilding. We work closely with vendors, technical schools and colleges, encouraging young people that careers in homebuilding are rewarding and prosperous.

In addition, finding new land is a challenge. In order to grow our business in Jacksonville, we are constantly looking for and analyzing land that we can develop and build into thriving communities. We have a supportive owner, who wants us to grow, and we have access to capital when we find the right opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast? 

I enjoy being near the beach and all the outdoor activities Northeast Florida has to offer.