In our 45 years of service as Team DSC®, YOU have been the most important part of our legacy.
Because of you, Desert Star Construction is what it is today. Because of you, we will continue striving for excellence, integrity, and quality in the years ahead.
Thank you to our clients and partners for your friendship, trust and collaboration. If you have any photos or memories you would like to share with us from over the years, we invite you to send them to us at JVA@TeamDSC.com.
Jerry Meek started going to work with his dad Gerald in San Jose, California when he was five years old. The job would be at the Meek Family home—kindergarten in the morning and cleaning up job sites in the afternoon. Jerry’s dad taught him carpentry skills, both rough and finish. He did not teach only certain aspects of the process, but everything. By the time Jerry was 12, he could cut rafters for a conventional roof (no trusses) and was hanging doors made from scratch (not pre-hung). What started as spending time with his dad turned into a lifelong passion; Jerry always loved to build.
At 14 years old, Jerry Meek started a landscaping business. He was too young to legally drive, so he hired a driver. What began as a business focused on skinning palm trees (not one of Jerry’s safest endeavors) grew into landscaping people’s yards. He recalls one week his senior year in high school when he dug all the holes and rented a crane to place the trees. This was in addition to the maintenance services he provided at the then-only retail center in McCormick Ranch. Later, he branched out into building patios, roof structures, and barbecues for high school friends’ parents. The work was completed (mostly) before and after school. Jerry remembers a conversation with his Vice Principal, who said he had almost missed too many days to graduate high school. Fortunately, his achievements as Student Body President, in Junior Achievement, and his academics allowed him to graduate from Paradise Valley High School.
Desert Star Construction is founded by father-and-son team, Gerald E. Meek and Jerry Meek. Initially, they offered “rough and finish” carpentry services. The company continued providing rough and finish carpentry on all of the homes they constructed for almost another decade. When starting Desert Star Construction, most people asked why we did not use our name. The answer remains the same then as it does today: what we wanted to accomplish could only be done by a great group of people, a team. Nobody accomplishes anything great alone!
Carol Meek is brought on as Office Administrator, serving in nearly every capacity from human resources to accounting to help run the business with excellence.
George W. Christensen, FAIA, asked the father and son team to lunch. They all sit down for lunch at Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Steak Restaurant at Town and Country Mall. George asks one question: “Have you considered becoming General Contractors?” This insightful inquiry forever changes the course of Desert Star Construction, helping lead the company down the path of becoming an award‐winning custom luxury home builder.
Desert Star completes construction on the custom luxury residence of Grady Gammage, Jr., where the family still resides decades later! Located in Ahwatukee, this livable family home had a contemporary spin on Santa Fe style, exhibiting a strong design presence. The clients wanted a cheerful historical view; they wanted to honor history without becoming a slave to it. This was DSC’s first project using the drywall company, now a third‐generation company, that we still partner with today.
Jerry brings Jeremy Meek on site at “The Peak Project” in North Scottsdale for his first job site orientation. Carol wasn’t too happy with Jerry carrying their newborn son up a ladder to get a rooftop view, but Jeremy received a new perspective from the top of this Calvin Straub-designed home! DSC built two of the last homes Cal Straub designed. Cal invested time with Jerry, helping him to better understand the “why” of the designs and how to get there.
This project on Nauni Valley Road in Paradise Valley, AZ brought DSC to another level. There was a concrete rooftop so a crane would be able to transport a piano onto the roof for private events. The glass wall facing the rear yard was 16′ tall curved and insulated glass (we purchased a second curved panel and stored it for ten years just in case). The exterior of the building was masonry Spectra Glaze and each of the of the 30,000 pieces were all reviewed for approval ahead of fabrication. There was no room for error. This home ultimately achieved the honor of being Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine’s Home of the Year in May 1990.
Gerald and Jerry Meek meet Doug Shadd at the first of three residences Desert Star Construction builds for the client who ultimately commissions Dancing Light. Initially overseeing carpentry for various DSC-led projects, Doug is brought onto Team DSC® to work on high profile projects, including Family Fiesta, The Statesman, and The Entertainer, where he becomes Project Superintendent. Doug led every large-scale remodeling project on residences where Jerry was the superintendent of the original construction.
Team DSC® breaks ground on a custom luxury home, but first demolishes the Shangri‐La Resort that had 11 bungalows for guests to rent. One day when demolition was nearing completion on the old Shangri-La Resort, a couple in their 70s drove up looking to get a room and celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were shocked to see we were dismantling the buildings. Jerry apologized to them and asked if they wanted a brick as a memento/reminder of their wedding; they were very appreciative! The new home features exposed concrete floors on the interior, with Venetian plaster walls anchoring the home. Phoenix Forge handcrafted all the wrought iron and a few doors, the last remaining true blacksmiths in Arizona. Team DSC still stewards the property through Desert Star Concierge®.
Jeremy Meek starts working his first summer with Desert Star Construction, earning one dollar per hour.
Gerald E. Meek completes construction on The Statesman project, a residence that utilized a specialty Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) wall system in tandem with many reclaimed, European timbers. The Statesman is the capstone project for Gerald, with it being the last home he completes for Team DSC as a superintendent prior to his retirement.
Gerald E. Meek is pulled out of retirement by his son, Jerry, to oversee the site work and excavation work on MLB Hall-of-Fame Baseball Pitcher Randy Johnson’s 40,000+ square foot residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona: La Grande Maison.
Inspired by the mission and the people serving the community at the Phoenix Dream Center, Team DSC® steps in to complete a comprehensive renovation of a 4,000-square-foot, fully loaded commercial kitchen that serves an average of 9,000 people a week with a capacity of 21,000 meals per week. This volunteer project earns Desert Star Construction the Heart of Business Award from the Phoenix Business Journal for “Most Outstanding Company Project: Small Business.” As of 2020, the kitchen has served 6,300,000 meals.
As Sustainability Programs Manager, Jeremy Meek earns the LEED for Homes Accredited Professional (LEED AP Homes) credential, becoming the first building professional in the state of Arizona to achieve this designation. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the first custom home builder in Arizona to employ a LEED for Homes Accredited Professional, DSC continues to encourage the highest standard of sustainable living through a lasting commitment to sustainable construction practices.
Together with an all-star team of partners, El Chorro Lodge is renovated, retrofitted and reopened with state-of-the-art sustainable technology, making it the first full-service restaurant in Arizona to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) Gold certification. The project was completed rapidly, with the Herculean task of permitting and construction being accomplished in parallel for a 5 month overall duration.
After graduating at the top of his class at Arizona State University and receiving the Outstanding Graduate Award, Jeremy completed his masters degree at the University of Cambridge in England. Upon completion, Jeremy could have gone anywhere in the world to work; instead he joined Team DSC for 20% of the salary he was being offered overseas. When asked why, Jeremy said “I love the DSC culture and the people I get to work with: our clients, our team, our trade partners, and my family.”
Built by Desert Star Construction, Zona Verde becomes the first LEED certified home in Paradise Valley, with the Main Residence earning the Certified designation, the Guest House Gold, and the Caretaker Casita Platinum. The residence also garnered the Grand Award from the PCBC Gold Nugget Awards for “Custom Homes over 6,500 Square Feet”.
The Dream Rooms project is completed: a DSC-led effort that involved 10 interior design firms, 34 DSC trade partners, 300 contributing companies, and more than 1,000 volunteers who helped turn 10 previously uninhabitable hotel rooms at the Phoenix Dream Center into safe havens for victims of human trafficking to recover and rehabilitate. As of 2020, 931 women have been helped through their residency in the Dream Rooms and over 187 babies have been born to the residents.
North Scottsdale’s DC Ranch Silverleaf community welcomes its first LEED certified home, built by Desert Star Construction: Chateau Azure. The home features geothermal heating and cooling technology that greatly reduces the home’s energy use.
Team DSC’s first annual Family Fun Weekend is in 2013 and has continued every year since. Sometimes the entire team and their families enjoy the cool pines of Flagstaff or some years we enjoy a staycation at a local resort. Jerry Meek, Matt Rulapaugh, and Doug Shadd are pictured high in the Ponderosa Pines at AZ Adventure Park in 2014.
Desert Star Concierge, LLC is founded, inspired by our lasting commitment to bring our clients the support they desire and helping ensure their homes sustains their highest value for years to come. Desert Star Concierge’s team of Property Stewards help care for homes built by Desert Star Construction or other existing homes throughout Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.
Desert Star Construction is awarded the Gold Nugget Award for “Best Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle for a Custom Home” for Dancing Light, a Paradise Valley custom luxury residence. Dancing Light also goes on to earn Professional Builder’s “Home of the Year”, NAHB’s Best in American Living award, and garners attention from multiple international publications.
In partnership with the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU), Jerry and Jeremy Meek formally congratulate the first recipients of the Desert Star Construction Excellence in Luxury Home Building Scholarship and Team DSC Excellence in Craftsmanship Scholarship. An endowment was established at ASU by DSC, in partnership with a team of founding sponsors, with a shared vision to elevate the future of builders and craftspeople for generations to come.
Zona Verde is sold by the Walt Danley Group for a record-breaking $21 million in Paradise Valley.
Dancing Light is sold by the Bruske Group for a record-breaking $2,016/sf price in Paradise Valley.
Both signature DSC Personal Resorts® continue to be stewarded by Team DSC through Desert Star Concierge.
Celebrating excellence in design and construction on one of DSC’s Personal Resorts®, STRATA: A Desert Dwelling is published. STRATA is the epitome of the positive outcome that can be achieved through true teamwork and collaboration. The book can be purchased here and the STRATA project profile can be viewed here.