Schaad Companies is comprised of businesses owned and controlled by members of the John H. Schaad, Jr. family. The group's businesses include residential and commercial construction, development, real estate brokerage and management services, and investments.
In 1870 the Schaads immigrated to East Tennessee from Solothurn Canton in Switzerland where they had been successful farmers and builders. In the last half of the 19th century, Swiss immigrants were the largest group of immigrants in Knox County. When they arrived they brought a quality work ethic, love of the land and commitment to family. The Schaads began dairy farming in East Tennessee. Next they started selling Amish chicken feed, followed by lumber and building supplies. Their building supplies business segued into the construction business. Methodically reinvesting and working together, the Schaad family gained a reputation for being fair, honest, and quality driven.
Over the decades they have quietly shared their family's success with their community. Community outreach endeavors include having been the lead sponsor for the Helen Ross McNabb Mental Health & Rehabilitation Center & East Tennessee Public Television's joint major fundraiser, This New House, sponsoring annual events that benefit the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Knoxville Zoo, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Opera Company and Knox Heritage and the Rotary Foundation of Knoxville. In 2007, Schaad Companies joined HGTV's Restore America Program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the lead sponsor for Knox Heritage's 2007 Barber Houses Restoration Project. For the Clarence Brown Theatre's 2009-2010 Season, Schaad Companies was the lead sponsor for these main stage productions: A Streetcar Named Desire, A Christmas Carol, Charley's Aunt and Man of La Mancha. During the 2010-2011 Clarence Brown Theatre season Schaad was the lead sponsor for Amadeus, It's a Wonderful Life and The Merry Wives of Windsor. The 2011-2012 Clarence Brown Theatre Season marked the launch of the Schaad Companies CBT Main Stage Series. The plays presented were: Moonlight and Magnolias, A Christmas Carol, Black Pearl Sings and Kiss Me Kate. The 2012-2013 Schaad Companies CBT Main Stage Series sponsored Sweeney Todd, A Christmas Carol, A Raisin in the Sun, and On the Razzle. The 2013-2014 Schaad Companies CBT Main Stage Series sponsored Noises Off , A Christmas Carol, A Trip To Bountiful, and Spamalot. During the theatre's 2014-2015 season, Schaad Companies CBT Main Stage Series opens with The Miracle Worker in October, then A Christmas Carol in November/December, followed in February/March 2015 by A Midsummer Night's Dream, and ending in April/May 2015 with The Threepenny Opera.
In 2008 Schaad initiated a partnership with ORNL to form the ZEBRAlliance, an alliance devoted to maximizing cost-effective energy efficiency in buildings. The purpose has been to take the laboratory's energy efficiency research and incorporate the new materials and construction methods into home building. Schaad selected Barber McMurry architects to design four homes which Schaad has built as models. As Jennifer S. Banner, CEO of Schaad Companies, said at the ground breaking of the ZEBRAlliance homes on September 26, 2008 "The ZEBRAlliance is changing the future of home building. "The ZEBRAlliance homes are featured on HGTV's DIY network in a new series called This New House which began in July 2010. Schaad Companies was honored by the Greater Knoxville Area Chamber of Commerce on April 30, 2010, as the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Pinnacle Award for Innovation related to Schaad's leadership role as co-founder of the ZEBRAlliance, in addition to Schaad's financial investment as underwriter for the innovative houses.
Today, Schaad Companies' headquarters is located in the historic Knollwood Manor on top of Bearden Hill. Inside this beautifully restored landmark, Schaad has created a mini gallery of Knollwood's pre-Civil War history. Schaad Companies continues to appreciate the values imbued in its Swiss heritage. Throughout 2010 Schaad Companies celebrated its centennial – A Century of Continuous Innovation. The companies are involved in projects and ventures throughout the southeast and remain vigilant for new growth opportunities that will be beneficial for all concerned.