From the second generation of Hightowers to run the family business, James – or “Jimmy” – remains committed to the basic value of “business done on a handshake.” As President, he oversees all aspects of corporate and financial operations, ensuring that the company’s ideals of honesty, integrity, and quality permeate throughout the business. A proud graduate of the College of Charleston, Jimmy has served on his alma mater’s Board of Trustees, and his athletic accomplishments earned him a position in the college’s Hall of Fame. Jimmy is deeply involved in Lowcountry civic life, and he is a member of several community organizations.
Art brings 40 years of construction experience and expertise to the Hightower business. Responsible for senior management of major projects, Art ensures that Hightower projects never compromise on safety or quality while still delivering the best value for our clients. Art has worked on hundreds of construction projects, bringing creative solutions to the diverse owners Hightower is honored to serve.
Jamie joined Hightower in 1995. Jamie is responsible for the overall supervision of construction operations. He serves as a liaison between clients, subcontractors, and Hightower staff, ensuring that our team collaborates effectively and ultimately meets the needs of our clients. Jamie received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University, and he earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of Leadership Charleston 2001, and he also served on the Board of Directors for AGC. Jamie is a NCCER Certified Trainer with certifications in First Aid/CPR, and he was also trained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in construction quality management. Jamie is a proud member of several civic groups in the Charleston Area.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Jason Hightower is responsible for the company’s finances, accounting, technology and business operations. Jason is part of the third generation of Hightowers working for the company. He first started as an intern in 2000, and he has performed various accounting and technology roles since becoming a full-time employee in 2003. Jason earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Charleston Southern University in 2010 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The College of Charleston in 2005.
Aaron joined Hightower in 2005. Aaron is responsible for the operational health of the business, including financial and performance management. Aaron earned a bachelor’s degree in building science and a minor in business administration from Clemson University. Aaron is a LEED-accredited Professional and a NCCER Certified Trainer. He has certifications in AGC Project Supervision, SWPPP, and First Aid/CPR; he was also trained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in construction quality management. Aaron is involved in several community-based organizations.
Ken Palka, P.E.
Senior Project Manager
Ken joined Hightower in 2006. A well-versed and versatile project manager, Ken is responsible for ensuring that each project meets or exceeds established cost, schedule, and performance objectives. Ken is a graduate of The Citadel’s Civil Engineering Program, and he is a registered Professional Engineer. Ken has certifications in First Aid/CPR; he was also trained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in construction quality management.
Senior Project Manager
Chris joined Hightower in 2017. A retired military officer, Chris served as a Civil Engineer Commander in the United States Air Force, and he remains committed to the community through participation in several civic organizations. Chris received a construction quality management certification from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Chris is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s engineering program, and he earned a master of business administration degree from Webster University.
As a Project Manager, Justin Hightower assists in developing bids and is instrumental in managing some of the company's more challenging projects, and has earned certification in construction quality management from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Justin also oversees the management of the company’s fleet and construction equipment. Justin has been around the family business for his whole life, lending him a deep understanding of the construction industry in general and the unique culture of Hightower Construction in particular.
Joey joined Hightower in 1998. Joey has worked on hundreds of construction projects over the course of more than three decades with the business. Joey brings that experience to the job site every day, creatively and efficiently moving each project closer to completion. Joey has certifications in AGC Project Supervision, SWPPP, and First Aid/CPR; he was also trained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in construction quality management.
Manager, Accounting and Procurement
Sara Hightower is proud to be part of the third generation working in the family business. As Manager of Accounting & Procurement, she is responsible for project accounting, vendor relationships, and procurement. Prior to joining the company, Sara worked as an accounts payable specialist and an income auditor in a large corporation’s accounting department. Before that, she was a bookkeeper for a small business in Orange County, California.
Thomas has been a key member of the Hightower team since 1996. As Safety Manager, he promotes and enforces procedures that ensure our projects comply with regulations and meet our exceedingly high safety standards. Backed by certifications including OSHA 500 and 510, Thomas proactively shares best practices with employees, subcontractors, and owners alike to protect people and property.