Build Rock Solid



Constructed over 168 new foundations

He returned to his family’s construction business in Minnesota in 1993, where he was tasked in assisting with the transition of the family business to new owners. He continued with the new company, Mathy Construction, as a Project Manager, coordinating and selling projects in WI, IA, and MN. Annual sales of Asphalt exceeded 8 million tons and Mathy’s reputation for efficiency and quality was exemplary.

James was recruited by Phillips and Jordan Construction as an estimator in 1995 and moved to Knoxville, TN. In 1996, James made the decision to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and launched Agate, a company that began as a structural repair company and has grown into a full service design-build construction company that serves the southeastern United States. Never has Agate lost it’s founders focus on providing a truly engineered solution to any construction challenge. Since 1980 when designing and building an automated aggregate load out system for his grandfather, and constructing his first super insulated home as a club project in high school, until today, you can find James in the field demonstrating his signature hands on approach to designing and building his projects.

Melissa B. Wiseman-Quarve

Melissa B. Wiseman-Quarve became the co-owner of Agate in 2002. Agate is one of only a few woman-owned construction and engineering businesses in East Tennessee.
Melissa manages Agate’s day-to-day operations and serves as project manager for the company’s residential work, which includes the restoration of historic homes and structures. Melissa partners with owners every step of the way to give them the peace of mind that their project will be done right. When challenges arise, as they inherently do during a renovation, she works with Agate’s engineering team to develop solutions that retain or restore the original personality and glory of the structure.
Melissa has a personal passion for the work and art involved in restoring these historic treasures back to their original grandeur. Locally, she works closely with area artisans and Knox Heritage, a non-profit organization that is chartered by the State of Tennessee to preserve structures and places with historic or cultural significance in Knox County.
Before Melissa joined her husband, James Quarve, P.E., more than 10 years ago in owning and running the business, Melissa had an established career managing community programs in Illinois, Wisconsin and here in Tennessee that served youth and families. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Resources from the University of Arizona.
Melissa is a true believer in giving back to one’s community and has done this as a volunteer with Noah’s Ark, a no-kill animal shelter in Jefferson County and as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.
Melissa and James live on a farm in New Market, Tennessee. Melissa is an avid cook and often caters for friends and family events. The family attends Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church and enjoys outdoor activities like boating and kayaking.

Carla S. Gentry

AUTOCAD Technical Director

Carla S. Gentry has over thirty years experience as a CAD draftsperson. Her career passion has been in the residential sector working with SIP panel and conventionally framed homes. Carla has always been a valuable member of any team, with experience from from heat and air calculations to the layout of all framing members and plumbing layouts. Her previous work has included some of the most esteemed builders in the area, i.e: HEARTHSTONE, TENNESSEE LOG & TIMBERFRAME HOMES, E-LOG HOMES, and NORRIS DBL. WIDES. Using her knowledge and initiative, she broadened her scope and became involved with specialty homes; including log and timber frame homes.

Carla holds two degrees. The first, an Associate’s Degree in Industrial Technology (Drafting) at Walter’s State Community College. The second was at the University of Tennessee, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management with a Business Administration minor.

We welcome this professional to the team. She is a proud mother and a grandmother that loves outdoor activities such as boating, riding and being on the lake.