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The Highland Team


Dan McFerrin


Dan has over 30 years of experience in construction project management, operations planning, communications, project controls, budget and schedule expertise with seven years of experience as an Operations Planner and Sector Manager.  Dan has spent many years of his professional career living overseas in such countries as Italy, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Living and working in these regions has given Dan an appreciation and eye for old world architecture, colors and construction methods.  He has brought these ideas back to the states and has been able to incorporate them into residential homes for clients.  Dan retired from the United States Marine Corps after 21 years of service and moved to Landrum, SC. 


Matt Padula


Matt has over 20 years of experience in construction project management, production planning, engineering and quality control.  Matt began his construction career when he was 21 years old as a carpenter in his families Construction company.  After spending many years in the field, he eventually held corporate roles in the construction and manufacturing industry, Matt holds professional certifications in Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma Black Belt, Environmental Remediation, Leadership and Quality Engineering.  Highland Design and Construction was formed with the sole purpose of providing clients with the very best quality and a unique home building experience.

Josh Sims

General Superintendant

Josh has 20 years of experience in residential and commercial construction.  Josh started his career as a trim and frame carpenter and was trained by a master carpenter for almost 10 years before taking the step into a management role and business owner.  For the last 10 years, Josh has built many beautiful custom homes ranging in style from; true post and beam, round homes, craftsman style, and farmhouse.  A master carpenter himself, Josh has an eye for the details and can set a high standard of quality in all aspects of the building process.  Josh lives in Landrum, SC with his wife and three children.

JohnRobert Gimler

Site Superintendant

John Robert serves as Site Superintendant for Highland, specializing in the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing phases of construction.  He has a deep knowledge of fluid mechanics, fluid dynamics and process engineering.  Growing up in the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, he developed an appreciation for engineering and mechanical systems throughout his childhood. This appreciation led JR to attend the University of Rhode Island where he achieved a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Along the journey, JR had the opportunity to live abroad in Berlin, Germany where he came to admire the gothic architecture of the German countryside and the historic style riddled throughout the country. 


Danielle Padula

Accounting Specialist

Danielle serves as the Accounting Specialist / Office Manager.  She has over 15 years of experience in Logistics, Supplier Relations Management, Procurement, Quality Conformance, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing, Process Improvement, and Inventory Management. Danielle has worked in Indirect Purchasing and Planning for the BMW Group serving as the liaison with BMW AG (Germany) and other BMW facilities (China, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, North America, New Jersey, Ohio, and Chicago) regarding common purchasing strategy and processes.  However, her first memories as a child were on the construction sites with her grandfather, Reverend Mac McFerrin as she comes from a long line of Carpenters and Builders. She now visits jobsites with her father, her husband, and her children, carrying the legacy of building into the 4th generation.  This brings her a great deal of joy!


Hailey Gimler

Design Specialist

Hailey functions as the Design Specialists  for Highland. She earned her degree in Interior Design at Converse University, she has specialized in design software such as  Autocad, Revit and Sketchup. In addition to her work at Highland, she also owns an independent business that assists clients with complete interior decor services. Having lived her whole life in the home construction field, Hailey has had a long-time passion for design and architecture. As she continues her dream, she hopes to continue the family legacy and work alongside clients to achieve their goals for years to come.


Jake Wilkie

Foreman / Carpenter

Jake has 10 years of experience in a wide range of Construction processes.  Jake has worked as a carpenter and handyman and earned a degree in manufacturing / machine technology.  Prior to joining the Highland team, Jake worked in the Manufacturing sector where he learned the principles of LEAN manufacturing.  That experience combined with his construction knowledge is a welcomed advantage to Highland Design & Construction.

Scott Hixson

Site Superintendant

Scott has been in the construction industry for a decade and holds a degree in Biochemistry from Clemson University.  Scott has a keen eye for detail and producing a high-quality product.  Scott has also been a residential appraiser with a specialty of valuing high-end custom homes that have a pension for efficiency and green construction qualities.  Scott follows LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) guidelines as a basis to create and value homes that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of a homes’ inhabitants. Scott enjoys fly-fishing as well as equestrian events with his wife and 2 kids and their associated horse pets.

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