Our Team

Ken Ballenger


Ken Ballenger has been with F.E. Trainer since 2003. He attended UT Knoxville and Pellissippi State and is a Knoxville native. He is married and the father of two, and when not pursuing his passion for construction you'll find Ken camping, spending time with his church family, and pursuing personal construction projects.

In addition to his new task as lead estimator, Ken has also worked as project manager and foreman's assistant with the company.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: kballenger@fetconstruction.com

Ben Davenport

Project Manager

Ben Davenport was born and raised in a small town outside of Rome, GA. After high school, he moved to East Tennessee to continue his football career at Carson-Newman University while obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biology. In college, Ben met his wife, Duncan, and the two realized their shared passion for building and designing homes. From there, he began building and selling furniture, renovating homes, and eventually restoring historic homes that he personally owned. Prior to joining FETC, Ben was building custom homes and renovating homes around Knoxville. He and his wife have a newborn son, Kent. He is a faithful member and actively serves in his church. On days off, you can find him spending time with his family, enjoying the outdoors, and working on house projects.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: bdavenport@fetconstruction.com

Sam Hedger

Project Manager

Sam Hedger is a Knoxville native. He was homeschooled all the way until college, giving him the opportunity to pursue the trades through home remodeling projects with his DIY parents. At age 15 he started working in framing and trim carpentry for other contractors. He graduated from The University of Tennessee with a bachelors in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, Sam started a small residential remodeling business. After running his business for three years, he was called to F.E. Trainer Construction based on a desire to join a team with the shared pursuit of building high-quality homes and bettering people's lives and spaces. In his free time he enjoys everything outdoors and pursues various endurance sports.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: shedger@fetconstruction.com

Derek Keck

Project Manager

Derek was born and raised in the Karns community of Knoxville. He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in Construction Engineering Technologies in 2010 and has worked in various construction environments since 2007. Prior to F.E. Trainer, Derek gained experience as a licensed general contractor specializing in residential remodeling. He has built multiple custom homes and also spent several years managing multi-million dollar commercial construction projects. He and his wife, Ashley, have three children. He is a faithful member and actively serves in multiple roles at his church. On days off, you can find him at his kids' sporting events, camping with family, or watching UT football. 

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: dkeck@fetconstruction.com

Matthew Kelley

Project Manager

Matthew is a Knoxville native. After attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, he returned home to pursue carpentry/construction full time. He has eighteen years of experience in both commercial and residential construction and has spent the last eleven years actively participating in the revitalization of downtown Knoxville. Matthew and his wife of thirteen years have two sons. He enjoys spending time with his family, especially in the outdoors fishing, cycling and hiking.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: mkelley@fetconstruction.com

John McBroom

Project Manager

Growing up in Detroit, MI, John’s family moved to Middle Tennessee in 1977. After completing high school and a 6-year tour with the United States Marine Corps, he committed to the life of construction and has not looked back. John has been involved in many construction roles and projects over the last 35-years, from the transformation of wooded acreage and fields into developed subdivisions, the remodel and restoration of historic buildings, to the building heirloom homes in Knoxville and its surrounding county’s most exclusive neighborhoods and clients including Sequoyah Hills and Blackberry Mountain. John is an Elder at the church where he and wife spend much of their time volunteering and helping in the Seymour community.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: jmcbroom@fetconstruction.com

Tom Pace

Production Manager

Tom was born in Rockford, IL but while in high school his family journeyed South to Nashville, TN, and then he headed to the hills of East Tennessee to attend college.

At the University of Tennessee, Tom earned a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. He began his construction career framing homes in Knoxville. In 2002, he joined F.E. Trainer as job foreman progressing to a superintendent then a project manager. Tom has worked directly with Fred Trainer for over twenty years and has played an instrumental role in helping to build F.E. Trainer into the company it is today. Tom's current role is Production Manager where his focus is managing and supporting all of F.E. Trainer's production teams to provide our clients an excellent building experience.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: tlpace@fetconstruction.com

Hunter Purnell

General Manager

Hunter was born in Atlanta, GA and moved to Knoxville in 1990. After graduating from West High School, he went on to earn a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He has over sixteen years of experience in construction in the East Tennessee market, including many projects in historic neighborhoods as well as some of the most luxurious residential developments in the region. Hunter enjoys running, golfing, and attending sporting events with his wife and four children. He serves on the Volunteer Ministry Center board of directors, Emerald Youth golf tournament committee, and at his church, Fellowship, in the children’s and hospitality ministries. Hunter is a current member and past president of Nucleus Knoxville, a graduating member of Intro Knox, and a 2013 Knoxville Business Journal "Top 40 Under 40" class member.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: hpurnell@fetconstruction.com

Chris Roberts

Shared Services Manager

Chris joined F.E. Trainer Construction in August of 2020 after spending most of his career in a variety of operational roles with Young Life in Europe. Chris seeks to lead behind the scenes, providing the administrative support the FETC team needs to succeed. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (B.A. 1992, M.S. 1993) and has been married to his wife, Donna, since 1994. The Roberts have two children, Mac (class of 2023 at Furman University) and Madalena (U.S. Army Reserves and class of 2025 at the University of Pittsburgh).

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: croberts@fetconstruction.com

Clint Stowers

Project Manager

Clint Stowers is a Knoxville native who has worked in the Construction industry for the last fifteen years. From his first project renovating his own home in college to his most recent endeavor of owning his own renovation company, he has a variety of experience managing, overseeing, and completing projects. Clint is passionate about high quality work, and he enjoys the process of imagining and recreating spaces.

Clint is married, and he has one son. When he’s not working, you will find him coaching youth basketball, spending time with his family, or traveling.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: cstowers@fetconstruction.com

Colton Thomas

Director of Business Development

Colton is originally from the Bearden area of Knoxville. After attending West High School, Colton went on to the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) to get an undergraduate degree in Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship. His background in commercial construction, residential framing, and furniture design eventually led him to residential construction. He is passionate about building relationships with both homeowners and subcontractors. Colton is married and currently lives in downtown Knoxville. He loves spending time with his wife, planning adventurous trips around the country, and competing in triathlons. He also has a passion for mentoring young men through Young Life and other ministries in town.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: cthomas@fetconstruction.com

Fred Trainer


Company founder Fred Trainer, a Knoxville native, has worked in the construction industry since 1988. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and then achieved his M.B.A. from UT. His passion for history, architecture and community led him to start F.E. Trainer Construction. The company’s focus on customer service has driven them to be considered as one of Knoxville’s best custom home builders. Fred has an Unlimited Residential Contractor’s License and is a Certified Graduate Builder by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He also holds the Certified Green Professional Designation and is a member of an NAHB Builder 20 Club. Fred’s credentials are unparalleled and ensure you receive the highest quality construction and service.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: ftrainer@fetconstruction.com

Meg Wohlford

Client Relationship Manager

Meg grew up in Knoxville and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Starting with work as an architect intern in college, she now has over 17 years of experience between architectural design, interiors, and both general and subcontractor construction. She has worked on commercial and high end residential projects, as well as hospitality, infrastructure, and master planning projects; this variety of work and roles gives Meg a unique ability to see projects from multiple points of view. She is passionate about creative design and smart construction, but her favorite part of building any project is the people. Meg lives in the Fountain City area with her husband and two children, and she serves on the Family Advisory Council at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Office: 865-522-2423
Email: mwohlford@fetconstruction.com