A few weeks ago I shared three success stories of leaders in the landscaping industry. Now it’s time to share a few stories about great leaders from our other customer base- pavement maintenance contractors. Just like the green industry contractors we featured in our previous post, the path to success for each of these pavement maintenance business owners is very different.
The Rock Star
Christian Parker started a side business striping parking lots during the summer to help support a music career. But in the early 90’s he decided to focus on his business and grow it. And that he did. Christian shares his story about working in nearly every position in his company until he finally ‘let go of the handlebars’ and grew his business to new levels in a Pavement Maintenance and Reconstruction article.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“During the period when I was the main person pushing the striper my philosophy was that nobody can paint like I do. One day a very wise person in business told me ‘with that attitude you will never grow, you need to let go of the handle bars.’”
What happened next not only caused Parker to relinquish the handlebars, it resulted in him re-evaluating his entire pavement marking operation, re-inventing his business, and taking an entirely new approach that has transformed his commercial pavement maintenance company.
The 30-Year Veteran
Randy DeVries formed his pavement maintenance company in 1982 and has never looked back. Now he works with his two sons and his son-in-law, and he sees a bright future ahead for the company. He shared highlights of his 30-year journey as the owner of Site Services in an Allied Paving and Equipment article.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Over the past 30 years, the company has faced many new challenges, as well as growth and successes. “Our first 10 years were focused on learning and trying to build our brand,” Randy recalls. After that learning period, Randy was able to spend the next 10 years enjoying steady growth in the market share.
And the most recent 10 years have been marked by major changes: Site Services added paving and milling to their services and also became a union contractor; they experienced significant growth averaging over 11% compounded annually; they put in place a completely updated set of internal systems and procedures; and they greatly expanded roles for the next generation of the family who plan to run the business.
The Accidental Environmentalist
Ron LaCoe, a disabled veteran, started his sealcoating and asphalt maintenance company in 2005. While on the way to pick up sealer from a supplier, Ron drove past a glass-crushing plant that spurred him to test more environmentally friendly additives for sealcoating material -recycled glass. Ron’s story was also featured in Pavement Maintenance and Reconstruction.
Here’s an excerpt from Ron’s story:
“I’ve used crushed slag and I didn’t like it and we used silica sand, but that has some dangers to it,” LaCoe says. “If you use it as much as most sealcoaters do you are exposed to it a lot, so I just started looking around for something else and started asking questions.”
LaCoe says A-1 Sealcoating, which uses a Pitch Black asphalt emulsion sealer, tested the crushed glass in the process throughout 2012, using it on all its sealcoating jobs including driveways, parking lots and gas stations – and so far all applications have held up very well. He says the glass can work equally well in refined coal tar sealers.
How did you get your start in the pavement maintenance industry? Share your story with us in the comments section of this post.