Mike and Brian are joined by Jon Archer, President and CEO of Destination West Builders. After an ACL tear in his senior year of high school, his college football hopes were dashed. And though his football dreams were gone, the two things he was able to carry with him were teamwork and hard work. And those two themes carried him through college, where he studied Construction Management, and the myriad of jobs he worked on before starting Destination West Builders. Now with a growing team, and an insatiable tenacity to never stop, Destination West Builders is growing at a rapid pace and Jon is the reason for it. Jon, a natural leader, shows what grit, tenacity, and teamwork can easily do when starting your own company.
Mike and Brian are joined by Sean Yahn, CEO of American Window Concepts. Prior to American Window Concepts, Sean worked for a window manufacturer and toured the state of California working on warranty claims. The thing he learned… a great window with a bad installation by a fly-by-night subcontractor equals a terrible product. So, when American Window Concepts was launched, he put his OCD to work ensuring that every window is meticulously measured, manufactured and installed correctly the first time. That same attention to detail has been handed down to his employees to the point, now, that his meticulous methodology is replicating itself within each install, the culture, and the very fabric of the company. The people there are like family, and that’s very intentional. You’ll love the energy and the passion that Sean brings to his craft, we guarantee it!
Mike and Brian are joined by Elizabeth May, CFO of LAC Flooring and Founder at Ellie May, Inc. Elizabeth fell in love with construction in high school when she signed up for a home building program. Fast forward a few years later, after moving to Los Angeles, she went to work for a CPA, started a family, and eventually started her own bookkeeping company where she met LAC Flooring. She was brought in to clean up the finances, and easily demonstrated her value creating her own position there as the CFO. Ellie May, Inc. started soon after, taking that same idea of helping contractors and small businesses, not only with their finances, but also with their HR, marketing, social media management, and vision and business plan. Huge shoutout to Elizabeth for joining us on the show!
Mike and Brian are joined by Paul Hansen, Director of Client Services at SouthWest Landscape, Inc. Growing up as a son of a contractor, Paul went right to work for his dad’s company after college only to leave and work for a competitor soon after. Developing some unique skillsets and tools while away, Paul came back to SouthWest and immediately implemented them. With some strong pricing and client renewal strategies, not to mention hiring practices in the midst of a pandemic and labor shortage, you’ll want to put this one on repeat!
Mike and Brian are joined by Jon and Peggy Premo, CEO and COO, respectively, of Tri County Painting and TNK Manufacturing. Starting at 15 years old working for his grandfather’s wallpaper hanging company in New York, Jon took care of all things painting. Eventually starting Tri County Painting with his wife, Peggy, they made the move to California and brought the company with them. Fastforward a decade or so, while on a large job in California, Jon thought of an innovative new product idea and they founded TNK Manufacturing. TNK now manufactures the newly patented Boom Shade product – a unique product that attaches to a boom lift to provide shade and protection for contractors on the jobsite while working! Ingenious! Shoutout to Jon and Peggy for joining us on the show today!
Mike and Brian are joined by Lance Smith, CEO of Smith & Son Construction, Inc. Growing up with a roofer as a father, he learned the value of grit and hard work very early in his life. So excited to go to work at 17, he lied about his age on a job application so he could get started, until of course, the company found out and had to let him go! But it’s this determination to move forward despite the obstacles that has propelled Smith & Son Construction forward despite the current pandemic. Learning to pivot in the midst of Covid, not only are they rapidly growing, they now have huge opportunities on the horizon that will help them to continue their meteoric rise! If you’re interested in learning from someone with hunger and a determination to get the job done right, this is your man. Thank you Lance for joining us!
Mike and Brian are joined by Kaitlin Frank, Superintendent of Dome Construction and Co-Founder of eMOD by BuildSafely, LLC. Kaitlin grew up on the jobsite in Boston while her dad worked. He’d toss Pepsi cans off the roof and it was her job to get rid of them. That love of construction carried her through college with her Masters in Construction Management and eventually to the warmer climates of California working with Dome Construction as a young female Superintendent – not an easy role to fill, but leading with positivity and a quick “Thank you” to her contractors on the jobsite has changed the day-to-day environment. Add to the fact that she’s spearheading the creation and utilization of eMOD, software created for Dome employees and eventually the construction world, which has transformed the way construction safety is managed. Her daily goal, like Rick Fisher, to have a place to work that is enjoyable and positive and, most importantly, to ensure her people go home to their families that night.
Mike and Brian are joined by Chris Golden and Patrick Sheerin, CEO and Director of Recruiting, respectively, of the Rye Company. Chris grew up in construction with his dad working as a bridge carpenter, ended up going to USC (Fight On!) and then went to work for his father-in-law’s electrical contracting company. Eventually going out on his own, he started Rye Company, an electrical contracting company. Seeing huge gaps in effeciency, they’re in the process of creating their own software to improve the day-to-day within the company – contractors creating contracting software for other contractors. So simple it’s brilliant! Huge shoutout to Chris and Patrick for joining us!
Mike and Brian are joined by Darren Keefe, Instagram’s new dancing carpenter sensation, founder and owner of Drumcree Designs and designer with HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Born in Northern Ireland, he and his family moved to Ohio as a child and fell in love with drawing and design. Pursuing his love of acting, he moved to Los Angeles in 1998, and like most aspiring young actors, started a survival job in construction working for a local General Contractor. Coupling construction and his love of design, he opened Drumcree Designs and in 2019, the two passions came together with HGTV’s revamp of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He loves people, loves helping those in need, has an eye for space and design, and has a talent for bringing joy to others. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did making it!
Mike and Brian are joined by Anthony Graves, President of Graves Construction. Coming from a construction family growing up, it only made sense to build log cabins during the summers while in college in Northern California. That love for building and a degree in Construction Management led him to managing large capital projects as a Construction Manager and then, in 2015, setting out on his own with his wife Jasmine to start Graves Construction. Listening to the episode, you’ll see and hear Jasmine’s and his methodic approach to starting the business in 2015 and how they cleared $5 million in their first year! Now with a goal, just 6 years later, of $50 million in annual revenue, Graves Construction is still intentionally and methodically making those same moves they made to hit the ground running in 2015.