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June Roofer of the Month - Central Roofing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

RClub - June ROTM
June 8, 2021 at 3:20 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Jennifer Stone and Renae Bales, the co-chairs of National Women in Roofing. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Megan Ellsworth:
Hi, welcome to the Roofers Coffee Shop, R-Club Roofer of the Month podcast. This is where we highlight a contractor in our R-Club each month to celebrate their greatness in the roofing industry. Listen, to hear more about a great contractor.
Hi everybody. My name's Megan Ellsworth here at rooferscoffeeshop.com and I am back again with a Roofer of the Month podcast. So glad to announce that the June Roofers Coffee Shop R-Club Roofer of the Month is Central Roofing. And here I have Jason Stock to tell us a little bit more about Central and for us to congratulate them. Hi, Jason.

Jason Stock:
Hi. Hi Megan. Thanks for the invite. And Central's really honored for the award, so we're kind of excited about that.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah, I'm so glad. So why don't we start out with having you just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Central?

Jason Stock:
Well, I'm Jason Stock, I'm the vice president and CFO of Central Roofing Company here in Minneapolis. Central is a 90-plus year-old company starting in 1929 so it's been around a long time. We always kind of take honor with that, but we also kind of go the last 90 years have been great, we're looking forward to the next 90. So, always looking forward to that future. How do we get better, how do we get bigger. What's new and exciting in our industry. We always like to be a part of that stuff.
We've had an interesting history, obviously. If you just think about it, in 1929, started in the depression era. We've gone through world wars. Obviously the pandemic that we're just currently in and hopefully almost to the end of. So no, it's always face challenges head-on. We have a phenomenal team here. It's been a real honor to be kind of a part of this group of people.

Megan Ellsworth:
Wow! That's awesome. I had no idea that you guys have been around for that long. That is so cool.

Jason Stock:
No, it's always exciting when you're like, wow, it's been around longer than I've been alive. It's longer... Let's see, 90 years and I'm only 40, so it's totally crushing me. I barely even know anybody who's 90.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. I don't think I know anybody. Wow. Well, that's really cool, and very impressive. And yeah, like you said, the company has seen things, between world wars and a pandemic and the depression, so you guys have really stuck it out.

Jason Stock:
Yep, yep. There's also been a lot of positive things over that past 90 years too. We don't always want to look at those negative items.

Megan Ellsworth:
Right. Well, what type of services does your company provide? What's your specialty, residential, commercial?

Jason Stock:
We are pretty-much 95% commercial roofing. We do a little bit of residential but it's pretty minor. Mostly like townhouses and that large scale thing. Fortunately, we're kind of equipped for that large project. Semi-trucks, cranes and Potains and all of those things. So if I showed up to someone's driveway with all of those things everybody would be really nervous. But we do actually have the largest service company in the city. 18 trucks go out every day with a two-man service team to fix everything from a leaky dog house to putting in new HVAC equipment. So, very proud of our service department. They just work wonders and try to make sure everybody can stay dry and weather that storm. A lot of times they can help, can we get another year or two out of someone's roof instead of having to replace it now, especially with all the material shortages we're all dealing with. So we're trying to get that. How do we work with our clients to get a couple more years out of it.

Megan Ellsworth:
Mm. That is brilliant. Yeah. How have those material shortages made you guys adapt with that service aspect?

Jason Stock:
From the service thing, it's just that obviously we want to keep everybody dry, keep the water on the outside. But it's been a struggle. Obviously everybody's trying to deal with that same issue. All of a sudden we were going strong and then, oh, no one has any material. But it's kind of like, oh, okay, that's quite the swing. We were fortunate. We always carry a pretty hefty inventory compared to most people. So we've actually been able to kind of keep going and working through this bits but, watching all those pieces have always been an important one. Our team has definitely worked really hard and diligent just to kind of to stay out in front of it, keep our clients informed. Nobody likes giving that, oh, by the way, we're not coming next week. We don't have anything to roof with. Some clients have been okay with it. Some have not. So like I said, the service team has been able to kind of like, okay, where are the troubled areas? Let's get through this bump together.

Megan Ellsworth:
Right. Brilliant.

Jason Stock:
Otherwise, the other thing we really surprisingly do a lot is historical work.

Megan Ellsworth:
Oh, cool!

Jason Stock:
We love those old buildings, the ones from the 1800s that were old even when Central started. It's always kind of an exciting one because you start digging into these things and what you find in building techniques and practices from way back then to today's standards are so different.

Megan Ellsworth:
I'm sure.

Jason Stock:
But we always like that project that we feel no one else can do it, that's the project for us.

Megan Ellsworth:
Oh, I love that. That's a nice little slogan. What's something special that your company celebrates, whether it's restoration on old buildings, or actually celebrating a holiday with your team? Or just celebrating small achievements from team members. What do you guys really cherish over at Central?

Jason Stock:
We've always felt, obviously Central's a family-owned company and we always feel like we're pretty blessed to be a part of this organization, so we always want to make sure that we celebrate those events that happen in everybody's lives. We always have the big company picnic out at Valley Fair. We have a Christmas party where Santa comes and all the kids that see him. We do the big Toys for Tots drives for Christmas, where everybody comes to the holiday party, they bring toys and trailers of toys go off for the Toys for Tots.

Megan Ellsworth:
That's awesome.

Jason Stock:
We are very big at the community giving. We do a lot of stuff with the vets. We do a lot of stuff with the autism community. I have two children who are on the spectrum, so kind of close, near and dear to my own heart. We've done the Fraser House with Pulling Together. It's just always been that, how do we give back? Anytime someone has a charity that's close to their heart, we always make sure we give and give support to it. So we do a lot of Make-A-Wish. There's another one that's similar to that. We have scleroderma and all of the programs that touch everybody's lives.
I'm always amazed in this industry, how closely-knit of a family that organizations become. One of our workers, his little daughter came down with leukemia and everybody was so supportive from giving, helping fund it, to making sure everyone stays together. So if one person gets hurt, they really come together to promote each other and it's just such a unique experience to see the teamwork and the family atmosphere that's developed here and hopefully in other places, that everybody wants to be able to give back to that community. We always feel like we're a part of the community, so we've got to make sure we're always trying to be a positive influence in it also.

Megan Ellsworth:
Wow! Wow, you guys are really keeping busy over there. That's wonderful. It's so important to stay a part of the community and to give back as much as you can. So thank you for all you guys do.

Jason Stock:
Oh, no. Like I said, it's always our pleasure. I actually started doing the... I'm on the board of Fraser. I joined two years ago. And Diane, the CEO there, she always said that everybody gets a bigger pleasure in life giving than receiving. And it's one of those things you really actually start to feel, that when you start to go out of these ways, and how you can change people's lives or make them better and be a part of that. Everybody kind of feels like, oh, we're just this roofing company. It's like, no, you can be so much more than that. And that's what I think we try to bring to our, our whole team brings that piece in, is that, yeah, we do roofing, but we also want to do so much more. And that's always like a nice plus, because like I said, you get the team involvement. And I know more of our worker's wive's and children's names than half the workers. Don't tell them. Just because, like I said, everyone comes together. I love going to the Valley Fair and seeing all the smiling faces and those things, so it's always a blessing that we've grown to the size to be able to do those kinds of fun things.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. That's great. Well, I'm interested in this next question. How do you guys define superior customer service?

Jason Stock:
Wow. That's kind of a tough one.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. A heavy hitter.

Jason Stock:
Let's see. Obviously, we can use the same saying. We've always wanted that under-promise, over-deliver. We always set a goal that we want to make sure we're meeting or exceeding your expectations on everything. We've come into projects that, we want to make sure that one, we have the rule it always has to get done. No matter what happens, when you start a project you have to get it done. And a lot of organizations I've seen kind of sometimes struggle. It's like everybody can get to that 90% mark really quick. And I know even we've struggled with that last 10 now and then. It's like, no, no, just what does it take to get it done? Because that's what the customer really want. They want to go, "Oh, and I don't want the puddle coming in my ceiling anymore. And I don't want to see your trucks out in front of my building anymore."
So, making sure that you're taking care of everybody from their paperwork, documentation, that list keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. And ultimately just being able to get it done in a nice, clean, organized fashion. At the end of the day, the roofing trade is a professional workmanship trades industry. We want to make sure we're always acting like professionals and getting the job done.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah, precisely. You couldn't have said it better. So why should homeowners or building owners work with Central?

Jason Stock:
A good reason to work with Central is like I said, when you have that complex project that's not the normal, we're able to get it done. We have the expertise from... We have Mike Mehring in the sales, and Lloyd and Warren who've all been doing this for so long that, if they haven't seen it and you surprise them, then I'm really shocked. But we're able to work with inside of people's budgets, make sure they get what they want. So it's kind of like when it's price-driven, what can we do budget friendly for someone to get it done and make it last a little longer? How can we take that unique project that takes our true craftsmanship from our metal workers doing the hand soldering, the forming and all that stuff, how do we get into that? Doing the project no one's touched in a hundred years. Taking the tile off, putting it back and making sure it looks historically accurate. You choose us because you have something different and that's a concern and we're going to take that to heart.
When I started my roofing industry it was in the residential sector, and I was always told make sure to protect every bush and flower as if it was your own, or in my case as if it was my mother's. And I knew never step on them. So, finding out what's important to that customer, to find out what's the biggest issue you're going to find and how can we make it better for you to get through this process. Because I always say, I'm like, residential or commercial, in the commercial sector, everybody's still working in their buildings when you're on them. And I always say, if you're doing someone's house, ask them to go away. It's the loudest experience. I don't know if you've ever been through a reroof on your house, but it's loud.
So, find out what are the important things. What can you do to make that project go easier for them. Trying to stay budget conscious. And like I said, in this case, material shortages, we've been building up our inventory for a couple of months now just because we kind of thought something like this would come. We're actually sitting and our crews are still working and we've talked to some other people in our local area and they're like, "Yeah, we can't get anything." And our trucks have stopped coming in as frequently as everybody else's but we still have quite a bit sitting in our warehouse to make sure that we keep going.

Megan Ellsworth:
That's awesome.

Jason Stock:
I always wanted to make sure to get their project done, and at the end of the day everybody wants that. No one wants it to drag on forever.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. Precisely. Well, you guys have something very special over there at Central Roofing, so congrats on being Roofer of the Month.

Jason Stock:
Oh, thank you.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. Thank you so much for everything that you guys do. You are a pillar of excellence, truly, so we appreciate you.

Jason Stock:
That's like the nicest thing people can say to me.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yay! It's true. And we're so happy to give you Roofer of the Month, and hopefully we'll see you at the coffee break.

Jason Stock:
I will do my best. Thank you.

Megan Ellsworth:
Thank you so much, Jason. Any last words?

Jason Stock:
Nope. Everybody stay safe out there. Obviously safety is key for everything so we want to make sure that... We all do a very hard job in this industry and we want to make sure everybody goes home at night to see their families and do what they're supposed to do. So, stay safe.

Megan Ellsworth:
Awesome. Thank you so much. Have a great day.

Jason Stock:
Thanks, Megan.

Megan Ellsworth:
For more, go to rooferscoffeeshop.com and become an R-Club member. If you're a contractor in the roofing industry, we want to hear from you. Join our forums and connect with other contractors near you.



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