4 Questions with Chris Meyer, president of Turner Roofing
Chris Meyer is owner and president of Turner Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. The full-service residential and commercial roofing company launched in 1966 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
1. How did you get into the roofing business?
In 1996 I went to work for a window company in Houston, Texas, as an outside salesperson. One of my cold calls in 1998 was on a nationwide wholesale roofing distribution company by the name of ABC Supply. The district sales manager at the time allowed me to come in to discuss the opportunity of carrying our window line.
Our first meeting went very well. He called me back for a second meeting, at which time he told me he was not interested in windows but rather was wondering if I was interested in coming to work for them in a management capacity.
Two weeks later I was the assistant manager in a wholesale roofing company and had no clue about anything that had to do with roofing. I worked for them for 10 years before acquiring Turner Roofing in January 2008.
2. Turner Roofing is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What’s the company’s secret to longevity?
We have six employees who have been here 30 years, 5 employees with 20-plus years and several others with 10-plus years. When a customer that used us 10 years ago and then calls us back for a new roof and can speak to the same person they did originally, that’s comforting for him or her.
We pride ourselves on doing great work at a fair price. We are also very diverse — meaning we do residential new construction, residential re-roof, commercial new construction, re-roof commercial, and have both residential repair crews and commercial repair crews.
3. In what ways has Turner Roofing changed over the decades?
Like all companies we had to adapt to new building codes, specifically with safety. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has really pushed all roofing companies to change the way we run our safety programs.
Computers and the Internet are by far the biggest game changers. Not only does the technology allow quick communication, it also opens up the door for homeowners to become much more educated about products and companies.
Labor is the other big change. For more than 30 years, our employee makeup was 95 percent white males. Today it is the opposite. Most of our employees now are Hispanic.
4. How does severe weather season impact your business?
Spring weather affects our business in many different ways. Residentially, as we have storms like the other night, we receive a lot of calls asking us to come and inspect their roofs for possible wind and hail damage. Incoming calls follow storms, but most of the time there is very little damage across a large area. It is mostly localized to a certain geographical area.
Spring storms also affect our commercial roofing department. On Wednesday, following the storm that came through Tuesday night, we were out in south Bixby at a strip center where most of the roof blew off. They needed to get it cleaned up that day so that their tenants could get their businesses open.
Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606