Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUL 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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How did you choose this career? What led you to go into business for yourself? I was a framing carpenter and loved it. [Then] I began in the home center industry as a kitchen designer in a local lumberyard. üƁĚħĬĤħĠĞģĜĩĝħĤĪĜĝĩĝĚħĖģĠĨėĚĘĤĢĞģĜ ĨĪĘĘĚĨĨěĪġĞģęĚĨĞĜģĖģęĨĖġĚĨĤěĠĞĩĘĝĚģĨ Ėģę ęĚīĚġĤĥĞģĜ Ėģ ĞģĨĩĖġġĖĩĞĤģ ĥħĤĜħĖĢ Ą decided to try my hand in the private show- room environment where outcomes were as important as concepts and ideas. I started a company in the Chicagoland area that in- cluded a kitchen and bath showroom and began building homes. Twelve homes of var- ious types helped me gain experience in real ĚĨĩĖĩĚĖģęęĚīĚġĤĥĢĚģĩĤěĞģŽġġġĤĩĨ Ąģ#!"%ĢĮĬĞěĚĖģęĄĢĤīĚęĩĤāġĤħĞęĖ ĖƁĚħĜĞīĞģĜěĤĪħĘĝĞġęħĚģĖĨĚĘĤģęĘĝĖģĘĚ and happily they are all outstanding and productive in their professions. Three years ĖƁĚħħĚġĤĘĖĩĞĤģĬĚėĚĜĖģĉĖīĞĜĖĩĤħăĤĢĚĨ & Kitchens. We learned how important it was to be a licensed contractor here and be- came one—it wasn't a requirement at the time I was a builder in the Chicagoland area. ĎĞģĘĚęĤĞģĜĨĤĬĚĝĖīĚĘĝĖģĜĚęĩĝĚģĖĢĚ ĩĤ ėĚ ĞģĘġĪĨĞīĚ Ĥě ĤĪħ ĨĠĞġġĨ ĎĞģĘĚ "*)( Ą have been a remodeler and love changing lives and improving lifestyles with our work. What motivates you every day? The thought that we can somehow help our clients experience remodeling better and do Ğĩ ĖŻĤħęĖėġĮ ĊĪħ ĨĖĩĞĨěĖĘĩĞĤģ ĤģġĮ ĘĤĢĚĨ when our customers brag on us. How has the remodeling profession changed since you've been involved? þħĚĖĩĞīĞĩĮ Ėģę ęĞŻĚħĚģĩĞĖĩĞĤģ ĝĖīĚ Ğģ- creased. We have learned that caring for the lifestyle of our client during construction is huge! Protection protocol is worth the extra ĚŻĤħĩĩĤĖĨĨĪħĚĩĝĚĘġĞĚģĩĬĚĘĖħĚěĤħĩĝĚĢ and their comfort is paramount. People in the Remodelers' Council generally are dif- ferent this way. You have been helping rebuild the local Manatee/Sarasota Building Industry Association Remodelers' Council after a three-year hiatus. What has that process been like? āħĖģĠġĮĄĖĢġĚĖħģĞģĜĖĨĄĜĤėĪĩĄĬĞġġĨĖĮ I'm amazed at the infectious excitement that was here from the beginning. The Manatee/ Sarasota Council was so active before! I think the economy and market conditions stopped a group of remodelers who had a ŽħĚĞģĩĝĚĞħėĚġġĮĖģęĞĩšĨĩĞĢĚĩĤĨĩĤĠĚĩĝĚ coals again. Also, you've been involved as an adviser at Manatee Technical College. What does that role entail? It has involved spending a little time talking to instructors and listening to their passion for imparting skills but realizing the limits they face. The instructors can do a good job at introducing skills and identifying those ĬĝĤ ĨĝĤĬ Ė ĘĤģģĚĘĩĞĤģ ėĪĩ ĩĝĚĮ ĘĖģšĩ teach an aspiring student what it's really ġĞĠĚĬĤħĠĞģĜĞģĩĝĚŽĚġęĄĝĤĥĚĩĤĢĖĠĚĖģ arrangement to discuss real-time job skills Ėģę ĥħĚĥĖħĚęģĚĨĨ ěĤħ ĩĝĚ ŽĚġę ďĝĚĮ ĝĖīĚ an advisory committee which I hope to be invited to be a member. Your company started an apprenticeship program. What motivated you to create such a program? I struggled with hiring subcontractors for carpentry and general remodeling skills. We decided to try to create the apprenticeship within our company as a way of investing in ĖĮĤĪģĜĚħĬĤħĠěĤħĘĚĝĤĥĞģĜěĤħĖġĤĮĖġĩĮĬĚ ĬĚħĚģšĩŽģęĞģĜĞģĩĝĚĤĥĚģĢĖħĠĚĩĎĤěĖħ ĬĚšīĚĤģġĮĝĞħĚęĤģĚĜĪĮĬĝĤĞĨęĤĞģĜĬĚġġ ĒĚĝĤĥĚĩĤŽģęĖģĤĩĝĚħĚĢĥġĤĮĚĚĬĝĤĝĖĨĖ bit more experience and can ease my burden Ğģ ĩĝĚ ŽĚġę ĨĤ Ą ĘĖģ ĘĤģĩĞģĪĚ ĜħĤĬĞģĜ ĩĝĚ management of projects. Right now, what is the focus within your business? I feel we are doing well at treating people generously (our employees and our custom- ĚħĨËĖģęĩĝĚĮĬĖģĩĩĤėĚĖĥĖħĩĤěĤĪħĥħĤğ- ĚĘĩĨĤħĝĞħĚĪĨěĤħĢĤħĚĥħĤğĚĘĩĨĨĤĨĘĝĚę- uling added work can be an issue. While our current clients have thought of a couple extra ğĤėĨĩĝĚĮĬĖģĩĪĨĩĤęĤĬĚĝĖīĚĩĤĢĤīĚĤģ to others because we committed ourselves ĩĤĖĩĞĜĝĩĨĘĝĚęĪġĚĊĪħĢĖħĠĚĩĞģĜĞĨĜĤĞģĜ ĬĚġġĖģęĬĚĝĖīĚĘĤĢĥġĚĩĚĖĘĘĤĪģĩĖėĞġĞĩĮĞģ ĤĪħĘĤĢĢĪģĞĩĮĊĪħĘĝĖġġĚģĜĚĞģĞĨĜĚĩĩĞģĜ me out of the labor pool in order to manage projects and be more attentive to sales. It's taking more [time] than I like to get back to people; I would love to respond with a com- plete written proposal for complete projects within a 72-hour time frame. I think this is normal growing pains from previous experi- ence with two other companies I've started. Anything else you'd like to mention about career accomplishments? Someday I hope to be able to do for myself what we have done for our clients: Live in ĖĬĤħġęĩĝĖĩīĖġĪĚĨħĚġĖĩĞĤģĨĝĞĥĨĖėĤīĚĖġġ ĘħĚĖĩĚĨīĖġĪĚėĚĮĤģęĩĝĚĩĮĥĞĘĖġĚĭĥĚħĞĚģĘĚ and where we receive a blessing for doing this for others. Restore the Trades McGowan helps resurrect a local Remodelers' Council and focuses on engaging the next generation of the industry. compiled by Kacey Larsen Photos: Sherri's Island Images McGowan notes the "opportunities to change lives with our craft are as vibrant as ever." NEIL MCGOWAN Navigator Kitchens & Construction, Inc. Parrish, Fla. navigatorkitchensconstruc- tion.com TITLE: President, Senior Designer and General Contractor YEAR COMPANY FOUNDED: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 18 July 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com NAHB REMODELER OF THE MONTH

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