New members join PROWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership within the newly renamed Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO) has grown with five new contractors and 11 associate members since last fall.
The independent organization formerly known as the Toledo Home Remodelers Association is celebrating its 40th year as it represents 210 remodeling contractors and associate members from businesses related to the construction and remodeling trade, according to executive director Mike Shobe said.
“We’re here for the community to be sure that local contractors are licensed and professional in serving the remodeling needs of the people,” Shobe said.
Nick Carpenter, owner of A+ Building Maintenance & Home Repair in Toledo joined the organization after attending a meeting in the fall. He became a licensed contractor and decided to become part of the organization that represents the industry and keeps its members informed.
“I pride myself at being professional and always upfront with my customers,” said Carpenter, who has been in the remodeling business since 2001.
Carpenter previously worked as a supervisor at a trucking terminal while maintaining some rental properties. The latter activity is what led him to becoming a remodeling contractor.
“My dentist talked me into it after I did some work on his house in exchange for some dental treatment,” he said. “Within six months, I had so much work that I quit my two jobs and started my own business.”
Carpenter’s remodeling business grew by 30 percent in 2008 and is already ahead of last year’s pace by 40 percent. Ninety percent of that business comes from referrals and repeat customers, Carpenter said.
“It creates credibility and represents higher standards of workmanship and service while providing educational and training programs,” said Chris Willee of CJ Design Construction and longtime member. He also represents Smart Financial Planning, a new associate member.
“Networking is very strong for associate members who are involved in the organization,” Willee said.
Aquila Enterprise in Holland joined PRO recently due to its involvement in the construction and remodeling business, said Ken Amborski, senior vice president.
Aquila manufactures and installs granite, quartz and laminated countertops, installs custom kitchen cabinets, doors and windows in homes. It also is a general contractor of erected steel buildings.
Aquila is related to Lowry Manufacturing, a tool and die company that has operated in the area for 53 years, according to its president Bill Lowry.
Chris Pfleghaar, an area sales representative for Andersen Windows, recently joined PRO to gain exposure to the remodeling contractors in the local market. He has been involved in selling windows for new homes or replacement projects to contractors through local dealers.
Other new contractor members include Concrete Illusions of Ohio in Sylvania and R&D Contractors located in Petersburg, Mich.
New associate members also include Culligan Water of Northwest Ohio, Doors Plus, Invisible Fence, Lars/David Inc., Monroe Furniture Plaza, Mulch World and Rose Pest Solutions.