Letter from the CEO

Reflecting on 2017 – a great year filled with culture, growth and honors! – and looking ahead to 2018 as One Team

It’s hard to believe we are already into the Spring!  We have had a great start to the year.

What is very important to us here at Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal is our culture.  So, in line with this core value of creating and maintaining a healthy and fun professional work environment, we implemented the FISH! Philosophy a year ago.  You may wonder, ‘What’s the FISH! Philosophy?’  If you visit its website: www.fishphilosophy.com, you’ll learn that it’s “a fresh and powerful training solution.”  It involves four easy-to-use practices: Make their day; Be there; Play; and Choose your attitude.

What is new this year is that we’ve evolved with a new theme: One Team!  After all, the success of our business is all about our people.  This theme centers around our core values: Integrity, Relationships, Respect, Results and Safety.

Here’s a little background about the inspiration behind the training solution is Seattle’s world-famous Pike Place Fish Market.  Documentary filmmaker John Christensen was visiting the city when he heard cheering in the distance and he stumbled upon the scene of employees tossing fish among each other and to the crowd.  The website story shares: “I want what these guys have.”  And, the FISH! Philosophy was born from this experience Christensen had.

Last year four Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal employees earned “The Sammy” award, which was given to those deserving employees who are nominated by their fellow employees for practicing the FISH! Principles.

Kendall Ekerson, in charge of Business Development and Recruiting, says the awards and FISH! bonding events are an important part of the program.  The employees who earned the honors last year were: Michelle Duvall, Allen Rogstad, Vijay Shankar, Anna Loughlin, Christopher Ekerson and Jacov Zaragoza.  The events included: a February Easter egg hunt; an April Los Angeles Dodgers game in Long Beach, CA; an August rafting trip; and a September company picnic.

We look forward to more fun and awards in 2018!  This year the employees will win “The MVP” award for the most nominations by their peers.  We’ll keep you posted on our One Team efforts.

I believe there’s a direct relationship with a positive company culture and the business’ bottom line.  A healthy company culture equals healthy bottom line results and the FISH! Philosophy is a tool we use for constantly improving our culture here.  We are living our core values and we have the culture to back up what we preach.  This is truly a wonderful, sometimes not easy, place to work every day!

Speaking of bottom line, we expect our sales to increase this year by about 70 percent and employees grew from 65 this time last year to 90 today!  At our branch, Long Beach Roofing, we not only moved to a larger headquarters office space in Signal Hill, CA, but we welcomed two people to key positions within the company: Terry Brown and Mike Walker.  Lucas Erwin and Christy Souvinette are our latest additions to the branch earlier this year.  I’m excited to see this strong team work together.

Additionally, we are proud of earning some pretty cool awards last year!  First, there was a 2017 Perfection Award from Carlisle SynTec Systems as well as being named to its 2017 Perfection Council for the last three out of four years.  We were one of 34 applicators in North America – the only one in the Northwest – to receive this year’s honor to this exclusive industry council.

Last year was also a big year for my daughter Kendall, who welcomed her first child (my first grandbaby), Stella Ekerson into the world.  Another major accomplishment was her graduation from FEI, Future Executives Institute, offered through the National Roofing Contractors Association at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business in Chicago, IL.  Kendall also organized the first Oregon chapter of National Women in Roofing, which now has 25 members. Read more about her efforts here, in an article from Western Roofing.

Additionally, both Kendall and I were honored by the Daily Journal of Commerce’s (DJC) newest award program, Phenoms & Icons.  We received our awards at a special event held at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland on Dec. 14.  The awards’ ceremony was established by the DJC to honor the building industry’s long-time leaders as well as to recognize the up-and-coming professionals who are expected to share the future of architecture, engineering, construction, development, transportation, energy and sustainability in the region. Read more about it here.

We are looking forward to more of the same in 2018.  Thank you for your support of our amazing and growing company.  We are One Team!


Mark Carpenter