Larry Devitt, Marketing Manager of Hart & Cooley, Inc., has announced his retirement from Hart & Cooley effective Feb. 29, 2012. Mr. Devitt has been with Hart & Cooley and predecessor companies for 16 years.

Following his architectural education at the University of Illinois, Mr. Devitt worked in his chosen field of architecture and engineering until 1980 when he turned to the specialty of commercial/industrial roof consulting. Investigating failed and damaged roofing systems gave him great insight into system design and the many influences which can have a profound effect on the longevity of commercial/industrial roofing systems.

In 1996, Larry joined Portals Plus, and quickly rose to become their national sales manager. Portals Plus at the time was a family-owned company with an excellent product line of problem-solving detail accessories for commercial/industrial roofing but relatively limited resources which meant that Larry also was the chief marketer. In addition to traveling in the field with the company salespeople, Larry created and maintained the company literature and created periodic sales promotions. One of his most important contributions, though, was the vision of the company website which had yet to be designed and created. Over the course of a year, Larry worked with web consultants to ultimately publish an extremely user-friendly website which contained a tremendous amount of useful information for architects, consultants, building owners, professional contractors, and wholesale distributors. Features were regularly updated and added which kept Portals Plus head and shoulders ahead of the competition. When Larry added more than 150 CAD details to the site for free download and use by architects and specifiers for use in creating their own working drawings, usage of the site increased tremendously. During that same time, sales increased over ten-fold and it were only natural that larger companies would take notice of Portals Plus. Thus it was that Portals Plus was ultimately purchased by Tomkins Building Products and became a part of Hart & Cooley, Inc. in 2005.

Hart & Cooley had acquired a number of commercially oriented building product manufacturers and Larry played a key role in creating the Commercial Products Group of Hart & Cooley, Inc. The Commercial Products Group consisted originally of the rooftop manufacturers of Portals Plus, Milcor, and Roof Products & Systems (RPS) along with Ward Industries for ductwork accessories and AMPCO for boiler venting and was headquartered in their own building in the Chicago area. In recent years, the Commercial Products Group became more closely integrated into Hart & Cooley and Larry took over the reins of marketing for the entire company as Marketing Manager, creating and placing the advertising and organizing the many trade shows in which the company exhibited for both roofing and HVACR. Larry enjoyed his years with Hart & Cooley, but he also looks forward to relaxing on the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

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