Cousins Adam and Jeff Kaliner recognized from the start that together they had a formula for success. Adam, an experienced window salesman, had the sales aspect down pat, while Jeff, an eager entrepreneur, was ready and willing to take a chance on a new business venture. Though neither of them knew much about the construction industry or home remodeling, both recognized an opportunity for prosperity in this field of work. They understood that although the industry had a wealth of individuals who possessed a knowledge for construction, many of them lacked the necessary marketing and customer service experience that make a company successful.
In 1992, the pair founded Power Home Remodeling Group, which focused on replacement windows, doors and siding. What was then a home remodeling business, has since become a paramount competitor in the residential roofing market. Since incorporating roofing in 2010, the company has completed thousands of residential roof replacements.
Continued growth has been a constant goal since inception. Recognizing that the company could progress outside of their territory, and have a national presence, current Co-CEOs Asher Raphael and Corey Schiller decided to expand the business model — a choice that proved successful. Over the last nine years, Power has grown more than 1,500 percent, and expanded from one location to 13 throughout the United States, with a corporate office in Chester, Pa.
Adam knew from the start that Power would be a people-first operation, and would continuously strive to ‘do right’ by both its customers and employees. “The entire company culture was formed around customer service, quality, honesty and teamwork,” said Adam. And, after 25 years in business, this mindset has continued to reward the company with extraordinary achievements, including being named one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials by Fortune magazine, as well as receiving Roofing Contractor’s 2017 Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year at this year’s Best of Success (BOS) conference in Tucson, Ariz.
In a video released by the company, Raphael detailed his overwhelming appreciation for the award, as well as his gratitude for Power, its employees and the work that they do. “It’s a particularly poignant moment for us to be receiving this award, as 2017 is Power’s 25th year in business,” he said. “I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done and the countless hours that have gone into making our projects a success, but I’m equally energized to continue to innovate and move forward.”
Sean Johnston, regional vice president of installations for the Houston territory, accepted the award on behalf of the company. “To be honored with such a prestigious award so early on in our roofing timeline is pretty terrific. It shows that we’re doing the right thing in the industry, and that the people who’ve been at it for a long time realize that we’re doing it this way,” he said. Johnston, who attended BOS for the first time this year, was both surprised and impressed with the conference and his overall experience. He explained that the open platform for individuals to discuss their successes and failures was unlike anything he’d seen before.
The Power team designed a working environment founded on the belief that people come first. Whether it’s customers, employees or suppliers, people before profits is how business is conducted — always. The company aims to, “Create a one of a kind workplace culture where employees achieve their dreams and have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world,” said Adam.
Labeling themselves and following through on their promise to operate as a people-first business isn’t met without challenges. “I think that’s something that’s said very frequently around all industries, but it’s very hard to actually build your business that way,” Johnston said. “Actually putting people first is really challenging, and the most special thing about Power is, we’ve found a way to do that.”
That’s why Power puts its money where its mouth is, by investing directly in its people. Each year, the company invests $750,000 into flying new hires out to their corporate headquarters to meet with the leadership team and observe how the company functions. The company also boasts an impressive mentorship program, where each employee is given a mentor who helps them develop both professionally and personally. New hires also complete a 10-week training program that immerses them into Power’s business and culture through different exercises.
At the end of each year, the company sponsors an employee trip to Mexico for a few days of relaxation. It gives staff from all throughout the U.S. a chance to meet with each other and subsequently expand company culture throughout each territory.
Culture reigns supreme at Power and plays a huge role in conducting business, and building and maintaining solid relationships both within and outside of the company. “Being a member of the Power team means being part of a community of innovative leaders who are dedicated to the company’s mission, but also to one another,” said Adam. “This atmosphere of engagement and support means that more often than not, our employees are friends, as opposed to simply coworkers, who celebrate one another’s milestones and achievements, in both life and business.”
Externally, Power utilizes education to help build personal relationships with customers. Michelle Bauer, vice president of public relations, explained that even when a customer decides not to go with Power for their remodeling project, the end goal still remains the same — providing them with ways to improve, and helping them understand what’s required to accomplish that. She said that it’s about creating a respected relationship, where value is provided, even if the sale never comes.
To assure that employees are trained and educated adequately, several steps are taken including in-person product tutorials, as well as seminars and Q & A sessions with manufacturers. “Our representatives are immersed in the details so they can feel prepared to deliver the best possible results when presenting our products to prospective clients,” said Adam.
Bauer described the people-first mentality at Power, and how this mindset inspires employees to push themselves harder to succeed in the long-term. “Our purpose is to improve everything we touch,” she said. “It’s a tough industry to work in and the way that our employees can stay motivated is through having a purpose and being part of the culture here … We must make sure our people are developing in a way that helps transition them into leadership roles.” Such approaches have proved effective, as a noteworthy 90 percent of senior management team members started with the organization at entry-level positions. Bauer continued on to say that although Power is in the remodeling industry, their purpose is far bigger than that.
Giving and Growing
With a vast range of talent present at the company, employees at Power are constantly seeking out new ways to improve the business, and create a positive impact in people’s lives.
The company recently implemented the Power Veteran Initiative, where they seek out military veterans who could potentially be a good fit for the business. Michael Hansen, director of veteran affairs at the company, started as an entry-level employee, and worked his way up to various leadership positions. Hansen recognized that if he could be successful within the company and grow professionally, then other veterans could do the same. He contacted Raphael and explained how bringing in veterans could benefit the company in a number of ways, and help grow the business. The initiative focuses on not only recruiting veterans, but making them, as well as their families, feel supported by both the company and its employees.
Since starting, total hires of military veterans or spouses has increased from four to 11 percent. And veterans aren’t simply joining Power, they’re growing and staying with the company long-term. “Being able to bring veterans into the Power family and have them succeed and make a positive impact on our business has been incredible,” said Bauer. “Power has been able to change the lives of many employees through the leadership that Power has been able to offer them. It’s all based on purpose, and that purpose is to make everything we touch better.”
In addition to pursuing veterans for employment, Power seeks to give women a stronger presence in a predominantly male industry. The company recently established a Women’s Initiative and Women’s Leadership Summit. Now in its second year, the initiative has spurred policy and procedural changes, as well as doubled the staffing of women in traditionally male-dominated positions. This ingenuity has consequently led to additional leadership roles for women at Power.
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, Power has stepped up to help those who need it most. In the days following Hurricane Harvey — the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Wilma in 2005 — employees at Power attempted to help those in need of assistance by bringing them food and clean water. Hundreds of phone calls went out to customers who potentially experienced flood damage to see how they were managing, and if they needed anything at all. “When you put a bunch of good people together, who are all looking to grow in a morally comfortable way, it makes for a group that wants to do good work and go beyond, and that’s something that’s pretty special,” said Johnston. “When you go home, you know you’ve served a purpose.”
The aforementioned purpose is consistently responsible for pushing employees forward daily and invigorating them to progress. “Our motto is relentless dedication to improvement, and I can’t always tell what form that’s going to take, but I always see people trying to build a better mousetrap,” said Johnston.