Matthew Jaynes, 39
Vice President, Residential, KPost Roofing and Solar
LOCATION: Dallas, Texas
COLLEGE: Louisiana State University
FAMILY STATUS: Wife, Kate; and children Luke and Edward
Matthew Jaynes was well on his way to a successful career in financial investments after studying the field at Louisiana State University. However, just a few bad moves with unfavorable returns and his income – as well as his sense of purpose – plummeted. The United States Air Force veteran found inspiration in a friend who installed roofs for a living and changed career paths in order to find a profession that “provided more joy.”
He’s now using the myriad of skills developed over the past two decades to lead the new residential division of one of the strongest commercial roofing contractors in the country.
RC: How did you get your start in roofing?
MJ: I began working as a 1099 employee for a medium-sized residential roofing company, before moving on to a large-scale commercial and residential contractor for an additional two years. In 2016, Steve Little and Keith Post approached me with an opportunity to join KPost and establish their residential roofing division.
RC: How has that been going?
MJ: I successfully established and grew the division, which generated $6 million in revenue in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted our operations in 2020.
Fortunately, we were able to bounce back in 2021 with $9 million in sales. Looking ahead to 2023, we have set a revenue target of $18 million, which we plan to achieve by expanding our service offerings. Notably, we recently became a Tesla Solar roof and Powerwall channel partner and certified installer.
RC: KPost is known for its commercial roofing. What changed to embrace residential?
MJ: The commercial side of the roofing business has had its doors open for 20 years. When KPost was named the official roofing and waterproofing company of the Dallas Cowboys, the phone began ringing with homeowners requesting residential roofing services. Steve Little approached Director of Steep Slope Operations Bradley Kneedler and I to establish the residential division of the company seven years ago. We initially started with a team of just two employees, but over time we have expanded to a team of 28 W-2 employees. To meet the demands of our growing business, we do employ subcontractors for labor.
RC: What are some big challenges in your market and how are you meeting them?
MJ: We are not immune to the challenges that are inherent in the residential roofing industry, including issues such as competition covering homeowner deductibles. Unfortunately, this is a common problem in Texas, where the roofing industry is largely unregulated. As a responsible and ethical contractor, we take a proactive approach to educating our customers and ensuring that we follow all relevant laws and regulations. We work hard to provide our customers with the highest quality products and services, and we believe that our reputation speaks for itself.
RC: Do you see generation differences within your company?
MJ: Yes, it is important to note that while there are certainly many generations working together, Gen Z individuals working in residential roofing is becoming a growing trend. Like any generation, there are both benefits and challenges to working with Gen Z employees. On the positive side, they tend to be tech-savvy and adaptable, with a desire for purposeful work. This can lead to a genuine passion for delivering high-quality products and services to customers. However, they tend to struggle with longer training sessions due to a shorter attention span and may have a sense of entitlement that can lead to discouragement when facing failure.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage in this industry?
MJ: Being a millennial/Generation Y allows me to be able to connect and understand what drives Gen Z and how to best communicate and motivate them to be high producing employees. Gen X to baby boomers are full of knowledge and emotional intelligence on how to manage the daily aspects of the business.
RC: What area of roofing are you most passionate about?
MJ: Creative problem solving, leading, managing, and executing the business plan. As the business evolves and new positions are needed, figuring out how to best get the team to collaborate for the best results. Growing people while growing myself. Roofing and solar is a fantastic industry with upward mobility; we need to continue to spread the word and make roofing just as professional of a trade as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing.
RC: What are you doing when you’re not thinking about roofing?
MJ: Husband and father first and foremost. And fly fishing.