Joe Jolicoeur, 35
Executive Vice President, Greenwood Roof Services
LOCATION: Milford, Mass.
COLLEGE: Merrimack College
FAMILY STATUS: Wife, Kara; and children Thomas, Patrick
Joe Jolicoeur grew up in the contracting world, working for the family masonry business his father started in Springfield, Mass. Not only did he learn the ins and outs of running a local enterprise, he was schooled in the intangibles: having strong a work ethic, loyalty, respect for peers, a sense of urgency for what you want to accomplish in life, while refraining from cutting corners to get there.
He nurtured that mentality and carried it – along with a serious competitive spirit – to Merrimack College where he used it to his advantage as a football player on his way to a degree in business management. That enhanced commitment to perform to the best of his ability in a team environment helped shape Jolicoeur’s pathway to success in the roofing industry with one of the strongest commercial companies in the country. And he’s just getting started. Earlier this year, he was named a new board member with National Roofing Partners, and he remains actively involved in several roofing trade associations.
RC: How did you get your start in roofing?
JJ: In 2010, I took an inside sales position with ABC Supply Co. in Springfield, Mass. From there my roofing career took off. I found my first outside sales position selling roof equipment, safety equipment and supplies for contractors. After a few years … I accepted a preventative service manager and director of business development position with Greenwood Industries.
RC: What did you do in that role?
JJ: In my role as director of business development, I was able to flourish in the service sector; from there I developed a business plan and founded Greenwood Roof Services, the professional maintenance division for Greenwood Industries. With the help of a senior team, I successfully transformed the service and maintenance side of the business from a service response entity to a thriving division that now has nine locations throughout the Northeast. In 2018, GRS did about $2 million in business, and was on track to finish 2022 with over $13 million in service sales.
RC: Tell us what Greenwood Industries does and why it’s successful?
JJ: David Klein started Greenwood Industries in the early 1990s in Worcester, Mass., and has led the company to strategic expansions throughout the Northeast, employing more than 700 union and non-union workers. In his tenure at Greenwood, he has succeeded in engineering and executing some of the most significant projects in the Northeast, like the Massachusetts State House, Boston Garden, and Millennium Tower in Boston.
While GRS has benefited from the successes of individual team members, its true growth has been a result of the work and collaboration of the collective team. We work together to get a job done and do whatever is needed to ensure a client is satisfied and the work is done professionally and correctly. We’ve grounded ourselves in some key attributes: character, collaboration, innovation, and always put the client first.
RC: What are some big challenges in your particular market and how is Greenwood addressing them?
JJ: One of the biggest challenges we have faced is the bottleneck in construction material availability, as well as the rising prices on material due to inflation. Luckily our senior team, led by Klein, was able to combat a lot of the supply chain issues to allocate finances ahead of time to purchase and store material to help us navigate through the difficult times. This kept many of our projects from being delayed, and essentially saved our clients from added fees and uncontrollable delays.
RC: Do you see a generational difference your own company and how does it work?
JJ: Generational differences exist within all corporations, but it is more pronounced in the trades. For centuries, we have relied on the trades to build out the infrastructure of our existence. There is something to say about “old school” versus “new school.”
Older generations carry a sense of responsibility to continue to educate the newer generations and to encourage them to not lose the moral value of hard work ethic, trust, good workmanship, and loyalty. The new generations is able to bring value as they influence innovative ways to perform work. They educate older generations on technology that can enhance monitoring oversights and procedures — whether its innovative ways to estimate, CRMs that help monitor projects and crew performance, or simplified ways to close out projects and track change orders.
RC: Where do you fit in and what’s your approach?
JJ: My generation really has the best of both worlds. I feel I have an old-school mentality with an enhanced ability to source and continuously seek new, innovative was to manage and run a successful business from the top down.
My advice: Have a sense of direction and keep an open mind. This will guide you through the differences you may have between generations and generations to come!
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
JJ: I see my age as an opportunity to lead our youth and generations to come into an exciting, evolving era in the construction industry. Our economy and industry are at a point in time where industry leaders, cultural influencers and newer technology can define our industry for the next generations to come. I feel my approach has given our company a better understanding of how to create a culture of success. Integrating new ways of managing business through technology, marketing through social media and newly identified resources of media flow. Utilizing forward thinking to bring older and new generations together — to think and work together for growth.
RC: What area of your roofing business are you the most passionate about? Why
JJ: I am most passionate for GRS’ success and the continued growth of Greenwood Industries as a whole. I find that their success drives me to work harder to make sure they have the proper resources and tools to make their jobs go smoother. Our success as a team is what separates us from our competition as a service division. Everyone has a job to do, everyone leads by example. If one fails, then another will pick him or her up and help them succeed.
RC: What are you doing when you are not thinking about roofing?
JJ: I spend my time chasing my children around and watching them play sports. I am an avid fisherman, I like to surf cast off the New Hampshire seacoast for striped bass. I mountain bike, hike, and occasionally swing the golf clubs during the warmer months.