Brand President, Couto Construction; Sales Leader, Infinity Home Services, or IHS

LOCATION: Couto Construction: New Bedford, Mass. | IHS: Brookfield, Wisc.

WEBSITE: coutoconstruction.com | infinityhomeservices.com

FAMILY STATUS: Stacey, fiancée; children Tristan, Kaleb, Brayden, Jase

Jason Couto has a rich family history within the roofing industry, complete with an ‘American ideal’ story arc infused with grit and capped by determination. As he told RC, his father was a Portuguese immigrant who came to America with a dream: The senior Couto founded Couto Construction and ensured his boys — Couto and his brothers — learned everything their father knew about roofing.

Spending summers on the rooftops growing up, Couto learned the craft and developed a work ethic that would define his future: when their father retired in 2008, the Couto brothers inherited the business and the debt that came with it.

With little time for steep learning curves, Couto dove headlong into honing his financial management, marketing, and operations skills. Hard work, smart moves, and a dollop of good fortune propelled the brothers forward. That momentum has since turned a family-owned business, carrying a half-million-dollar debt load, into what is now part of a roofing juggernaut that generates more than $300 million in sales annually.

RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry, and how did you get your start?

JC: My initiation into the roofing industry wasn't by coincidence but by heritage. As a young boy, when my peers looked forward to idle summers, I found myself ascending roofs, learning the craft under the tutelage of my father — the founder of Couto Construction.

[Those] formative years weren’t just about learning a trade; they were about understanding the value of hard work and the intricacies of a family business. Over the years, my brothers and I transitioned from apprentices to full-fledged roofers and, eventually, to the stewards of our father's legacy.

With each shingle laid and every customer satisfied, I carved out my niche in the industry, learning not just about roofing but about leadership, perseverance, and the importance of a reputation built on quality.

RC: How long has your company been in business, and what is its history?

JC: The origins of Couto Construction are rooted in the American dream … Inheriting the business in 2008, my brother and I were met with the stark reality of our father's passion outpacing his business acumen.

We stood at a crossroads, facing a daunting $500,000 debt; this challenge, however, was our watershed moment. Through it, we learned resilience, the necessity of self-education, and the power of strategic thinking.

Adversity became our advantage, teaching us the hard truths about business management, financial [insight], and the importance of a solid educational foundation. As we implemented these lessons, we began to see a transformation.

Our small family business burgeoned into a regional powerhouse, culminating in a strategic alliance with Infinity Home Services. This merger wasn't just a growth in numbers — from a team of three to a conglomerate commanding over $300 million in sales — it was a melding of philosophies and a shared vision for unparalleled excellence in the roofing industry.

RC: What are the top reasons why the company is successful, and what role have you played in the company’s success?

JC: First is understanding that success is repeatable by seeking mentors who have been leaders [to] learn and develop our skills. Second, developing a sales and marketing process that is repeatable and perfectible.

Third, [acting] on what we learned and implementing [them]. There are so many resources out there to learn and implement, but the difference … is [with] the companies that implement. There is no “easy button”; it takes hard work, but if you do, success!

Fourth, everything today is about understanding data. Know your numbers and create KPIs to keep everyone in the team with a target they are responsible for [achieving]. K.P.I.: Keep People Interested; Keep People Informed; Keep People Inspired. Walk around our offices, and you will see these “KPIs” everywhere.

And, lastly, we are in the people business and care more about their development and knowing their why, so everyone rows in the same direction.

RC: What types of offerings does your company provide?

JC: We specialize in residential reroofing, ensuring homeowners receive the utmost quality and service.

RC: What are significant challenges in your market, and how is the company addressing them?

JC: In our market, staying ahead means anticipating customer needs and adapting to technological advancements. We address these by investing in employee training and embracing innovative materials and methods.

RC: Do you see a generational difference in your own company?

JC: Yes, there are generational nuances within our company. The dynamism of younger workers complements the wisdom of seasoned employees, creating a balanced and forward-thinking environment.

RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?

JC: At 39, I view my age as an advantage. It allows me to connect with younger employees and seasoned professionals, bridging gaps with my diverse experience. In my younger years, I would find myself … asked how old I was and would [sometimes] bring my father [along]. One experience was when we were dealing with a board, and the board president asked how old I was; I asked how old he thought I was, and he answered … “early 30s.” I responded that he had a good guess while never exposing my actual age — [then] 23.

RC: What area of the roofing business are you the most passionate about?

JC: My passion lies in the transformative power of sales and marketing. Seeing a strategy convert into growth is immensely satisfying. I also feel that, as a business owner, I [can] change people’s lives, and to see the growth in people and knowing I have contributed to a new home or financial independence is extremely gratifying.

RC: Are you involved in any associations, et al., you’d like to highlight?

JC: I am involved in several trade associations. These networks are invaluable for continuous learning and pivotal in personal and business growth.

RC: What’s next? What are your plans for the business?

JC: Looking ahead, the goal is to scale IHS to a billion-dollar enterprise, focusing on sustainable growth and the continual evolution of our services and team capabilities.

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