I came to Florida as soon as I graduated from Northern ILL. University
In 1973. My Stepfather was Red Mcconnohie’s Mortgage Banker while Red was developing 3 Industrial—Business parks and he urged me to “ sign on with a guy who was going somewhere and where I could learn the construction business.
He was sure right about “ going somewhere” . I’ve been with Red ever since and he’s taken me from concrete, carpenter and steel erection helper to Vice Pres. In charge of development and construction in a 40 Acre Industrial Park.
That was only a starter!! After the park was built out, I was in charge of pro-curement , logistics and construction on many overseas projects on 5 different islands ! The real “ going somewhere” was a 17 hr. flight to the capital of Far East Russia where we intended to design and build a modern Western style Motel, a bank and office complex just off the international airport at Khabvorsk ! My thanks to this day that the project was scrapped when the Ruble fell apart. The idea of construction in 35 degree below zero weather, 8,000 miles from home was not my idea of a joyride!
Never satisfied with the mundane, Red next invented the Roof Hugger concept and offered me a full partnership to handle the sales and business end of what he called a “ blockbuster “ breakthrough in re-roofing of worn out metal roof structures. That was 1990. Two years of testing and engineering later, we launched a nationwide advertising campaign to put Roof Huggers in front of the trades.
Once up and running we have enjoyed an enthusiastic welcome from the trades who unabashadly call Huggers the very best tool for re-roofing ever invented. This widespread acceptance propelled sales to a 30% per year cumulative growth rate. Today we are proud to say we have “ hugged” over 23 million sq. ft. of new roofs over the old.
Essentially we faced a huge educational problem and an exposure problem.
The first 5 years cost a capital outlay of over $ 400,000.00 in advertising, travel,
Convention displays and engineering and testing but each year sales went up dramatically and the key to a mass market became the geographic spread of new customers who spread the word ever further.
Now we have a proven customer base stretching from Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, through the U.S. and the Caribbean Islands and have just signed a Royalty agreement with HOPSA, S.A. in Panama to produce and sell Huggers in Central America and a portion of South America. HOPSA is a substantial Steel and Sheet Metal Fabricator in Panama City.
The HOPSA alliance gives ROOF HUGGER an international presence in the Western Hemisphere and comes on the heels of our agreements with AEP Span of Dallas, Tx. and Varco-Pruden of Memphis, Tn.,to furnish private label brand Huggers to their 1200 national Contractor—Dealer network. All that in in one year certainly makes a strong statement as to the high regard held for our Roof Hugger Product!
Architects, Engineers and Specifiers are now aware of Huggers and we see rapid growth in calls for quotes on jobs where Huggers are specified. We are par-ticularly pleased by the many Navy, Airforce and Corps of Engineers jobs which have Spec’d Huggers. Our substantial backup of certified testing under many conditions quiets the most critical skeptic. One of those who questioned the product at length prior to seeing our data made a complete about face when shown the extent of our testing and exclaimed , “ Man, the whole Building might blow away but the Huggers will still be on it “!
Three major local jobs were Spec’d as Roof Hugger attachment system in the past 8 weeks. The 36,400 sq.ft. Channel 22 Television production Studio and the 26,000 sq. ft. in two adjascent buildings for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s evidence warehouses are now complete while the 80,000 sq. ft. Tampa East distribution Center will start Sept. 11.
The Channel 22 TV job was unique in that it not only needed a new roof but also additional “R” 21 insulation and sound dampening to quiet production areas during heavy rain. The solution was our WEBTHERM tm thermal spacer and modified Roof Hugger Sub-purlin, 6 inches of unfaced fiberglass blanket and a new Galvalume roof. England Bros. Contracting Co., Mr. Norm England,President, of St. Petersburg, Fla. Handled the Engineering and construction under the watchful eyes of Bob D’ Andrea , Director and Jack Jarvis, Production Mgr. of Channel 22.
The twin Sheriffs Evidence Warehouses were Spec’d as Roof Hugger
Attachment systems by--------------------------------------Roof Consultant, of Tarpon Springs,
Fla. The Contract was awarded to Tri-Tech Construction , Mr. Carlos Parente,
Owner, President of Tri-Tech of New Port Richey, Fla. . The job was a straight
Re-Roof using standard Roof Huggers and topped with the newest IMETCO standing seam, Galvalume panels of 18 inch width and completed in July ,
The Channel 22 job began in late July and was completed in August of 2000.
The 80,000 sq. ft. Tampa East Distribution Center job is to be another standard Roof Hugger application and was designed by the Tampa Engineering Firm of Law Engineering Co. Inc. The successful bidder was NU-TEC ROOFING CO. , Inc. of Tampa, Fla., Mr. Steve Kruse. Construction is scheduled to begin on Sept. 11, 2000.
You ask, Have we converted all our critics ? I can’t say that we have ever had any critics as such. We have had many who had not been exposed to the Hugger product and Engineering and therefor had questions but once they saw the simple, one-piece, secure design and engineering, they have all become ardent supporters. Best yet is that , of all the jobs we have furnished Roof Huggers on over the past years, we have had nothing—zero—but praise for a product so needed and so easy to apply.
That constant coming from so many in the very tough world of Roofing construction is extremely gratifying to both Red and myself and we make every effort possible to earn those accolades . Did I tie up with someone who was
“ going somewhere “ ? I think so and it has been an exciting trip!
I believe Hopsa is a supplier of materials and design assistance for the building of polystyrene cored walled houses here in Panama.
Kindly contact me via email to advise if this is indeed the case.
Paul von Wiese
By Paul von Wiese