NADRA Member Spotlight: Greg Hartmann, National Nail – CAMO Fasteners

Company Name: National Nail – CAMO Fasteners
Member Name:  Greg Hartmann
Member Category: Manufacturer
Location: Bristol, CT

A note from NADRA HQ: Greg Hartmann has been a proud supporter of NADRA for over 12 years. He has continuously added tremendous value in the companies he has represented over the years. We are so very grateful for Greg’s dedication to NADRA, and his passion for this industry. Thank you, Mr. Hartmann. 

What inspired you to join NADRA?  Email generated by NADRA Facebook post

When did you first get involved with this industry? 2001

What was the first thing you ever built? Tiger Claw Clips

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business:  General Manager of National Nail Northeast. Manufacturer of CAMO deck fasteners. We supply fasteners for over 250,000 decks every year.

How do you define success?  Perpetual growth. As a business and as an individual.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career?  Always be innovating. If you are not working on something new your competitors will pass you by.

If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be?  How can I help you be more successful?

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Hold a similar position in a power sports business.

A little more about Greg: Over several years of being a NADRA member, I have met many people with varying roles in the deck industry. All of them inspire me to work harder to improve our businesses together. Several have become great friends.

I am enjoying life with my wife, Sue. We live in a beautiful Victorian home in Bristol, CT with several cats and dogs.
Living in a house this old gives me plenty of opportunity to use all I learn from the great deck builders and remodelers I serve.

Website: CamoFasteners.com 

Connect with CAMO on Social Media:

NADRA Member Spotlight: Custom Design Group, Barry Fate

Company Name: Custom Design Group
Member Name:  Barry Fate
Position:  Owner
Member Category:  Builder
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

What inspired you to join NADRA? I’ve been building decks for over 40 years. I wanted to become part of an organization that dedicated itself to MY profession.

When did you first get involved with this industry? On a full time exclusive basis- 35 years ago.

What was the first thing you ever built? I helped my father (who was a builder/remodeler) build a two level deck on a lake home when I was 14 (53 years ago).

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: I am a small, self-owned business professional. My daughter works with me every day (she is a fine carpenter) as well as my middle son (on a part-time basis). I have a strong background in outdoor living – pools & spas / specialty concrete and hardscapes, and I love the creativity of designing and then building what I have designed. Award-winner “Qualified Remodeler” magazine, and several other awards including “Best of Houzz.”
We are a TREX-Pro-Platinum contractor. BBB – A+ rated. We don’t have crews….we are the crew. Fully licensed & insured. Community oriented – contributed labor to several “Habitat for Humanity” homes through the Home Builders of Western Michigan and have built several ramps for veterans.

How do you define success? Success can be defined in several ways: 1) If you love what you do; 2) If you love who you work with: 3) If your customers become your friends and you satisfy them beyond their expectations; 4) If you have been able to weather the economic instability over the past 20 years; 5) If you are recognized by your peers in the industry that you work in.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? Be open to listen to others – you can learn something new every day if you are just willing to listen. Also, be humble – don’t be the “know everything” person in the room…. because you don’t. Always be open to sharing ideas.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Cooking is my hobby. I love to cook (My wife is a great cook, but I do 90% of the cooking in our home). I would have a small specialty eatery/café offering specialty salads and sandwiches (made to order right in front of the customer) and unique soups.

A little more about Barry: My family is the most important aspect of my life! I used to be a “workaholic” back in the late 70’s / early 80’s. After my mother passed away and my children were growing, I decided that I needed to focus my energy on them and not on just chasing the money. I would rather have my wife and children see me as a role model that they can look up to than an “absentee” dad that was never home because of work and chasing the almighty dollar. At a time when most people my age are retired (I’m on Social Security), I am out in the field every day with my best friends (my daughter and my son) working side-by-side doing what I love.
My wife and I have been together for 46 years and enjoy spending time together in our first (and only) home. We love spending time outdoors (why not? I work there) enjoying our kids and grandchildren around the pool…..life couldn’t get any better!!!

Website:  Kalamazoodecksandmore.com 

NADRA Member Spotlight: DOCK & DECK, Jason Varney

Company Name: DOCK & DECK
Member Name:   Jason Varney
Position:  President / Owner
Member Category:  * Not just a deck builder. Dock builder and outdoor living contractor.
Location: Knoxville, TN

What inspired you to join NADRA?   Such a great group of people and the ability to help support the only group that promotes growth and expansion to our trade!

When did you first get involved with this industry?  Summer 2008

What was the first thing you ever built?  I started building log homes and timber construction professionally. The first build project I ever took on was a deck build on my own home.

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business:  My business is DOCK & DECK. We specialize in marine construction, decks, and outdoor living spaces. I started my company in 2008. We currently do about 20 Decks a year and about 16-24 docks a year. It is a family business that I started and now have both my sons working with me one full time and one part time.

How do you define success?  I define success as happiness. If I enjoy what I have and what I do I am very successful. Success is not about how much money you have. It is all about how happy you are day to day.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career?  Each and everyone of the members bring a unique quality to the table. Share your knowledge and experiences and help the industry continue to grow. The biggest thing we can do as members is help showcase what we do and continue to bring youth into the field. Good quality construction is hard to find so share with others how you made it to this point

If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be?  What would you do differently or what was your biggest mistake in business? How did you overcome that?

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?   I would run a charter fishing boat at a beach/ocean somewhere warm year round.

A little more about Jason: I am a very outdoors kind of guy. I enjoy spending my time outside with my family and friends. I have a pilots license, a motorcycle licenses, a captains (large boats) license, and enjoy all types of car and trucks. If it moves I like to operate it. My family is a huge part of my life and I get to work with them daily. Over the past two years besides running my business I have been the star in a TV show DOCKED OUT on DIY with Scripps Network and continue to work on new shows to share currently. Wife and kids are a part of the show as it focuses on what we do and how we run the business throughout the build process. I reside in Knoxville, TN.

Connect with DOCK & DECK:

 Website:  DockandDeck.com

Facebook:  Facebook.com/JasonVarneyTV

Instagram: JasonVarney

DOCK & DECK Photo Gallery: 

*A Member Spotlight winner will be chosen each month. For a chance to win, please fill out the questionnaire found  here .

Enter to Win a Member Spotlight Award

 

Current NADRA members may fill out the questionnaire for a chance to win a NADRA member spotlight award. (1) winner is chosen each month & will be recognized for their dedication to NADRA & the outdoor living industry. The spotlight winner will be included in:

– The Weekly Industry Brief

– Monthly eNewsletter

– Social Media

– NADRA’s Blog

– NADRA’s Homepage

Who is going to be the December spotlight winner? If you’d like to be considered, please fill out the online questionnaire. Don’t forget to follow up by emailing us your photos and company logo. Fill out the questionnaire here for a chance to win.

NADRA Member Spotlight

Company Name: Holloway Company
Member Name:   Ted Tidmore
Company Name: Holloway Company
Position:  Owner
Member Category:  Builder
Location:  Sterling, VA
What inspired you to join NADRA? We have a passion for designing and creating unique decks and integrating them into an overall outdoor oasis. We are well-known in our area for custom projects.
When did you first get involved with this industry?  1994
What was the first thing you ever built?  Patio with a small retaining wall and some landscaping. I always had a vision of doing what I’m doing now with outdoor projects.
We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business:   I started this company in 1994. I began mowing lawns, then added patios, and then small, basic carpentry items. I am now building large, custom and unique projects. Our specialty is custom, one-of-a-kind projects including hardscaping, carpentry, pools, and more.  We build approx. 50 decks per year.
 
How do you define success?  When the client sees their project come to life and it’s even more than they could have imagined. I am fortunate to have long-standing and loyal staff who are a large part of our success.
What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career?  Be selective in accepting new clients. Taking on new and exciting projects and integrating the industry’s latest innovations is what will continue to put you ahead.
If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be? What is the biggest obstacle you face in continued growth?
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?   Ski instructor in Colorado
A little more about Ted:  I have 4 children, three dogs and a wonderful wife. We enjoy spending time together attending football games, camping, and skiing.

Connect with Holloway Company:

 Website:  HollowayCompany.com

Facebook:  Facebook.com/HollowayCompany/

*A Member Spotlight winner will be chosen each month. For a chance to win, please fill out the questionnaire found  here .

Member Spotlight: Brian LaFave, Western Sky Designs

Member Name: Brian LaFave

Company Name: Western Sky Designs

Position: Owner

Member Category: Builder

Location: Brighton, CO

What inspired you to join NADRA? I have been in the BM industry for many years, mainly as a manufacturers representative. When I opened my business, I knew the value of being a member of NADRA and believe wholeheartedly in the message. I am passionate about the decking industry and try to instill that when meeting with potential customers.

When did you first get involved with this industry?
2001 as a sales rep in a lumberyard

What was the first thing you ever built? The first thing inbuilt was a dog house for my dog – Jordan. I was 14. This was a piece of art.

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: I started Western Sky Designs in 2015, primarily as a design and consultation company to earn extra income. As I went through the process, I realized my experience with many manufacturers would translate nicely into a full time career. Our specialty is custom decks, rail, and shade structures. We are passionate about building decks correctly and safely. This year we will build about 30 decks. In addition to patio covers and custom

pergolas. We will also complete 5-10 basements per year.

How do you define success? Success to me is personal relationships with my family and my friends. I have spent a lot of time on airplanes and traveling to help companies succeed. But at the end of the day, relationships with the people who I care about the most is the most important.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? We aren’t competing against one another – we are building an industry. Let’s work together and help each other.

If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be? What kind of beer do you drink? Can I get you one?

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? I’d probably be selling decking related products!

A little more about Brian:  Most importantly, I am a father to my wonderful kids, Colby and Macy. And a best friend to Stacy, Luca and Rocco. I am a die hard Michigan Wolverines Fanatic! GO BLUE! During the winter months, I am a High School and NCAA wrestling official. I travel to several tournaments throughout the country promoting wrestling. I wrestled my entire youth life and this is the way I stay connected. I have a bird dog named Dixie, she is an American Brittany. We love hunting upland game birds in North Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado. I wish I had more time to do that. Lastly, I try to travel as much as possible. The best trip ever was with my best friend, Stacy, to Africa. We went to Botswana for a couple different safari trips, as well as, South Africa. We plan to do more trips in the future.

Connect with Western Sky Designs online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wsdcolorado

Member Spotlight: Jason Durante, Durante Home Exteriors

Member Name: Jason Durante

Company Name: Durante Home Exteriors

Position: President / Owner

Member Category: Builder

Location: Irondale, AL

What inspired you to join NADRA? As a deck builder I stand behind the quality of my work. Our decks aren’t just built to code, we exceed industry standards. NADRA represents the same quality and ideals.

When did you first get involved with this industry? 25 years ago

What was the first thing you ever built? A Dog House! It had siding and a shingled roof.

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: Durante Home Exteriors was established in 2001. I had been working in the industry for many years, and wanted to build a company customers would trust and return to for years to come. Decking, both Composite and Pressure Treated, account for approximately one-tenth of our business and we average 75 decks per year. Durante’s specialty is windows and doors, but my first love is decks!

How do you define success? RESPECT, of my employees, customers and peers.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? Do it right the first time!

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Fisherman

A little more about Jason:  My fiancé is Ada.  I have two sons, Joshua and Jacob, a daughter, Dominique, all of whom work with me, plus an adorable granddaughter, Serena and grandson Keaton. I also have a French Bulldog named Titan.
When not working I love to play golf, fish and hike.

Connect with Durante Home Exteriors online:

Website: www.GoDurante.com
Facebook: facebook.com/GoDurante

Member Spotlight: Tom Jacques, Hickory Dickory Decks

Member Name: Tom Jacques

Company Name: Hickory Dickory Decks

Position: CEO

Member Category: Builder

Location: Dundas, Ontario, Canada

When did you first get involved with this industry? 1987

What was the first thing you ever built? A tree fort.

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: Hickory Dickory Decks started in 1987 in Hamilton Ontario. Today we operate in over 65 cities with franchises and corporate operated local deck companies. We have specialized in low maintenance decking since it was first made. We build over 90 percent low maintenance decks and have since 1995. In 2017 our company will build over 1,000 custom decks.

How do you define success? Success is spending quality time with family and friends and doing something you love that makes the world a better place.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? Build your business and your life living by the Golden rule of treating all people the way you would like to be treated. Pretty simple.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Write or teach.

A little more about Tom:  I am blessed with a loving wife Sue, and 7 great kids. We love spending time together traveling and at the family cottage.

A note from Tom: 

Hello fellow deck builders and deck company owners. Hickory Dickory Decks has been a long standing member of NADRA from it’s very beginning. I think the founding of NADRA has helped get deck builders around the world to start looking at their job as a career and a profession. We create outdoor dining and living rooms where our customers can relax after a hard day, and spend some quality time with family and friends. Just think about all the happiness we have helped spread in each and every backyard. We also provide good, honest, well  paying jobs to thousands upon thousands of men and women not only building and designing and selling our beautiful backyard environments but also supplying and transporting all the material to jobs around the world.

I think this October in Nashville, all professional deck builders should come to the 2017 Deck Expo.  Enjoy a few days away from construction sites and challenging work situations. To  relax with our peers, share some great stories and a cold beverage or two, and congratulate each of us for helping all of our customers to Enjoy Life…Outdoors! See you there.

~ Tom Jacques, President, CEO and Founder of Hickory Dickory Decks.

 

Connect with Hickory Dickory Decks online:

Website: www.Decks.ca
Facebook: Facebook.com/decks.ca

Member Spotlight: Bill Zinnert, Diamond Decks

Member Name: Bill Zinnert

Company Name: Diamond Decks

Position: Owner

Member Category: Builder

Location: Severn, MD

When did you first get involved with this industry? 24 years ago

What inspired you to join NADRA?  Been a member for many years, and always look for marketing opportunities

What was the first thing you ever built? A fence at my first house

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: Diamond Decks has been operating as a deck builder for 24 years now. In 2008 we decided to make a change in the way the business is structured, and decided to narrow our focus to just Decks, Screened Porches, and some patios.

We are constantly refining our best practices to give our customers the best deck they can have.

In 2016, Diamond Decks was in the top 25 contractors in the nation, for sales of Fiberon Decking. We were actually #14 in the nation. We earned an all inclusive paid vacation to St Thomas along with the other top contractors, from Fiberon and the trip was awesome. It was nice feeling, to be recognized by a leading deck board manufacturer.

We were also one of the first deck builders to earn the “Master Deck Professional” certification through NADRA, and sent our field supervisor Dave Ross, through the class at the deck expo, to become certified.

New for 2017- Diamond decks is now a dealer for Equinox louvered roofs and we will be marketing them soon

How do you define success? Success does not necessarily have anything to do with your volume of sales, and the money you make. I believe it has more to do with being able to put together a solid team of people who work together to help other people out, and also being looked up to as someone they can count on to give them the honest truth.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? You get more out of business, when you stop chasing that dollar, and do something that you are passionate about. The money will come.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Probably a building inspector? or do some kind of deck design consulting, if there is a thing like that? or maybe a rock and roll star!

A little more about Bill:  Hobbies…….. If I am not working on something that has to do with business, which I actually like to do, I would be doing something with music. I play in a band, and if I am not playing somewhere, I am going to support my friends in a number of other bands, and sometimes sit in with them for a few songs.

Or visiting with friend somewhere, usually in Fenwick Del / Ocean City Md – Or having a live band and a party at my house
You can see the music theme……. My wife also goes to all my shows, and supports me in everything I do.

We have two kids 29 & 25. Our son, the oldest is an IT guy and is awesome at doing that, and our daughter is now a practicing Doctor of physical therapy. The good news is, they will both being moving out of the house in the next month. SWEET!!!!

We hope there is another NADRA cook out this year, we had a great time last year

Connect with Diamond Decks online:

www.diamonddecksmd.com
Facebook: DiamondDecksMD

Member Spotlight: Robert Lascelle, MyDeck.com

NADRA Member Spotlight.
January 2017 Member Spotlight: Robert Lascelle, MyDeck.com

NADRA launched a member spotlight award for 2017. We are excited to showcase our first winner of 2017, Robert Lascelle from MyDeck.com.
Member Name:  Robert Lascelle
Company Name:  MyDeck.com
Member Category:  Deck Builder
Location:  Flemington, New Jersey
What inspired you to join NADRA?   Lainie chased me down for a long time and finally beat me down until I had to attend a meeting. So glad she did! NADRA has helped my business grow and I have lifelong friends within the organization.

What was the first thing you ever built?  It Was a deck of course, it was a pressure-treated deck in Pittstown, New Jerse y.
How do you define success?  I define success in business as the joy you feel from your work and also the joy you feel from your clients after a project is complete.

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career?
Work on your business and not in it.

If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be? 

What single action have you done that has brought you the most success?
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I would be a Sandyhook Harbor Pilot. I would have been one if I had not started my business at such an early age.
Tell us anything! Talk about your family, pets, travel, hobbies… I have an incredibly beautiful wife that has many skill sets including being a wonderful mother to my daughter Brooklyn and my stepson Cory. Brooklyn is 10 years old and enjoys gymnastics and animals. Cory just turned 18 and is heading into the Marines July 10, 2017.
My wife is a heavy equipment operator as her main job, she also performs autopsies at Hunterdon Medical Center. Lastly, she became a Hunterdon County  death investigator last year. I spend most of my time running my business and trying to be as good of a dad as I can to my children. I love being on the water and have two Jetski’s and purchased the boat of my dreams last year. I plan on taking the entire month of July off this summer to spend a lot of quality time on it with my family.
*A Member Spotlight winner will be chosen each month. For a chance to win, please fill out the questionnaire found here