Jim Layman Featured in Professional Roofing Magazine

Jim Layman, Vice President of Contruction for Cole Roofing, was featured in the “Details” section of Professional Roofing Magazine! 

What is your position within your company?
I am vice president of construction for Cole Roofing Co. Inc., Baltimore.

What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
We installed zinc composite metal panels on a planetarium at a local community college. The building was designed as a cylinder with a sloped roof, and multiple sight lines had to match the panel joints. The project brought back memories of high school geometry.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
While I was looking for a summer job after high school, I found out a close friend’s family owned a roofing company. The company needed a yard man and material runner for its busy season, so I filled the position.

What was your first roofing experience?
Unloading tractor trailers and running material from the yard at Cole Roofing’s old shop in downtown Baltimore

See the online version here. 

Cole Roofing in Roofing Contractor Magazine

Still Going Strong: Cole Roofing Co. Inc.

The Fourth Generation of Cole Roofing Co. Inc. Continues a Century-Long Tradition in Greater Baltimore while Staying Focused on the Future

By Art Aisner 

Baltimore is one of the country’s oldest and arguably most important big cities in the Mid-Atlantic, which is why after all this time, the youngest members of the Cole family are proud to say their ancestry had a pretty big hand in its modern development.

Earlier this year, the Cole Roofing Co. Inc. celebrated its centennial — marking 100 years of providing quality commercial roofing services in and around Maryland’s largest and most renowned city. Its employees join a handful of roofing companies that can boast membership in RC’s Century Club, and say they remain just as committed to the core principles today as the founders did when they established the high-demand business in 1919.

The longevity is basically broken down into a handful of factors, said third generation owner William Randall Cole, or Bill.

“We have remained true to our values; integrity, dependability and being team oriented, relationship-oriented problem solvers,” said Cole, who still has a hand in the business while son, Billy, handles the day-to-day operations.

“Over time, company leaders developed a culture of learning throughout our organization which allows us to adopt new products, processes, etc. This change meets a general resistance that comes from being a legacy company creating a healthy friction between new ideas and proven process,” Billy said.

“This is good and bad,” Billy, the current company president, explained. “It prevents us from moving too fast and making the big mistake; it also holds us back from evolving as quickly as we can, usually resulting in price pressure.”

It also shows that company employees are engaged with the business and understand the model for success. It’s part of the internal philosophy to treat your employees right and trust them to do right by your customers, who have grown to become loyal not just for the successful projects they’ve completed again and again. What Cole employees do when they sometimes fall short of expectations is just as, if not more, important.

“We believe that our reputation is built when we make mistakes,” Billy explained. “How you act in the toughest of times shows your true spirit.”

Click here to read the full article from Roofing Contractor Magazine. 

“A Century of Service” in Roofing Magazine

A Century of Service

Cole Roofing Celebrates its Centennial Anniversary

By Chris King

COLE ROOFING Company is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Founded in 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland, the company currently employs more than 100 workers and focuses on commercial roofing work,with a diverse portfolio that includes single ply, built-up roofing, metal, wall panels, and renewable energy systems.

In 2012, William Robert Cole, known as Billy, took over the helm of the company from his father, William Roland Cole, known as Bill. Billy Cole represents the fourth generation of his family to run the business. As the company commemorated this milestone, Bill and Billy Cole shared their memories of the company and insights on the industry with Roofing.

100 YEARS OF HISTORY
Bill’s grandfather, John H. Cole Sr., founded the company as John H. Cole & Sons after World War I. “My grandfather started the business in his basement making ductwork for home furnaces,” Bill says.

The business expanded to include gutters and downspouts, which led to installing shingle roofing. “Near the end of World War WII, my grandfather died suddenly,” Bill recalls. “All three of the older sons were off in the military. My grandmother, Mary Cole, ran the business for about two years until the war ended and the sons returned.”

Two of Mary’s sons, John and Bud Cole, took over the business after the war. In the 50s, the company started installing BUR on row houses in Baltimore. In the 60s, at Bud’s initiative, the company began doing commercial work. Bud bought out his brother in the mid-60s, and the commercial side of the business continued to grow as the residential side tapered off.

“In the late 70s, I saw an opportunity with the introduction of single-ply membranes,” Bill says. “We shut down our residential side and trained all our steep roofers to install single-ply roofing.”

Bill Cole became president of the company in 1989 and continued to build the company, expanding into metal roofing. After years of being known as Cole Roofing, the company officially changed its name from John H. Cole & Sons to Cole Roofing Company Inc. in 1998. The business has continued to diversify in the 21st century, expanding into areas including green roofs, photovoltaic systems and metal wall panels. Bill served as president until 2012, when Billy was named president; Bill remains with the company as senior vice president.

Click here to read the entire story in Roofing Magazine’s March/April edition. 

BBJ’s “In the C-Suite” Features Bill Cole

This week, Bill Cole sat down with Carley Milligan from the Baltimore Business Journal to discuss the future of Cole Roofing and how he believes that technology will impact the roofing industry.

“Roofing remains one of the hardest and dangerous jobs out there. Anything we can do to assist the human labor needed to do hardest grueling parts of the work while limiting the numbers of humans we have to put up in the air seem to both make sense for a more efficient, safer and cost effective future for roofing”. – Bill Cole

Click here to read the full interview.