Safety is very important to the success of Cole Roofing. As a result of making sure our employees and customers are safely protected, Cole Roofing has received a very low Experience Modification Factor (EMR) of .54. We will continue to concentrate on being the safest we can be.
Cole Roofing Celebrates 100
A Century of family-centered commitment to excellence.
By Rita Colorito
Most construction businesses start with a service they can provide. Few companies start with a mission.
A century ago, John H. Cole, Sr. recognized a need in Baltimore for gutter and spout services, as well as the growing opportunity of home heating through internal duct systems. Working out of his basement on Bel Air Road in the Frankford neighborhood, he soon built a reputation for his commitment to superior workmanship and customer service.
That’s the service John H. Cole & Sons provided. The foundation of the business, however, was putting people to work.
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
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.”