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.”
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