2019 Baton Rouge Faces of Family Business

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

FACES OF

FAMILY BUSINESS Family businesses play an important role in our local economy. They are personally invested in their company’s success, in their identity as a family, and in the values they share with their communities. Uniquely connected to the past and the future, they are often driven by a desire to honor their founders and to create a strong legacy for future generations. In this special advertising section, we are proud to highlight some of the local families whose businesses helped form the Baton Rouge community and continue to contribute to its growth.

Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice Alfred Roper Construction, Inc. Holmes Building Materials Mitchell Financial Group MacLaff, Inc. MEET – A Boutique Event Venue Horizon Financial Group Block Companies, LLC Al Jones Architects Louisiana Fire Extinguisher, Inc. Apple Guerin Company, LLC Arkel Constructors

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Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice

Dana Smith McBride, RN, CEO; and Bobbie Cotten, RN, Regional Director of Nursing

Seven years ago, Dana Smith McBride had a dream to have her own hospice company. A registered nurse by trade, she is also a business executive with goals and aspirations to achieve greatness, she says. Her business partner Bobbie Cotten has been with her since she ESTABLISH AR started her company in 2012. In 2014, the business expanded from Baton Rouge into Lafayette, and this summer, a third location opened in Plaquemine, where McBride grew up. She is looking forward to returning to her roots and caring for families in her hometown, she says. Starting with two employees, the business now employs more than 100 people. ED

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225.753.1495 (BR) | 337.232.5925 (Lafayette) | 225.320.3630 (Plaquemine) | bridgewayhospice.net

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY?

Our core values are compassion, integrity, consistency, accountability, and honesty. We hold our staff to high standards because we realize it is important to our patients to receive quality service at this special time in their life. We are committed to “creating moments that matter” and strive to provide individualized and personalized care to patients and their families during the end of life experience.

“My two daughters (Mackenzie and Hannah) currently work with me at Bridgeway,” says McBride. “I also have a niece, a cousin and a sister who work with us, and Bobbie’s daughter-in-law Brittney is employed here as well. We all work very well together and there are minimal challenges in running the family business. I love working with my daughters—I am able to mentor them, which allows them to grow professionally. Both will obtain college degrees at the end of this summer and will continue to work at Bridgeway.”

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Over the years, we have received feedback from family members who say, “I wish I had known about Bridgeway earlier.” Often, our services are needed before a patient’s physician calls us, so our biggest challenge is connecting with the patient early enough to really help them. When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness and medical interventions for curative measures have been exhausted, Bridgeway should be notified to begin care. We are not “giving up,” but we do believe the patient and family would benefit from hospice services if they knew when and how to reach out to us.

WHO AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU? The knowledge that we can really make a difference in people’s lives. Being the owner of a local company allows us to respond quickly and with compassion to someone in need. Many people are unaware of what we do for patients and their families. There are so many myths about hospice, and I love sharing the facts. Most people believe you have to have cancer to be on hospice—and it’s true that it’s the most common diagnosis—but hospice is also appropriate for conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, liver disease, lung disease and kidney disease.


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Alfred Roper Construction, Inc. Chad Roper and Alfred Roper

Alfred Roper began building homes in St. James Parish in the 1970s while working for a local lumberyard. His son Chad began learning his dad’s master carpentry skills while working with him building houses during his teenage years. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Chad decided to ESTABLISH AR join his father as co-owner of the business. Over the years, the family business has expanded from St. James Parish throughout Ascension Parish and to Baton Rouge. Since his dad’s retirement in 2016, Chad has continued building beautiful custom homes, working closely with clients and their architect, interior designer and landscape architect to ensure that the finished product is not just a house, but a dream home. ED

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225.663.2736 | alfredroperconstruction.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? We value an honest and respectful relationship with our client and their architect. Chad is available to them during the entire building process. He is on the job site daily doing everything from site work to trim carpentry. He is a perfectionist and his attention to detail will always be a priority. This attention to detail is expected of all of our employees and subcontractors, and most have been with us for many years and appreciate our expectations with mutual respect.

HAS THE BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL VISION? HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? “Our craftmanship has stayed true to Alfred Roper’s original vision,” Chad says. “Many years ago, we were building homes in St. James Parish where my dad grew up. At that time, a simple handshake between friends was as good as a contract. We have grown from building small simple homes to building custom homes that are much larger, complex and intricate, averaging 9,000 square feet. We treasure the friendships we establish with our

homeowners, and that is one aspect of our company that will never change. Our clients are our best advertisement and hearing how happy they are in their new dream homes means the world to us.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? Chad says he has loved working with his dad for so many years. “He’s like a best friend and the two of us together on the job are like a well-oiled machine,” he says. “Although he is retired, he misses the hands-on construction work and enjoys helping out on the job site a couple of days a week. Even after all these years, my dad and I continue to learn from each other.”

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? Even with his busy and sometimes stressful work schedule, Chad makes time to play sand volleyball weekly and go fishing with family and friends. The entire family enjoys fishing and relaxing at their camp in Grand Isle.

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Holmes Building Materials Matthew Holmes and John Holmes

Holmes Building Materials was established in 1957 with the original name Holmes Brick and Salvage. The business got its start by demolishing old buildings and salvaging any products that could be pulled out of them, such as old brick, ESTABLISH AR pine beams, windows, doors and even toilets. Slowly people began to ask for more new products, and the business was transformed into Holmes Building Materials in the mid 1980s. John Holmes, third generation business owner, and Matthew Holmes, fourth generation, are currently involved in operating the business. ED

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225.926.2031 | buildwithholmes.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

Baton Rouge families, the beach is one of our favorite spots, specifically Destin, Florida.”

The company focuses on great customer service with a personal touch and believe that if you treat people the way you would want to be treated, everything else will work itself out.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL VISION?

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? The Great Flood of 2016 was a challenge to everyone in the community, especially the building materials industry. “We worked day and night to try and meet our customers’ needs,” Matthew Holmes says. “When our team wasn’t at work, they went to their own homes and had to work there as well.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY AND HOW DO YOU RELAX TOGETHER? “Dad and I have always gotten along very well,” says Matthew. “Every day there is a new challenge, but together we make a really good team. We also do a really good job of separating work life and family life. “When we are away from the business, it is all about the next generation. My parents have a total of four grandchildren, and they do a great job of helping with them. Like most

“We would love for the first and second generation of the family to see the business now. They would be amazed at how the business has continued to grow and change,” Matthew says. He adds that it would be incredible to be able to tell them that the company provides a great workplace for 160 team members and their families.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY? The company has grown substantially over the last couple of years and will continue to do so in the future. Since John Homes retired in January, the company’s next goal is to make sure Matthew follows in his family’s footsteps and keeps the business thriving.


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Mitchell Financial Group Dustin and Stephanie Mitchell

Mitchell Financial Group was started in 2006 by Dustin Mitchell after he studied business management at LSU. His prior years at Catholic High studying economics piqued his interest in the field. The company focuses on retirement ESTABLISH AR planning for individuals approaching retirement or already retired. Several years after establishing the business, Mitchell was joined by his wife Stephanie who previously worked for six years as an elementary school teacher in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes. Stephanie is currently the office manager and account manager. ED

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225.421.1564 | mitchellfinancialgroup.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FAMILY’S ORIGINAL VISION?

The Mitchells believe everyone over the age of 50 should have a portion of their retirement assets in a safe place that cannot lose money. They also believe in communicating with people the way they like to be communicated with, which is everyday English, not jargon. And service is important. “We see our clients an average of five times a year through educational and appreciation events, in addition to in-office reviews,” says Dustin Mitchell. “A client who understands what they have and feels comfortable usually sends their own family and friends to see us. Stephanie is in charge of most of the service for existing clients, and many people have commented on how she makes them feel like her own family.”

The company was able to provide a highlevel of personal service in the early years because it was much smaller. As it has grown, it has been a challenge to continue that level of service, but the Mitchells have hired some of the brightest people in Baton Rouge to meet that challenge. “Our team members are some of the most efficient and caring people, and they have a heart for serving,” Dustin says. “I swore if we ever got so big that I couldn’t personally meet with all of our clients every year, I would stop bringing in new ones, and I still feel that way.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? “It’s the greatest and also the most stressful thing we’ve ever done,” Dustin says. “We do our best to leave work at the office. We still think about our clients on weekends, but we’re usually just hoping that they’re doing okay, or we’re concerned if we know someone is battling an illness … it’s usually something nonbusiness related.”

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY? Dustin says that in spite of the dramatic growth of the past 13 years, he and Stephanie still feel like they’ve only scratched the surface. “The desire to help people make part of their retirement safe drives us to keep working as hard as we did in the early years,” he says. “We’ve witnessed how devastating a market crash can be to a retiree’s life, and we are more motivated now than ever before to get our message out to those who share our values of safety and simplicity when it comes to their retirement savings.”

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MacLaff, Inc.

Chris Krampe and Edward “EJ” Krampe

Ed Krampe established the business in 1972 by opening his first McDonald’s restaurant in Lafayette. EJ and Chris Krampe reESTABLISH AR joined the family business in the early 1990s, and together, they grew the business from eight restaurants to the 45 McDonald’s locations that they own and operate today. ED

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225.800.4901 (BR) | 337.981.4800 (Lafayette) | mcdonalds.com

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1972

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY?

Our family’s number one guiding principle is “you are only as good as your people.” We feel that the general manager is the most critical individual in our organization. As such, we provide best-in-class wages, including a pay-for-performance program that allows up to a 35 percent increase in salary each and every month. Couple that with a deferred compensation plan, family health insurance cafeteria plan, free food, free uniforms and a generous vacation and sick leave policy, and you have one of the best compensation packages in south Louisiana. In addition, we are partnering with Highflyer HR of Baton Rouge to provide “instant pay” for our entry-level employees. This allows hourly crew to access 50 percent of their pay the day after they work.

On the development front, construction is underway for the relocation of our Broadmoor restaurant on Florida Boulevard. We are moving down the street to the corner of Marilyn and Florida to provide a much more accessible restaurant with all of the most modern conveniences. This project fits right in with the redevelopment of that important corridor in Baton Rouge. Later in the year, we will be rebuilding the Perkins Road at College Drive restaurant and we are looking forward to this much-needed project.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDERS’ ORIGINAL VISION? Our goal has always been to operate the best restaurants for our customers with the best people in the business. McDonald’s has gone through so many changes over the years from adding breakfast to single booth drive-throughs to double booth drive-throughs to all day breakfast. Our operating system has continued to become more complex, but by investing in our people, we have remained committed to our goal.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? The importance of giving back to the community. Education is critical to our business and to all in Louisiana. Through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, MacLaff team members have earned more than $400,000 in scholarships in the last several years. Our partnerships with organizations like LSU, ULL, FMOL Healthcare, BRAC, One Acadiana, Miles Perret Cancer Services and Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge have been longstanding and beneficial to the communities in which we live and work.


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MEET - A Boutique Event Venue Paula Hartley Clayton and Tony Clayton

MEET – A Boutique Event Venue is a joint business venture of the husband and wife team of Paula Hartley Clayton and Tony Clayton. As they watched the growth of the Village at Huns Grove in Port Allen, the couple realized there was a need for an elegant space for enESTABLISH AR tertaining. The idea of an event center was developed as an outlet for family and/or corporate meetings and events. MEET opened for rentals in June, and as a newly established business, the Claytons are confident that advertising and social media will help them get the word out and bring patrons to the event center, which is an essential asset in the community. ED

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225.242.9904 | hunsgrove.com

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WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED?

A conversation about their grandmothers was the inspiration for the Claytons’ businesses. MEET is a subsidiary of A’Mire LLC, a combination of the “A” in Alma (Paula’s grandmother’s name) and the word admire. Hun was the affectionate name Tony called his grandmother. “We wanted to memorialize their legacies and the effect they had on our lives,” Paula said. “It’s a reminder that we got where we are by standing on their shoulders. And those who come after us will hopefully appreciate the contributions of those who came before us.”

“To listen, be humble and remember that the continued goal is to treat others with respect,” says Paula. “Family businesses survive by developing relationships in your community.” Tony adds that a good business idea is not always a good predictor of success. “The key element to success is perseverance,” he says. “After three years, assess your business. Determine if it is profitable; if not, it may not make sense to keep investing.”

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

“Hopefully, seeing our children follow in our footsteps and carving their paths to other entrepreneurial experiences,” Paula says. “Tony and I encourage our children to learn from our errors and successes, share their ideas and be involved in our ventures while building their own.” “We refer to family entrepreneurships as ‘the buy-in’ or ‘having some skin in the game,’” says Tony. “It allows for more creative thinking, enhances our businesses and helps us build and strengthen our family relationships.”

Faith and family. At its core, faith is rooted in the expectation that no matter how challenging circumstances may seem, things will get better. Paula believes that fundamental values are conceived from family, and from this foundation, standards are instilled that will be the measuring stick to solving problems and handling conflict. It also helps that Paula is a certified event planner who loves organizing special events, and Tony loves helping others and enjoys entertaining.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY?

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Horizon Financial Group

Andy Bush, CRPS®, CPFA®, PPC™ Partner; Pete Bush, CFP® Partner, CEO; Brooke Gautreau, Partner, COO; Bill Bush, CRPS®, CPFA®; Clint Gautreau, CFP®

In 1999, Pete Bush and two partners started what has become Horizon Financial Group. The firm specializes in financial planning, investment management and retirement plans, and is led by two families—the Bush Brothers (Pete, Andy and Bill) and the husband and wife team of Clint and Brooke ESTABLISH AR Gautreau. Pete Bush serves as CEO, while Bill Bush and Andy Bush lead the firm’s 401(K)/retirement plan business. Brooke Gautreau started in 2001 as a part-time college student, and in 2012 became COO and a partner, while Clint Gautreau, a lead advisor for wealth management clients, also heads up portfolio management and leads the national network’s investment committee. ED

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225.612.3820 | horizonfg.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Our mission statement is very simple: “We enjoy helping others achieve greater confidence, clarity and direction in their lives.” Finances factor into nearly every part of life so we live out this mission by providing financial leadership and creativity inside the comfort of a trusted relationship of mutual respect and appreciation. We attract both clients and team members who value personal relationships and are caring, friendly and likeable. The character qualities of our team members give our clients confidence that they will be working with a firm that is honest, courteous, professional and proactive in serving their needs.

great family: communication—whether it’s good news or a tough conversation.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY?

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY?

We have experienced record growth over the past five years in all focus areas— wealth management, retirement plans and the advisor network. We have acquired three practices and see M&A as a big part of our local and national growth plan. Our Horizon Advisor Network now includes more than 50 advisors and spans across 13 states coast to coast with a plan to grow to 125 advisors over the next five years. We’ve also launched our next-generation planning and advice platform, Simplifynance, and are focused on growing that service locally as well as licensing it with other advisors across the country.

Both of our families are close and enjoy the time we spend together both “on and off the field.” Our team also includes nonfamily members who have grown to become like family. Our culture expects that everyone must bring their “A” game every day and operate at the pace and high level this business demands. One of the crucial components of having a great team and great business is the same as having a

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a Broker/ Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design), and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


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Block Companies, LLC Steve Keller, Jason Keller, Paul Simpson

Jason Keller started Block Construction, LLC in 2005, beginning in both private and public commercial construction work in Baton Rouge. Working for another contractor, he was at a point where he was ready to go into business for himself. When starting the business, he and his wife worked out of a trailer. It ESTABLISH AR took about a year to hire their first employee. In 2008, Keller was able to diversify into multifamily construction and form an additional division of the company called Block Builders, LLC. At that time, his brother Steve was developing multifamily and retail developments throughout the southeast, and they saw an opportunity to join forces. The brothers merged their businesses and became partners in Block Companies, LLC. ED

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225.930.9960 | blockcompanies.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? We were raised on the values of honesty, quality and hard work. It’s something our parents taught us to strive for in everything we did, and something we try to instill in our own children as well. As a family company, Block is committed to providing professional work that exceeds client expectations while focusing on person-to-person relationships with our clients.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? Jason Keller says he gets this question often. “We’ve never had a disagreement that we couldn’t settle quickly,” he says about working with his brother. “I guess that comes from years of experience solving conflicts with one another just as brothers, way before we were able to work together.”

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Steve Keller says it has always been a dream of theirs to work with one another. Running a company has many challenges, but being able to face it with your family

makes everything more manageable, he says.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO ITS ORIGINAL VISION? We knew that as our business grew, we would need to expand our professional “family.” Paul Simpson (PJ) was hired as one of the very first Block employees to work as an estimator, and he has stayed with us through the growing pains as Block expanded, serving in almost all capacities within the company. PJ has now become an owner in Block and is a big part of the company’s current success.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY? Our goal is always to grow without sacrificing our values, and we have been fortunate to work with both existing and new clients who have allowed us to expand into the Texas and Georgia markets. We are proud of our Baton Rouge roots and excited to be opening an office in Houston this year. Our hope is that with this Houston office, we can keep Block on the path that we originally envisioned for the company, extending our business into other major markets across the country.

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Al Jones Architects

John Jones, Ben Jones, Al Jones, Tim Landry

Having apprenticed under local architect A. Hays Town for almost eight years, Al Jones decided to open his own practice in 1973. As a one-man business, he was architect, designer, draftsman, field inspector and everything else that needed to be done. Today, Al Jones Architects provides full architectural services ESTABLISH AR for custom residential homes. From an initial meeting with clients until they move into the completed home, the company is engaged in every aspect of the home’s design. In the early days, certain Baton Rouge businessmen believed in Jones and helped him get established. Some of those to whom he’ll forever be grateful are Milton Womack, Claude Kirkpatrick, Allen Penniman and John Canty. ED

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225.925.0123 | aljonesarchitect.com

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In designing authentic traditional homes, one of the company’s challenges has been securing old reclaimed materials. Over the years, the company has established great relationships with suppliers of old wood, old brick, old flagstone and other wonderful materials that have been around for generations. Once the materials are found, finding the right contractor in different locales has been a challenge—but there will always be one that rises above the rest, a builder with the desire and skills to create something very special.

weekdays together and often weekends for family gatherings.”

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? “We are family, but we respect each other and never allow discord to remain between us,” Jones says. “If there is a difference of opinion, we listen to each other and wait until we all agree before pushing forward. When my sons started working in the office, I experienced for the first time someone telling me what was true and not just what I wanted to hear. That has been an incredible blessing.”

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WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? “I never thought my sons, fresh out of architectural school, would want to work in a small privately owned firm that specializes in residential,” says Al Jones. “To my surprise, both of them joined the firm straight from LSU. Their good friend in school expressed a desire to work with us also, and joined us later. After several years in the office, he became my son-in-law. So two sons and a son-in-law have made up our firm for the last 20 years. It’s a joy to spend

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? “My wife plans birthdays for all 10 of us adults throughout the year,” Jones says. “And when we gather for dinner along with our 12 grandchildren, it is a monumental event full of laughter, chaos and fun. It never gets old.” The family also goes to Destin often where the men in the family love to cook. “They are some of our happiest times,” Jones says.


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Louisiana Fire Extinguisher, Inc.

Jay Grace, Sarah Grace Brooks, Henry Grace, John Grace

“We never got to ask our grandfather what inspired him to start the company,” says Sarah Grace Brooks, “but it was focused on family from the very beginning. His brother had a business in Lafayette and helped him open his own business in Baton Rouge. Our grandfather had only one employee and the rest of his workers were all his chilESTABLISH R A dren, whom he brought to work with him often. Today, we have employees who have been with us for almost 40 years and customers who have been with us for 60 years. It’s a competitive business, so those relationships are important to us and we consider it our proudest achievement. Our goal, of course, is to make sure our clients are protected in the event of a fire. And if that happens, we will be there to help them get their business back up andrunning in record time.” ED

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225.924.2421 | louisianafire.com

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WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOUR BUSINESS HAS FACED? Every day, a new company opens up doing the same thing we do and at a lower price. We have customers who leave for the pricing, but when they don’t receive the same quality of customer service, they come back. So our challenge is constantly striving to offer the best customer service possible. Also, it’s difficult to retain technicians, so we train them well and offer as much as we can in the way of pay and benefits.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? It’s a challenge, but also amazing at the same time. This is a time of transition for us as Henry and John have passed the company to Jay and Sarah, who are striving to keep their grandparents’ dream alive while also moving the company into the future. A family business is unique. You have to remember that yes, this is your family, but you are also all working together to run a company. No matter what

happens, once you leave the office, you have to remain a family.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO ITS ORIGINAL VISION? It has changed only in the services it offers. Originally, the company just serviced fire extinguishers, but now, it offers inspection, installation and service of extinguishers, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, CO2 suppression systems, hood systems and more.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY? We are currently expanding the sprinkler and fire alarm side of our business. We have grown by almost 40 employees just in the past year, which is incredible for us as we tried for many years to stay under 50 employees. We are also doing more commercial installations and moving into the residential installation of sprinkler systems. We look forward to continuing our business for another 70 years. It’s exciting to think what the next generation will bring to our company.

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Apple Guerin Company, LLC

Todd Guerin, Robby Apple, Jayne Apple, Jude Guerin

In January of 1980, Jayne Apple was hired as a new college graduate by a small CPA firm that had only been established for about a year. She was the first accountant hired by the firm. Seven years later, she and three other employees of that firm purchased the ESTABLISH AR business. Through many transitions and hires, the business has evolved into Apple Guerin Company. Jayne and her son Robby Apple are both partners with the firm, along with Todd Guerin and his nephew Jude Guerin. The firm has serviced many of its clients for almost 40 years, and the partners are proud of their history and dedication to excellence. ED

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225.767.1020 | appleguerin.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Superior customer service in the complicated field of accounting and taxation is our number one value as a company. We strive to be small enough to know you, but big enough to serve you. With a staff of 15, made up of 10 CPAs, we are able to stay up to date in the ever-changing world of taxes.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? We have always believed in entrepreneurship and helping clients realize their dreams. As operators of a small business ourselves, we understand their challenges and strive to use our experience to ease these challenges. We work hard to achieve appropriate work-life balance in our own firm, and we love seeing clients achieve the same for their companies.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO ITS ORIGINAL VISION? The model of an accounting firm is always changing. Technology advancements have certainly changed how day-to-day processes are handled, but the principles of superior customer service remain the same. Over the years, our clientele has shifted to more business accounting and taxes as opposed to

individual returns. Our business clients have greater accounting needs and more opportunities for us to assist. We serve several types of professional practices and are proud to be the only Louisiana member of the Academy of Dental CPAs.

WHERE AND HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? After tax season, we all enjoy some time away from the office. Jayne and Robby take a family vacation each summer to Destin shortly after tax season ends. Robby and Todd like to unwind on the golf course, while Jude is an avid tennis player. Although we are a familyowned business, we cannot stress enough the importance of our entire staff. We have several CPAs with 20 to 30 years of experience with our firm. We feel that we are all family.

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON? We are adding business clients around south Louisiana and will continue to use technology to create efficient and effective accounting departments. We find that more clients are looking to outsource their entire accounting department to allow the owners to focus on their core business and provide more free time. We’re excited to continue expanding throughout Louisiana.


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S P EC IA L A D VERT IS IN G S EC T ION

Arkel Constructors Derek Fife and Johnny Fife

Arkel Constructors was formed in 1996 with the purchase of a small contracting firm to bring commercial construction capabilities to the Arkel Group of companies, which at the time was strictly industrial engineering and construction based. Today, Arkel Constructors is a client-focused building general contractor operatESTABLISH AR ing in both the commercial and industrial sectors, with a facility maintenance division. Johnny Fife’s vision was not to be the biggest contractor, but to simply be the best at what they do, develop repeat clients and attract a staff willing to put extra effort into every opportunity. As Johnny says, “We are not judged by revenues or magazine rankings. If we do our job well, our reward is the next opportunity that comes along.” ED

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225.344.1023 | arkelconstructors.com

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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOUR COMPANY HAS FACED?

Our business is guided by core values that we address daily—to keep safety a top priority, “outwork” our competition, use integrity to make decisions, make our clients our first priority, consistently raise the bar in our industry, and cultivate teamwork. We believe that if we guide our daily actions according to these values, we will set ourselves apart and better serve our clients.

People are the key to our business and one of our challenges is to make sure our staff are representative of our work culture. The philosophies that made us successful over the past 20 years and allowed us to grow are what we have to instill in the next generation of talent. We focus on leading by example with dedication to our core values, providing them with guidance, support and the tools needed to be a success, while giving them enough room to make decisions and grow professionally.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY? “We wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Johnny says. “Being able to work together and interact on a daily basis is great.” Derek has complete autonomy of the business and Johnny provides support when there is an issue and promotes the successes of the company. “We recognize that two heads are better than one,” Johnny adds. “Together, we understand our boundaries and we know how to be successful together. Neither of us has such an ego that we can’t listen to the other, and that means that when we have to make a decision, we typically get it right.”

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR BUSINESS? With the local construction market slowing down to what we believe is an “industry normal,” we are looking at ways to retain our grasp on the market by expanding our capabilities to other markets we have served successfully. We will remain dedicated to our clients and staff in the next 10 years just as we did during our first 10 years—by supporting our clients who are our lifeline, retaining the key staff that believes in our vision, and identifying and capitalizing on new opportunities.

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, July 16, 2019

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