News Book - 2016 www.Tri-TownConstruction.com The greatest compliment you can give us is your referral of friends or family. If you know of anyone needing our services in the Southwest Florida area, please do not keep us a secret. We always have time for your referrals.
Lic. General Contractor, CGC1512714 • Lic. Roofing Contractor, CCC1329614 • Lic. Mold Assessor, MRSA729 • Lic. Mold Remediator, MRSR829 • Lic. Home Inspector, HI3275 1
Marc Devisse, owner of Tri-Town Construction in Fort Myers, said that for professional installers large retailers such as Tile Outlets can offer a price advantage. But smaller, more specialized dealers can provide expertise on specific high-end tiles that they work with a lot, he said. Issues can be esoteric, Devisse said: “Can you butt them up very close or do you need a larger grout line to hide the imperfections of the tile? The smaller the grout line the more perfect the tile needs to be cut.”
Proceeds from the event go toward building structures in area playgrounds that provide shade for youngsters and to educate the public about sun safety and the benefits of early cancer checking. Marc Devisse, owner of Tri-Town Construction that serves both Collier and Lee counties, had supported several organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation and Liberty Youth Ranch when he met Tara and Jon and decided to focus his company’s charitable efforts on the annual golf event. “The family puts so much into this,” he said, “They’re appreciative of the support and are so easy to work with.” 2
“We talk to the construction businesses and those jobs are in demand. They’re looking for people,” Wall said. And Marc Devisse is one of them. “This will be our best year ever,” said the Fort Myers construction business owner. “We’ve got some really long-term employees who have been with me a while and are growing with the company.” Devisse, 32, is a 2005 graduate of FGCU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He started Tri-Town Construction in 2006. “I was working for another construction development company in Bonita when I was in college and when I graduated I worked full time for him. I was a project manager at 22 years old. All of a sudden it seemed like a switch shut off. During that time, I had always expected to go out on my own,” he said. His office is off Alico Road, but 95 percent of his work is in the Bonita Springs, Naples and Estero areas doing high-end custom remodeling, maintenance of homes for property management companies and roofing. He said he is able to negotiate from a strong position and be selective with the jobs he takes because of the market conditions. “The economy is just really good right now,” he said. “We’re getting leads and referrals every day.”
When the sun beats down on a Tri-Town Construction project, you can be sure the workers are trained to handle the heat and the skin-damaging ultraviolet rays. Safety meetings are held regularly to go over issues that can leave customers angry over damages and sloppy work sites or that could lead to workplace injuries for its employees. “We try to educate and prevent anyone from getting injured,” owner Marc Devisse said. Devisse’s passion for safety carries over into the company’s philosophy of community involvement. Each May, Tri-Town sponsors a golf tournament to raise money to build sun shelters on public school playgrounds. The last tournament raised about $12,000. “This one event pays for one shelter,” Devisse said. “A lot of people here in Florida are unaware of melanoma. Sunscreen is important.” Tri-Town and Devisse partner with Jon Parla, director of the Passion Foundation to educate the public about the dangers of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Parla and his late wife, Tara, started the foundation after she was diagnosed with melanoma. “We had the foundation and Marc was a buddy of ours. We met and he said 'What can we do to help out the foundation?',” Parla said. “The shade structures we build block up to 97 percent of the UV rays coming in,” he said. Tri-Town does more than act as a sponsor. Devisse can be found working throughout the tournament, according to Parla. They’ve been a team for six years, raising an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 per tournament. Information about the foundation, including its Oct. 4 golf tournament and the Dec. 5 Tara’s Jingle Jog 5K run and challenge with obstacles, can be found at passion-foundation.org. 4
Continued from page 3: Construction Firm Stresses Safety, Community Work Tri-Town, which provides new and rehab construction services and specialties such as kitchens, tiles and floors, was built with perseverance, according to Devisse. The company was launched in 2006, just before the Great Recession. Devisse has been involved in construction for about 15 years, although he also has a marketing degree from FGCU and has worked as a licensed real estate agent. Perseverance and a willingness to take risks allowed the small company - Devisse, a partner and one employee - to get through the downturn in the economy, Devisse said. They worked initially from a bedroom and garage in his home. “We didn’t have a lot of money so we couldn’t blow a lot of money on an office,” Devisse said. He still keeps his office costs low. Tri-Town keeps a small office/warehouse off Alico Road where some of the 20 employees can do desk work or get items they need for a job. The process of meeting with clients and discussing project details usually takes place at the client’s location. “This is more for employee meetings,” Devisse said. “Every year sales have grown. We were thinking we would hit $2.2 million this year but now it looks like $2.7 million,” Devisse said. “Right now the market is good. I’ve got about a three-week waiting list to get on your job. I like to keep it around two weeks.” Tri-Town works in Lee and Collier counties, including the municipalities. The building codes are standard, but each county and city has its own procedures for getting permits. He’d like to see that process standardized. “It would greatly improve the efficiency of government. They all need to get to the point where we can submit a permit application online. That would save a lot of paper,” Devisse said. Devisse also makes it a Tri-Town policy to use American made materials whenever possible. “It’s more expensive, it’s limited and they’re hard to find,” he said. “I’m more about a community sense. Businesses need to make money. But if you do the right thing the profits will come.” 5
Bonita Springs is riding a new wave of development as many businesses look to expand between Naples and Fort Myers and flock to revitalized retail centers which had become ghost towns during the recession. Following the successful rebuilding of The Promenade, the nearby Bernwood properties are now on track to become a destination of their own. When Ohio-based CRM Companies purchased the Bernwood portfolio — including the Shoppes, Design Center, Courtyard and Place — in March 2014, collective occupancy was about 30 percent, said Jeff Manning, property manager for CRM subsidiary Bernwood, LLC. “Now we are 80 percent occupied,” he said, noting this far exceeded the company’s expectations. “We can’t get people in quick enough. People are wanting to come to Bonita Springs and Estero.” He anticipates 100 percent occupancy in 2016, a goal the company initially set for three to five years. The Bonita facility will include five treatment rooms for injections, laser treatment, massages, scrubs and body contouring, Smith said. The wine bar will feature a selection of international and domestic vino. Smith also has plans to offer special welcome packages to Hertz employees, as Hertz opens its world headquarters a few miles to the north around the same time. “This is going to be the future,” Shin said of Bernwood Shoppes, with regained enthusiasm for a re-energized plaza. “This is the most beautiful building in Bonita Springs.”
As a college student at Florida Gulf Coast University in the mid-2000s, Marc Devisse, owner of Tri-Town Construction in Fort Myers, knew he wanted to open a business one day, but wasn’t sure what kind. Enter Rich Galvano, a respected construction professional who took Devisse under his wing and gave him his first construction job on a largescale project while Devisse completed his studies at FGCU. “Rich took me in when I was young and in college and gave me a great opportunity to work alongside some powerful people in the construction industry,” recalled Devisse, whose company specializes in high-end residential remodeling projects. “I used it as on-the-job training, not only from the business and construction sides of things, but I also modeled myself after Rich in the way he puts deals together to make both sides happy. It really was a great learning experience for me.” After working for Galvano for another year following his graduation from FGCU in 2005, Devisse struck out on his own in 2006. “We started Tri-Town Construction with a $200 job, then gradually worked our way up to $300, $400 and $500 jobs,” he said. “Then one night I met a guy at the Ale House and ended up getting a $10,000 job from him. I was so happy that I called everyone I knew to tell them about it — really thought we were making it then. Ever since, business has just been growing exponentially.” Today, Devisse said that exponential growth translates to around $2.2 million in annual sales for Tri-Town Construction and its 15 employees.
Continued from page 6: Top SWFL Construction Firm Tri-Town Construction Had Humble Beginnings “I think our success is based on solid business practices as far as always treating people right and building a great team around me that cares as much as I do about doing good business in the community,” said Devisse, a Bonita Springs resident who was born in Chicago, moved to Southwest Florida at the age of 6 and graduated from Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda. “I’ve always tried my best to build a solid reputation as an honest contractor, and word-of-mouth has always been our No. 1 source of new customers. I’m always looking to grow good relationships with our customers, subcontractors and vendors, and I’ve always valued our reputation over profit. For us, it’s people over profit, always.” Client Garry Mrozek, who hired Devise to do some remodeling work on his condo at Pelican Bay in Naples, said he couldn’t have been happier with the experience. “My experience with contractors, both in Ohio and in Florida, has been a little spotty,” the Youngstown-area native said. “But with Marc, I didn’t need to worry about that. Sometimes you put $50,000 into a project and you get $40,000 in value. But with Tri-Town Construction, I actually got more value than I paid for. So I would definitely recommend them to anyone who asked.” To ensure his clients stay happy, Devisse said his company offers a threeyear warranty on all its work. “The industry standard is usually one year, but if something goes wrong a year or two years after a job has been completed, I want to be there for my clients,” he said. “I’m not going to nickel-and-dime them to come fix it because I want them to be happy. I think the three-year warranty shows that we stand behind our work and really believe in what we do.”
Running a licensed general contracting company was never in the plans for Marc Devisse, but it seems like being a business owner was destiny. Construction just fell to him naturally as a product of time. While working as the project manager on a large-scale construction job during college, Marc sparked the idea of starting his own company. It wasn’t until the economic downturn and with the support and guidance of his mentor, Rich Galvano, Tri-Town Construction was born. Since its start in November 2006, Tri-Town has seen exponential growth and successfully maneuvered through the housing market declines that occurred in 2007-08. Galvano gave Marc his first construction job while he was still attending FGCU to finish his degree, and eventually was given the position of project manager for the shear fact that, “Devisse is dependable.” Rich now works within the development side of the industry, and his most recent project is I-Hub, which is a research park dedicated to sustainability and renewable energy research. Marc bases his business practices off five pillars: quality, ethics, environmental consciousness, teamwork as a family, and supporting American made products. He understands that his business is centered on trust and referrals, and that is one of the reasons they are so successful. Tri-Town Construction also offers a three-year “Peace of Mind” warranty to make an extra effort toward ensuring that each and every customer remains satisfied.
Inaugural members gathered for the launch of the Kiwanis Club of Bonita Springs last night at the Koi Lounge in Bonita Springs. The club is organized to serve children and youth using two approaches. One aspect is to improve the quality of life directly through activities promoting health, education, etc. The other encourages leadership and service among youth. To start a club, a minimum of ten members of the community must come together and establish leadership roles, service events, and bylaws to represent the respective organization. Kiwanians are typically an older demographic of members. This club was started with a different intent. Marc Devisse, elected president of the organization, started the planning for the club in October of 2015. Knowing what a benefit would be for children in the community to interact with young professionals, he started to put together a list of next generation community leaders to become members. After working with the Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s district office for Kiwanis, the official launch and election of officers happened last night at the Koi Lounge. The club plans to meet at various Bonita Springs businesses once per month. The goal? To help as many children in the local community by being role models, raising money for youth programs, and helping the children understand the importance of becoming servants and leaders at an early age.
FGCU’s emphasis on entrepreneurship in the Lutgert College of Business continues to pay dividends for alumni as well as the local workforce and economy. After graduating in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Marc Devisse decided to launch his own company, Tri-Town Construction of Fort Myers, starting in 2006 with small remodeling jobs of a few hundred dollars. Despite the decline in the local housing market in 2007 and 2008, Tri-Town achieved exponential growth and has reached more than $2 million in annual sales. Running a licensed general contracting company was never part of the plan for Devisse, but being a business owner seemed to be his destiny. While studying at FGCU, he worked as a project manager on a large-scale construction job under Fort Myers developer Rich Galvano, whom he says became a mentor. Part of Tri-Town’s success could be credited to business practices that Devisse learned while at FGCU, he says. Quality, ethics, environmental consciousness, teamwork and supporting American-made products are pillars of his company, he says. “I understand that this business is centered on trust and referrals,” Devisse says. He hopes to put his business experience to work for the greater good, too. Devisse recently announced plans to run for the Bonita Springs City Council in District 1. The election is in March. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I feel that I am a great fit for the position,” he said on Facebook. “Running my own business for the past 10 years has taught me many things that will make me successful if given the opportunity.” Giving back to the community is another value instilled at FGCU. Devisse has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is the founding president of Bonita Kiwanis. 11
Devisse began building his own business shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University. A fallen economy made it difficult for Devisse to find work in the contracting and building industry, so in 2006, at the ripe old age of 23, he took matters into his own hands. Tri-Town Construction started as a one-truck, one-man operation and in less than a decade has grown to more than 15 employees and six trucks running out of an office in Fort Myers. Devisse started the company at a low point in the economy. “We learned to keep overhead down and grow with the market. Many companies failed and closed during those times, but through perseverance we prevailed,” he says. Today, Tri-Town is regarded as a high-end and environmentally conscious company. It also supports “Made in the USA” products. Devisse is involved in charitable organizations such as Liberty Youth Ranch, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Passion Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. He also started a charity golf tournament six years ago. He and his 6-year-old son like to keep up with local sports.
Marc Devisse and Zachary Eaton, ’05 Issue Date: November 2012 Marc Devisse (Marketing), and Zachary Eaton (Management), have opened a new Jimmy John’s on University Drive near FGCU. Devisse is the owner of Tri-Town Construction, which is building the new location. Eaton is the owner of Jimmy John’s.
“The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals events and group as a whole are fantastic. I’ve met many great people and have been able to grow some long lasting relationships through the group. I would highly recommend anybody who would like to meet some great people to become active and come join a few events. Everybody involved is a true professional!” – Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction
Tip 9. Philanthropy “I am a huge believer of giving back to the community -- not only with money but time. In my eyes, what better way than giving money toward something beneficial to the community which also counts as a tax write-off? Even taking it a step further you can start your own philanthropy to offer other businesses the chance to donate and use it as a write-off.” – Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction
Tip 3. “You'll finally have someone who isn't afraid of correcting you. Every great team has a coach. Think of the best NFL and NBA teams, which all have coaches. A coach is someone who's not afraid to confront you and tell you when you're doing something incorrectly. They have a proven method to success and can help you take your business to the next level.” --Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction 14
Tip 6. Be a Family “Treat each person in your business the same: regardless of their age, they are an asset to the team. Do not have a lopsided environment to the point where it favors one demographic, and be sure to cater to everyone’s needs.” – Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction
Customers will be able to give feedback "The new Facebook search will allow customers to write feedback and interact easily. This means your brand management is crucial. As we all know, one bad review ruins ten good ones." --Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction
Not Acting Entitled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many days the newest college graduates assume that with little research and a degree, they deserve an $80,000 job right out of college. I think working hard and completing your tasks is really all it takes to impress a younger boss. The promotions and salary increases will come to those who continue to work hard.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Marc Devisse, Tri-Town Construction