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Forty Under 40: Then & Now

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Forty Under 40: Then & Now

Our 13th year of Forty Under 40 pushed us to reflect on the incredible career paths our winners take after their honor


By Pro Remodeler Staff April 15, 2024
forty under 40 pro remodeler
This article first appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Reflecting on the last 10 years of Forty Under 40, these handpicked honorees embody the meaning of being a U40er. They showcase exciting professional growth and represent different approaches to remodeling business.

 

 


2014: Chad Hatfield

chad hatfield
Chad Hatfield today | Chad Hatfield in 2014

 

THEN: Hatfield founded Hatfield Builders & Remodelers in 2005. 

NOW: In 2019, Hatfield joined Alair Homes as an owner and partner for Alair Homes DFW | Hatfield. His location is one of more than 100 offices across the U.S. and Canada. 

40U40 BIO:
Accomplishments
•Since launching business, remodeling revenues went from $290,000 in 2008 to $1.8 million in 2013, a 620-percent increase
•Projecting over $2 million in sales for 2014
•Winner, 2013 NARI CotY Award for Kitchens between $40,000-$80,000, Dallas Chapter
 
Off the Clock
•Can’t live without: wife Diane and children Kate and James 
•Can live without: people who do not learn from their mistakes 
•Favorite movie: “Office Space”
•Favorite food: pizza
•Favorite vacation spot: Bonaire
•Favorite book: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey 
•Enjoys diving, underwater photography, playing with his children, and skeet shooting 
 
Secret Life
Descendent of the Hatfield/McCoy family feud, relative Joseph Andrew Hatfield fought in the Revolutionary War


2015: Marc Black

marc black
Marc Black today | Marc Black in 2015

 

THEN: As general manager of Silent Rivers Design + Build in Des Moines, Iowa, Black grew revenue three-fold.

NOW: Black became co-owner of Remodeling Contractors, opened a new division, and has 20 employees with $4 million in revenue.

40U40 BIO: Marc joined Silent Rivers in 2010, and his leadership has helped grow annual revenue from less than $900,000 to an all-time high $3.2 million. One of Marc’s key contributions is the development of job descriptions. While it sounds basic, many of Silent Rivers’ positions changed over the past few years, and creating job descriptions was a critical component of managing expectations and capacity.

Silent Rivers was strong with job costing and managing production, but the company wrestled with a slow design process that was limiting conversion rate. Marc was instrumental in crafting a design schedule that better manages backlog and helps allocate the number of hours for each signed design contract. He moved the design sequence into a Gantt chart, similar to one used for production, which has allowed more accurate projections for resources. This has increased satisfaction, conversions, and revenue.


2016: Aaron Magden

aaron magden
Aaron Magden today | Aaron Magden in 2016

THEN: As VP of sales and co-owner of Window Nation, Magden helped drive $60 million in revenue for 2015.

NOW: Window Nation sold to a private equity firm in 2018 and again in 2021. Since then, Magden also co-founded Magden Motors Exotic Car Sales and is co-owner of Mikey & Mel’s Deli.

40U40 BIO: Aaron and his brother, Harley Magden, started their company from scratch 10 years ago. Today, Window Nation has 200 employees and $60 million in annual revenue. The company was having trouble closing business in one location, but instead of considering progressive discipline, Aaron spent several months working with the sales team to enhance their skills. He retrained the staff on the company’s selling system, went on ride-alongs, provided detailed feedback, and put together an action plan. The team felt honored that an owner was investing so much time in them and they took the training very seriously. Today, that office is one of the most formidable closers in the company. 


2017: BJ Werzyn

bj werzyn
BJ Werzyn today | BJ Werzyn in 2017
 

THEN: As owner of West Shore Home, Werzyn had $25 million in revenue for 2016 with 130 employees and two locations.

NOW: Werzyn gained private equity investment for acquisitions in 2018, and as a result, grew the company 4,000%+ to 38 cities and 18 states with 2,900 employees. 

40U40 BIO: The key to Werzyn’s success is simple: Find what you do well and stick with it. West Shore has been in business for 10 years, with an average of 35 percent growth every year, Werzyn says, and much of that is due to having a clear set of guiding principles. To that end, West Shore is mission-driven. The company sells and installs windows, doors, and bathroom updates. The team focuses on easy-to-execute projects that can be completed in one or two days, which allows for tighter job costing and the ability to reinvest more of the profits back into marketing. “We don’t do siding or sunrooms or anything like that,” Werzyn says. “Sometimes it’s better for the organization to have the customers conform to what your business model is."


2018: Paul Criner

paul criner
Paul Criner today | Paul Criner in 2018

 

THEN: Criner served for 10 years as production manager with his father’s company, Criner Remodeling. In 2018, he moved over to the sales and design side of the business.

NOW: Criner began purchasing the company in 2020, a process expected to take eight years. Currently he is VP and runs all facets of the business. 

40U40 BIO: "I see the industry becoming more concerned with silica dust raised from remodeling. OSHA has issued new regulations regarding silica dust, but I have not seen much enforcement yet. I think that once that begins we will see a lot more dust control tools being produced and safety measures taken."


2019: Adam Shampaine

adam shampaine
Adam Shampaine today | Adam Shampaine in 2019

 

THEN: The Homefix Custom Remodeling CEO predicted social media to be a major marketing avenue and ran Homefix with $76.6 million in revenue for 2018.

NOW: With a $79.4 million revenue for 2023, Shampaine looks to AI as the latest industry-shaping innovation.

40U40 BIO: Big Marketing Trend: It’s amazing how important social media has become in the remodeling market. As a result, expect to see a lot more social media advertising over the next year (and beyond). It’s easy, cheap, and can be incredibly targeted. 

Biggest Challenge: Scaling for growth without losing our core values is tough. I’ve found that the answer is giving up responsibilities. Teaching other people to do what I do and then actually letting them do it has been key to growing our business while sustaining our culture.


2020: Josh Yager

josh yager
Josh Yager today | Josh Yager in 2020

 

THEN: As marketing director for Mad City Windows & Baths, Yager spurred growth with community-based lead gen.

NOW: In 2022, Yager began as VP of direct marketing for Matrix Home Solutions. Recently he was promoted to CMO for the company and focuses on omnichannel marketing, lead gen, and content creation.

40U40 BIO: Biggest challenge: "Getting qualified individuals. Our solution to that problem was to overhaul our pay structure for entry-level brand-ambassador positions. We pay up to 40% more on average than our competitors for the same marketing position. We invest more to generate more business and be more competitive."

Business hack: "Anywhere people gather, we make our presence known. When I started here in 2016, we did about 36 marketing events. This coming year, we’ll have over 600 events. Staying heavily involved in the community and getting word-of-mouth referrals has been our biggest move forward; we generate as much as 70% of our total business from canvass, retail, and marketing events."


2021: Peter Ranney

pro remodeler forty under 40
Peter Ranney today | Peter Ranney in 2021
 

THEN: As owner of Ranney Blair and non-profit Sunshine on a Ranney Day, Ranney had $1.8 million in revenue and completed over 130 charitable projects.

NOW: Now Ranney Blair Weidmann, the company welcomed a new partner in 2023 and ran $8 million in revenue. Sunshine on a Ranney Day completed more than 80 more makeovers for children with special needs.

40U40 BIO: "In 2012 at a church sermon, my wife Holly and I found our calling to use our God-given talents and resources to help people in our community. My wife was a buyer for a national furniture store for kids’ furniture, and her employer said she could use the samples for a charitable purpose. I had construction skills, so we created Sunshine on a Ranney Day with the idea that every child should have their own unique space. 

At first, we thought it was a weekend thing. We completed our first makeover for 11-year-old Mathew, who wanted to spend his last days in his military-themed bunker bedroom as he wanted to be in the Air Force someday. Mathew’s makeover and passing showed us how impactful a makeover could be on a child’s life. From a construction aspect, we’re painting a room and doing different design and construction updates. It certainly looks good, but it has a deeper meaning. As a child, your room is your safe space. Since 2012, we’ve completed over 130 projects."


2022: Joshua Dean

joshua dean
Joshua Dean today | Joshua Dean in 2022

 

THEN: As president of Precision Homecrafters, Dean saw $1.3 million in revenue for 2021 with six employees.

NOW: Dean has grown his business significantly over the past two years. He acquired a competitor as well a custom cabinet vendor, elevating the businesses’ capacity. Precision now has 21 employees with over $5 million in annual revenue.

40U40 BIO: "I have an architect buddy named Ben Strout and we’ve been working on a method of building a second floor addition with minimal disruption to the homeowners. It’s called AnotherStory, and Ben has patents pending on the concept and brackets. The concept is a building product (Level-Up Jacks) and a specific design approach. It can work for a lot of homes, but it necessitates gables and strategic placement of loads.

Essentially, we install the jacks and fit them with plumbing boots so that they’re waterproof but we are afforded points where we can place the loads when constructing the perimeter beams and framing the exterior structure. So we can then frame the new roof while the existing roof is still there. Once the new structure is framed, we install the new roof decking, waterproof it, and when that is all water-tight, we utilize a window opening to demo the existing roof. We throw debris out the window and into a dumpster.

With AnotherStory, we can take your 1940s 3:2 and turn it into a 6:4 if you want. And you don’t have to live with your in-laws for six months while we do it. Our plan is to refine the process and when we feel like we have the system down pat, we’ll take it to other markets."


 


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