Meet Bob Ford, VP National Account Manager
Hot asphalt roofing work is difficult. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, D. C. Taylor Co. customers were still requesting these roofing systems but a skills gap left the company uneasy. It didn’t take them long to find a solution to the problem: Bob Ford. As a manager with another eastern Iowa roofing company, and certified Journeyman with experience in hot asphalt, Bob was just the man the company needed to help train its men. It took some persuading, but after the fourth offer, Bob was officially on the team.
When he joined D. C. Taylor Co.’s Cedar Rapids office in 1991, he already had nearly two decades of roofing experience. “I first started out in roofing with my brother-in-law at the ripe old age of 20, right after my father passed away,” remembers Bob. “I began as a laborer (grunt they called it back then) by doing any job they asked me to do. On rainy days I would be the only one to volunteer to go into the shop to clean out asphalt tankers; it was a very nasty job. I was willing to learn from all the older roofers, so many of them took me under their wing and trained me.”
Perhaps it was Bob’s unconscious desire to pay it forward that led him to consistently step forward to train others at D. C. Taylor Co. “I’ll help anybody that needs help. That’s the way I am,” says Bob. Under his leadership, with consistent training and new equipment, the rookie crew he started with eventually became a well-oiled machine. The company could now bid on larger built-up jobs with the confidence that the crews could deliver the quality workmanship D. C. Taylor Co. was known for.
“I started as superintendent who had one crew,” says Bob. It didn’t take long before Bob’s responsibilities grew and he was managing several crews. This was just the beginning of many promotions for Bob as he made his way from superintendent to vice president. In his current sales role, Bob works with customers in the South Central United States. “He insists on proposing good roof systems for D. C. Taylor Co. customers. I admire that Bob is upfront with his customers about what a quality roof is. Customers appreciate his honesty,” adds Brad Conlin, VP Construction Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
Bob is always ready with answers and ideas. With a bag of tricks in his truck, he’s even been called “Doctor Bob” for his ability to “stop the bleeding.” He’ll often perform a temporary repair in order to allow time for a service crew to arrive. “He is constantly helping out a customer with a quick-fix while he’s on-site. He has such a strong work ethic,” adds Denise Kopp, Sales Administrator, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
Although Bob has much to be proud of in his 42 years of roofing, he’s quick to point out his most favorite roles are as husband, son, father, and grandfather.
Throughout 2016, D. C. Taylor Co. will be honoring its employees by sharing a blog profile of their experiences working for the company each month. We think our people are our most valuable asset. After you meet them, we think you’ll understand why.