Meet Kevin Van, VP Construction
By the time Kevin Vandenlangenberg (known as Kevin Van) joined D. C. Taylor Co. in 2000, he already had nearly 20 years of roofing experience. Having worked for roofing contractors doing mostly commercial jobs and then transitioning to an inspector for a single-ply roofing manufacturer, his knowledge and experience was vast. During his employment with Stevens Roofing Systems, a supplier to D. C. Taylor Co., the head of the roofing contractor’s service division recommended Kevin for a position in the company’s new Chicago office.
“I started in service and in a very short time, we started crews, so I took on the responsibility of construction management,” Kevin recollects. Back in the early days, he leaned a lot on the company’s subject-matter experts to help him (and a few select others) get the Chicago office up and running. Now, 16 years later, the tables have turned with Kevin working much of the time autonomously to keep the Chicago office running smoothly. “Kevin’s role has expanded as the company, and offices, right sized to fit the business,” explains Bob Pence, Vice President Materials, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
More than three decades after he began his career in roofing, Kevin’s become a real authority and asset to D. C. Taylor Co. “Kevin is a construction expert and rarely is baffled or surprised by what he finds in the field or what occurs on his projects,” says Jack Kenney, Vice President Regional Account Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA. “His experience helps him stay calm.” In his current role as Vice President of Construction, he’s thriving. Today, Kevin manages seven service and construction crews, which totaled more than 45,000 labor hours in 2015.
His humble just-doing-my-job attitude is part of why he’s so respected by both his peers and the men he manages. “We have a common vision,” explains Kevin. “What I enjoy most about my job is the people, my coworkers, the men I manage, and our customers.”
His excellent management and communication skills make him both a favorite among his crews and his customers. “Kevin will tackle anything and rarely says no to help others out,” say Mike Stickney, Vice President National Account Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA. “He’s a real team player,” adds Mike, who has never regretted recommending Kevin almost 16 years ago for a position at the company.
While the types of facilities roofed by D. C. Taylor Co.’s Chicago crews has shifted from mostly retail in the early days to industrial and commercial today, Kevin has kept pace with customer expectations. “His understanding of customers’ needs and the ability to build a plan and enact it safely is what keeps our customers wanting him and his team on their projects,” adds Jack.
Kevin and his crews haven’t become as skilled as they are by doing easy projects. “I enjoy the challenges, the opportunities,” he says. When asked about the projects he finds most rewarding, he’s quick to answer: those roofs that are most beat up. “Once you replace everything, you can make it look and function so much better. It’s such an improvement afterwards,” Kevin adds.
While he has traveled extensively for the company and has especially fond memories of the work performed in Puerto Rico back in 2003-2004, Kevin’s position today requires less travel. That’s just fine by him. According to Kevin, there’s nothing like Chicago, especially in the summer when you’re on the lake.
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.