Meet Jack Kenney, VP National Account Manager, and John Kenney, Roof Technician
When Tom Kenney started his second career at D. C. Taylor Co. in 1977, he could not have known that he was starting a family tradition; with two generations following him into employment at the company, it seems like that’s exactly what he did. “My dad was a consummate salesman. He knew how to sell. Tom never met a stranger. He would talk to anybody and everybody at the embarrassment of his kids,” says Jack Kenney, Vice President National Account Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I’ve turned into him.”
Today, Jack is part of D. C. Taylor Co.’s sales team so that statement isn’t far from the truth. Jack’s employment story at the company started 37 years ago, when he worked briefly during college on the crew. After getting a business degree in Information Sciences, Jack rejoined D. C. Taylor Co. “I always thought I would end up in the computer field as I sold computers in college. Instead, roofing was paying more in 1984,” he recalls. He came on board as an estimator/draftsman and for four years, he and his father both worked for the company, but out of different offices.
After a few years working for smaller roofing companies in Virginia and North Carolina, Jack came back to D. C. Taylor Co. again in 1991 to sell. “I did the grits and hominy route,” he says. “I flew two million miles in the ‘90s.” Jack’s customers are a little closer to his Eastern Iowa home these days.
His experiences outside of the company in many ways have shaped his success here. His college degree has been put to good use. “The computerized technical training has helped me stay organized with account management, my customer’s information, and makes new software easy to adapt to,” he explains. And as for his time working elsewhere, it taught him the impact of sales on the team. “Being with small companies on the east coast, I learned about responsibility. I knew those families. I knew their wives and kids. When they got 22-hour checks and work was tight, I felt for them.”
Perhaps it’s this commitment that keeps Jack motivated after being in sales for so long. Now that his oldest son, John Kenney, has joined the company, his commitment to our crews is even stronger. “I used to threaten him with the University of D. C. Taylor. It’s a hard school. But he’s got his degree now,” says Jack.
As a roof technician, John has been doing roof tear-offs and installations as part of an eight- or nine-man crew for the last five years. “It makes my grandma Kenney happy,” he jokes. “It’s an honor to be third generation. I’m pretty proud of it. When I started, there was a little bit of pressure to perform; everyone knew my last name.”
Under the guidance of great mentors, John has lived up to the reputation that preceded him. “I like the challenge in it. The variety. You’re always somewhere different, doing something different,” says John. “There’s been numerous jobs I’ve been especially proud of; it’s a great feeling.”
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.