In the mid-90s, Glenn Trusty was working off the coast as a commercial fisherman. But he was looking to make a change. Specifically, he wanted to spend more time on land with his growing family. So when he and a couple of fellow fishermen were contracted for a roofing job, Glenn had an idea: He proposed they start their own business. They began this venture together, but Glenn was soon the only one following through on the risk. That didn’t slow him down.
Twenty-four years later, Dr. Roof has three brick-and-mortars, a satellite location, and plenty of work to keep them busy. His wife Hilary has joined the team, and they’ve expanded beyond roofing into siding, windows, and many other aspects of the trade.
We asked Glenn to tell us more about his journey and where he’s ended up:
Why did you choose to start a business in Pacific County?
I’ve been here for 42 years–since I was a young kid. I was in the commercial fishing industry, but I wanted something closer to home as I was building my family. And there was a need for the service. There were few roofing companies then compared to now—maybe two or three when I started in ’98. I’d done some construction work, off and on in the summers helping out a friend. So when I saw a need, it motivated me to enter the industry.
How did you come up with the name for your business?
We’d pondered two or three names, and Dr. Roof just seemed to be a great name. Kind of like the roof MD! We’d do a lot of marketing stuff like, “How’s your home’s health?,” and “Has your home had its check-up?” Maintenance and repair inspection is an MRI. We do a lot of medical spins on marketing, so it’s an opportunity to be fun and creative.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It’s satisfying to see people join the ranks of learning and training and become good at what they do. We develop a lot of people through this company: Many other people who’ve started their own businesses came through these doors. Much of my satisfaction is seeing somebody else do better–to improve their situation and their life. And to satisfy a customer. There’s no feeling more gratifying than when a person says thank you and appreciates your services and the hard work your team puts into it. Especially in today’s climate: You don’t get the thank yous and appreciation as much anymore.
How do you view your role in the community?
I try at least a few projects each year to help somebody out. Sometimes it can be labor, or material. Sometimes it’s both. Sometimes it’s just advice. Occasionally it’s monetary–donating to the cause, whatever that cause may be. We try to be very active. We fixed up the McGowan church–a wonderful project to be a part of. We also took on the go-kart course–now the Fun Beach Fun Center and Go Kart Track. We did that whole rehabilitation. We added a Putt Putt golf course, bike shop, and ice cream parlor. It’s an iconic property for Long Beach and turning that into what we did felt good. It was a big change for the community. We ran it for four or five years, and just recently sold it. But I love to see it running, people enjoying it, and knowing that we brought that back up from the depths of the sea, so to speak. We started very small. We never had intentions of doing the things that we ended up achieving, that we’ve done. It feels good to help the people that are in need. That’s what being a part of Dr. Roof is all about: Building Community.
What is unique about your business?
One unique thing about us is the continuing education, the training. And the offerings that we can give to consumers are based on our relationships with manufacturers because of the training we get. Cause we understand how they operate: How their assemblies work and how to meet all of the requirements that they put out there for their contractors If you want to be part of that network, it takes a lot of work. I think that’s also a unique thing that we’ve done, that we’ve successfully networked with multiple manufacturers. We have relationships with three different manufacturers. They don’t give us exclusivity, but it certainly gives us an advantage we can pass on to the consumer.
If you had to do it all again, is there anything you’d do differently?
Back in ’98, in the beginning, we thought that working hard was all it took. Well, there’s a lot to it that we didn’t know. What I would do differently is learn the numbers. That’s something I really would’ve liked to have known going into it. Many people want to get into business but only see the good things. They don’t know what’s behind the scenes. They don’t see the sleepless nights and the struggling–how hard it can be to make things work, to make ends meet. But you put your head down and get after it. Over the years, we’ve had some great staff, so thank goodness for them. Without our team, Dr. Roof certainly wouldn’t be what it is! We are very fortunate to have the people we have working with us.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone starting a business in Pacific County, what would it be?
Start by learning the trade–learning what you love to do. Don’t cut yourself short. Find what you like, find your niche, and be good at it. It doesn’t matter what you do; just be the best you can be at what you do. And don’t give up. You have to go every day, even when it’s tough. You can shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. But no matter what, you have to keep that tenacity. Keep on grinding to get through the tough times, because there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Final Thoughts For any aspiring business owner in Pacific County, here are a few key takeaways from Glenn’s experience:
● Inspire your team to learn and better themselves in their trade
● Learn the numbers ● Understand the network your industry depends on
● Work beyond your job; Do what you can in your community
● No matter what you do, do your best