Exactly 10 years ago today my Grandfather died. I think about my grandfather a lot, but I don’t always think about the day that we buried him. The reason I thought of the day that we buried him is the weather in Saginaw today. It is miserable here. Cold, rainy, and windy. I was walking outside just a bit ago and I thought, “geez this weather is bad? What’s the date today? When’s the last time the weather was this bad this late in the year?” Answer. The day we buried my grandfather, April 2003. As long as I live, that is one of the days that I will never forget. I remember standing at the graveside memorial getting pelted mercilessly by the wind and rain, and I muttered to my brother, “only a roofing salesman likes a day like today” to which my brother responded, “that’s what he was. He probably ordered it up!”
Now is as good a time as any to look back on what we’ve accomplished over the last 10 years, and we’ve accomplished a lot. A lot of people in the industry thought, “That’s it. They’re done. The old man was the whole show.” I can assure you that my grandfather loves the fact we showed them that wasn’t the case. He loves the fact that we’re offering more products for sale, and that the company remains financially strong, continues to grow, and sales are increasing, although to be candid he’d say “you can sell more!” He loves the fact that we have so many long time, loyal contractors, sales reps and employees and that we’ve added in more contractors, more sales reps and new employees to grow the company. He loves people like Tom Saeli and Bill Carroll, people that are going to take us to the next level. My grandfather loves these companies and he takes tremendous pride in the products and the people. You’ll notice I use the present tense. That’s because my grandfather is still here. So many of us still think about him and what he’d do, what he’d say. That’s a powerful impact to have on people and a company, any company, even your own, ten years after your death. So all I want to do today is ask you to do two things. First, promise yourself that you will take pride in what you do. Take pride in what you make. Take pride in the products that we sell. Take pride in the Duro-Last that you install. Give your best. Second, think about John Burt for a moment or two. If you never met him, grab a copy of the John R. Burt story. It will make the weather today seem like just another great day to get out there and sell!
Jason P. Tunney
General Counsel & Executive Vice President,
Duro-Last Inc., and
John R. Burt Enterprises