Forty Under 40 Pro Remodeler winners: Schloegel Design Remodel and Meridian Design Construction | Episode 24

On this episode of The Building Code, we feature two guests, both of whom received the 2019 Pro Remodeler Forty Under 40 award: Justin Shipp and Charlie Schloegel. After they were named the industry’s future leaders by Pro Remodeler magazine, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to interview these two on the podcast.

Justin Shipp: Meridian Design Construction

Justin Shipp is the owner of Meridian Design Construction out of Ventura, Calif. Not only did Justin receive the Forty Under 40 award, but also his company was recently recognized in REMODELING’S Big50. Customer feedback and community involvement definitely helped edge Meridian above other contenders; they donate 1% of revenue to local environmental charities to help offset the environmental impact of construction. Serving the Ventura, Ojai, Santa Barbara and Montecito areas, the beautiful environment is lucky to have this dedicated protection initiative.

Meridian specializes in entire home remodels, but they are actively talking about getting into ground-up construction soon. With the recent California wildfires, the Ventura area alone lost around 1,500 homes. With this type of natural disaster comes inquiries for new homes on land that was previously built upon. Completing 25-30 projects a year, the Meridian team is busy, especially with all of the California environmental laws they are required to keep up with.

Starting the business at just 25-years-old, Justin’s company has been around for 15 years, and is, according to Justin, “small right now with only three employees.” Being in the construction industry his whole life–thanks to his dad, a plumber–it seemed like a natural thing for them to go into business together as general contractors. But, over time, Justin decided to “show” his dad what he could do and go on his own. “That dumb decision led to some good things,” commented Justin.

When Justin’s team started to use Buildertrend, thanks to his wife, the software was seen as just a way for them to schedule jobs. To this day, Buildertrend still serves to Meridian this core purpose, but the team has started to roll out more features slowly, but surely. Even without using all 25+ features, Justin said, “… it is so integral to our business that I could not run a day without it.”

Charlie Schloegel: Schloegel Design Remodel

Charlie Schloegel owns Schloegel Design Remodel, which is based in Kansas City, Mo. Charlie was also recently recognized as a Forty Under 40 winner. Schloegel Design Remodel started in 1980 by Charlie’s father, Jake. In 2018, Charlie and partner Chris Peterson bought the business from his father. Since Charlie was with the company from when he was young, and Chris worked there for 20 years, it was the perfect move for them to buy the business together. Now, the company is a full-service design, build and remodeling company with handyman service and paint departments. The team has grown to an impressive 70 employees.

Schloegel Design Remodel’s company mission is to provide the ultimate customer experience – it’s something they talk about constantly to keep it top of mind. This mission is something they clearly communicate when they onboard new employees. Since the new team member may not be yet in-tune with the company culture, they will go through orientation to make sure they know what the ultimate client experience is and how to best provide it.

Company culture and employee experience are very important to Charlie, which we understand here at Buildertrend. “I think it’s important for any company to identify what they want their culture to be,” expressed Charlie. As much as he’d like to take credit for their culture, his dad and the team members before him “really laid the groundwork for that.” It’s easy to focus only on projects and providing the ultimate customer experience, but employee experience is just as important in construction as it is in any other industry.

To Charlie, company culture isn’t something you can just set and forget; it must be brought up on a regular basis. It’s important to have conversations about what culture means, how the company is accomplishing its goals, how employees and subs are buying into what and how the business is doing. These are great reminders for all of our listeners, no matter your specific industry!

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