A struggling job market affected two men coming from opposite ends of the work force.
A local father-son duo, Jeff Norris and his son, Robert, both experienced layoffs tied to the economy. Jeff had been working for 25 years in management, and Robert couldn’t find a job that remained viable after graduation.
Jeff spent 25 years as an executive with companies like Grainger and General Electric. After two decades working on the distribution side, Jeff left General Electric last year when the company went through a series of salary cuts for lower level employees that he did not agree with.
Jeff’s son, Robert, had been laid off three times since college with jobs in the mortgage industry and human resources. Robert learned quickly that his career couldn’t get off the ground in this economy. The jobs he was getting, though well paid, were in industries all cyclically tied to the economy and since he was typically the last one in, he was always the first one out.
After several talks with his son, Jeff and Robert soon realized they had no control over their careers and needed to find a business where Robert could work for himself.
As the pair discussed opportunities, they realized for any type of substantial money they were going to have to rely on owning their own business.
“Franchised business is the way to go,” Jeff said. “Service businesses are pretty much immune and my father worked 45-50 years painting. He made a good living but I told Robert if he worked harder he could have made a better living. After looking at franchises, we chose CertaPro and have been very, very pleased.”
CertaPro Painters of Edmond is at 7321 Classen Blvd.
As a young boy, Jeff was a union apprentice painter in his teens working for his grandfather, who worked in home décor painting and hanging wallpaper.
“I did just the labor for three years,” Jeff said. “I never painted in all that time. I scraped off paint and wallpaper and learned it was very hard work. I knew when I went to college I wanted to be an engineer because I didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather.”
Even though Jeff started a full-time career path separate from the painting business the week Robert left the business world, Robert said his dad is his coach, mentor and financial backer of the business.
Following in the footsteps of Jeff’s grandfather which was something he never thought he would do, the father-son team applied for, were accepted and opened a CertaPro Painters franchise serving the greater metropolitan Oklahoma City area in December. But, they didn’t actually start working in client’s homes until February.
“Working with an established franchise has made owning our own company easier,” Robert said.
They have four crews working for them.
“The guys we work with have been background checked and they have references,” Robert said. “We do our due diligence. Painting is personal. I would never want to put someone in someone else’s home that I wouldn’t want in my home. Most of our painters have 10-20 years experience painting and one guy has been painting for 35 years.”
They’ve now been in business since February and Robert, 31, is in line to be the 2013 Rookie of the Year for the company, based on sales numbers. CertaPro is the only large-scale, full-time, franchised commercial and residential painting business in the home improvement industry.
“I like working for myself, the freedom it gives me and the time I have to be with my family,” Robert said.
The business supplies painters for exterior and interior house painting and staging a home to put on the market for sale. There is an online painting estimator and ideas to help choose colors to use.
“Customer service is the No. 1 thing we work on,” Robert said.
Robert learned from his grandfathers that community is part of your life. Recently he was able to step out of his role in business and he led 30 people seven days in a row taking care of their needs and helping with clean-up efforts after the tornadoes struck across the metro in May.
“I was unbelievably impressed at his efficiency and how many hundreds of people were helped through his leadership role,” Jeff said. “Taking on a role of leadership in the community helps him in his profession as being a leader in his business. It helps him when he steps into the community to help. Both sides of his life commingle making him a better leader and businessman.
“I live God, family and business, and I teach my son to live the same way,” Jeff said. “Out of that order you are doomed for failure. I coach my son on my mistakes so he doesn’t make the same ones I have.”
TO LEARN MORE about CertaPro Painters of Edmond, go online to edmond.certapro.com.
A struggling job market affected two men coming from opposite ends of the work force.
City alerts public to repeat utility scam
City administrators and public safety officials are jointly warning residents of a scam that has surfaced once again in our area.
Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a few months ago OG&E warned customers of a phone scam in which a customer is called by a person falsely representing themselves as an OG&E employee.
Monroe said the caller says if the customer doesn’t make a payment on their delinquent account in the next 45 minutes to an hour their utility services will be suspended. Monroe said the caller requests credit card information or that they purchase a money card and provide that account information.
Memorial Booster Club postpones Taste of Memorial
Because school has been canceled for today, the Taste of Memorial has been rescheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 7, 2014. Taste of Memorial has food from more than 30 local restaurants such as Alvarado’s, Flatire Burgers, Fish City, Boulevard Steakhouse, Garbanzo, Chicken Express, The Meat House, Panera and Earl’s to name just a few. A silent auction will be held with more than 140 auction items from local and regional merchants. The tickets are $10 from a Memorial athlete or $15 at the door. The money raised goes to Edmond Memorial Booster Club to help support Edmond Memorial athletics.
Oklahoma Venture Forum to meet Wednesday
The December luncheon of the Oklahoma Venture Forum will be at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park Conference Center, at 655 Research Parkway, Suite 100 in Oklahoma City. For directions to PHFCC, visit www.phfcc.com/directions.htm.
The guest speaker will be: Stephen Prescott, president, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and the entrepreneurial presenter will be Ryan Laughlin, co-founder/CEO, ClassMind.
RSVP may be made to 341-6545. The cost for guests is $35. For more information, go online to www.ovf.org.
Allegiant celebrates new nonstop service between Oklahoma City, Orlando
Allegiant recently announced new nonstop jet service between Oklahoma City and Orlando via Orlando/Sanford International Airport. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, is offering promotional fares as low as $59 one way.
“We are pleased to bring a new, affordable and convenient travel option to the residents of Oklahoma City,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company president. “We are confident the Central Oklahoma community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to Orlando and the added savings of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.”
Federal energy efficiency tax credits ending in 2013
If you are planning to do some home improvements to make your home more energy efficient, now is the time to take action. Multiple federal energy efficiency tax credits are set to expire permanently at the end of the year.
Oklahomans have until Dec. 31 to take advantage of a cumulative maximum of $500 in credits for energy-related improvements completed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The credits are a cumulative maximum of $1,500 for improvements done in 2009 and 2010.
The tax credits are for energy improvements done to existing homes owned by you, and used as your principal residence, said Scott Frazier, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension energy management engineer. New construction and rentals are not eligible for these federal tax credits.
AHS staffing prepares for growth
AHS Staffing plans to move in to its new 4,500-square-foot building in Edmond by Dec. 15.
“We’re excited to move to the next phase of our strategic growth plan and are pleased to be doing it in a great community like Edmond,” said Jerick Henley, president of AHS Staffing.
The new office will be at 3051 Willowood Road in Edmond.
Oklahoma-based AHS Staffing was founded in April 2010 following the acquisition of Houston-based PharmStat Staffing LLC. Since then the company has grown to 10 full-time employees, but projects to double that number in the next few years.
“We started out as a Pharmacy Staffing Agency but now we have a team dedicated to the dialysis industry as well,” Henley said.
Cargazing: Ford Fiesta ST is fast, fun, affordable
High-performance cars often come with high price tags, but the Ford Fiesta ST is proof that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Elements Behavioral Health adds 2 new directors
Elements Behavioral Health enhances and expands its Christian addiction treatment programming with the addition of two new directors.
Charles W. Robinson III, of Edmond, joined Elements last month as its national director of Christian Programming and Outreach. In this role, he will enhance and implement new Christian programming at designated treatment centers in the Elements family of behavioral health care programs.
INTEGRIS Health Edmond receives award
INTEGRIS Health Edmond is proud to announce it has been named a 2013 Guardian of Excellence award winner by Press Ganey Associates Inc. The Guardian of Excellence award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance for an entire year. INTEGRIS Health Edmond is the only hospital in the state to receive this distinction for patient satisfaction in ambulatory surgery.
Heirlooms owner says ‘Let’s make a deal’
Boasting everything from antiques to barely used, as well as brand new furniture, to decorator items and littles including old and new jewelry, a local store has something for every taste and budget.
From his earliest memories, longtime Edmond resident Ben Wilcox said he can remember going to estate sales with his dad. He had storage sheds full of things he had found before it was cool, and he was a “picker” before picker was a word.
“Dad traded coins and he was always in old barns and old houses looking for items and I was always following him around,” Wilcox said.
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