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.
Edmond, Norman plan teacher job fairs
Edmond and Norman public schools have teacher job fairs planned beginning March 25.
Prospective teachers for the Edmond Public Schools should make plans to attend the district’s Teacher Job Fair from 3:30-5:30 p.m. March 25-26 at the administrative headquarters, 1001 W. Danforth in Edmond.
Saxum awards $155K in service grants
Saxum, an integrated marketing communications agency offering public relations, advertising and digital services, recently selected five nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma to receive grants totaling $155,000 in pro-bono services. These grants are a part of Saxum’s Step Up program, which is in its fifth year.
Panera guests have opportunity to help feed children
This Friday, Panera Bread is once again partnering with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Through Panera Bread’s monthly fundraiser, 2nd Friday, Panera will make a donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Backpack Program. Since 2012, Panera Bread has raised more than $30,200 through promotions, which sponsored 151 children in the Food for Kids Backpack program.
New YMCA celebrated
The Edmond YMCA at Mitch Park, at 2901 Marilyn Williams Drive, recently had a ribbon cutting in conjunction with Edmond Public Schools and the City of Edmond to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, leisure pools and a variety of classes, the new structure also houses a competition pool that is owned by Edmond Public Schools and dedicated to their use by high school swim teams. For more information, call 330-4016 or visit www.ymcaokc.org.
Kimray announces relocation of Oklahoma City headquarters
Kimray Inc., a manufacturer of oil and gas control equipment, recently announced its intentions to relocate its Oklahoma City headquarters. The company plans to move to a 136-acre property on the northwest corner of Eastern Avenue and Britton Road. The company initially plans to develop about 30-35 acres of the property. The relocation will allow for decades of future growth and will improve the efficiency of Kimray’s operations.
Coolgreens to temporarily close downtown location
Coolgreens, a healthy alternative to casual dining offering fresh salads, wraps, flatbread pizzas and homemade soups, recently announced the temporary closing of its downtown City Place location at 204 N. Robinson March 1. The downtown store is slated to reopen in January 2015 with new morning hours and menu options, including breakfast items and a juice bar.
Local state representative wins technology award
Oklahoma state Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, has been designated as one of Government Technology magazine’s top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for his work to apply innovation and technology in Oklahoma state government. Since 2002, Government Technology has honored those individuals who have transformed the public sector through the smart use of technology.
Heartland Payment Systems breaks new ground in city
Heartland Payment Systems executives were joined by Edmond City Council members for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at the site of the new Heartland Payment Systems’ 22,000-square-foot facility.
Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payment processors and a leading provider of merchant business solutions, celebrated the start of construction at the site in Edmond on South Boulevard.
Flourish delivers care from new state-of-the-art facility
In business since 2004, as part of its ongoing efforts to offer Oklahomans a premier healthcare experience in a caring environment, Flourish Pharmacy & Nutrition has opened the doors on a new, state-of-the-art facility on North Pennsylvania Avenue, just north of Memorial Road.
Flourish president and CEO Jerrod Roberts says the new facility is part of alleviating pain and suffering with unique pharmacy care practice on the cutting edge of technology.
One of the new facility’s hallmarks is the state-of-the-art compounding lab for preparing custom prescriptions. Flourish is the first and only Oklahoma compounding pharmacy to achieve accreditation by PCAB (Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board), a certification that ensures best practices for the quality and safety of compounded prescriptions.
Patton moves east for new corrections gig
In Robert C. Patton, Oklahoma is getting a new corrections director from Arizona who is more than willing to use private prisons as a means to deal with inmate overcrowding.
“I’m a (prison) bed manager. I’ll tell the policy makers I need beds, and if I can convince them that I need beds, then it’s their jobs on whether it’s public or private,” said Patton, whose first day as Oklahoma Corrections Department director began Tuesday.
Patton’s position on private prisons is far different than that of Jones, the former director who resigned in October following clashes with elected officials who wanted to put more inmates in private facilities.
The Oklahoma Board of Corrections last month approved a measure that allows the state to seek proposals from private prison companies to provide an additional 350 to 2,000 medium-security beds for state inmates.
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