They Float Like Butterflies and Sting Like Bees...
No, really! Two of our three estimators at Antis have literally been attacked by swarms of bees while on the job. (And it's only a matter of time, Fernando...)
Ruben Salas, Orlando Osorio and Fernando Torres are the steadfast Estimating Team at Antis. We'll get to the stinging in a minute. These guys have far more in common than bees! Each of them comes from a family of roofers and they all got their first roofing job from a family member. They were also very successful as field technicians before their estimating roles, which gives them unique perspective and insight and contributes to their expertise as estimators.
Ruben is the veteran. Though he joined Antis in 2017, he landed his first roofing job from an uncle in 1986 and has never looked back. He has more than 20 years of experience including specializations in production homes and solar at another company, where he and his boss were attacked by a large swarm of bees out of nowhere. One moment, the two men were talking on a job site and the next, they were surrounded by a loud humming noise and an onslaught of stinging insects. Both men took off running. Ruben's boss jumped into his car and Ruben jumped into his boss's lap, where they hunkered down waiting for the swarm to pass. No harm done - but maybe just a little awkward?
Orlando was not so lucky. He was on the job with Antis on a 40-foot ladder atop a three-story building when a swarm of bees attacked him and one of his co-workers. Orlando was able to quickly scale the ladder and get away, but not before both he and his colleague were badly stung. Luckily, they both made a full recovery and Orlando decided to stay in roofing despite this harrowing experience. Lucky us! Orlando joined Antis in 2009 and got his start here working in the field. His strong work ethic and ability to quickly learn new skills earned him a position as an estimator. His valuable experience in the field (including sliding down 40-foot ladders to escape stinging insects) contributes to his ability to create a strong scope of work to resolve any potential issues.
Last, but certainly not least, one of our rising stars, Fernando, began his career at Antis in 2014. Like Ruben, Fernando comes from a long line of roofers and was connected to his first job by an uncle when he was fresh out of high school. Smart, ambitious and hard-working, Fernando quickly advanced to become a job scheduler, then an estimator - a title he has held for two years. Though he doesn't have any bee experience to speak of (yet!), Fernando's skills have brought him well past the "novice" stage - and he is well on his way to being a true expert in the field. These three men have earned the respect of everyone they work with. Each of them takes great pride in doing their personal best each day and we are fortunate to have them as part of the Antis team. Antis is a great company that hires great people and these three are clearly some of the best...even though the bees might disagree!
”The first real rain of the season had our phones ringing off the hook - with hundreds of calls coming in daily,” said Jose Vasquez, Customer Service Manager. “At Antis, we are committed to responding to every call in less than 24 hours, so our technicians worked around the clock to make it happen. We had the support of everyone on the Antis team, including our Director of Sales, Aaron. This is just another example of the amazing team at Antis working together to get things done!"
Rain or shine, Jose is one of Antis’s many superheroes, whose life and career experiences have made him a perfect fit for the team. Jose’s can-do approach and positive attitude are key to his success. His sunny disposition (even on rainy days) was an asset at his previous work for Disney. In fact, he still has the "smile in his voice" from his training there. At Antis, he combines this positivity with discipline, strategy and critical thinking. Before his sister Melina, another valued Antis employee, introduced him to the company, Jose built up would could be the world's most diverse resume with jobs on both coasts ranging from military service (U.S. Army) to a successful stint as a background actor. "I really like variety and change in my day-to-day work," said Jose. "That's one of the greatest things about working for Antis. You never know what each day is going to bring and our entire team is always ready to shift and accommodate whatever is necessary to take care of our customers."
While the company's team remains nimble to shift their focus depending on what each day brings, Antis's core values don't shift, which, Jose says, provides stability and structure. "Antis is truly different than any other place I have ever worked. From my first day, I've always felt welcome and like I am spending the day with my family. We all come together to support each other and in turn, our customers."
The Antis philosophy is to provide employees with the tools they need to be the best in their fields. One of the most important cornerstones at Antis is trusting and empowering employees to make the right decisions, which instills a sense of personal pride across the company. The customer service team's core objectives are to respond to all requests the same day (or in less than 24 hours) - even on the weekends. "We ensure that every caller knows that their issue has been resolved or is in the process of being resolved," said Jose. "We make sure every that every one of our callers is respected, valued, heard and has a great experience with every member of our team."
"Each and every one of my team members has a special skill and through the combination of all of them, we have a perfect team who can respond to any situation," said Jose. "I also know that a steady supply of Starbucks and chips goes a long way to keep my team motivated, happy and appreciated." A quick inspection of Jose's desk shows that his drawer overflows with treats for his crew and the well-caffeinated team truly appreciates their boss!
“Under Jose’s leadership, our Customer Service team is driven to make a difference with each person they support so that at the end of the day they know they’ve made someone’s day a little bit better or in the case of a leaky roof that we’ve literally come to their rescue! Jose has the natural ability to coach his team members to find their potential through collaboration and a focus on the common goal of serving the community. We are lucky to have Jose leading the team that serves our customers.” – Karen L. Inman, President & COO
“I had a co-worker at a prior company that I was – and still am - close to. He fell 11 feet from a roof, breaking two vertebrae discs and shattering his ankle. He spent months in the hospital being treated. He will recover – but a fall like this, hitting the head the wrong way, could cost an employee their life. It is questionable at this point what type of work this employee could do in the future. This man is a husband, son, brother and father. This is why I’m here – at Antis – to create a constant awareness with the employees about safety – so that our employees go home at night to their families” said Jovan Pardo, Safety Coordinator.
Jovan Pardo joined the Antis team this month as Safety Coordinator, as a part of Director of HR Ernie Basulto’s team. Jovan will continue our commitment to excellence and doing right by all of our stakeholders – especially our employees. “When I joined the Antis team as the Director of HR this year Antis already had a focus on employee safety with campaigns that included ‘No lost time’ and ‘Zero Injuries,’ which led to additional training programs and accountability procedures for our Field Technicians" said Ernie Basulto. “Our goals for 2018 include the continuation of our electronic safety program, reward and reminder program, and a formalized ongoing safety training component that will take our Foremen and Technicians to the next level in Safety compliance.
Adding a team member focused on the safety of Antis employees - most of whom are in the field - was important to Ernie because of the desire to keep our commitment to employees of ensuring they go home to their families every day. At Antis, safety comes before profit and we will do everything in our ability to ensure that we hold true to this value. Adding a full time Safety Team Member is a milestone in our safety program, and we will continue to add elements that will continue to ensure a safe working environment.
Jovan spends 80% of his time in the field. His goal is to educate and inspire employees, focusing heavily on being aware of their surroundings, especially when on a roof. “Shortcuts happen with safety when employees are rushed or feel too confident or invincible. Many of the Antis technicians are veterans with many years of experience and no injuries. The goal is to emphasize caring for the quality of life for the employee, and their part is to follow the protocols to reduce and eliminate incidents. Why gamble with your health or life?” says Jovan.
Jovan became interested in workplace safety while working in retail many years ago in loss prevention and security. He spent five years in manufacturing, which brought enhanced perspective on safety, and has since worked specifically in the roofing industry for the past two years. Jovan was working in Sacramento and wanted to return to Orange County, so he found his way to Antis and immediately connected with the culture and the team.
When he is not at work, Jovan can be found running sprints and competed in Triathlon Races – like the Longest Distance, a half iron that was held in Palm Desert. That race (swim, bike, run) took 6 ½ hours to complete. Cheered on by four older brothers, who have always pushed and alternatively hassled him, Jovan is competitive as one might expect from a household of men! He also loves to travel with that big extended family that now consists of wives and children, and the clan has been to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and a very special place – to Cancun for his destination wedding to Jenifer, his wife of four years!
What is the ideal community manager-vendor relationship?
Community managers rely on their vendors and their expertise to help guide the business decisions in maintaining and replacing assets in their communities. The vendor partnership is based on trust. One of the most significant assets in a community is the roof, but can be overlooked as it is not as visible as the pool and tennis courts!. Often roofing projects go two ways: there is either a pro-active re-roof – before big problems start – or the community implements a preventative maintenance program including repairs that helps the roofs to last longer than expected. A roofing professional is the partner that educates the community manager who in turn guides their board of directors to make informed and proactive decisions.
What is the best practice to address the challenges of choosing a roofing professional?
When HOA boards are deeply involved in the research of their capital item projects that require specialized expertise they become better educated. Informed board members and community managers make better decisions and in turn, manage their risk. It’s an investment of time, but I believe it improves the industry in the long run. It also minimizes decisions heavily weighted on price, and focuses the decision on what really matters – the ability to do a job right, the first time. We provide thoughtful advice on maximizing the life span of the roof of the asset and proactively making the decision to replace the asset at the right time.
What do you wish community managers and boards would consider during the vendor selection process?
Many business decisions are relationship based. We understand that, and we work hard with managers to be the vendor partner that is responsive, available, make their jobs easier so that their client, the board, is satisfied. The optimal bidding process for everyone is the opportunity for a vendor to meet with the ultimate decision makers which are the board of directors. It is time consuming to hear from 3-5 vendors – and it’s challenging in a typical time slot of 10-15 minutes to cover a lot of ground – but that’s the vendors job – to demonstrate why they are the right choice. Having a strong positive reputation in your industry helps a lot – and that is earned on the basis of good quality work.
Can you explain the difference between a construction manager and HOA manager?
Community managers are not typically construction experts. A construction manager has the expertise to manage projects on a board’s behalf. Boards will lean on the construction manager to manage projects and make decisions. Construction managers are involved for about 10% of the total contract. They may have limited control and visibility, and they don’t provide a warranty on the quality of the workmanship of the vendor they’re supervising. The actual vendor doing the work has more “skin in the game” so the question becomes “do you trust your vendor?” The construction manager and HOA manager are both going to rely on the vendor, so this question is vital, especially as it is often difficult to determine accountability.
How does Antis address the challenge of the negative reputation of the roofing industry?
Every day, Antis simply does what is right so we can raise the reputation of the roofing industry. It is important to not compromise on the quality of work and to ensure we adhere to fair labor practices, so our prices will reflect that. We do not underbid to secure contracts. We don’t believe in compromising safety or quality of work for competition’s sake. How would a community manager or construction manager or board know that we are doing quality work and not being taken advantage of? We photo document everything that we do – before and after - so that our customers are informed and can visually see that work. It is evidence that we’re not cutting corners and that our value promise is met. We know that these practices make the community manager’s job easier because they are also informed. Community managers that handle a portfolio of 5- 7 communities – or more in some cases – are only conducting onsite inspections a few times a month (and certainly NOT on the roof). The construction manager is on site more often than that – but still not inspecting every piece of work. Our approach builds a reputation of trust and a vendor they can count on that warranties their work.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I started working at Antis10 years ago when I just needed a summer job and I’ve been here ever since. I literally grew up “on the job”. I figured out early on that I love talking about the business side of the company. In fact, I changed my major at BYU Idaho to construction management and would work 6 months at Antis and study for 6 months, until I graduated. I’ve worked in every department at Antis over the past 10 years. When a sales position came up, Charles thought I would be right for the job and helped me to take the role on. I rose through the ranks and became the Director of Sales and built a great sales team from the ground up.
I am also an Account Manager with my own territory which keeps me engaged with the community managers, doing job walks, reviewing requests for proposals and talking out prospective projects. It is important to me to stay close and connected; literally “boots on the ground.” As the Director of Sales, I am planning strategic growth, onboarding new sales team members and scaling the sales team to grow into new markets. I can also be found dressed in ridiculous costumes at industry trade shows! “Aaron the Elf” is legendary to the community managers during the holidays and may be resurrected in the future. I also serve as an educator in the industry. This year, I recognized how boring a “lunch and learn” presentation on roofing could be, so I invented a game show approach with awesome prizes that has received rave reviews! Book yours now for 2018 – the calendar is filling up!
At Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, we "err on the side of generosity" to create a ripple effect that will make the world a better place! The American Red Cross is world renowned humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education across the United States and throughout the world. Antis’ own Karen Inman, COO, has joined the board of directors for the Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross. Our company will be working more actively with the organization moving into 2018. We are pleased to share with you some of the successes we’ve had with the Red Cross this past year and we look forward to working together in the years to come.
In September, some of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing’s staff attended the Red Cross’ “Sound the Alarm” campaign, which aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by installing free smoke alarms in the community. Home fires kill seven people every day in the United States, and more then 60% of fire-related deaths are in homes without working smoke alarms. Together with volunteers, fire departments and local community partners, the campaign not only installed free smoke alarms but they replaced alarm batteries that had died and helped families create escape plans and thought them about fire prevention.
Antis also championed a company match up to $10,000 for Disaster relief with the American Red Cross in response to the series of natural disasters that occurred in the past few months – hurricanes, fires and the Mexico earthquake which impacted family members of some of our Antis employees. We presented our gift to the chapter this month. We hope that our ripple created by donating to the Disaster Relief fund will deliver help, support the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross and encourage others to do the same!
Next up for 2018 – we will be hosting a blood drive at the Antis campus. Blood is always needed – every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs a donation; and a single donation can potential help more than one patient. We hope you will help support our blood drive!
Every November, Antis supports the Movember Foundation, a charity tackling men’s cancer awareness and health globally. The Movember Foundation’s focuses include prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention. We profiled the nonprofit as a company in our philanthropy suite at the Honda Center for the month and encouraged our guests to lend support to the cause.
To kick off Antis’ Movember Foundation campaign, Antis held a luncheon at Bosscat Kitchen that included 20 of Antis’ friends. Over the course of the month, our team raised a total of $1.100 dollars for the Movember Foundation. We did our best to look the part as well! Our technicians wore Antis Movember Mustache hats on the roofs all month and the Antis male office staff and field technicians all sported some fine looking facial hair.
To bring good encouragement and great mustaches together for such a worthy cause, we created a fun contest for Movember that allows both men and women to participate while raising money and awareness for men’s health issues. Entering and participating in the contest was easy. In order for participants to receive an Antis Movember Hat and be entered into the grand prize drawing of a Whiskey Tasting at Bosscat Kitchen, participants needed to donate to the Movember Foundation on the Antis MoTeam Page, grow their “Mo,” and post a picture on social media, tagging Antis by including the hastags #AntisMoBros and #Movember. No matter the dollar amount donated, participants received a limited-edition Antis Movember Hat! At the end of the month, we celebrated a successful campaign with the grand prize winner and 8 Antis stakeholders as they indulged in a Boscatt whiskey tasting!
To learn more about the Movember Foundation or to donate to the Antis MoTeam, please visit http://moteam.co/antis-roofing-waterproofing.