Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry Logo

Best of…

We’ve had enough of these departments that it’s time to take a look back. Some of the answers may provide a trip down memory lane whereas others are just here to make you smile. That said, we now present “The Best of Problem Solved.”

December 2009: Is profitability the measure of a successful project? If not profitability, then how do you gauge a project’s success?
On time, on schedule, minimum punch list, satisfaction of the customer and bottom line profits. That’s how I measure a successful project.

—Alan Castro, Advanced Drywall Services Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Florida

August 2010: How is your company preparing for the EPA’s new Renovation, Repair and Painting rule?

We have set up a lead paint station at our shop where we encourage our employees to use their senses to recognize the occurrence of lead in paint. This way if they encounter it on the job site, they can run for the hills. (Actually we sent a group of job supervisors to the Lead Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting training program. After evaluating what they have learned, we are looking into sending more employees in for training. My grandfather is a big believer in education, and we follow his example today.)

—Jon Chambers, J&B Acoustical, Mansfield, Ohio

September 2010: When working with exterior insulation and finish systems, what do you do to prevent the fast buildup of basecoat on your hawk?

Stop goofing off and get the material on the wall!!! And if you spray the basecoat, there is no need for a hawk.

—Robert A. Aird, Robert A. Aird, Inc., Frederick, Maryland

December 2010: You just got a great resume from someone you’re thinking of hiring, and you decide to Google the guy to see what you can learn. You find his Facebook page, and you see that this 24-year-old male’s profile picture clearly shows him mooning the camera. Do you hire him? Why/why not?

No. As matter of fact we just fired that joker last week!


January 2011: The “new normal” means doing more with less, razor-thin budgets, exploring new specialties or niches, etc. How is your company adjusting to the new normal?

The whole team being very accurate on all its responsibilities from office staff, field personnel and management, meaning instead of giving 100% of effort, we as a team give 150%.

—Rafael Martinez, President, Martinez Quality Drywall, Inc., Maywood, California

February 2011: Are you seeing more BIM projects now than you were a year ago?

BIM is not even on the radar of the commercial interiors market in NYC, nor do I see the cost/benefit for this type of work in the near future. It’s a great concept, but a standard platform has to be developed and the architectural community needs to embrace it before it trickles down to interiors contractors.

—Lee R. Zaretzky, President, Ronsco, Inc., New York, New York

April 2011: What are you doing these days to build up your backlog?
Waiting for all my competitors that are bidding work at ridiculously low prices with no margins, to go out of business after they realize how stupid they were.

—Mark Owens, Vice President, Bison Drywall, Inc., Reisterstown, MD

June 2011: What kinds of “green” challenges are you coming up against on the job site, and how are you resolving them?

Not nearly enough “green” in the bank.


September 2011: Today, many people use smart phones on the job. What rules do you have in place to ensure that your workers are doing actual work on the smart phone and not fooling around?

It is an old game revived and the winner gets a bonus from the boss (boss gets to decide). The name of the game is called Frisbee! Any fellow employee can win by simply making a Frisbee out of any cell user’s phone that is not being used to increase the employer’s profits. It may start a fight, but it will let you know who is slacking, and it creates a self-disciplining team.

—Mike Brussa, Brussa Construction, Reno, Nevada

November 2011: How do you remedy a situation where the primer used on a wall ruins your Level 5 finish?

The GC will blame the drywall contractor regardless, even when you can see every roller mark. The painter will say it is due to poor quality of finishing, even though he must accept the drywall finishing prior to painting. Although the way I would correct this would be to re-skim the walls with joint compound (not quick drying mud) in the areas that are in question and re-sand the walls. Then have the painter re-prime. Painters in this region typically tint the primer with the intended color, then we punch out the walls prior to final paint anyway.

—Michael Bosse’, Vice President, Above All Ceilings, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

January 2012: What are you expecting for yourself professionally in 2012? What about for your company?

Our company expects mild increases in volume and continued scrutiny of expenses in an effort to capitalize on the economy’s ultimate return. On a personal level, I anticipate mild increases in the amount of medications I take and lack of sleep I endure in an effort to capitalize on the economy’s ultimate return.

—Howard Bernstein, President, Penn Installations, Inc., Summerhill, Pennsylvania

February 2012: Tell us about your best relationship with a GC, and describe what made it so good.

I have a great relationship with one of my GCs. When he says “jump,” I say “how high?” And do you want to know the reason why? Because he pays on time every time.

— Malcolm Seiter, Stellar Interiors Inc., Conway, AR

Browse Similar Articles

You May Also Like

At what age are you planning to retire, and what are you doing now to prepare for retirement? For me, Retire = Slow down. My goal is to build the

I think radios onsite are permissible if the content being played is monitored both for content and for volume. Yes, if the volume is kept to a low to medium