Q: Who started your company?
A: The company was founded by Raymond Judd and William Hecht. They were a home repair and remodeling company with only three employees.
Q: When and how did you choose this as your career?
A: Before I joined the company, I worked as an engineer. However, I’ve always enjoyed the building and remodeling aspect of construction. In 1992, Mr. Hecht approached me to complete a set of load calculations for support beams in basements. The more I worked on them, the more I realized I enjoyed hands-on work. In 1994, I joined the company full-time and bought out Mr. Hecht’s share to have a minority share. The new home market became challenging, which catapulted us into other areas of remodeling. We began working on larger construction projects where oftentimes the geotechnical structure of the land was not conducive to building. Mr. Judd and I combined our building experience with our engineering expertise to partner with various contractors and developers. We were competing against traditional home builders, but we were able to bring a unique, total operation to market. This business model has worked very well for us.
Q: How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
A: The biggest change in the industry has been the product inventiveness of energy-saving facets. They are more efficient and up-to-date. That’s one of the reasons I’m happy to be associated with the Remodeler’s Council and NAHB. When you go to the trade shows, you are able to see all of the new products being displayed. Several times when different suppliers come into the office, there isn’t enough time to spend looking at catalogs due to day-to-day activities. The trade show each year is a unique opportunity to catch up on the innovative aspect of the industry. When we initially started building, we still had finishing crews and rough -in equipment. Now everything is more effective with pneumatic nailers and equipment like that; it makes the task go much more smoothly.
Q: What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
A: We took a two-story, full masonry home and added full basketball and volleyball courts on one level, and a full swimming pool on the below level. We had to go underground because of land mass restrictions, and the client wanted to have the courts and a pool on two different levels. We ended up going about 45 to 50 ft. in the ground.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: First off, get an education and don’t worry about money; it’ll come. The second and probably most important would be if you have a vision, work for it. Make sure your vision is a shared vision.
Community Involvement: Helitech has been involved with the Violence Prevention Center, Special Olympics and Salvation Army for 10 years, and the Catch 22 Foundation for five. It has supported the American Cancer Society for the past 10 years and participates annually in their “Relay for Life.” It also works with the March of Dimes, local sports clubs and area high schools and colleges. Helitech has been a “Partner in Hope” with St. Jude Children’s Hospital for the past seven years, and an “Angel of the Hour” for the past five.
Industry Involvement: Helitech has been a member of the HBA since 1998. Mr. Courtney has served as president, chair of the home show, and on the finance and membership committees.