Year company was founded: Sevvonco Inc., which was founded in 1983, and Remodel One Inc., founded in 1985, merged into MAW Chicago in 2007.
Number of Employees: Six
Who started your company? Mike Nagel and I started our two original companies, and we started MAW Chicago together.
When and how did you choose this career? Many years ago, my father was a custom home builder. I was swinging a hammer when I was 12 years old, 43 years ago. Wow, I am old!
What did you do before becoming a remodeler? For many years, I was a very high-end custom builder.
As you were growing up, what did you want to be? First choice was NHL hockey player. Then a builder because I admired the many homes and custom touches my father did each day during his career. It was always so cool to build a home/garage/addition where nothing was before and see a family live in or utilize what we built.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? It has become very diverse and, with the custom and tract builders struggling in recent years, much more competitive. We also must be diverse and stay ahead with the use of technology and by keeping our contacts and marketing active.
What is the most unusual project your company has completed? Many years ago, we built a high-end custom home that was round and had a blue standing-seam metal roof. This Chicago-area north shore home was toured and featured in many publications and photos. In recent years, MAW Chicago has done many remodeling/new construction jobs for families that have children with cerebral palsy. We make these homes much more conducive to a comfortable family life. It is very rewarding work.
What is your favorite item in your office? After my great staff and partners, my dual- screen/monitor computer.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut!
What would you like to bring to QR’s advisory board? I would like to bring the many years of in-the-field, hands-on knowledge I have acquired and the huge amount of knowledge I continue to gain at the many meetings of the local and national home builders associations.
What are your professional affiliations? I belong to NAHB and HBA of Greater Chicago, and MAW Chicago is an EPA lead-safe certified firm.
What other career accomplishments would you like to mention? I have had the opportunity to speak at seminars to help others to become better remodelers. I also have worked with some of the greatest trade partners in this area, which will help me provide insights.
What motivates you every day? My beautiful wife and best friend Jan, as well as seeing and hearing from our children and parents. They are why I am so motivated!
If a movie was made about your life, who would be cast as you? John Wayne or Sly Stallone (as Rocky). They each had bumps in the road we call life but they never gave up or quit.