We Put People First -That's How We Were Built
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
I was essentially born into the roofing business. It’s always been a part of my life, and I suspect it always will be. I had an incredible career mentor who not only started the Dri Tech Corp that everyone knows and loves today but who also meant a lot to me outside the walls of our business. That’s because my mentor was my dad.
My dad, Vic DeBrouwer, and his brother worked for a small residential roofing business in southern California in the mid60s. They diligently pounded roof shingles day after day to make a living, but the itch to do more was always there. So, when the owner of the business was ready to retire, my dad and uncle jumped at the chance to buy him out. In 1967, they took over the business, and here it is thriving 53 years later.
I first started working for my dad and Dri Tech Corp when I was 10 years old. I spent my summers hauling trash in the yard under his watchful eye and eventually rose in the ranks to driving forklifts and loading and unloading trucks. When the time came to leave for college, I knew I wanted to come back to the business ready to contribute more. So I studied accounting, earned my degree, then eagerly jumped back into things alongside my dad. We spent 30 years in southern California building the business together before moving it to Las Vegas in 1997. It was a big change, but we made sure Dri Tech Corp’s cherished values and practices remained steadfast.
My dad put people first, and he made sure that his company embodied that value. He lived a lifetime of building relationships by being incredibly patient and a fantastic listener. He found a way to coach my basketball teams growing up and still dedicate time to fostering business relationships that remain today. He taught me early on in my career that you should be able to do business with nothing more than a handshake, because if you’re a person who operates with honesty, a handshake seals the deal. That comes from trust, and you earn that by working with undeniable care and compassion every single day.
Even though I’ve been running the show since we moved to Las Vegas in 1997, our values and intentions haven’t changed thanks to the lessons I learned from my dad. To this day, we’re known as a company that cares about people and keeps their word. Our clients continue to come back because we put them first, prioritize and streamline their work, and follow through with our promises. I make a point of being personally available to my team members and our clients alike, because I’ve seen the value in the relationships that come from doing so.
We lost my dad a few years ago, and I was worried that there’d be some unavoidable shift in operation or attitude. It’s true that he left behind a hole too big for anyone to fill, myself included. But he also left behind a company that he put unrelenting care into day after day, person after person. He built Dri Tech Corp, quite literally, shingle by shingle, until it became the embodiment of all the values he lived by for his entire life. So there was no ripple through Dri Tech Corp that sent people running when he passed. If anything, we were all inspired to keep the business growing and thriving. It just goes to show the incredible things that can happen when you think of others before you think of yourself. We honor my dad by doing that every day.