Wyoming Roofing Puts Team, Community First
Friday, February 14, 2020
Written By: Jordan Belser, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration
Sheridan, WY. Like the five generations before him, Ryan Gregory was born and raised in Wyoming. He got his start working on ranches, he’s worked for construction and energy companies, and he now owns and operates one of the most successful roofing companies in the state. If you ask him, though, he’ll tell you there are more important things than business.
“Sheridan is one of the most philanthropic communities I’ve ever been a part of,” Gregory said. “To be able to contribute, to give back to those in need, that’s what matters most.”
Gregory and his team have donated roofs to veterans and teachers, and he has structured agreements with other roofers to temporarily hire employees who have been laid off due to seasonal downturns.
“I have nothing but respect for the veterans that sacrifice for our freedom, and any time we can show our gratitude and reciprocate in some small way, our team is more than happy to do that,” Gregory said. “When I have the opportunity to give someone a hand up, it makes me feel good. When we have extra resources, we give of them freely. That’s what makes the world a better place.”
Although family, team and community come first for Gregory, he’s also adept at building a business. Originally an employee of Wyoming Roofing and Supply, he jumped at the opportunity to buy the business when the owner offered it for sale.
“After I’d been a part of the business for a little more than two years, the owner decided he wanted to raise his grandchildren and offered a purchase of the company in 2012,” Gregory said. “We grew the business by about 300 percent and decided to drop the supply side of it, and we changed the name to Wyoming Roofing.”
Gregory has placed an emphasis on marketing, branding and intellectual capital. He changed the company’s logo, modified their advertising strategy and began sending employees to trade shows and seminars to increase their skill level.
“We decided to build our business on a customer’s experience instead of ‘customer service,’” Gregory said. “We constantly strive to be better at this, while also working to be a world class servant group.”
Gregory says he needed a way to attract higher caliber employees and worked to create a culture where his employees felt respected.
“We’ve added many benefits for employees that are rare in the construction industry. It’s a tough, dirty job that is undervalued and underappreciated,” Gregory added. “I would like to think we’ve contributed to bringing credibility, awareness and respect to our trade.”
Wyoming Roofing takes pride in being an advocate for the trade industry. Gregory and his wife, Bonnie, have worked to dispel the myth that trade workers are somehow lesser than those who attended a traditional four-year college.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting an education, but we often lose sight of the fact it might not be for everybody,” Gregory said. “There are good-paying, respectable trade jobs out there, and we strive to be a company anyone would want to work for. Our fear is that we lose a segment of that workforce – that young people don’t see the value in the trade industry.”
Gregory stressed that Wyoming Roofing and other trade businesses have career and promotion potential that rival those in a corporate environment.
“You can work your way to a six-figure salary in our industry, and many people don’t realize that,” Gregory said. “There are folks with Wyoming Roofing that started off as a roofer and now hold management positions. You can work your way up the ladder just like anywhere else.”
Wyoming Roofing currently has two locations – one in Sheridan and another in Gillette – and they don’t plan to stop there. Gregory says he hopes to be able to service the majority of the state by 2021.
“My motivation is family. I want to be an example to my wife and sons of good work ethic, pride for a job well done, and treating people with respect,” Gregory said. “Taking care of my employees and being supportive of the community and state that we live in is very important to me. The more the company grows, the more we can give back.”
Since taking over the company in 2012, Gregory has leaned on support from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) to help him become a better business owner. The Wyoming SBDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping current and prospective business owners achieve their goals.
“I’ve received assistance with my initial business plan, financial projections and human resources,” Gregory said. “They’ve also helped me acquire workforce training grants, which have helped my team receive quality training and become better at what they do. I can’t say enough about the SBDC and what they’ve meant to our business.”
The Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF) is a unique Wyoming-based program connecting employers with professional development opportunities to increase employee skill attainment. The fund can be used to help small businesses send their employees to trade shows and training courses, implement an internship program and more.
Wyoming runs on small businesses like Wyoming Roofing, and relies on the hard work and community-focused nature of business owners like Ryan Gregory.
“We are a committed and proven community and state partner,” Gregory said. “Wyoming is our home and we aren’t going anywhere. We’ll stand behind our communities, products and services for the long haul.”
Read more success stories in WEDA’s Legislative Update. http://www.wyomingeda.org/news-and-resources/publications/p/item/10626/weda-2020-legislative-update