CPIA’s Founder Steve Hester Joins Paint and Coatings Industry Webinar

CPIA’s Founder Steve Hester Joins Paint and Coatings Industry Webinar

Steve Hester, President at Hester Painting and one of the founders of CPIA, joined six other commercial painting contractors, two of them being our very own CPIA members, in the Paint Square’s most recent Painting and Coatings Industry Webinar.

Steve Hester

Seven industry leaders, whose companies are based across the US, gathered to discuss various challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A live presentation took place online on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Shaping the New Normal

Jim McBrayer, CEO at McBrayer & Associates, Inc. opened up the discussion by pointing out many different ways in which COVID-19 accelerates opportunities for innovation in the construction industry and has invited the other commercial painting experts to lead the change and share their recent experiences.

In addition to suggesting that the new safety procedures are likely here to stay, McBrayer also warned the contractors to start paying closer attention to contract language and expect more remote work for their staff.

Pandemic Painting Challenges

The insightful webinar took off with a discussion about challenges painting contractors have been facing since the pandemic changed the industry landscape earlier this year.

Walt Bazan, President at Bazan Painting Co. and Tim Kenney, President at W. T. Kenney Company brought up challenges posed by following the new regulations and prioritizing employees’ mental state. Together with Nick Nowak, President at Steinbrecher Painting Company, the industry leaders all agreed that what has helped them overcome these challenges was a recommitment to a new level of excellence and to a 100% customer satisfaction, balancing between customers, employees, and stakeholders, as well as providing a forum for employees to bring up the difficulties they are facing.

Communicate, Educate, Plan

Steve Hester presented the strategy Hester Painting deployed as soon as it was clear that the pandemic was coming to the US and about to affect the business.

“I started educating myself and my team on all the different policies that were being put in place so that everyone is better prepared to make decisions. We also started to plan ahead with ‘what-if’ scenarios, because it’s easier to handle the unknown when you’re prepared. Another thing is to communicate as much as possible between the management team, painters in the field, and the clients.”

Steve also emphasized how his company has benefited from being part of the commercial painting industry association (CPIA):

“We were very lucky because we’re part of a peer group of commercial painting contractors from across the country. We’ve been having weekly Zoom meetings and have gotten relevant input in terms of best practices.”

Every Crisis Comes with an Opportunity

John Fisher, President at Long Painting together with Burt Whitenight, Vice President at Service Contracting Solutions proposed several different ways to be as proactive as possible, create opportunities and mitigate the crisis.

The webinar panel all agreed that the main thing they all benefited from was focusing on projects and facilities that were temporarily vacant such as schools, empty office buildings, warehouses, distribution centers, businesses that are setting up customer pick-up areas, as well as makeshift COVID-19 hospitals.

They also advised that that business owners should listen and honor customers’ and employees’ concerns, pay attention to trade organizations and media outlets, as well as to be aware of stimulus opportunities such as the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) that the commercial construction industry has benefited from.

Find Out More

To listen to this webinar, go to the Paint Square’s Webinars section and simply click on the title of the presentation “Pandemic Painting: Challenges and Opportunities”.

The Webinar archive is currently open on the Paint Square website. CPIA encourages its members to register and take advantage of these useful resources.

Join CPIA today for more invaluable resources for commercial painting contractors and industry-specific training, peer groups, and credentials. If you have any questions, reach out to us at (312) 725 4802 or email us at [email protected].


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