Tony A Cobb - NRGCA Founder
Gutter Contractor since 1988
So you understand my passion of the gutter business, let me give you my brief history. I started my gutter company in West Michigan in 1988. It went from using sub contractors to buying our first gutter machine in 1995. We currently have 8 machines, employ about 17 individuals and do about 2 million in sales. I have had some good and some bad years and have worked 70-80 hours per week, so I understand what it takes to make payroll!
In late 1999 my company became a dealer of the leading gutter protection system in the country. In 2000, it was recognized as the rookie of the year for that product. In 2001, I was one of the top 10% of dealers out of 350 dealers. Unfortunately, my company was cut as a dealer when one of the largest dealers in the country wanted my area.
Without hesitation I began working with a manufacturer and developed a similar gutter protection product. I then got a real education when from January of 2003 through Dec 2005 I traveled 42 states selling gutter protection to over 1,000 rain gutter contractors. I have met with all types of gutter related companies, from a 20 million gutter cleaning company, to a company that does over 100 million dollars in gutter protection installs, to hundreds of guys working out of their homes. I’ve spoken with the head of Home Depot’s installation on several occasions. Many gutter contractors and I have enjoyed a good meal face to face and discussed what their struggles and what their needs are and how valuable an association could be. I traveled the country and helped take sales from 0 to over 10 million nationwide in 3 years. I left working for the manufacturer in late 2005 and still reside in West Michigan to be with my children and run my gutter company, a rainware distribution business and direct the National Rain Gutter Contractor Association.
I have learned a lot, and seen the struggles we face as contractors. Seeing this first hand has helped me realize that there needs to be an association. I am committed to building an association that helps all homeowners, contractors, associates and suppliers. Few companies have professional websites, brochures or promotional items to educate customers on quality and professional installations.
Coming full circle, from gutter contractor, gutter protection dealer, inventor, National Rainware product manager, and I am now a rainware distributor in addition to my gutter installation company. My passion is the NRGCA and it’s great to have it all together under one roof.
In 2002 I traveled to San Antonio, TX to a gutter convention. That was what then was the AARCSIS (American Association of Rain Carrying Systems Installation Specialists). I was elected as President and tried to work closely with the management until early 2004 when it became clear that management was not able meet the needs of its members. VP Bill Frasier and I resigned from AARCSIS with others and were resolved to create an organization that would meet the needs of gutter contractors and suppliers. Most of AARCSIS’s board members are now active members in the NRGCA. It was a good start and we learned to keep the priority on serving the members, both contractors and suppliers. Thank you for your continuing support!
I look forward to serving the needs of our members!
Tony A Cobb
Membership Director NRGCA