Generation Next: 2015
The Clunn Family
Clunn Acoustical Systems | Magnolia, Texas
27 | Project Manager
After graduating from North Texas College, Adam Clunn returned to work at Clunn Acoustical Systems to project manage and estimate acoustical ceilings, modular walls and access floors.
Adam serves on the board of the Houston Construction Industry Charities, which holds an annual car show each year to raise funds and awareness for homeless veterans. His career started at an early age putting labels on ceiling materials and working in the field during the summer. His greatest joy is seeing a project through the conceptual budgets to the day the owner enters the building. In his spare time, Adam is a very talented photographer, having won many awards for his pieces. Adam represents the next generation of the family business that was started by his mother and father 30 years ago.
26 | Regional Sales Manager
Kaleigh Clunn heads up the marketing division for Enviro-San Corporation that is also a family-owned business that specializes in bringing to the market unique and innovative commercial interior products from access floors to modular walls. Kaleigh worked while attending Texas A&M and after graduation joined the company as a projects specialist. Kaleigh is motivated by her desire to add creative and innovative products that enhance an architect’s design. She has traveled abroad and has brought back many cutting-edge products from Europe.
She is also a board member of the Houston Construction Industry Charities and is very active in many women construction organizations. Each year, Kaleigh helps administer a scholarship fund to a chosen woman who has demonstrated leadership skills to further their education.
30 | Project Manager
Jerrod Clunn is the oldest of the Clunn children who has always aspired to be a leader in the construction industry—having been employed with the family company since he was 10. Jerrod heads up the estimating and project management team and has a proven track record for tackling million dollar plus jobs.
“You’re only as good as your last project,” says Jerrod.
Jerrod and his wife recently had a baby boy that they hope will someday follow in his footsteps. He is a volunteer for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo which awards scholarships each year and is also a continuing supporter of many church schools and children’s programs which fosters children’s interests in construction by building projects.
“Jerrod believes his success comes from building relationships and taking the time to understand his clients’ needs and most of all doing what you say,” says Gordon Clunn, Jerrod’s father and vice president of Clunn Acoustical Systems.
Savannah Drywall Supply Inc.
Savannah, Ga. | President/Co-Owner | 36
As a third generation owner, Amanda Montford takes great pride in carrying on the business that her grandfather started in 1954. She started with the company 10 years ago answering phones and helping customers. She quickly realized that this wasn’t just a job, but an opportunity to carry on her family’s legacy.
Montford serves on the board of directors of the AMAROK Drywall Division of Affiliated Distributors and is a past member of the AMAROK New Product Committee. She was also a founding member and past president of her local chapter of the National Association in Women in Construction (NAWIC). She was just named one of the Savannah’s Rising Stars of Business by Savannah Magazine and the Savannah Morning News. In 2012, AD Today Magazine named her a Young Leader for 2012. In 2010, she was named Woman in Construction of the Year by her local NAWIC chapter.
Montford feels it is important for herself and her company to be involved in the community. Some past projects included donating materials and delivery to a home that was given to a wounded war veteran, supporting a local pet rescue organization, facilitating volunteers and $10,000 in donations for a Habitat for Humanity Woman Build house and donating materials for a new facility for an organization that provides social services to the homeless.
Savannah Drywall carries drywall, insulation, metal framing and acoustical materials. Some recent jobs include the 90,000-square-foot Gadsden Elementary School in Savannah and the Villas on Park in Pooler, Ga.—a 240 unit luxury apartment complex.
Martin-Zombek Construction Services LLC
East Syracuse, N.Y. | Vice President | 38
Andrew Zombek’s career in construction started in a rather unusual way. He grew up as one of five boys on a dairy farm and his father encouraged him to enter into an industry with a better future than a family farm business. After graduation he attended Clarkson University to extend himself into the engineering field.
“My older brother happened to be working at a construction company in 1997, while attending Syracuse University, and asked that I join him during the summer in lieu of heading back to help Dad on the farm,” Zombek says. “I decided that summer that I would rather choose the road of construction than the highway of engineering.”
He came up through the ranks in the business from warehouse attendant to draftsman to estimator to project manager and then finally drywall division manager. After a shareholder disagreement, Zombek was faced with either continuing his career at that company or starting his own. With his father-in-law, they chose the latter.
In 2009 Martin-Zombek Construction Services LLC became a reality.
“This was the point in my life when I learned my most valuable lesson—when running a business, you can’t be self-reliant,” says Zombek. “You need to trust and accept help from those that know more than you.”
Zombek feels that technology is the adhesive that binds all of these cogs to the wheel and continues to explore new ideas.
“Our organization has been at the forefront of technology by incorporating great hardware and software such as Foundation Soft for our accounting, About Time for our time keeping and OnCenter Software for Estimating and Project Management,” Zombek says.
In 2009, he was elected to serve as the President of the Subcontractor Association of Central New York. He is now a board member for the Empire State Subcontractors Association and hopes to bring the same team approach to negotiating new legislation with general contractors, owners and legal community for review and approval of bills within the state government.
“I find that on this level we spend way too much time, money and effort lobbying against each other when we should simply be sitting down and understanding each other’s’ issue,” says Zombek
The company has grown in the past five years with much success. The largest contract completed to date was more than $6.5 million. Not bad for a start-up business. Zombek has morphed the business from a conventional drywall and acoustical company by adding a full carpentry and millwork division. His next step is developing a panel and drywall milling shop. Prefabrication is on the horizon.
“The community focused ideals will continue to propel my future,” he says. “New contracting methods such as IPD and design build will continue to advance our industry. With a collaborative focus, I believe a wall and ceiling contractor will be poised to excel in our future of contracting. Tools such as BIM and Advanced scheduling techniques will require the early input of the wall and ceiling contractor, the driving force of construction.”
Nu-Wool Co. Inc. and Cellulose Material Solutions LLC
Jenison, Mich. | Vice President | 30
Established in 1949, Nu-Wool Co. Inc. is a third generation cellulose insulation manufacturing company, and also the oldest cellulose insulation company in the United States. A green manufacturer since inception, Nu-Wool has been making eco-friendly insulation from recycled paper before green building existed. In 1984, the company was the first in the U.S. to develop a spray-in-place insulation process for wall cavities. This process is called Nu-Wool WALLSEAL and was pioneered by Fred Henderson.
Matt Henderson, the grandson of Fred Henderson, first started working at Nu-Wool during high school doing general maintenance and clerical jobs. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Central Michigan University, Henderson returned to Nu-Wool to begin a career in the industry.
Henderson played an integral role in setting up and starting Cellulose Material Solutions LLC, a sister company of Nu-Wool Co. Inc. CMS manufactures industry-first cellulose batts and blankets made primarily from Nu-Wool cellulose insulation. In addition to thermal materials, CMS specializes in acoustical products, packaging materials and other sustainable products.
“CMS takes my grandfather’s vision one step further by taking our cellulose insulation and transforming it into other products. Recycled paper is no longer just being put into walls and attics, but paper fibers are being used to make acoustical panels, absorbent mats and much more,” explains Henderson.
In his current position as Vice President, Henderson is focused on maintaining good relationships with customers and distributors while also developing new sustainable products for not only the construction industry but also other industries.
“My parents and grandfather were role models for me and have paved the way for me in this company,” explains Henderson. “The longevity of Nu-Wool in this industry is partly because of my family but also due to the loyal customers and employees that have been part of Nu-Wool and CMS for so many years.”
Fresco Harmony Industries LLC
Albuquerque, N.M. | Owner | 38
Fresco Harmony Industries LLC has created the world’s first color line specifically designed to be incorporated with any 3.5 gallon box of joint compound.
The company has 10 years of real world application of research and development, and are currently working with professionals on a national scale and receiving amazing feedback.
Owner and founder, Nick Harmon, is an industry expert—journeyman drywall finisher—and entrepreneur who has brought this product to market.
Harmon started out working for Fleetwood Homes of America in their drywall department spotting screws and spinning outlets. He continued on with Fleetwood for about a year when it was suggested to him that he join the Drywall and Tapers Union Local 360 out of Vancouver, Wash. It was there that color was introduced to him and he began creating 3-D artwork utilizing joint compound. Later in his career, he moved up to Crested Butte, Colorado and began working with C.B. Drywall.
“It was there that I learned a texturing method that would lead to the base coat of Fresco Harmony. While in Crested Butte I got to take part in a ski-in, ski-out home that was doing a high end Venetian plaster with a company called Hopper Finishers out of Phoenix,” Harmon says.
Harmon’s last move was to Albuquerque, N.M., where he began really developing Fresco Harmony into a viable business model. The company is now selling on a national level and they continue to market to clients in the Albuquerque-area. Fresco Harmony has generated more than $750,000 over the last 10 years, with approximately 300,000 square feet of space completed.
“My goal is to create this business model to be a viable, cost effective, alternative to simple texture and paint. We are currently selling color packs nationwide and I spend my time setting up jobs and working with some of the top designers and companies in Albuquerque and on a national level. I believe in the skill and craftsmanship it takes to be a certified drywall finisher. I feel these qualities aren’t being exploited monetarily in the industry. I’d like to bring the word “artisan” back to a trade that has lost its luster,” says Harmon.
New York | CEO/President | 39
As a child growing up in the suburbs of New York City, Ajay Narula often wondered what his father really did for a living, wondering what that tape measure and all of the blue prints always cluttering the kitchen table were for. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he decided to find out by spending a summer working in an accounting internship at his father’s office. During that summer, his father, who had started as a junior draftsman at Curtis Partition 28 years before, was in the process of buying out his partner for a majority share of the company; the company Narula now owns and runs.
“It was that summer when I finally truly understood what a drywall contractor does; and those blue prints became just as interesting to me as they were to my father,” Narula says. His dual degrees from U of M are in Computer Science and Psychology, and he spent the next couple of years after graduation working in Silicon Valley during the height of the dot com era. In that short time, Narula learned that to achieve what he wanted to through his career, he needed to be an entrepreneur and run his own business, and so he decided to get involved at Curtis Partition, to learn the family business from the ground up.
“Since I started my time at Curtis, I have integrated a cost based estimating system, I have introduced significant cost control measures utilizing a variety of field tools, and have focused on keeping an EMR at or under .85,” says Narula.
The company is now doing a mix of public and private sector work, broadened their customer base with some of the strongest CMs/GCs, and have also grown their sales by over 400 percent in 11 years. After becoming President and CEO in 2012, Narula has focused the business on technology, prefabrication and is eagerly looking forward to an eventual adoption of IPD/BIM in the New York City market.
“When I’m not working, I spend my time as a real estate investor, and as one of the Co-founders and managers of The Narula Foundation, a philanthropic venture started by my family to help provide education and healthcare, both in the New York City-area and abroad in India, where my family is from,” Narula says.
Paul Johnson Drywall
Phoenix | Compliance Manager | 24
Warren Townsend joined Paul Johnson Drywall in October 2014 as compliance manager. He is responsible for ensuring all PJD employees receive a full orientation, including training in safety, Department of Labor compliance, education and training in PJD policies and procedures. He also oversees the company’s payroll operations, including AR and AP for subcontractors and weekly processing of the company’s more than 500 employee payroll.
An innovative project Townsend is overseeing, which is expected to have a positive impact on the construction industry, is the development of a job site GPS tracking system for recording employee time. He is working with software developers Busy Busy and My Geo Tracking to create this revolutionary automated time-keeping system where crews are tracked through their cell phones. The system will provide important data to the company for more predictable project estimating, calculating over-time and predicting workforce needs. Customers will have access to the most accurate project data available. The developers are creating this for PJD now, but plan to make it available for the drywall industry, and plan to modify for other trades to accommodate varied time-tracking needs.
In addition, Townsend helped to develop an employee hotline system, which will be launched in the coming weeks. The hotline is designed to provide employees with an easy way to alert PJD HR and company president of concerns and issues on a site, or related to an employees pay. Through the process, all calls are responded to within 24 hours to ensure a positive, safe and well-managed environment exists for employees.
Established as a family owned business in 1967 on the principles of integrity, excellence and trust, PJD is one of the largest specialty contractors in the Southwest.
Today, having earned a stellar reputation for quality workmanship and reliability on drywall projects, PJD brings the same peace of mind on a wide-range of construction services to customers with more robust needs.