A family business since 1973, Goley Insulation installs commercial and residential insulation in St. Louis, throughout the Midwest, and increasingly to locations across the country, as its footprint and influence expands. The company takes great care of the reputation it has built by sending professional crews that are highly trained and on time to deliver beyond its customers’ expectations. From high-profile projects to local residential jobs, Goley’s team aims to deliver the best solution for each customer the first time, every time.
“We specialize in residential, agricultural and commercial energy-saving solutions, utilizing fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool and spray foam, as well as air sealing, firestopping and energy testing services,” says Dewayne Goley, president of Goley Insulation. “Our team also delivers expert-level strategy across both the commercial and residential sectors with a capacity to excel on very technical, highly precise projects.”
The company just celebrated its 50th anniversary in November. Currently, the contractor has 230 full-time employees.
“For us, Goley Insulation was really just ‘Dad’s job’ when we were growing up,” says Joseph Goley, manager at Goley Insulation. “Dewayne watched my grandparents, Gene and Lillian, start the business and then I got to watch my dad continue that legacy. I think my first memories of it are a lot like any kid who grows up around a family business. I remember going on job checks with him, riding in his truck and holding onto that clipboard that my grandfather used and then my dad used. I never really thought of it like, ‘this is what I’ll be doing when I grow up.’ It was more just spending time with Dad and the enjoyment of learning the business.”
Company and Industry Assessment
“Anytime you can look back 50 years at a business or an industry, you’re going to see growth and you’re going to see change,” Dewayne says. “I think what’s struck me the most has been the complexity of the industry. Reflecting on when I started, the work was a lot simpler and more straightforward. It always used to be the same type of work. Now, there are so many more applications; it’s a lot more sophisticated and tech-driven, and that’s not just across insulation. I think we see it across all construction. You can look at every touch point we have now—production, front office, sales—and the technology is there today in ways it never used to be. Things are more efficient, and we incorporate that technology and those efficiencies into everything we do.”
Joseph says that starting in 2020, construction was turned on its head when the pandemic hit. Through that, the recent climate has become a continuation of supply chain complexities, labor shortages and regular price increases.
“Insulation isn’t a commodity, so it doesn’t quite follow the market,” Joseph says. “Instead, it ebbs and flows with housing starts, and those have remained strong over the last three years. There have been challenges but in a good way. There’s a lot of work, so it has been more about asking, ‘how do we stay agile and do this more efficiently?’ We continue to hone our skills and adapt to changing circumstances. Despite the fast-paced environment, it’s been an exciting time to be doing this kind of work.”
According to Joseph, the company remains pretty optimistic—that is just the mentality the company has. He says the company manages challenges well, no matter what those are. Dewayne has always had the philosophy of preparing for the worst even when times are at their best.
“We’ll see a shift at some point; history tells us that those times will always circle back, but we’ve made it a part of our strategy to be really strong when times are good and still comparatively strong—competitive with the rest of the industry—when times aren’t as good,” Dewayne says.
Even after 50 years, the company has long-term goals for the next half-century.
“Whether it’s three to five years from now or a decade, we want to remain independent, continue growing our footprint across the country and be seen as an industry leader,” Dewayne says. “Our industry has seen a lot of consolidation, so for those of us who are still independent, the ability to grow allows us to remain competitive and not have to sacrifice the things that have gotten us to where we are; the in-house expertise, the reliable service and quality materials, and everything else.
“It’s also not just about growth in size but growth in footprint,” he continues. “We want the Goley name and the Goley brand to be recognizable whether you’re in the Midwest or anywhere else in the country. It’s also important to remember what this type of growth does. It keeps us as a thought-leader. We have some of the best minds and the best experts that you’ll find anywhere in the industry. There are conversations happening today that will influence how work gets done tomorrow and a decade or more down the road. With growth and brand recognition, we can better participate in those conversations.”
Joseph adds that attracting talent is another crucial piece of being an industry leader and setting the company up for continued growth. He says that the more recognizable you are, the easier it can be to attract new talent and keep your current talent.
“You want to work where it’s fun and exciting and the people are great, but you also want reliability,” Joseph says. “When you’re a larger business with a larger footprint, usually that foundation of job stability is easier to trust. By combining our growth efforts with the ability to point to the last 50 years of bringing in many immensely talented and dedicated employees, we’re well-positioned to remain a strong career option for future job seekers.”
Dewayne says the most interesting aspect of the job for him is to be, in general, as involved in what the company is doing as ever. Yet, he continues, the real interesting thing that he is doing is thinking about how to prepare the company long-term. He says his parents were the same way.
“You can be doing great things short-term, but there needs to be a long-term plan in place,” he says. “We find the right people; strong, innovative minds who have that drive and dedication to make what we’re doing now just one more chapter in a story that’s going to stretch out for a long time. Beyond me, beyond Joseph.”
For Joseph, the more interesting thing for him is figuring out if “there’s a better way to do this” and, if there is, then implementing it. When he joined the company full-time in 2019, the first thing he wanted to make clear was that resting on past laurels is not a good enough reason to keep doing something or avoid trying something new. Throw those excuses out the window, he says.
“We won’t change for the sake of change, but if there are better ways to deliver value to our customers, then I want us to be the ones finding those innovations and those things that keep us ahead of the competition,” Joseph says.
Dewayne says the toughest part about challenging times is that one does not always know they are coming until it is too late. That is why the company prepares for challenging times even when things are great, as Joseph says. The only thing Goley Insulation knows is that challenges and hard times will happen, so it comes down to good preparation and being honest with yourself that good times will not always last and bad times can be endured.
Another thing is valuing the experience of those who have been through it already, Joseph says. The company has employees who have been with them for 20-plus years, with upwards of 40 years for others, giving the subcontractor access to outstanding institutional knowledge. That is another reason why Goley Insulation goes the extra mile during the good times to prepare for the bad, so that the people it needs and the values can stay and grow with the company.
“I think the mantra that we’ve had is consistency,” Joseph says. “We watch waste always. We care about quality always. We care about production always. We check jobs always. That mindset exists from Dewayne on down to everyone else here. It’s about doing it right the first time. With my first experience of a hard time being the pandemic, we learned the importance of being agile and adaptive. We learned very quickly in 2020 that we weren’t where we needed to be, and that was a reality check. We had to become a little more comfortable in the unknown. It was chaotic and a bit scary in the moment, but I think that’s prepared us well for whatever the next unknown is.”
Dewayne is very proud of what the company has achieved, but a couple achievements stand out.
“To me, it comes down to two things,” Dewayne says. “First, representing the industry in a way that will last a long time. Second, being a place where the culture keeps people wanting to stay here. Back in the mid-’90s, we were one of the founding companies of the National Insulation Contractor’s Exchange. That’s a group that has expanded to over 70 companies across the country and creates a place where independent companies can come together and share knowledge and ideas—that’s a benefit to everyone. That’s the rising tide that lifts all ships.
“To the second point, I think being able to come to work every day and see so many people who have been a part of this for so long is an exceptional achievement,” he continues. “We have people who have been here for 40 years, for a quarter-century. We have people who work here because their dads or their moms or their uncles worked here—some still work here. That’s a credit to our culture. Each of them makes that possible, and I think the only reason we can say, ‘we’ve been here for 50 years’ is because these people trusted the work we do in each of those years and chose to call this place their home.”
Project Profile: City Park Stadium
Owner: City Park was privately built and financed by the owners of St. Louis City SC, a female-majority ownership group comprised of the Taylor family, car rental company Enterprise, and Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology.
Architects: HOK collaborated with Snow Kreilich Architects on the project.
General Contractors: Minneapolis-based Mortenson and St. Louis-based Alberici Corporation and L. Keely Construction.
The City Park Stadium is a $457.8 million, 22,500-seat Major League Soccer stadium in St. Louis. It is home to the league’s new expansion club, St. Louis City SC. It is an open-air venue used for sporting events, concerts, corporate events and more. The stadium’s architects, HOK, wanted to create a destination that reflected the spirit of a new St. Louis, supporting technology, inclusiveness, innovation and, above all, community.
Niehaus Building Services LLC, a St. Louis interior specialties contractor, was selected for portions of construction of the stadium and associated facilities.
Given the project’s scope, an aggressive completion timeline and the complexity of the job, Niehaus needed an experienced and reputable insulation expert to oversee installation and serve as a building science consultant for three separate phases of construction:
- The stadium
- The pavilion building (offices and retail space)
The training building (practice fields, locker rooms and additional offices)
- Niehaus selected Goley as the insulation provider and installer for each structure to ensure energy efficiency, sound attenuation, moisture control and comfort.
“This was one of the largest and more complex projects that we had done as a company,” Joseph Goley says. The obvious challenge began just as the stadium was being built. Construction was from 2020-2022, so right at the peak of the pandemic and all the challenges that came along with it. That influenced how Goley could build to the regulations, but it also affected supply chain and getting materials as well as locating new talent to bring in and how to retain existing talent.
A project of this scale required precise workmanship, consistent communication, exceptional leadership and unfaltering quality at every step. Goley’s ability to quickly pivot and adapt to a number of changing project conditions delivered considerable value to the customer.
Goley’s solution involved applying fiberglass thermal insulation, sound-attenuating insulation, acoustical sealant at the head and base of walls, Huntsman closed-cell spray foam, and continuous insulation at the concealed cavities. Goley crews also installed more than 62,000 square feet of white foil-faced mineral wool insulation for air-conditioned areas under the bowl of the stadium. The wool insulation used was already a finished product, so Goley crews needed to ensure seams were properly taped for a smooth, clean finish.
Bidding on construction of the project began in April 2020. Goley crews were on-site in March 2021, and crews completed the project in October 2022. Despite challenges presented by a global pandemic and ensuing supply chain issues, the insulation portions of the project were completed successfully and on time. Goley installers were able to meet the architect’s unique and complex specifications, earning the company praise from stadium management and the general contractor.
“This project provided a unique opportunity to showcase everything that a top-tier insulator should be able to do,” Joseph says. “It’s an open-air stadium, but it has a mix of conditioned and unconditioned spaces—next to each other and on top of each other.”
It is a five-level building with two levels underground and three levels above, as well as an open concourse. It is not just insulation in a ceiling or a wall. It has everything from offices and suites to bathrooms and restaurants. There are areas where the work has to be a finished product that can be aesthetically pleasing and exposed—not something that comes to mind when you think of insulation. It was an incredibly technical task.
“You can add to that all the other challenges that didn’t involve the actual work itself,” Joseph says. “The way the supply chain was affected during the pandemic meant that getting materials became difficult, and there were times where it wasn’t a sure thing that something would arrive on time.
“There wasn’t room for error, either,” Joseph continues. “We had to complete our work in a specific timeframe across multiple quadrants, often more than one at a time, while navigating with the multiple other trades involved in the project. If you think of a symphony, that’s really what this was. We’re one piece, one instrument, and we have to make this work while everyone else does their job to ensure that the finished product is something that we can all be proud of.”
According to Joseph, the project’s scope was broad. The company was handling everything from spray polyurethane foam to mineral wool to sound insulation to thermal fiberglass insulation to acoustical sealants. It is also not a standard building for going to work or storing equipment. This is a stadium, so it has to handle thousands of people at a time, businesses, indoor/outdoor and an expanded set of safety requirements, and it has to address the sound challenges—both what it can bear and how it can function to improve the sounds that you expect when you are at a sports, music or entertainment venue.
“Despite facing numerous challenges, we had full faith in our team to come together and get the project done,” Joseph says. “There were moments when we didn’t know how some of the deadlines could be met; we just knew our skills and our capabilities. And, that’s not just the people who are on-site either.
“Our company is strong from start to finish with the very best people in everything, from operations and project management to administration, accounting and the pre-construction team,” Joseph continues. “We knew that if we were working at the standard we expected of ourselves, that this was a project we could successfully complete and do better than anyone else could. This is what we can point to, forever, anytime someone asks if Goley Insulation can do a job, and say, ‘yeah, we did this during this moment of chaos in the world with all of these obstacles and challenges and we hit every expectation, every single time, without fail.’”
Partnerships and Industry-Specific Affiliations
Goley Insulation is a member of the Insulation Contractors Association of America, Home Builders Association, the Firestop Contractors International Association, the Center for Energy Efficiency, the U.S. Green Building Council and National Insulation Contractor’s Exchange—the final one being one Goley helped found more than 25 years ago.
Top Nine Manufacturers
Huntsman Building Solutions
“I think spray foam is pretty unique,” Joseph says. “Our manufacturers don’t actually manufacture spray foam; they manufacture a chemical and we manufacture spray foam on-site at every job. And, the responsibility is on us to make sure that we are technically sound and capable to be able to successfully manufacture that product. Another impressive product is fiberglass. That’s interesting in the sense that it has evolved tremendously, is found in the majority of buildings and homes, and there’s a variety of applications for it, but it’s still just blown glass. It’s sustainable, efficient and relatively inexpensive. For something so simple to last and remain relevant in that way is pretty impressive.”