Maintaining a successful, family-run business is often challenging. But establishing that family legacy can better enable the business to thrive. That’s been the case for Ray Kennamer of Ray Kennamer Construction Inc., in Albertville, Ala. and it's part of the reason why he was named NAHB’s January Remodeler of the Month.
"I wanted to continue the legacy of quality construction in and around Marshall County by carving a niche in the home remodeling and renovation side of the industry," said Kennamer. "I remember when I was five years old, my father took me along to a jobsite. As I was sitting in his truck, I watched him directing his men, and I knew right then I wanted to do what he was doing."
At the helm of a third-generation business, Kennamer gains inspiration and support from not only his father and grandfather who came before him, but also other area business owners and members of his local home builders association. Finding advice in those who have similar businesses has been key to his success.
"[Being a part of our local home builder’s association chapter] is a tradition of excellence that was passed down, and it is important for our business to be involved and to support the local chapter," Kennamer said. "It is vital to support the local chapter to encourage this trade in our community and to promote remodeling as a profession through involvement with the local association."
Finding skilled labor is one of his biggest business challenges right now. With low unemployment and a limited number of skilled workers in the industry, it's become increasingly difficult for Kennamer to find employees with the right skill sets and values that his family instilled in him. But despite his challenges, Kennamer still finds great motivation and satisfaction in his work.
"At the end of the project, when the customer is satisfied with the project and gives us a big hug, that is what motivates me the most and lets me know we have succeeded," he said.