Guil Geneau wasn’t afraid to think big when he co-founded Crown Roofing in 2013 with his business partner, Chris Copeland. “Right out of the gate, we chose some pretty robust platforms for our systems that weren’t indicative of a startup company,” he says.
That included flexible accounting software and a cloud-based server, both of which have allowed the company to grow without a lot of back-office headaches. “Even when we were producing zero, Crown Roofing had the potential to be the $100 million company it is now,” he says. Sarasota-based Crown did $113 million in revenue in 2018, up 56.9% over $72 million in 2017.
Geneau started off in the roofing industry as a salesperson after spending a few years working in heavy equipment rentals and sales. “We all start somewhere,” he says. “And I’m more than willing to share what I’ve learned along the way because I think it will help boost the industry up and help clean up the image of an industry that probably used to be a little bit tarnished.”
He has worked all over the Gulf Coast and beyond throughout his 15 years in roofing, and his familiarity with Florida has proved helpful in running a business with five locations statewide. “I can’t imagine moving here to try to start up something and not knowing the area,” he says.
Getting involved with industry associations and community organizations has also contributed to his business growth and success. “You’ve got to pound the streets and get your presence known, so people know who you are and start to trust you,” he says.
An organized office space helps Geneau juggle everything. “I don’t operate well in chaos,” he says. “Being neat and organized keeps me on track and focused and allows me to do more than one thing at a time. I’ve worked with people who seem like they’re always operating like the Tasmanian Devil, and I can’t do it.”
A little time at the gym also helps him stay sane. “The gym is kind of my reset button for everything,” Geneau says. “Any stresses come out in the wash when I’m at the gym.”
ON THE RECORD: Guil Geneau
City of residence: Sarasota
Employer: Crown Roofing
Birthplace: Bristol, Conn.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 30
Marital status/children: Married with two children
Alma mater/degree: Saint Leo University: bachelor's in business administration, specialization in marketing, minor in management
Best place to network: Local associations
Best business lesson ever learned: Don't force people into a position that they are not passionate about (even if they are good at it). It will not work out in the long run.
What’s your top tip for being productive? Stay organized
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Clubhouse Manager - Texas Rangers (MLB)
Community group you’re most involved with: Too many to name. We have five offices across the state.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Owning a tiki bar
Favorite off-hours activity: Working out and spending time with my family
Favorite board game or video game: Board game: Trivial Pursuit; video game: Madden Football
Top item on your bucket list: Go to a New England Patriots Super Bowl game. I've had three opportunities and sadly have not gone to any.
Your happy place is: The gym
Favorite podcast: N/A
Favorite musical artist/band: Slipknot
Who would play you in a movie about your life? The Rock
First album/record/tape cassette/CD: Technotronic
First concert: Robert Palmer
One song that will get you on the dance floor: Any song that gets my wife on the dance floor
Favorite karaoke song: "You've lost that love and feeling," The Righteous Brothers
What instrument/role would you play in a band? Drums
Describe yourself in three words. Focused, driven and determined
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