CoatingsPro Magazine

SEP 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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72 SEPTEMBER 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM office, which employs six to seven crew members along with an operations manager who helps run the show. "I was very blessed that we had an exist- ing client base that we used to service in the Dallas area, and I had some accounts established that we can now service locally," Miller elaborated. anks to his past experiences, he also has dozens of contacts that translate to his role in the resinous flooring indus- try. His office has handled numerous large-scale projects; he has a current project going at a local Naval station for a border patrol unit. "I have been pretty fortunate not to have many pitfalls," Miller remarked when asked about lessons learned. An early lesson: "I found that regular follow up and how you treat your customers is key, and I keep that going at T.W. Hicks. It sounds simple, but staying accountable and doing what you say you're going to do is the smartest thing you can do," he said. Miller also credits his Midwest " farm kid " upbringing as being a vital stepping stone to his current honest work ethic. "Work hard and work smart, and you can get ahead of 95 percent of your peers," explained Miller. For anyone looking to get into the coatings industry, Miller suggested Photo courtesy of T.W. Hicks, Inc. A s do many, Matt Miller, business development manager at T.W. Hicks, found his career path to coatings after college. W hile looking for part-time work, he stumbled rather fortuitously onto a position w ith a well-know n coating manufacturer and moved up quick ly into sales and management. Miller started there in 1995 and stayed for 19 years, eventually meeting T.W. Hicks' founder and owner, Tim Hicks, through a mutual friend. "After that long, I was looking for a career change, and in 2014, T.W. Hicks made me an offer," Miller explained. "And I was hired to open the southern division of the company." anks to his experience and training, Miller was quickly able to translate his skills into growth for his new employer. In the first year, his new company was doing $500,000 in business. A few years later, in 2017, they were doing over $2 million. Running the Show Miller's role has grow n over the years, too. T.W. Hicks' f lagship project for Miller's office, a $1M resinous f loor- ing job at the A lamodome, was also completed in 2017. "It was a ver y challenging but rewarding project that really put the company and our San A ntonio office on the map," Miller noted. "A nd when you take on a project that size on a tight schedule and in a challenging environment, you really need to staff up, and we've gotten good support for our division dow n here. Now we really we can't say any project is too big." Part of that empire is Miller's searching out a company that is estab- lished with a good reputation for supporting its employees. "Look hard and make sure you're at an established company that does what it says. Get up and leave no stone unturned, and follow up, and you' ll reap benefits," he added. Miller also noted that the labor market is very challenging; the search is not one-sided. He said it's hard to find and retain good workers, noting, "You really have to go above and beyond to retain good employees." W hile the industry isn't without its challenges — tight timelines came to mind — Miller appreciates seeing the look on owners' faces when they set eyes on a finished floor for the first time. "It doesn't matter if it's a showroom, hangar, school, or food and beverage facility, we take the same amount of time and dedication to make it great," he noted. "at's the most rewarding thing to me and the crew: to be able to walk away from a job well done." Support and Expansion In the near f uture, Mi l ler hopes to help T.W. Hicks ex pand to Austin and bui ld on the new of f ice in Houston as wel l. His professiona l g row th in the Lone Star state can't be done a lone, though. Outside of work, Miller spends time with his three "very active" boys. Depending on the season, the family hunts, while in the summer heat, they find the rivers, camping, and floating to be enjoyable. "It's been such a blessing to raise three young men who appreciate the outdoors and being active," Miller concluded. CP By Christa Youngpeter Covering the Lone Star State ProFile: Matt Miller Hard Work & Craftsmanship

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