CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 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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COATINGSPRO MARCH 2018 69 W ith 25 years of experi- ence in the film and coatings industr y, Dave Swatkowski of Greener World Solutions has done ever y- thing from formulating and blending materials to research and development (R&D) to application. Swatkowski, who was born in southern California, had a best friend whose father ow ned a distribution company in Cerritos, just east of Los A ngeles. As Swatkowski mused about his best friend, he explained, " We always told each other that whenever we were both done w ith school, he'd move back to Minnesota where he was from, and I was going to join the Nav y. But he had a job for me in Minneapolis where he worked for a foam company, so I went along to get my start in the industr y." Swatkowski worked for manufac- turers first. As he said, " W hen I worked for Foam Enter prises, the ow ner was fantastic, and he put me through production and blend- ing. Eventually I was transferred to Houston and worked for R&D and formulation." Ultimately, Swatkowski wound up back in Minneapolis in technolog y ser vice, working w ith equipment spray and pour. He also provided original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales ser vicing from Vancouver to Mexico and into Nevada, selling to businesses w ith ever ything from walk-in coolers to boats. In 2008, Swatkowski sold then client Greener Building Solutions their first foam rig. He's been w ith the contracting firm since 2010. T hey offer a full line of ser vices, including spray injection foam and blow-in insulation, and they are also a commercial roofing company working w ith single ply roofs, coatings, air barriers, and water proofing across the upper Midwest to the Northwest. " We are ver y efficient at what we do, so we're able to travel all over thanks to special crews built to be on the go for projects," he said. Currently, the Minnesota build- ing market is incredibly busy, and as Swatkowski said, "It's a ver y hot market in Minnesota, and we're also looking to expand north or south." Looking Forward As far as advice for those just getting their start, Swatkowski emphasized the need to " find the right people to apply the products, send them to school, market your business to grow, and [send] certain crews to certain applications." He added, "For the business, tr y ing to expand into another territor y before you put up a brick-and-mortar location is another key to smart growth. Quality control is our big gest thing and doing it right the first time. As soon as you have to go back, you lose money." Having such a diverse background has also been of personal value to Swatkowski, helping to provide hands-on knowledge to estimation, sales, and projects. T his diversity is the key to his longevity in the industr y. He stressed the value of marketing, such as trade shows, word of mouth, websites, and the Minnesota Builders Exchange; these have all proven to be great tools for his compa- ny's success. Likes and Dislikes W hen it comes to the industr y pitfalls, Swatkowski has found that he dislikes the many variables that can affect a project before, during, and after, especially w ith spray ing. However, the likes always outweigh the dislikes, and he finds himself always learning — even after 25 years. "I'm glad, too, to feel like the industr y is still grow ing, and people are finally starting to see the benefit of recoating rather than repairing. T he white coatings we do are highly energ y efficient in addition to being long lasting and cost effec- tive," he said. As far as his home life, Swatkowski had a familiar stor y of things being tough at first while just getting started, at one point working 28 days straight. Currently, though, he enjoys being a "6 to 5" ty pe of guy, and he enjoys ice fishing, coaching youth baseball, and riding his Harley- Davidson. CP Photo courtesy of Greener World Solutions On Smart Growth ProFile: Dave Swatkowski By Christa Youngpeter Hard Work & Craftsmanship

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