The summer of 1999 was a great season for Petra Paving Inc. We installed 400 driveways and many small commercial lots, expanded from three dump trucks and one four-man crew to a five-man pave crew and a small prep crew, had two small excavation companies doing large dig outs for us, added our first salesperson and our very first 2,500-sq.-ft. garage and office. Although this sounds impressive it was almost disastrous. These expansions damn near drove us into bankruptcy. We showed up at the 2000 conference in Louisville, KY, and our first class was with Brad Humphrey and Jeff Stokes of the Pinnacle Group. I waited for Brad and Jeff outside of the class and told them "I need help. I am here to try and figure out where I have gone wrong or to just go home and start bankruptcy proceedings." Through the grace of God, Brad, Jeff, Lee Norman, and just the positive atmosphere of the whole show nine years later, Petra Paving Inc. has grown well, done great things for many of the people who work here, and also has been able to support many charitable organizations along the way. Here it is 2008, and the show has helped me again. My oldest son, Bryan, is coming on board to start the expansion of our sealcoating division. It was great for me to be with my son and to attend classes with him. Many of these classes I had taken before but felt it would be beneficial to both of us to take them together in order to build a strong foundation for our relationship to come. So I would like to extend a very special thank you to the instructors at the conference and an even larger thank you to the spouses of those instructors for allowing them to come and teach at these events. I am very aware that it is time that they sacrifice away from their families to help us grow as individuals and as an industry. My story is just one of thousands. But from speaking to our peers at the conference there are many other companies who attend year after year that feel the same way that we all do at Petra Paving Inc.
Although the classes and show have been very informative, we have also found that it is equally important to be able to kick back and enjoy a little bit of the local night life. There is nothing like a great game of laser tag with a group of industry peers!
- Chris Tammany, Owner Petra Paving, Inc.