This past September, Frankie Steele completed her first year as the owner of Pavement Maintenance Contractors, Inc. Although she is no stranger to the company, one that has been in business for nearly 25 years, it will be the first complete year that the company has operated since its founder, Timothy Steele, passed away.
“My husband was a quadriplegic,” Steele says. “He would lay out a parking lot to stripe perfectly. He was very highly respected in the community.”
Located in Huntington, WV, Pavement Maintenance offers a variety of services including sealcoating, striping, patching, cracksealing and sweeping. Nearly 85% of the work completed is commercial with the other 15% residential. A Graco LineLazer 3900 is one key piece of equipment used at Pavement Maintenance.
Steele’s late husband taught her how to stripe her first parking lot several years ago. “He taught me how to stripe a parking lot in one day,” she says. “That was one scary day, and my knuckles were white as can be. The first lot I ever striped was a brand new lot, and I was a nervous wreck.”
Now, she and her crew of six complete a variety of projects from pavement maintenance at the Huntington Mall to sweeping after the Marshall University football games. Whatever the situation, Frankie is out with her crews. “I don’t ask someone to do something I can’t do myself,” she says. “If it’s a 104 degree day I want to be out there more than I do at 70 degrees because my guys are out there sweating to death so I want to be out there, too.”
Quality work over quantity continues to set Pavement Maintenance apart from its competitors. “We try to be precise in what we do,” Steele says. “We give not only what the customer wants, but a step beyond.” If she sees the opportunity to help her client’s property stand out just a little bit more, she will suggest it to the client.
To achieve quality work, Steele pays great attention to detail. “It’s kind of like a carpenter, a carpenter never measures and cuts. He always measures and measures again and then he cuts,” she says. “That’s what I have the guys do. They make sure of those measurements before they put lines down.”
The reputation of the company was built by her late husband, but Steele continues to carry it on with their clients. “The first thing a lot of his [Timothy’s] customers ask is if I’m still in business,” she says. “Then, they want me to do their lot. Not only for the respect they have for Tim, but they know I’m keeping the quality going.”
Family has always played a significant role in Pavement Maintenance with several members of Steele’s family working with the company. “When my husband started this business it was about family,” she says. “It’s still family and it will probably always be family. They like to maintain the same sense of quality.”