The Penebaker Enterprises Llc

LOCATION: 2233 N. 30th St., Milwaukee, WI 53208


Year founded: 2002

Product or service offered: Roofing and sheet metal

Projected 2009 revenue: $8 million

CEO, President/Owner(s): Khary Penebaker, president & CEO

Leadership team: Kevin Kasper, vice president; Jan Albano, marketing director; Dan Ott, roofing superintendent; Matt Ryan, sheet metal superintendent; Sue Strenk, office manager; Tasha Booth, business manager

Target clientele: Public and private entities

Business organization memberships: MMAC, NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association), AGC (Association of General Contractors), SMACNA (Sheet Metal And Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association)

What has fueled your company’s growth?

The desire to continue to do better and to increase our efficiencies. As we grew and improved, we were able to become more competitive and secure even more contracts.

What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?

Our biggest obstacle has been the competition within our industry. Given that our company is only 7.5 years old, we haven’t had as much time to build relationships with our customers or new customers as our competition has. It is difficult to break through that barrier, when the competition has had decades worth of market representation. However, the fact that a company/competitor has been around longer doesn’t automatically equate to that company being better than us. We have consistently shown that we can perform on the same levels as the competition.

Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months?

We do have some minor internal changes that we will implement before the end of the year. Our most notable change has been the hiring of a full-time safety director.

Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them?

Nationally, I greatly admire Sean Combs as he took an idea, his drive and his passion and turned it into a near-billion dollar empire. Locally, I greatly admire David Cullen. One of my ultimate dreams is to have my company turn into a generational one. J.P. Cullen & Sons has done just that. Not only have they endured many many decades of societal and industrial changes, but they have been able to build their company and their family name to the point of complete admiration by everyone who hears it. Furthermore, they are a fine example of how a company can be successful and profitable, but continue to remain good people at the same time.

What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months?

As the busy season begins to slow down, some companies will begin to struggle as work becomes harder to come by. However, our company must stay true to its goals and focus on what works for us rather than what the other guys are doing. That is what has gotten us to each new level of success each year; that and our undying need to outperform our prior successes.

What is your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession?

Making sure that we maintain our existing relationships. We must first take care of our existing clients and serve their needs to the greatest extent possible. From that, we must use those successes to propel us into new relationships, where the cycle continues. The bottom line here is that we look at our company’s existence as one that is founded on relationship building. We believe that we must be able to deliver what we say we will do and when we say we will do it. We choose not to promise the world just because the next company says they can deliver that! We must work within our own system and show the market just how good we really are. Keeping those ideas in the forefronts of our collective minds will help to see us through the ebbs and flows of our economic conditions.


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