Service Painting of Florida
Dick Duveneck founded Service Painting of Florida (SPF) in 1982 as a commercial painting business focused on providing a high level of service, quality and safety. For more than 30 years, the business has grown, developing close relationships with clients in a number of sectors. SPF serves the commercial repaint and restoration, commercial new construction and industrial markets.
Today, approximately 65 percent of the company’s business is in new construction. The team works with clients, engineers and architects alike to develop a project that meets the structural, functional and aesthetic needs of owners and end-users.
Elizabeth Perez-Lavin, current president of SPF, works under longtime colleague Gary Johnson, CEO. “After starting as a painter with our organization, Gary went on to successfully earn his role as president of the company in 2002 and then on to his current position,” explains Perez-Lavin. “It was through hard work, dedication and motivation that he acquired his success and the wisdom to teach others. This is why I am proud to have begun my career at SPF through such a solid foundation alongside such a respected leader. In 2007, I joined our team to undertake the chief duties of company controller and was soon thereafter appointed to the board of directors in 2010.”
According to Perez-Lavin, she provides strategic leadership, performance management and fiscal function for the corporation. “I proudly aim to steer us toward continued growth and success every day,” she details. “The relationships with our customers, vendors and employees are built on integrity and honesty, which is what sets us apart from the rest.”
Leading Services for a Strong Portfolio
“The company boasts a highly professional team of specialists whose combined understanding of architecture, engineering, estimating, financing, materials and project management guarantees a full-service perspective to every project,” Perez-Lavin says of the company’s staff. “High quality standards of workmanship have earned our company its reputation.”
She goes on to note that the company’s experts are certified in waterproofing systems, fireproofing systems, specialty coatings, sealants and expansion joints, specialty flooring, deck coatings, caulking and of course painting. This allows the company to provide services for a wide array of structures, including commercial and government buildings, schools, mid- to high-rise buildings, condominiums, water treatment plants, waste water treatment plants, as well as petrochemical projects. To top it off, all of SPF’s field personnel are Occupational Safety and Health Administration-certified, and all of the company’s foremen are certified in both CPR and First Aid Training.
SPF has become the largest and most financially stable painting contractor in Florida. With 125 employees and four locations, including a headquarters in Fort Myers, as well as offices in Miami, Sarasota and Orlando, the company is able to serve a broad market. The SPF crew has been involved with a number of new construction and remedial projects in each of the sectors it serves.
The company’s recent projects include interior finishes at the Disney location Four Seasons in Orlando, as well as a large project at Venice High School. As part of a major renovation project, SPF is performing below-grade waterproofing. The company is currently in the second phase of the project, which has presented unique challenges. The team is also working on projects at Palm State Beach College and the Miami Science Museum; SPF is on the go.
One of the most challenging recent projects for the team has been a contract for IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. SPF completed exterior and interior coatings and finishes for the organization’s five-story residence hall. The company worked for nearly one year on a tight schedule where the scope of work included painting, as well as waterproofing.
Thriving in a Changing Market
While the recent economic downturn presented challenges to contractors in all sectors, SPF is doing well throughout the ongoing recovery. “From our perspective, we had more sales in 2012 than 2013, but our fourth quarter is going to be above our original projections,” Perez-Lavin reveals. “I think we have finally leveled out.” As for 2014, the company is right on track.
Still, there may be more challenges ahead. “I’m not sure what Obama Care will do and it affects companies that have a sizable number of employees,” she notes. “It is going to affect our workforce. We cover a big a part of the insurance, an increase won’t be an easy cost for our employees to afford. Like many other subcontractors we are in the business of selling time; we are a painting company, but our customers purchase our employees’ time to complete a task. The government has increased workers comp limits. Regardless, things are getting better and we are starting to build up again.”
Over the next few years, SPF’s plan is to continue to grow and expand. “We hope to grow at a 10 percent increase per year,” Perez-Lavin explains. “We realize that this will be a challenging goal, but we have no doubt that our office staff and field personnel are the right people for the challenge.” With a strong lineup of projects in the pipeline, Service Painting of Florida will continue to dominate the market while providing reliable and memorable work to customers all over Florida.
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