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A Blast From The Past - Tom (Twill) Williams RCSer of the Month

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February 18, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.


I sent this old interview to Twill to see if I could print it and asked if he would like to update it. Here is his response followed by the original interview.

"Still relevant? I dunno. Although I am at my almost witty best here, there might be a couple items to change. Perhaps we can do a side by side? Except geez, I'm a much more serious guy now.

What to do, what to do... I'm not a timeless creature with wisdom for the ages to offer, like a certain Mr. Eric Gordon. I kind of swoop and lean and turn left then veer right before I settle on what I'm gonna say. Or not at all. Sometimes I just open up my yapper.

Seems like I could update it, but I don't think I could answer the questions any better. Except I might change Mott the Hoople to T-Rex... except I was never serious with that answer in the 1st place. Now the Hawaiian Punch comment, yes I meant that.

Really, updates? Well,well it's not 2008 anymore and I am no longer changing diapers. Sammy's five & Joe is eight. Business wise 2010 was a real struggle and 2011 was a slight turnaround. 2012 went really well. Offering more services than roofing now. I've always treated my customers well and turned away extra work beyond roofing for years. 2010 changed all of that! So that cloud did have a silver lining after all." How's that?

We would like to introduce you to Mr. Tom Williams, (AKA Twill59). Tom is just a great guy. He has been contributing to the Roofers CoffeeShop since the beginning. He posts a topic almost every day. Anything from Roofing to being a good dad. He keeps us communicating. The Twillster has even met up and worked with other RCS'ers. He is our roofing brother and we are honored to feature him as our RCS'er of the month.

Tom has been in the roofing industry since 1984 and currently owns ARMARCO Roofing in Kouts, Indiana. He specialized in residential roofing asphalt shingles and EDPM.

RCS: You are a daily contributor, How long have you been contributing to the Forum?

TW - That is a good question. I, like many others on the board, have simply lost track. I would guess 8 yrs. or so.

1) Primary Reason?: I don't know anymore. I'm trapped in the world of virtual roofing. Seriously as I've met at least twelve RCS'ers in person, I do know that we all exist. And I've gotten some real words of wisdom here. Like from Darryl: Overhead. The Silent Killer. And Ole Willie who recently stated when talking about selling: Before you show then how much you know, show them that you care. Several guys can really write well like Mike H., egg and pgriz. They tend to slow me down and cause me to think a little harder.

2) How's Business?: Good actually. We've made a lot of progress in the last three years. Every year gets better. I am more up to the challenges than ever before. We've picked up a little more commercial work, and gotten more profitable in residential too. I've gotten better at the hiring process and with better people comes a better business life in general.

3) Who taught?: Still learning actually. I probablly learned a little from many people along the way. And from books too.When I started roofing and had no money, the library was a valuable resource. If not for roofing then carpentry in general. Roofing is technically a form of carpentry anyway. Spec manuals from mfg'ers. and organizations are a great resource too. Heck look in the Mfgf'ers promotional literature. You'll find tidbits of useful information there too. But if I had to credit someone, I'd say Joe Bales for shingle work. I spent the most time working alongside him and he showed me a lot. For low slope, it's been a matter of dissecting the crappy work I see, asking a lot of questions especially at the RCS- ( you know who you are) and reading and researching.

4) Valuable Lessons?: The lesson of hard work and saving and investing in myself to get ahead. Before roofing it was mostly a concept to me.

5) Valuable lesson? #2: You're on your own. The sooner you get some people on your side the better. It can be a lonely struggle, the walls you build go up quick and are hard to bring down.

6) Best thing did for business?: I started treating it as a business. I changed my thinking and therefore my opportunities increased. I no longer willed my way through jobs. By correcting the organization and pricing better, the business is beginning to run much better. I rented an office and started branding the company. I also started listening to the right people and ignoring the ones who would not care if I failed.

7) 2008 Concerns?: The big economic picture is a concern. Inflation, debt, disposable income, price of gas. I think that AMARCO can compete and do well, but I am not taking anything for granted. I am going to try and maintain my focus regardless of market conditions. Dial in on the numbers. And definitely watch those receivables.

8) Associations?: Yes. MRCA. I just joined the 1st of this year.

9) Beatles or Stones?: Mott the Hoople

10) Perfect Employee?: Loyal (and forgiving). We bosses ain't perfect ya know

11) Best Boss taught what? Man it's been so long since I had a boss. I'd say how to cook onion rings

12) Health Concerns?: None. Simply aging and aches and pains. My worst incidents of pain usually come from doing nothing. If anything, I expect physical activity to keep me fit. This is the year I start some exercising and eating better. My doughnut consumption has dropped to nil. The Little Debbie snack cakes are down too. Hostess Zingers are however holding their own.

13) Hobbies?: Changing diapers. Watching my portfolio shrink and shrivel. Too much fun to mention even. I used to play guitar and actually got good enough to be in a band. I look forward now to fishing, camping and some minor travel w/ the family. And re-learning the little things in life w/ my son who is 3½ , and his little brother who is almost 6 months old.

14) Coke or Pepsi?: A Good Hawaiian Punch

15) Smile?: A good day on the job. Good weather. Good moods and good production. A stress free day. Safe and profitable. And then on top of a successful day on an existing job, sell a new one. Or two.

16) If I could have dinner with any three people dead or alive, who would they be?: Both of my Grandfathers and Ronnie Van Zandt

17) 10 yrs old?: Either a Rock Star. A Pro Athlete. Or a cop. I can't remember what I was thinking at age 10. Whatever it was, I grew out of it, instead of into it.

18) Future goals: To learn how to market the business. To purchase some property for the business. And to one day PLAY MY ELECTRIC GUITAR AGAIN!! Or that damned electric guitar as Bruce Springsteen's Dad and My Dad would say.

19) Tips for the new guy--- Have a plan and have the right tools to get there. Etc etc. Actually there are thousands of books, speakers, schools and organizations to tell you all of that stuff. From Tom Williams to the new guy? Pay yourself last. It may not make you rich, but you will survive and keep you from going broke until you figure out the part about getting rich. You won't fool yourself about how much money you are making (or aren't) and you won't burn any bridges. Or dig any holes for yourself to climb out of. Oh. And know your numbers and don't worry about the other guys out there are doing or how they are pricing.

February 20, 2019 at 8:41 p.m.


Vickie, you are truly "Da Bomb"


February 18, 2019 at 9:03 a.m.


Ran into Tom at the IRE last week.  What a great guy.  Hope he has more time to come back to contributing soon!

March 22, 2013 at 11:10 p.m.


Still going. So is Merle

March 20, 2013 at 11:12 p.m.

The Roofing God

More power to ya Tom,I remember Sammy,in diapers,,Hope all is going well for you,,My copper work fall apart when I left ? :)

February 25, 2013 at 5:57 a.m.

OLE Willie

It is a real honor to be mentioned this way by a truly professional roofer. Thanks!

February 20, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.


Ya know, that is staring straight at me right now Mike. Trying to beat the retirement clock while at the same time struggling with a down economy (dumbazz pricing) + the usual business requirements and trying to implement new products w/ different people.....

I had a busy year last year, and I did not see my boys for much of Oct & Nov into Dec, or spend any real time with them.

February 20, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.

Mike H

Enjoy them both, Tom. They will be gone so fast.

My boys are 24 and 21 now. I got to enjoy #1 for a while, but #2 and I have almost no relationship. It is my one big life regret.

Its funny how we live in this world where most roofers (any biz person really) hope’s they have a child that will take an interest in their life’s work and continue on, yet the same person will look at someone else in that situation and think the kid is a silver spoon. Kid’s faced with trying take over a parent’s biz usually have two options, ride-the-tide of status quo and watch the slow sinking of the ship, or work their ass off to try and take it to the next level. Everyone looks down on the worthless dung heap that sunk the ship, some admire those that carry it higher, many just say silver spoon. I for one can say without reservation that the failure to maintain a close relationship with my 2nd son for the sake of building a business is not a choice I would make again…. If only there were do-overs in this life.

It’s a lot harder to mend fences than to build them right the first time.

February 20, 2013 at 10:01 a.m.


Hey Mike, Sam is always complaining that he wants to be older. 1st he wanted very badly to be five. Now he is practically crying to be Six.... More than anything, he wants to be a Cub Scout (age 7) like his big brother. We do our best with this

Joe OTOH told me last night that he has decided he does not want to hurry growing up.....he wants to stay a kid for a long time. Talk about making Poppa Happy!


February 20, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.

Mike H

And I didn't see the word Dem/Rep anywhere in that interview. Kewl!!

"Sammy's five & Joe is eight."

There's the quote that smacked me between the eyes. This RCS thang has been goin' on for quite a while now, ain't it. Heck, I got a grandson just a year younger than Sammy now.

Its good to see these. I enjoyed the read very much.

February 19, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.


Isn't this that trouble making guy that I hear about? My mother told me to watch out for his kind. :laugh:

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