Dave Sitton Profile
It is safe to say that Spokane Roofing Company co-owner Dave Sitton knows roofing from the ground up, in more ways than one.
Sitton and his son Jeff purchased the company only 15 years ago. By that time, Dave had already been working in construction and roofing for almost 35 years, and worked as an estimator for SRC since 1990. He is a local boy who graduated from West Valley High School and chose to stay in Spokane to raise his family.
The Kelly family had owned the business since 1907. When owner Ed Kelly indicated his readiness for retirement, Dave was ready to take on his new role as an owner. How he got to that point is a compelling story. One, which to Dave, truly indicates the value of continuing education.
He was working for J.F. Shea Co., Inc., on a project at Deaconess Hospital in the mid-1980’s when he fell 15 feet, broke both heels and was walking on crutches for three years. That kept him off the ladders he had used working jobs on bridges, schools, and hospitals for Shea and for Lydig Construction. It sent him to Spokane Community College (SCC) in a Project Management program, too.
School changed my life, he says now.
It wasn’t easy – I’d been out of school for 20 years when I had my accident, and it was tough. I was studying most nights until midnight.
Sitton stayed at Shea for several years, eventually coming to Spokane Roofing Company as a residential estimator for Ed Kelly, for whom he still has nothing but praise.
Ed Kelly was a great guy to work for, just so trustworthy and honest. I’d worry about it if I made a mistake when I first got here, but to him, it was no big deal.
Dave’s experience at SCC changed everything for him, and eventually revolutionized business practices at Spokane Roofing Company. He had become familiar with AutoCAD® (computer-assisted design) at a time when Spokane Roofing did not even own a computer. He was the first estimator in the area to use a laptop computer for on-site estimates.
Convincing both potential customers and his professional colleagues that the computer age had arrived was not all smooth sailing. With time and training, they got onboard. When the time came for Ed Kelly to retire, Dave had already determined that he wanted the name, the building, and the business.
His son Jeff came to work at Spokane Roofing on the first day Dave was the boss. Their skills complement each other: Dave’s extensive experience in construction and roofing, and Jeff’s marketing skills. Jeff started out in sales and bookkeeping, but he had some basic roofing knowledge from being around his dad, and became a co-owner several years ago.
They hold the same business and personal values. It is easy to understand the respect both fellow contractors and customers have for Spokane Roofing Company.
I started out as a hard worker, and I always gave my employers good value on the job. I have always felt that it is just as important in business as it is in your life to treat everybody the way you want to be treated. I really believe that strong personal values make for a strong business plan.