At 25 years old, Jack Laurie realized he had to work for himself; he had the DNA of an entrepreneur. Luckily, Jack Worthman, who owned and operated Worthman Homes in Ft. Wayne, IN, understood Jack’s predisposition and struck a deal with him. Worthman sponsored Jack's attendance at Armstrong Flooring’s Installation Training School in Lancaster, PA. In return, Jack worked for Worthman Homes doing their floors for a 2-year period after finishing school.
Jack hires two young men (brothers) who lived next door to Jake Carpenter, Joe Orth and Jim Orth. Joe had just graduated from Central Catholic High School and Jim would graduate the following year. These brothers would become the installation engine of the company for the next 40 years. Their craftsmanship, honesty and work ethic strengthened and grew the company’s customer base and employee base.
The company hires Jeff Capuano as a project manager in the Indianapolis market. Jeff becomes an outstanding producer for the company. He eventually moves into management and becomes a big driver of the company’s growth. Jeff is now senior vice president of the company and runs a significant part of the company’s operations.
The company purchases a sports floor company and makes a strategic hire in this new area. This is the beginnings of Jack Laurie Specialty Surfaces. The purchase launches the company into selling and installing sport floors throughout the Midwest. The company also purchases Crown Distributing in Lafayette, IN. This acquisition strengthens the company’s commercial flooring market share in the Lafayette, IN market.
The company hires Tom Postell. Tom rises through the ranks and soon is leading all of the commercial installation services. His leadership role now encompasses the management and oversight of more than 200 field employees. Tom is a vice president of the company who led the Department of Labor bonafide apprenticeship certification – a huge accomplishment for him and the company.
The company opens a second residential location in the Indiana Design Center in Carmel, Indiana – Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs #2. The company also purchases Charter Place, a boutique higher-end residential flooring covering store in Fort Wayne. This acquisition rolls into Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs in Fort Wayne.
The company also hired Brian Collins. Brian brought a tremendous amount of recruiting and sales expertise to the company. This skill set was invaluable as the company was on an aggressive growth initiative and a proactive sales initiative. Brian now leads People Operations and Marketing/Communications for the company.
The company purchases Engineered Flooring Incorporated (EFI) in Indianapolis. This launches Jack Laurie into the epoxy and resinous flooring business. This acquisition rolls into the previous sport floor acquisition. The combination makes Jack Laurie Specialty Surfaces a significant part of the company.