All in the Family
Trust runs deep and innovation prevails at Associated Concrete Coatings, LLC
How do you create a family legacy? You start with establishing a vision, beliefs and values that tell the story of cultivating personal, familial and business success. That is exactly what David Guimont sought to do when he purchased Associated Concrete Coatings, LLC (ACC) in 1999. The business was originally founded in 1969 by Maurice Morin and George Boisvert. David, having worked at their company since the late 1970s, saw a promising future if he could learn, move up the ranks, and position himself to one day own, operate and grow the company.
Fast forward 40 years and ACC is a thriving concrete repair and specialty coatings contracting business now managed by David’s four children: Danielle Tuttle as Chief Financial Officer, Jeff and Marc Guimont are Project Managers, and Christine Hall is Chief Operating Officer. Christine’s husband, Tom Hall, is President of the company and the siblings all have one child employed at ACC. Christine notes that her father, David, would be pleased to see four of his grandchildren solidifying their future by working for the company he worked so hard to build.
According to Christine, David invited his children into the business because he was looking for people he could trust. It turned out to be a very smart move. “Each of us has always had defined roles and that works well for us. None of us could step into another’s shoes. Our individual expertise, when combined, results in a great collaborative leadership structure. My dad would be very proud.”
Headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, ACC has a strong reputation in the larger New England region. The company has 35 employees and provides solutions like concrete repair, concrete deck coatings, industrial floor coatings (epoxy and urethane), waterproofing (exterior foundation and air/vapor barriers), and caulking and sealants. ACC has established a powerful niche within the parking garage and concrete repair and restoration markets. Salt (accompanied by dirt) abound in New England, which accelerates the debonding of sealants and caulking from concrete. When those connections fail, the ACC team steps in to restore buildings, pools, tunnels, tank and pump stations and dams.
Protecting its Clients and Those They Serve
Keeping water out of buildings is important—and protecting homes means a lot to the crew at ACC. “The only residential work we do is foundation waterproofing for new homes, and it’s about 25% of our business,” Christine says. The Greater Boston area, like much of the United States, is experiencing a housing shortage that began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christine is thankful to an active residential housing construction market in New England. “Because land is so expensive, we’re seeing a lot of activity in large-sale apartment buildings. The first floor is often underground parking, so the foundations are large with taller than normal walls. We provide waterproofing on those structures in addition to air barriers, which is a waterproof coating that goes on the sheathing before the exterior finishes.”
ACC offers waterproofing and damp-proofing systems that meet VOC-reduction requirements, reduce air infiltration and allow vapor moisture to escape. This coating is great for insulation but also helps increase energy efficiency.
Christine says that the ACC team is proud to be working on important projects for the residents of Manchester. Case in point: The company recently finished a big parking garage project for Wall Street Tower, a high-rise apartment building with a five-level garage underneath.
According to Danielle, retaining clients happens when you are honest. “We do what we say we’re going to do. I remember a project we bid on where the client felt our cost was too high. They selected another company that promised it could do the job under budget. The company ultimately failed to deliver and the client came back to us saying, ‘We made a huge mistake.’ ”
Christine agrees that being honest is key, noting that ACC doesn’t believe in starting a job by anticipating change orders. In other words, the job is executed in a manner that speaks to “doing it right the first time.” She says, “We are always honest with our clients and let them know exactly what it takes to perform well. Then, we do it.”
Lifting Up Communities
In keeping with their dad’s vision, the leaders at ACC enjoy working on important projects for their local neighborhood. For Christine, a small but impactful project comes to mind—a Civil War Veterans Memorial fountain for the City of Manchester, “We live and work here,” she says. “We take pride in giving back to our city.” Erected in 1880, the fountain at Veteran’s Park was in disrepair. ACC removed all the deteriorated concrete, repoured the walls and waterproofed the fountain. ACC then partnered with another company that restored the bronze statues, and the final product was a beautiful restoration, one of which the ACC team is very proud.
Company leaders also look for ways to give back beyond working on meaningful projects. Christine, Danielle, Jeff and Marc are involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. Christine says, “As children we spent a lot of time there. It really helped shape us into the independent people that we are today so we’ve been giving back to the organization for years.” ACC also adopts a family at Thanksgiving and Christmas through its partnership with the Boys & Girls Club. “They call us alumni and we love it. We talk about how things were back in the day and how they can be better and our role in that.”
Our People, Our Experts
Of ACC’s 35 employees, the majority have been with the company for decades, including the senior management team. Danielle says, “Our staff members care about and are proud of the work we do. I see some of our guys taking pictures of a finished job and posting on their own Facebook pages how excited they are about certain projects.”
This point resonates with Christine, as well. She wants employees who care about what they do. “We have employees in the field who have been here for over 30 years. We value them because they are the face of the company in the field.”
Staff members are afforded the freedom to make their own decisions, and because ACC leadership respects them and sees their commitment, it results in a dedicated, knowledgeable team.
Danielle continues, “Our long-term and more experienced staff like to mentor and push the younger guys. I know that our success is based on the talented people we have. They care, and the small-town culture really resonates within ACC’s walls as well.”
Looking to the future, there is a desire to see the grandchildren continue the ACC legacy. “We just want our kids to be successful and happy. We’d like to retire in 10 years and know that we’re leaving the business in good hands. We would love to see this third generation thrive as we have.”
And, thrive the company will, thanks to the culture its founder left behind. When David Guimont set his sights on creating a culture where you do the job the right way the first time and don’t cut corners, you build a reputation for being the best. Now that is a family legacy worth further investment.