OnFocus – On October 29, Quality Roofing, Inc officially was honored as Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “2020 Firm of the Year” in a small in-person and broader virtual celebration. Since 1943, Quality Roofing has been proudly serving Wisconsin as a leader in commercial roofing and sheet metal services.
Founded by Victor Koenig, Quality Roofing was a relatively small company through 1990 – doing mostly residential work, some small business roofs, and retail for shingles and roofing products.
In 1990, Mark and Pat Begotka purchased the company after seeing a classified ad in the newspaper, and have since grown the company into a strong industry leader.
“In 1990, we were living in Oshkosh, Mark had just finished his business degree, and we were both very interested in business,” said Pat. “It so happened in Marshfield there was a classified ad posted for a roofing company for sale and the owner was willing to finance. We met Vic at that point and were able to negotiate with him to take over ownership of Quality Roofing.”
Though having limited roofing experience, the couple did have a passion for business. Pat had experience with her family’s business in Clark County and Mark had family with businesses in his native Manitowoc, as well as had operated a fishing business to put himself through college.
“Our interest was really we just wanted to be in business together,” said Mark. “I think it was Pat’s dad that had seen the classified ad and passed it along to us. If the article would have said anything, that’s the business we’d probably be in today. We could be selling popcorn or selling cars or manufacturing whatever.”
“It was something we could afford,” he continued. “I do have an uncle that has a heating and sheet metal business and I installed barn roofs for one summer so I felt like I had all the knowledge I needed… which was completely wrong… but that’s what we worked off of.”
Since those early days, Mark and Pat have grown Quality Roofing into a substantial company. In 2016, the couple opened a second location in Menomonie. They attribute their success in business to the people surrounding them and the dedication of their crews.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the employees and the people that work here. They have so many capabilities. We’ve had some really good, smart people,” said Mark.
“A lot of it comes down to having the good fortune of being surrounded by good people,” added Pat. “I started out marrying Mark and did very well there, and we’ve had the good fortune of hiring very good people, staying out of their way and letting them take on their positions.”
Pat added that dedicated customers have also been important to Quality Roofing’s success.
“We’ve surrounded ourselves with good customers,” she said. “We’ve had some of our customers going on 30 years and have developed really strong relationships with them. It’s all about relationships, and we’ve had a lot of good fortune with that.”
“Our crew is second to none. We have some of the hardest working people anywhere. They turn out some terrific projects,” said Mark. “They work a lot of hours, a lot of on the road, a lot away from families. Their families certainly help us a lot. It’s been hard – roofing always is hard – but add COVID to it, add the rioting to it, and it’s even scary now, but they’ve trooped through it like it wasn’t any problem. We couldn’t ask for anything else. They always come through.”
The crews take pride in their work, something Mark and Pat also attribute to their success.
“It means a lot to my staff and crews here if they can drive by a building and tell their kids ‘hey, I put the roof on that building’,” she said. “There’s just a lot of pride about that, and it’s one of the more fun things about our trade. That they can go down Central Avenue and point at projects they’ve done in their community is really cool. Recently, the guys are particularly proud of their work on the State Capitol building. It’s something they’ll always be able to tell their family they were a part of. And they have every reason to be proud of it.”
Being able to work on significant projects such as Lambeau Field, the Kohl Center, and now the Wisconsin State Capitol are all things Mark, Pat, and the whole team are proud of.
“The bid process is very competitive, which is something that works well with our personalities in the business,” said Pat. “To get the winning bid on a larger project or local project is something we take a lot of pride in and work very hard towards. Estimating and getting it right is a big part of our business. We’re able to bid the biggest projects in Madison. That’s a point of honor. We’re very proud to do that, make our mark in Madison and bring the money back home to Marshfield. I think our whole company takes on a competitive personality as far as how well we get it done.”
“When we were younger, we’d do a happy dance when we got a project,” said Mark. “Now there are so many projects, we’d just be dancing all day instead of working!”
Quality is in the name and a point of emphasis for the business.
“We get awards from Firestone every year for the quality of our work,” said Mark. “They keep track of leak calls on our warrantied work and we are usually very high on a list of companies around the world. We try to install the best roof that’s going to give people the most value.”
He added that not only is putting on a good roof important, but following up and providing customer service throughout the life of that roof.
“Our emphasis is that we follow up and we treat that customer like it’s our building,” he said. “I try to emphasize to all of our people that we need to get immediately back out to them, whether it be the State Capitol or a small business in a small town. Everyone needs to be treated equally. We look at it more that we are a service company. A lot of times when we get to a building owner, the leak usually isn’t the roof but that doesn’t do the building owner any good for us to say ‘well, it isn’t us’ and we usually try to track the problem down, fix if we can, or track down someone who can. We usually try to provide a solution along with our service.”
It’s this passion for quality, hard work, and community that has helped Quality Roofing stand out as a local business leader. The company is involved in many local nonprofit projects, including Kiwanis Enormous Equipment Playground (KEEP), Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation Trap Shoot, local school programs – the list goes on and on.
The couple is passionate about helping people, especially those who might not get a chance otherwise.
“When we can do something with Opportunity Development Center or people that have been in trouble in life and need a chance, that’s our passion,” said Pat. “We have a number of guys here that are just out of prison and I often say that working with them is some of the most important stuff that we do. It’s exceptional to watch them come in with their head down because they think their future isn’t bright and they’ve made some mistakes and then they really develop and learn the trade and all of a sudden they’re holding that head high and doing well. For me, that’s the highlight of being in this business. I love getting involved in that and seeing them flourish.”
“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Mark. “We want to see our city be successful and be a good place for everyone to live. We’ve certainly benefited from Marshfield and giving back is just part of what we need to do to keep Marshfield going.”
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