PCA Helps Build Generational Wealth
Since its inception, PCA’s mission has been to provide dedicated craftsmen in the painting industry with access to opportunities and resources that will improve their skills, broaden their knowledge, and overall position them for success in the future.
Ville Painters, located in Lancaster Pennsylvania, is a family business that has truly reaped the benefits of the PCA for generations. Son of Ville Painters’ founder Steve Dietrich, Christofer Dietrich will spend the upcoming year collaborating closely with W.W. Nash & Sons and Holtz & Son before joining the family firm full-time. Thanks to the connections amongst these businesses that have lasted through the years, Christofer has been granted this opportunity, which will enable him to learn more about the industry and gain fresh insights from masters of the trade who have succeeded in generational business ventures.
The Long-Lasting Relationships of Three Painting Businesses
Both Rick Holtz, owner of Holtz Painting, and Leslie West, Human Resources Manager at W.W. Nash, were able to get to know Steve Deitrich at PCA’s Middle Atlantic Council through their parents. They believe having connections with other painting professionals helped keep them accountable as they began to get more involved in their families’ businesses. Twice a year, they would see each other at PCA conventions, and Rick explained that when his father handed him his business, Steve was there to see it be pushed forward.
“I think they thought it would be beneficial for Christofer to do the same thing and kind of build off of the foundation his Dad made. I was flattered that they still saw a value in that relationship years later,” said Rick.
Despite the fact that they are technically competitors, Leslie stated that she was unaware of any other industry with such long-standing relationships across generations, emphasizing how unique it actually is.
Gaining Industry Experience from Other Generational Businesses
Over the years, Christofer attended PCA council and conference sessions with his father. This gave him the opportunity to directly experience the events and develop an early appreciation for the value of the networking possibilities.
“He got to meet with and learn from a lot of the same people that I learned from. Then, when he was 17, Christofer decided he wanted to get involved in the family business, so he searched for schools that had a focus on family business opportunities,” said Steve.
After consulting with one of his business mentors and anticipating Christofer’s upcoming graduation from Alfred University, Steve came to the decision that Christofer would benefit from working outside the family firm, because it would provide him with a variety of unique professional development possibilities.
“I turned to Nash and Holtz as two companies I admired,” said Steve. “They were both third and fourth generations so not only can they show Christofer a wealth of experience regarding the way they train their people and run their business, but also the interactions between the generations and how to work with your Dad in the business and so forth.”
Providing A Full Circle of Knowledge
Although Christofer’s first goal in collaborating with W.W. Nash and Holtz & Sons was to obtain a unique perspective on the painting business, it soon became clear that he wouldn’t be the only party gaining from this collaboration.
“I don’t know how other people do it, I’ve worked for this business my whole life,” said Leslie. “We hope he brings to us new ideas that kids learn in college now. It’s not presented to us quite as readily as he would have had in the classroom setting, so it’s nice to get his perspective.”
Christofer has expressed his excitement for learning how businesses that are best class in their area built their reputation, as he’s only seen how his family did things at their business in Pennsylvania.
“I don’t want to go back home and try to change everything we’ve been doing for the past 30 plus years. I have no intention of doing that. It’s worked very well for my dad and provided for my family thus far,” said Christofer. “What I am learning here is how businesses in another area have built their reputation. The type of work may be different, or the products they use, but there’s no right or wrong. Only different.”
Expressing Homage to the PCA
These companies have maintained a strong generational bond throughout the years and have consistently supported one another in a variety of ways. They acknowledged PCA’s purpose and the reality that their connections wouldn’t be as strong without it.
“I just see this opportunity here as the quintessential meaning of PCA. Helping each other and having open and honest communication. I mean we’re competitors, but this is what PCA has always stood for. The sharing of knowledge, and the family atmosphere,” said Leslie.
According to Rick, the connections that the PCA provides its members with are essential because, while professionals grow and learn from their own experiences, the organization enables them to share those experiences with others, resulting in much faster development and learning.
“I know I’ll have people to ask for help in the future, and the PCA is what we have to thank for that knowledge base,” said Christofer. “It has helped us along the way and will help new contractors when they venture into what is a very niche field.”
About The Author
Daphne Young is PCA’s Blog Writer, responsible for concentrating her efforts on collaborating with thought-leaders in the painting industry to write articles appealing to PCA’s audience and offer further insight about the industry.