Greg Sattler took over management of his father’s painting company, Thomas Sattler Painting, in 1992. As a second generation owner, Greg had learned a lot about running the family business from his father, but he didn’t realize how much more the company could improve. Joining PDCA in 1992 was a catalyst for change in the way the company was run and in Greg himself.
“I’m second generation so my father taught me a lot, but PDCA continues to be a great advantage,” says Greg. “For people that don’t have the opportunity of having a family member or father to learn from, PDCA is even more of an asset. It is a great resource for businesses that are growing and especially if that company isn’t really established yet.”
Thomas Sattler Painting didn’t take the normal route to joining PDCA, according to Greg. Around the same time he took over management there was a program in Ohio offering group rates for worker’s comp. The PDCA Ohio Council was joining as a group for the discounted rate, and was one of only a few groups of its kind at the time. Greg recognized this unique opportunity to become a member of a valuable industry organization and decided to join.
“It was somewhat of an unconventional way to join PDCA,” says Greg, who is now the President of PDCA’s Ohio-Indiana Council. “Most companies first join because they hear about the education or the networking available at PDCA, but we really initially joined for that group rate. Once we were in PDCA we really liked it and decided to stay.”
Greg says that those first few years as a PDCA Member were some of the most transformative years of his professional experience. PDCA National Conventions and local conventions such as the PDCA Residential Forum’s Advanced Shop Talk (AST) opened his eyes to all the ways he could help his business improve.
“I went to my first PDCA convention with eyes wide open,” says Greg, recalling some of his fondest PDCA memories. “The biggest thing really is the networking. You pick up things from people all along the way, and those first few years of PDCA were really helpful. The Denver Shop Talk hosted by the Residential Forum was one of the best times. It’s really run by the contractors and it was all discussions on different aspects of the business.”
Now Greg is more than just an active member of PDCA, he is a leader. He has held various roles in the Ohio-Indiana Council, and is currently President of that Council. He is also President of the Toledo Chapter, a branch of the Ohio-Indiana Council, as well as a member of the PDCA Residential Forum.
“In a nutshell, I didn’t say ‘No’,” says Greg, talking about his journey to PDCA Leadership. “Once we joined I started going to local chapter meetings and I saw there was a lot of networking and good information there. They would report on what was happening in the Ohio Council and I started going to the Ohio Council convention. Eventually I made my way into a leadership position.”
Greg says the connections he has made have helped tremendously. “I’ve become good friends with a lot of suppliers that I don’t normally buy paint from, learned new ways of doing things, seen new technology. There are also referrals you can get from fellow contractors. We don’t all do the same type of work and it’s nice to be able to pass it along to a PDCA person, someone you can trust to do the job well.”
Now Thomas Sattler Painting is performing better than ever. “It’s funny,” says Greg. “When I first started I was looking to my dad for advice and guidance, and now he comes to me asking about the best products. It just goes to show that everything changes so quickly, and if you are out of the business even for 6 months, let alone a few years, then you might not have the latest information. PDCA has really helped me stay up to date on that.”