Otter Creek co-owner Todd Warren had the bad luck to buy his company the same week the Great Recession began. “It was an opportunity for us to get good at the things we’d been lazy about,” says Warren.

Since the downturn, he’s run into some better odds. The operation consists of two companies selling three separate products: awnings (mostly residential), sunrooms, and custom-built closets. Otter Creek relies on an array of 15 different lead sources, including television and direct mail.

 Last year, the company had more than 1,000 sales appointments. Balancing offer-driven ads with branding and an active networking effort—including through the local Home Builders Association—enables the company to sell more work and sustain its aura as a local business. That’s important to Vermont consumers.


  • Offers monthly bonus opportunities based on reaching sales and installation targets, posted monthly in the break room, customer surveys, and success in exceeding monthly revenue targets.
  • Has been, for the last five years, the number one dealer for its awning supplier, Durasol.
  • Teams up with the Athletic Department at the University of Vermont to continually promote the annual Rally Against Cancer, and participates as a fund raiser and a contributor.
  • Helps build brand with the “brilliant” shade of red (graphics in yellow) its 11 trucks are painted with.