Homeowners, fearful of losing their jobs in Northeast Ohio, a region hard hit by recession, often prefer to get the roof fixed rather than replace it. “My salesmen want to sell a roof,” Absolute Roofing & Construction owner Chris Kamis (back row, left, with Michael, back, center) says. “But they don’t lie about the options. They explain the merits of roof repair versus a new roof.”

Kamis, a one-time apprentice carpenter and chimney sweep, responded to a 1987 layoff by starting a company in his dining room. The business plan he put together called for him to “grow, but grow slowly enough to control it.” Today the company divides its efforts between construction and quality niche roofing jobs.

A year and a half ago the company implemented its Customer Complete Satisfaction Experience program “to ensure that the customer is getting the best possible service from the time they call in to the time they pay the bill and beyond,” Kamis says. That and the systems to make it happen helped Absolute Roofing & Construction penetrate more affluent areas where homeowners’ first consideration is the quality — not the cost — of the job. “I love this business, and I love construction,” Kamis says

- Jim Cory