Dave Theobald of Turman Commercial Painters

Contractor Q&A: Dave Theobald on How to Compete from Multiple Locations

Dave Theobald spent 17 years as a general contractor before joining his father-in-law’s company, Turman Commercial Painters. Founded in 1972, the company has grown under Theobald’s leadership into a nationwide firm that has completed more than 10,000 locations across the U.S.

What was the biggest turning point for your company?

A major turning point for the business was the purchase of Washington Commercial Painters in 2000. As we now had offices in different states, it forced us to invest in technology to effectively communicate and perform jobs in multiple states. This led to our first job requiring major travel, a 360 site job for AT&T in 10 states we performed in eight weeks. The multi-state platform set up our ability to acquire other West Coast offices, which culminated in the East Coast headquarters and the national capabilities we have today.

How important are quality paint products to your work?

If we don’t have great coatings, that can lead to product failures which creates risk of re-doing work, unhappy clients and a ruined reputation. In the same respect, good coatings can have an equally strong impact. They limit risk, provide great solutions and can literally win you a client for life.

Giving back to the community is a strong part of your company culture. Can you tell us more about that?

In the ‘pay it forward’ spirit, we created what we call The People’s Stimulus Package. We gave each of our 200-plus employees a packet of eye-catching $2 bills totaling $200 each to spend at their community shops to help stimulate the local economy and help others. The response has been remarkable as more than 50 other companies across the country have stepped up to participate, injecting over $200,000 in local communities.

Portions of this Contractor Q&A were originally published in an article about Turman Commercial Painters in the Spring 2011 issue of PPC magazine. Dave Theobold was interviewed by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Read more about what pro painters have discovered on the job in the PPC What I’ve Learned archive.