Charlie Penner of HL Restoration Talks Company Culture and Answers Rapid Fire Questions

The HL Restoration Impacting Midwest Industries vlog series is where our very own Steve Tutt speaks with our industry partners and others about what they do, their passion, and the great things they are doing in the Midwest all while having a little bit of fun! Click here to view all of our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Steve Tutt: Welcome to HL Restoration Impacting Midwest Industries. I’m Steve along with Charlie Penner, President and Co-Owner of HL Restoration. Welcome, Charlie!

Charlie Penner: Thank you, Steve! Good to be here.

How the HL Restoration Impacting Midwest Industries Vlogs Came to Life

ST: Our business development team brought this vlog idea to the table a long time ago, well about probably a few months ago. What do you think about the vlog idea when we brought it to you, Charlie?

CP: First of all, I wasn’t aware of what a vlog was but, as with so many things, I have all the confidence that the BD team was going to vet it and figure it out, then the next thing I know I’m sitting here and we’re actually doing it, which is really cool.

ST: Yeah, I’m sure after many years of being in the restoration industry you wouldn’t have thought you might be here with headphones and a microphone in front of your face doing vlogging and YouTubing.

CP: Well if you would have told me ten years ago that one of the great ideas is

that we are going to be able to bring our industry partners in here, allow them to have the ability to talk about the great things they’re doing in their industry, the great things they are doing and how that affects the rest of the Midwest and other companies that they do business with. That would have been a concept where I would have said, “Umm, I’d have to see that first.”

But if you would have told me three years ago that you would use a Matterport camera to walk into a facility, take three-dimensional photographs and measure all at the same time, and then send that camera footage to whoever would needs it and that person can actually walk through the structure and see exactly what everyone’s looking at. The same thing with the Mavic drones that we have. They can go out, fly a structure and they’re actually measuring the structure at that time they’re photographing the damage. People don’t have to get on the structures and that kind of technology is amazing. It’s new, it’s on the forefront, and we pride ourselves in staying very up-to-date on that.

(Charlie wouldn’t have believed three years ago that technology like the Matterport camera and the Mavic drones could be a reality until he saw it happen – just like this vlog series!)

The Importance of Client Communication and Company Culture

ST: Yeah and it’s fantastic! Charlie, I want to make sure everybody understands the history a little bit. With me, myself, I am your Director of Business Development and Marketing right now but before I came along to HL Restoration, I actually used you guys as a vendor. I was a property manager at the time and you guys would always do my mitigation and any type of construction of jobs that I had as negotiated work – which is what we called it. You know the one thing I wanted to share with people because it’s important. The main reason that I came to this company is because of the way that you guys handled yourselves with me as a property manager.

When I was a property manager, as everybody knows property managers have a very large workload and anything that can lighten that workload is something that we want and I was always trying to pair myself up with vendors that would lighten that load. What I mean by that is the communication.

Communication is off-the-charts with HL restoration and I’m happy to report that anytime that I talk to anyone but the reason for that is because I don’t have to chase answers. I didn’t have to call people and say “Hey, where are you at? Where’s the project at? How’s it coming along?” You guys would send out updates to me daily on the mitigation side, weekly on the construction side, and I would just forward those updates on to my board members or anybody that needs to be in the know. I loved it and it really helped us out a lot!

CP: Well, thank you Steven and one of the really important things, in this industry especially, is absolutely communication. We need that. We out communicate all, I mean everybody, that’s one of our goals. Our core focus is, “Honest, Professional, and Committed.”

The thing that makes HL restoration truly the great company it is are the people that are involved in it. We’ve been together a long time; we’re coming up on 15 years. Our job is to turn chaos into organization. When people contact us, something has gone terribly wrong and most of the clientele has not gone through this kind of a situation ever or rarely and this is the world we live in each and every day.

We’re experts in taking existing structures apart and putting existing structures back together again but again it comes down to the people and our team is magnificent, safety, of course, is top priority at all times, communication and then developing relationships – which is what this is all really about. It’s continuing to develop relationships with our industry partners and giving them a venue to talk about the great things that they’re doing and how the great things they’re doing are impacting the Midwest.

ST: Yeah, I think another way is to get the industry partners to come in and take a look at our facility and actually get to know the people within the company because I’m telling you right

now the culture here at HL restoration is compared to no other that I’ve ever worked for so I’m excited about that. Tell us, with this format of putting this all together and letting our industry partners and others come in and tell us about their passion and what they do, let’s start with HL

Restoration. Tell us a little bit about HL and the background of it, how it all became, and why you’re passionate about what you’re doing and why you got in.

CP: Well, we’re a commercial construction company that operates in the restoration industry. As I said before, we take buildings apart and we put them back together again. We are very very passionate. To thrive in this industry, you have to like to help people because when they’re contacting us they’re not calling to tell us that they’re having a great day. They’re calling to tell us that something is terribly wrong and they need to be able to know that we’re there with

them, that we’ve walked these roads many many times, and we can help guide them

back to the pre-loss position that they were in and do it effectively and do it quickly.

ST: That’s great and one thing you mentioned is that you have been in business about 15 years

CP: Right, coming up on 15 years!

Rapid Fire Question Round with Charlie Penner

ST: So, again folks, we want to just fire this off with Charlie with HL restoration so you could kind of see what we’re trying to do here.

CP: Here it goes.

ST: Haha! What? Where am I going with this?

CP: Nevermind.

(If you watch the video you will see that Charlie is, in fact, smiling and having a good time!)

ST: We’re gonna have a little fun with Charlie and we’re gonna have a little fun with you when you come into your interview. We’re gonna get to know Charlie a little bit better. I’m gonna ask you a few questions, Charlie. It’s gonna be rapid-fire. You have to answer them really quick.

CP: I do not know these questions in advance – just full disclosure.

ST: Alright, you ready?

CP: I’m ready.

ST: Are you a morning person or night person?

CP: Morning.

ST: What color is your toothbrush?

CP: Blue.

ST: Who is your favorite superhero?

CP: Steve Tutt!

ST: Yeah! There you go! I like that! we won’t edit that out. Charlie, I just let you know that you can only say one word today. What word would you use?

CP: Awesome.

ST: What was the best thing before sliced bread?

CP: Sliced turkey.

ST: Who would you put on Mount Rushmore?

CP: Donald Trump.

ST: Haha! Remember you can comment underneath and subscribe to our YouTube channel. I’m sure we’re gonna get some really interesting comments on that one. Charlie, thank you again for allowing us to do this and thank you for letting the team put this room together. It’s fantastic. We’re gonna have a whole lot of fun on this journey and I owe it all to you to allow us to even attempt this.

CP: Well, I would prefer to give credit where credit is due and that is you and your team putting this together and making it all happen so thank you very much.

ST: Thank you, Charlie and if you guys are interested in doing an interview with us, make sure you just email me or call me and/or subscribe make a comment down below. We’ll follow up with you, we’ll get you booked. We’ve got a lot of people already booked and we’ve got some exciting interviews coming up so hopefully, you’ll stay tuned and subscribe. We’ll see you at the next one!

If you want to see more videos from our vlog series, click here! If you would like to know more about HL Restoration, click below.

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