The LeafFilter team oversees offices across the United States and Canada, and many of our most interesting stories and tales of success come from local offices. Local teams get to know customers and cultures in their respective communities, and they offer insight into one of the most important aspects of the business. We sat down with Jay McClung, Ops Manager of the St. Louis office, to discuss life in STL.
LeafFilter: Thanks so much for joining me! Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been with our brand?
Jay McClung: Sure! I first started with LeafFilter in September of 2013. Chris Counahan, Matt Kaulig, and myself all started at a local construction company. In 2013, Chris introduced me to the company and said that there were many territories I could consider, and I said, “Well, I like St. Louis.” I had some friends here and I had been here via my previous history in the home improvement industry, so I was comfortable with the culture here.
LeafFilter: St. Louis is actually a really cool city, and landmarks like Forest Park are so neat. It’s got a pretty big metropolitan area, too. How big is your team?
Jay: Oh boy, it’s pretty big. We have 25 technicians/installers, we have seven installation team members, which includes service techs, PMs or IMs, service manager, and a field trainer. And then I currently have 14 reps, I’m recruiting and will probably have four more by the end of the week. I actually just had my team cut down by four reps because they moved to new offices we opened.
LeafFilter: Our brand has certainly allowed a lot of people to move into new markets as we’ve grown. How has LeafFilter grown since you first joined back in 2013?
Jay: Oh, it’s like night and day. In 2013, the only marketing we had was events and shows. Our first building in St. Louis was 1100 square feet. I had one IM, I had one marketing manager. Things have grown and changed dramatically since then. The building we are in now is 10,000 square feet, I think. I think back then we had maybe 13 or 14 offices.
LeafFilter: Amazing to see all of that growth… as LeafFilter is well over 100 offices strong now. Let’s talk more about the St. Louis office. What kinds of unique weather conditions does our gutter guard face in that area?
Jay: Our winters here are very mild. Snow doesn’t stick around for very long. It does get cold in January and February, but the summer months historically… sometimes those months are a bit soft in terms of workload, because it’s 105 degrees outside. Our installation teams struggle on those days, we try to get out earlier to get the jobs done because it gets so hot. We cater water, Gatorade, keep coolers for them to keep them motivated throughout those summer days. You don’t want anyone getting heat stroke.
LeafFilter: Yeah, that kind of heat can be scary. What kind of precipitation do you see in that area?
Jay: We do get quite a bit, particularly circa the First Quarter into the beginning of the Second Quarter of the year. All that rain generates lots of appointments for people, because they take notice of how their gutters are performing and realize they could use some help.
LeafFilter: Understandably, heat waves and heavy rain are two different extremes. I know our team has answered a lot of questions about the durability of LeafFilter, as some homeowners worry about the possibility of the uPVC warping or fading in the sun. Your team is in the field… have they ever seen anything like that with our product?
Jay: No, actually. I would say overall, we spot check jobs. Our field trainer or field manager does a great job with that. Some of our reps in St. Louis do it, I do it myself. We spot check these things to make sure LeafFilter is installed correctly and prepped to perform.
LeafFilter: Is there any situation that you recall as particularly memorable in St. Louis? Whether that’s a weird weather event or something unique your team did, we’d love to learn about it.
Jay: You know, anytime there is a hailstorm – we get a lot of those here, and those seem to be pretty memorable. Last year we saw a tornado rip through Columbia, Missouri… which we just opened a new LeafFilter office in. We used to have the largest territory for the company, we covered that area before the new office opened. We saw a lot of storm damage, so a lot of people wanted to consider new gutters and gutter guards. What’s remarkable is that LeafFilter protects and saves the gutter from storm damage, from hail damage. So the people in that area that already had our product were more equipped to ride out the storm.
LeafFilter: Yes, that’s so true! There’s obviously a lot of perks to having LeafFilter on your home… but it’s also great from the employee side of things, too. In your opinion, why should someone consider joining the LeafFilter team?
Jay: It’s just really a unique opportunity to be with one of the fastest growing companies, and one you see everywhere. The name ‘LeafFilter’ is so recognizable and impressionable. I was at a Cardinals game last weekend wearing a red LeafFilter hat, and people were commenting on it. People really know this brand, and we’ve created such a positive image. We’re very proud of that in the St. Louis office.
LeafFilter: Amazing, we love hearing about that kind of camaraderie. Do you attribute that culture to our overall success as a company?
Jay: Yes, but I also think the key to our success is in our hiring and training. We’re always growing, and I think growing our team with the best people possible contributes greatly to our success. After we hire, we train those people constantly to become more productive and even better than they were last week. Then, we motivate them to replicate that success.
LeafFilter: Yes, replicating success is important to create continued excellence. What do you think the future holds for the Leaf family of brands?
Jay: (Laughs) Oh, I think the possibilities are endless. I hope we continue to grow with the same passion under the same leadership to replicate the explosive growth we’ve seen in the past three years or so. That would be my hope. We’re growing very, very quickly… but there are so many changes and optimizations in progress that are speeding the process up.
LeafFilter: And just how fast is that process?
Jay: Oh, it’s incredible. I started in the home improvement industry with windows… right out of college. It took six weeks after a customer purchased windows for them to get those windows. We’re selling and installing jobs in the same day here at Leaf. The speed in which our business operates dictates just how successful we are.
LeafFilter: Very true. Appreciate you chatting today, Jay! It’s been amazing getting some insight into your team. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Jay: Just that the St. Louis team is truly amazing. Working with this team has been a treat, and it’s a tight-knit group that makes coming to work something I look forward to.
LeafFilter truly has a culture like no other. From a TNT (“Today, not tomorrow”) mentality to an interconnectedness that continues whether we work in-person or over video calls, LeafFilter’s strength is not just in the quality materials it uses to produce the best gutter protection on the market… the company’s true strength is the people working behind the scenes. Our team is growing every day, too! Check out opportunities near you on our careers page.