WG President Janet Kaboth Continues John’s Story

In 2015, WG President and CEO Janet Kaboth continued her father’s story. This is Janet’s story:

I will endeavor to continue the Whitacre Greer story from the point where Dad finished in 1999.

The years from 2000 to 2010 found Whitacre Greer solidifying its market in the paver market as well as internal management transitions and philosophy changes.

Whitacre Greer and a marketing group based in Chicago formed a joint venture in Chicago. The two people who formed the marketing group were very experienced salesmen for concrete pavers. They established an inventory yard and very quickly increased the paver sales volume.

For a few years, this increased volume was very beneficial to WG, however, quality problems with the pavers caused the joint venture to lose most of the customers each year. The marketing guys were very reluctant to continue selling more products that they were unsure would hold up. At about the same time, Mike Longo’s marketing efforts were beginning to pay off and our other paver business was increasing. We developed a new paver size, boardwalk, which was very successful. The joint venture began to be less important to our sales overall as the price was lower and the complaints were increasing. WG had about $1 million invested in short-term receivables and inventory connected with the joint venture. The joint venture “hung around” and finally closed in 2008 when the cash flow issues were no longer possible to sustain.

The development of the boardwalk paver marked a turning point for WG pavers. We began to be seen in the marketplace as a specialty, custom manufacturer. Thanks to the extensive brick industry network belonging to Mike Longo, we were able to return to a network of distributors that included many brick manufacturers. This was the beginning of a network that has been very successful for the pavers.