By Jennifer Erb
2016-08-252016-09-01https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
John Kalkreuth came to WVU thinking he would become a veterinarian. After a BS degree in Animal Science and a graduate degree is Bio Chemistry, he came to the realization that he wasn’t going to be accepted into veterinarian school. His father had a local roofing business that mostly supported industrial clients. He wanted John to become an engineer so he could help the family business. John joined the WVU IE program because he wanted an engineering degree with more of a business focus.
When John was graduating, his father’s business (Kalkreuth Roof and Sheet Metal – KRSM) was in financial jeopardy and John returned home to help ensure the success of the family business and his father’s retirement. In 1984, John and Jim Hurley (another WVU IE graduate) bought the business from his father.
The year that he returned home to run the business, its revenues were $400,000. Today the business makes $90 million dollars a year. The Engineering News Record ranks KRSM as the 4th largest roofing and sheet metal course in America.
John credits the success of the business to having good people. A number of them are WVU IE graduates who began with the business as co-op students. Others are hired from apprenticeship programs. John is a big believer in helping young people gain experience while in school. This is also very helpful to students who need financial support for college.
John believes that the large number of IE’s in key positions helps the company become very structured and cost competitive. John has built a management team which has a focus on both the revenue and cost side of the business.
The success of KRSM gives a model for how West Virginia can grow its economy: Build from within to develop nationally competitive businesses with solid management and skilled employees.
John Kalkreuth has held the position of President and CEO since the company was established in 1984. Under his leadership, the company has expanded to five locations and consistently ranks as one of the largest roofing contractors in the nation. He has guided the company to become a total building envelope contractor and continues to set new goals for innovation and operational excellence. Kalkreuth is a graduate of West Virginia University’s College of Engineering and earned an MBA from Wheeling Jesuit University. He currently serves as a board member of the National Roofing Legal Resource Center, the Associated Architectural Metal Contractors, the Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association, and the Cleveland District of the Federal Reserve Board.
He previously served two-terms on the Board of Directors of the National Roofing Contractors Association and remains an active member on several of its committees.