Randy Walkowiak says starting Quality Exteriors was a survival mechanism for him.
He was working seven days a week on call selling chemicals for a company based in Lamars, Iowa. The pay was low and the work hard. The last straw was when he got a call to drive three hours to Kansas only to find that all that was needed was removing a piece of broken glass and the fix was made. That was the last call he made.
Randy saw an ad in the paper for a windows and siding salesman. He got the job, working for a company called Custom View for five years. He got his feet wet and discovered he liked the work. He was the top salesman for several years, then decided he could start his own company.
He now operates Quality Exteriors out of his home office in Ceresco and has five crews of loyal contractors – many have been with him for several years. The business, started in 1997, can be found online at www.qualityexteriorsnebraska.com.
Randy has worn about every hat in his business, including installation. Now he does the marketing, ordering, collections and supervision. The company’s primary work is installing windows, siding and roofing.
“I like that every day is different and every job has its challenges,” Randy says.
The challenge he loves best is transforming homes into something new and making them more energy efficient.
Randy was born and raised on a farm in Spalding, Neb. After attending Kearney State College, where he studied industrial management, he worked collecting salvage materials at a railroad. Later he worked as a sewing machine salesman and mechanic and later ran the sewing machine store.
He moved to Lincoln to attend Lincoln School of Commerce so he could work as a paralegal. He quickly decided he didn’t like working in law libraries, so he got his insurance license and sold supplemental cancer policies to farmers.
His hobbies include hunting, fishing, target shooting and gardening. He and his wife Jackie have horses, chickens and cats at their Ceresco acreage. Their children are Sarah, 24, and Jonathan, 22.