Siegner and Company,
Roughly 90 percent of Siegner and Company's business comes from commercial painting, mostly new construction and tenant improvements, from churches and hospitals to office buildings.
by John Strieder
cocktail lounges or clothing stores, you will feel right at home when you access the Web site of Siegner and Company, a commercial painting outfit based in Portland, Ore.
No, the firm won't express-mail you a martini. But as the introductory page appears on your computer screen, your speakers suddenly pulsate with “drum-and-bass,” a form of jazzy electronic music.
The touch of pizzazz seems somehow appropriate for an entrepreneur who specializes in working the media. Last year, company founder Dave Siegner was elected vice president of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America — and communications is a keystone of his platform.
“PDCA has always had a problem with communication,” he said. “We all want to be recognized for the professionals we are. We have a problem with our industry all over the country. People think anybody can paint. But they wouldn't hire just anybody off the street to do their electrical.”
Siegner is not new to leadership. Before he took his current post, he served as vice president of the PDCA's Oregon Council, represented Oregon on the national board of directors and participated in a blue-ribbon task force appointed to rewrite the trade group's bylaws. The new governance policy he helped author was adopted in 2002. “The PDCA has basically reinvented itself,” he said. “It did not change the mission, but it sure allowed its mission to clarify itself and become very logical on a board of directors and procedural basis.”
There's a public perception that the 120-year-old organization is just an excuse for good old boys to party, he said. “That's changing very quickly.” Among other things, he said, the PDCA is looking to expand its role in education, become a go-to lobbying group for painters with legislative concerns, and interface with manufacturers regarding the development of new materials.
It also wants to step up its marketing efforts. The PDCA wants to be “branded” as the voice of the paint contractor industry, he said. “How good can we be if we haven't branded ourselves as such?”
As a result of the changes, PDCA members should see a greater return on their investment, become more informed, and enjoy recognition as vital members of their communities, he said.
Roughly 90 percent of Siegner and Company's business comes from commercial painting, mostly new construction and tenant improvements, from churches and hospitals to office buildings. The firm's charge, Siegner said, is to “protect buildings from the winds and wiles of the Pacific Northwest.”
The company also takes on a lot of advising and consulting work, which Siegner appears to have mastered. “It just kind of gets to be old hat after awhile,” he said. “You just kind of advise them what not to do.”