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CCCT with Trish Brindle from Fire-Trol

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CCCT with Trish Brindle Sale Manager from Fire-Trol Video

CCCT sat down with Trish Brindle, Sales Manager from Fire Trol that manufactures durable, aesthetically designed prefabricated fireproof columns. They focus on product reliability by offering you consistent quality, quicker production times, and increased durability. They’ve been doing so since 1945. Enjoy the conversation.


Hey there Commercial Construction Coffee Talk fans, thanks for chiming in. My name’s David Courson, I’m your host. I’m also the publisher and editor of Commercial Construction Renovation magazine. I’ve got the halo on there from the light, but anyway, let’s see what I break down here. September-October 2014. We had City Sports on the cover, Howard Clark and Edward Alberton. Anyway, this was a really good-looking issue, love having the sports guys on there. Another good-looking issue. This was a hundred and some odd pages, and I always like to see what I was talking about. But I was going back to the 1950s. I don’t know if you can see my little picture here, but I had a lot more hair back then in 2014 than I have today, and I’m a little more grayer, but anyway, it’s always nice to look what I was talking about. Got 16 and that’s almost, that’s 16 almost nine years ago. Anyway, it’s really good to hold the magazine. We went digital completely in August of 2021 when we printed our last issue with the White Castle on the cover with their biggest restaurant that they had built. Haven’t looked back since. So, I don’t miss the printer, don’t miss the post office, don’t miss any of that kind of stuff, but digital’s been an amazing, amazing ride. And I just had another couple million people hit the website last month. I appreciate you all out there consuming the content and finding us as a destination point. So, thank you for finding us on the web. And listen, it’s Friday, TGIF today. You know, got the NFL starting this weekend, so I had to break out my colors. Even though I’m from Philadelphia, I love the green, but I’ve been in Atlanta since ’92, so I got to support the local team.

But it’s the dog days of summer, you know, it’s still really hot. And we got a huge hurricane coming off out in the Atlantic. I think it’s Cat 5, 185-mile-per-hour winds, but they say it’s just gonna come to the coast of the southeast and then it’s gonna turn up. So, we hope it stays out in the water because its name is Lee, L-E-E, and Lee looks like a really, really bad dude out there out in the water. So, we’re hoping that just makes a U-turn or a 90-degree turn up and stay off our coast. We just went through Adalia or whatever her name was. It came through the week before, just ripped through southern Georgia and the peninsula in Florida and went up the coast. And just a lot of damage, and I know those people are gonna be rebuilding, but you know, at least it wasn’t once in total wreckage. But listen, these storms come in, you just don’t know where they’re gonna go. And the weathermen, they have it so easy, you’re looking at all these things, well, if it goes this way, it could go that way. It’s partly sunny, so I want that job. You got a 50 percent chance of figuring things out. But all the models say that that Lee storm is gonna turn up and stay out in the Atlantic. So, let’s hope so, keeping the fingers crossed. I’ll do whatever I can to make sure that goes out there. I’ve got my in-laws in Hilton Head, and my wife just went over there to see her mother, and my kids in Charleston. So, I don’t want to see any of that stuff going there. And I gotta, you know, listen, everybody, we don’t want anything to happen, just stay out in the water and make some waves out there and have the swells come in and keep the surfer guys happy on the beach. So, with that said, I’ve saved the best for last this week for my interview or my guest today. Her name is Trish Brindle. She’s the sales manager for Firetrol. They’re in Fire and Security Prevention, etc. She’s at Lake George, upstate New York. Trish, say hello to our listeners out there, Commercial Construction Coffee Talk. Hello, coffee talkers or coffee listeners, I should say. Thanks for having me today.

Hey, I’ve never had a cold either one of those. I like that. I’m going to steal that from you. So there you go. Well, welcome to our show. And the reason why I had Trish on was, well, actually, it’s good timing because I’m going to walk the security show in Dallas on Monday night to go to Dallas to walk the GSX or it used to be called ASIS or ASIS, whichever you want to pronounce it, but it’s everything security, product, CCTV, you know, everything. And we do a security issue, so I always like to walk the shows before we have our reports and so I can have all the right contacts, make sure all the big guns are listed, etc. And it’ll be good. I haven’t walked that show in a couple of years now. And I’m a media sponsor too. I was a media sponsor earlier in the week at the Drone show out in Las Vegas. Another, you know, huge crowd and everything drones. And it’s just amazing that technology, what it’s done for everything, whether it’s construction or inspections or videography. I mean, it is just amazing. So thank you to UAV and Joan Carl and his guys, you know, for sticking with me and making, you know, keeping me a media partner with all the other magazines. Really appreciate it. I’ll get as much, I always like getting the exposure when I can. So with that said, Trish, the way we’re going to do this today is we’re doing three parts. You’ll tell your story, where you grew up, where you went to school, kids, dogs, cats, whatever. And then how you ended up at Firetrol. And then we’ll talk about the last three years, lessons learned with the roller coaster. And then we’ll finish up with one positive thought or phrase and your contact info. And then we’ll close out the episode. So with that said, the floor is yours. Tell us your story.

Okay, again, thanks for having me, David. I appreciate it. Trish, I’m originally from Long Island, New York. So as I said, hello coffee talkers, I’m thinking, oh God, that probably sounds so Long Island. It is what it is. So yeah, born and raised there. Went to East Islip High School, graduated many moons ago, played lots of sports. Softball was my main sport of choice. I played on two or three teams at a time if I could. I played tennis and field hockey, cheered, the whole nine yards. So kept very busy. Busy is better, right? Busy keeps you out of trouble. Yeah, no doubt, I agree with you. And I’m the youngest of four. So I think my parents really wanted me to stay out of trouble. Were they all girls or were there brothers? I, uh, girl, girl, boy, and then me. So, uh, my sisters were very good to me. My brother was not. We’re much closer now. There were three against one, you know, you could, you, you pounded and, you know, beat up on him. It gives them character, right? Yeah, it sure did. I think now as a, you know, middle-aged man, he feels kind of bad about his teasings, but it’s fine. It made me tough. So, uh, yeah, so anyway, after high school, I went on to college up in Newburgh, New York, at Mount St. Mary College and studied business administration with a minor in public relations. So that was a great, great experience, very small school, but I met some amazing girls. I’m still friends with them today. We still travel and hang out together. And, uh, while I was there, I had the opportunity to study abroad. So I went over to London for one semester of my senior year and studied international business over in London and actually had an internship while I was there as well. So that was a great experience for being, you know, 21 years old. Um, so came home, graduated, and, you know, while I was in college, I had some internships in Manhattan. So that was wonderful. And then I started working in the city in public relations and marketing and traveled a lot for work. Eventually got married. I met that man when I was, I met my husband when I was in London. I think I said that, but he was from Rhode Island. So if he was, he’s not a Brit. He’s from Rhode Island. And we just happened to be in school at the same time, got married, have three boys. They are now 21, 18, and 16 years old. Oh, one left at home, almost, right?

So yeah, school just started. Actually, the other two were still here, doing college and working and doing their things. And, um, yeah, so Sean is our youngest and he’s home with us full-time. Were they athletes? Did they continue your athletic career in, you know, in their own, you know, or did they play any sports? The younger two, yes. My oldest was into robotics, actually. His high school robotics team was fantastic. They went to the world championships. Yeah, they were really good. As freshmen, they went to the world championship. So that was awesome for him. The other two played soccer. Well, well, one played all through high school and my other one has since stopped. He does more recreational sports with friends and things like that. Hey, uh, listen, I only have one son, so I give anybody credit that has three kids, you know, or I think just two, you know, so, uh, you know, especially in, you know, all, you know, boys, it’s, uh, it’s different than, you know, girls. And, like, you know, I’ve got my wife, she’s male-dominated in our house. We have four rescue dogs. They’re all males. Uh, you know, she’s the lone female in here, but, uh, you know, we knew who the boss is, so yeah, that’s all that matters, you know. I know who I, I know what something’s said, I just listen and, you know, continue on. Their names are Gronk and Brady, so, oh, yeah, so we know who they’re rooting for this weekend, you know? Yeah, yeah. He’s, uh, everybody says, oh, you must be a Tom Brady fan. He’s like, no, I’m a Patriots fan. So, but yeah, lots of male dominance in this house too, but, you know, I, I know how to get things done. Yeah, well, well, you still have the Long Island accent. I’m from Philly, so I lost my little twang, but I still say water and a couple of other things, and people hear them and they’re like, where are you from?

You’re not from New Jersey, you’re not from New York, I’m all from Philadelphia. And, yeah, you know, but, you know, Rhode Island has their own little twang too, so, you know, you’ve got, uh, you got you, and then, you know, so, and, you know, that’s, that’s an interesting combo. So, um, actually, my husband was the first person from Rhode Island that I’d ever met, and then when I met his family, there were definitely some words that I was like, what, you know, what did he just say? Well, what is that? They don’t pronounce their R’s, so we’ve had a lot of funny family stories over the years with me not understanding what they’re saying and them not understanding me, what I’m saying, so, thank you. Now, I was gonna say, we’re celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary next month, so we’ve, we’ve come a long way, and we’ve figured out how to understand each other. Oh, congratulations. Yeah, I’ve been together, uh, let’s see, 32, yeah, about 32 years, and, uh, we, well, it took us about three years to get married, but, uh, uh, you know, it feels like yesterday. Well, she was married before. I always told her, I said, look, I’m getting married once, so you better take me what he is. I’m not changing. I’m just an old dog that, you know, 95 is negotiable, 5% is not, you know, so I, I just, that, I am what I am. I’m not going to change, you know, I’m just going to lose a little less hair and, you know, be done with it, but, uh, no, it’s been, it’s been a great ride, uh, you know, uh, my, but she misses my son, he’s, uh, he’s over in Charleston, uh, working for Boeing, and, um, she misses him, you know, they talk every night, and, uh, she wants to move over there, and I’m like, I don’t know, I’ve been here a long time, and, uh, you’ve got, she’s an interior designer in construction and residential.

And like he had really good business. Why would you want to leave and start over and find all your new subs and you just, just hang a piece of land that we’re gonna build up on the lake or empty nester house and um, so I don’t know, but uh, we’ll see, you know, we might build that house and sell it. I have no idea. I’m just kind of gotta go with the flow, you know? You know what? I never thought I’d leave Long Island. You know, we had great friends and family. We lived in a fantastic neighborhood with tons of little kids. You know, there was like 30 kids at our bus stop or something. It was really wonderful. But my husband traveled a lot for work and he was never home. It was just me and the boys and it took a toll, you know? So, you said I never say never. Ever since moving up here, you know, we’re only about four hours north of where we were, so it’s not too bad, uh, but I don’t know, you just never know, you never know where life is going to bring you and what kind of decisions you’re going to be faced with. Well, we, this is, you know, we had the trophy house for like 17 years, you know, that was the last one we just sold and, um, you know, everybody in the neighborhood, they all grew up together, we knew, and then everybody that graduated, everybody sold their house, they downsized, they got rid of it, we didn’t need that humongous thing. And, uh, right now we’re living in a little house, it’s just us and the dogs. I walk across and, uh, that’s my commute in the morning. I was already working at home, so I, you know, I’m, but uh, I like the little house, you know? I mean, I’m happy with it. We’re not going to build some monstrosity up there anyway. I’m just making sure I have enough. We’re gonna build a little casita for my mother. She’s 83, so in case she just wants to come hang with us for whatever. She’s probably got a good 10, 15 years left in her. Uh, she’s got her good genes.

My grandmother and her mother, her mother, Nana Gully, she’s they roll like 100 years or 102. So, you know, yeah, she’s in pretty good shape. So, uh, you know, I said, look, we’ll have a little casita for you so you can have your thing and if you want to come hang down here you can and, uh, uh, but, uh, yeah, it, uh, you never know what’s gonna happen, but it’s funny though, but all our friends, we were like the last ones to sell our house in the old neighborhood, but everybody, everybody graduated, they all went to school and they became empty nesters and like they all downsized and, uh, we were the last ones from, we got to get out of here, you know, the roof’s 17 years old, the air, you know, let’s just let someone else have it, we’ve had fun here and, uh, so but in the subdivision that we’re in, there’s, there’s 50 lots, so I’m like one of the last one that has some broken ground and my wife walked in through all those homes over the last couple years looking at them so they all know she’s an interior designer, so I told her, I said, I said, babe, when you build that house, we’re building ourselves as, you know, building ourselves as the contractor, I said, look, you got to do amazing, amazing job because you know all the neighbors are going to walk through there to see what you did. Why didn’t she put that there? Why did she do this? Why did she do that? And I said, you know, it’s your reputation on the line, so you’re gonna have to do like the, you know, the kick butt house. Yeah, no pressure. Okay, no pressure. I said, okay, I’ll make sure all the subs and, you know, the concrete and the sticks and whatever, wherever everything gets done, but you make sure all that fufu stuff looks really, really cool. So, so how did you end up at Firetrol after, uh, yeah.

So I stayed home, um, you know, raising my children was very important to my husband and I, so I decided to, you know, leave work and stay home, raise the boys. And I got involved with the steel industry 10 years ago. Originally it was a family business, so, um, you know, I started off just really doing HR and and keeping the guys working, you know, my husband and them would butt heads sometimes, so I was kind of the middle man that kept everybody happy and bringing food and all that, you know, keep everybody coming back to work. And then little by little, my job really evolved and I got into Firetrol about seven years ago. So, um, it’s been a great ride, you know, it really has, everything from learning about the steel industry and then we’re working more into the sales and education side that Firetrol commands and, you know, making our mark across the United States and Canada. It’s been, it’s been a pleasure, you know, I’ve really enjoyed it so far. So the product line that you’re offering, you know, I just gave it to Eric, so give us a little, you know, detail on, you know, what the Firetrol product line is and I will, and it’s nice to be able to speak about it so freely because in some of the other platforms I cannot do that, so it’s nice to talk and I wasn’t supposed to say.

That no, go for it. And by the way, uh, the steel company she’s talking about is General Steel, and, uh, my family’s been in steel since 1888. We’re like fifth or sixth generations. We’re in steel recycling and demolition and all that. And so when I knew about General Steel, you know, because you’re an advertiser, and that’s who I, you know, send invoices to. But anyway, tell us that works or firework works, you know, handles all the fire troll fabrication, and they’re actually located in East Hartford, Connecticut. Um, it’s a huge 200,000 square foot facility, and they handle steel erecting, miscellaneous metals, structural steel, and fire troll. So, you know, we ship throughout the United States and Canada, which is great. But none of that matters if you don’t know what fire troll is, which is what I’m here to tell everybody about. So, fire troll columns are, uh, it’s a way to fireproof your structural steel. So, there’s a lot of different options out there and solutions when you’re putting up a commercial building, how you’re going to fire rate that steel. Um, different needs, you know, is this steel going to be exposed or not? You know, obviously, has different demands. So, with fire troll, all of our columns are architecturally exposed because they are able to be kept very slim, a nice slim finish with any coat of paint, any color that the design team wants, interior, exterior. Um, you can hang, you know, up to three kips of hoarse, you know, so hang some nice lights on the outside of the columns to add a little ambiance to it. So, it’s a really great solution for fireproofing structural steel in commercial construction where those columns are going to be architecturally exposed. Yeah, very cool, you know, like, you know, it’s amazing.

Listen, fire, fire security, it’s just you have to have it. And, uh, you know, depending on what the state you’re in, the regulations are, but, uh, listen, water and fire, they’re just really, really brutal things. Water is the silent, you know, because you can’t smell it, you can’t see it. It’s just one of those things. But fire, you know, it can do some serious damage. And, uh, one of our neighbors’ homes, where we used to live, it got hit by lightning, uh, I don’t know, maybe about six weeks ago. And, uh, burned the thing to the ground. And they, and they lost everything. I mean, just, uh, they weren’t home when the lightning hit, and, uh, just torched the house. And, you know, by the time the firemen got there, there’s nothing they could have saved, and it just burnt to the ground. And, um, it, uh, it was a shame. But, uh, but I was in lacrosse, they were in lacrosse league. I think I coached one of their kids, you know, way back when. And so they lost all those pictures and all that stuff. But, uh, it, uh, but, uh, having those structures safe that you can architecturally make really cool, but they’re still structurally sound is key, you know, if you want longevity in the building, correct, absolutely. You know, if it’s a steel building, obviously, you need the structural steel there, number one. And if it needs to be graded for fire, then you have this nice option. And then you have that aesthetically pleasing finish to it. So it’s really a great option to have for a great solution, I should say, to have when people are going to be noticing these columns and they sometimes, some of the.

Architects are so creative because essentially that’s who my job is to educate. Architects that we’re out there, you know, very, it’s not going to the building site and talking to people, it’s too late. But this was all there already, so I’ve got to get with these people really early and educate them. Um, a lot of times they’re knowledgeable on the other forms and other solutions when it comes to fireproofing, so I’m there to educate architects and engineers and spec writers that this is an option for them. And some of them get so creative, you know, you could look on our website and our profile page, they bring the feeling of the fire troll columns and they attach some things on it and they make it look like a piece of art inside the building. So again, you’re checking off those boxes, you have your structural steel, it’s fireproof, and now you’ve got like a cool design inside of your building that you didn’t have to pay somebody to come up with. The architect was already doing that, you didn’t have to get like an art design team or something like that. You know, listen, fire’s on my, uh, is on my mind. We just had the fire in Maui that just, you know, disintegrated, you know, Lahaina, and, uh, you know, it’s amazing that, you know, some of the structures were standing and then other things just got, you know, incinerated and, uh, you know, it was, but they, you know, those were some old homes, they’ve been there for, you know, some of us are like ninth generation people, you know, from Hawaii, and, um, I’ve just been on YouTube and looking at some of the stories and some of the stuff. Um, I’m not a conspiracy guy, but it’s just a shame looking at what happened out there. And hopefully when they do rebuild, um, these are the things, like, when a hurricane comes in or if there’s a natural disaster, these are the things that, that as construction people like you, you know, myself, even though, listen, I’m a builder, I build this thing every month.

I just do it digitally, but paper ink, I come from a construction family. And the best thing is, is that when these disasters happen, that you can go in and when we rebuild, uh, that you can put the right types of product in there in case there is a fire that it’s, it’s gonna hopefully save part of the structure or make the fire not be able to do the damage it can. Same thing with the, you know, with the storm surge in a hurricane down here in the south. You can’t build a house in Hilton Head now, it’s gotta be 12 feet up on stilts. Same thing in New Jersey, where I grew up with a house in Margate every summer. Those homes, if you build down there in Atlantic City in the Margate area, those homes have to be up high because they just, you know, it’s, um, you’ll learn from your mistakes or just learn. So it’s good to know that a company like yours is out there that’s taking fire seriously, but you’re also making architecturally stimulating, you know, with everything that you can do to it. So it’s got some diversification, correct, absolutely. Yeah, we offer various shapes of steel fireproofing material and concrete. If your center column, if your structural column is a hollow column, you fill that with concrete, and then your fireproofing material is around that. And then we have a steel shell that protects the fireproof, excuse me, fireproofing material. That way if it’s in a fire, you know, your fireproofing material is always protected, you know, you’ve got your steel shell. So even if these columns are in the basement of, say, a hotel, and somebody bumps into it, if it was another form of fireproofing, it may start to crack off, break off, and crumble, you know, and then you have to reapply it. Where this, you don’t. It’s always protected, and it always looks fantastic. So you just have to, you could change the color, you know, paint the outside of this steel, and you’re fine. It doesn’t affect the fireproofing ever. So it’s nice to know that, you know, there’s options out there for the architects and, well, the engineers, they’re the ones who design the structural steel, you know, and.

They know what needs to be in there depending on the size of the building or the area, and then the architects come in and they want to make it look nice, you know? Yeah, they want to give it the touch, you know, right? So you can have that bigger piece of structural steel and then you put that shell around it and your fireproofing material is in there and it’s said and done. And the best part about it that we, you know, a lot of times, this is what gets people to go “Oh,” is that these columns, they’re all, a lot of fireproofing solutions are performed at the job site, so the steel erectors will erect the steel and then they have to call another crew to come in and fireproof it. Where with this, these columns are prefabricated. So they’re all manufactured at our facility and shipped to the job site, completely fireproof, structural steel, done, everything is done, and they literally just hang them up that day. So they work off of hanging a piece of structural steel, but it’s fireproofed, so they know what they’re doing. It doesn’t take any special team to do this. You just need your steel erectors there. So there’s no other trades on site, no other inspectors on site, you know, inspecting welds. All of that is done during the fabrication process. So we really, again, like you said, we take fire very seriously, but we also take time on the job very seriously. That as a structural steel firm, you know, and our business in Connecticut, like I said, pretty big, they understand time and money. So if we can eliminate trades at the job site, inspections being done, that’s going to make everything flow so much better, and it looks nicer at the end of the day. Absolutely, absolutely. So let’s, uh, let’s talk about the last three years, uh, you know, January of 2020, and we’re cranking along. March comes, everything gets shut down. Really don’t know what’s going on.

Now three and a half years later, you know, we’re out of the tunnel, but we’re still talking about whatever, and, um, but everybody kind of handled it differently. So talk about how your company kind of weathered the storm and some lessons learned that you implemented, you know, to make your company, you know, more efficient or what have you. Yeah, no, no great question. Um, so during three, we’re going back three years ago, it was a little scary time, you know, you want to keep your people working. So fortunately, FireTrol was in the middle of some larger hospital projects. Yeah, yeah. So those structural steel fabricators were able to write a letter on our behalf that we had to stay open. Um, you know, I’m in, we were, yeah, like I said, we’re in New England, so we weren’t as open as everybody else was or as quickly as everybody else was, so we had some problems there, but we were able to stay open and stay working and meet these deadlines because, like I said, it was a pretty big hospital. Um, that back where you’re from, so over in the Philly area, so they needed to get that done, so we were fortunate for that respect for the work that we had coming up that that was able to continue. Um, but, you know, when you go to the other side, there’s that, that’s the sales side, but then there’s that education component that I mentioned earlier, that my job is to educate the architects and engineers and, you know, instead of being afraid of technology, you know, I’m approaching 50, so I’m at that age where I’m like, I don’t always want to learn new stuff, you know, like this is, I finally don’t balance my checkbook on paper anymore, like it took a while, but I’m getting there. Um, you know, we learned you really have to embrace the technology and embrace the opportunity that it provides us and not look at the enormity of it and just.

know, the way you meet people through trade shows, so, you know, those aren’t going on anymore, and if they were, people, you know, not obviously in 2020, but even right after, people were very hesitant to attend. So we’re able to pivot, and there are so many great platforms that I’m able to reach architects, engineers, designers through, you know, multiple platforms online to present a lunch-and-learn opportunity, you know? So they’re able to—they were able to go home and kind of get their feet, you know, grounded, okay, this is how I’m working at home, and then, you know, especially the past year and a half, really reaching out to them and saying, we could continue doing this, you know? I’ll still send you lunch even though I’m not standing in your office because everybody loves the lunch, I don’t blame them, so do I, right? Um, but, you know, let’s still learn, let’s still move on, we can’t wait till everybody goes back to the office because you could be missing some really great opportunities. So that’s what I think we—we learned the most, and we were able to embrace with FireTrol and with growing the brand is to adapt to, you know, the opportunity that technology affords us instead of running from it and, you know, saying, well, we do trade shows, we do this, we do that, no, we could do more now, and, you know, it’s really connected us with our audience on so many levels, you know? Some people really enjoy these virtual events, they can listen from their car if they have to bring their kid to a hockey tournament, you know? Life has changed so much that working from home as I do now is, you know, not the norm, but it’s more acceptable than it was five years ago, um, so it’s—I think we’re reaching our audience better through digital platforms that have just really, you know, jumped on the bandwagon, and, you know, other avenues like the ones I’m able to take advantage of. Listen, uh, you know, I was a print, face-to-face guy, so when uh, the shutdown happened, I was up in uh, Milwaukee, uh, looking at hotels for my retreats in the fall that we did, and uh, uh, the shutdown happened and I had to put my March-April issue out.

I was fighting with the printer, I was like, look, half the offices I’m going to mail these copies to are closed or furloughed, it’s a waste of paper and postage, and he’s like, you know, you’ve been a publisher forever, it’s economies of scale, you know, so I said, okay, I’m going to—and I just had my event in January, my 10th anniversary for my summit, and I said, I bit the bullet because I wanted to have coverage for it, and uh, I put the magazine out and then I kind of sat back for the month of April. There were a lot of sleepless nights, I get up in the middle of the night, my wife’s like, where are you going? Like, I gotta think, and um, we—my artist and my editor are like, let’s go digital, we have a digital magazine, we have all this content, blah, blah, blah, so we went monthly, and uh, my podcast, I had just bought my mic, I was going to go out and do these things on construction sites and interview people, and then—and then it was like, so I just started doing, I didn’t even know what I was doing, I looked at some of my original, I mean, I have like 550-some-odd videos on my channel right now, but anyway, you know, not all these, but from all our events that I did over the years, and but it, uh, this is not going away because, uh, they say the peninsula might say, listen, people say, oh, I do too many Zoom calls, or look, it saves you time, you don’t need to go drive three hours to look at, I think for five minutes, you can do that on the phone, you can pick and choose where you really need to go in person, you’re never going to be able to, you know, to replace that, but I really think that uh, uh, that this is just saved.

I mean, I had a project management firm, you know, I don’t know, right in the beginning when you and he said, look, this is the construction process, is your finger, the facility is done, and then it gets distilling property management to maintain it and and then you’re going to do, uh, you know, give it a facelift every so many years, but he said in one day, uh, I was in you know, Bahrain, I was in Africa, I was in Canada, I was in South America, I did a couple of walkthroughs in the States, I did all that one day before the shutdown or when the roller coaster started. That would have taken weeks to do, so you know, these platforms are very, very, you know, productive and, um, and the people that actually work out of their house right now or if they’re hybrid and maybe they go into the office a couple days, they don’t have to burn gas, you know, to get stuck in traffic, and it’s just, you know. And I feel bad for some of the business owners because they want to keep their company culture and, um, keep everybody around, but they might not have to have that big office, at least maybe they want to, you know, downsize into a smaller one. So, you know, it really depends on where, what state you’re in and what regulations, like here in Georgia, we were—we basically stayed open, but, you know, they put the precautions, you know, in there, and, um, I had like three or four projects I watched, and they were doing an old folks home, they were building a fire station, and I forget what else they were building down the road, so I was watching all of it, you know, all of this stuff going on, and I would kind of slowly pass by and see how they were, you know, doing stuff with, uh, you know, the PPP and all that, you know, that was going on, right, just to see people. But, uh, it, uh, you know, it really did, and listen, I’m a million miler, I had, I’ve done so many flights until I’ve been to Las Vegas, I’ve been to LA, I’ve been everywhere, and, uh, but I—but, you know, going from print, now I’m a digital guy, but I still miss seeing my people in person, so I’m very selective on, like, this was the first year, almost in, well, from almost three years, that I got, that I told, I told my—I figured, look, I got to get, go to some shows this year, I got to see who’s still there or or transfer to someone else or who’s retired or what have you, and, uh, and I gotta go shake some hands. So, but I didn’t miss getting on the plane, I mean, traveling still is awesome.

I, I, yeah, I—I now fly out—I have to, I have a few more trips coming up this year in the fourth quarter, and both of my flights are purposely at 5:30 in the morning so I can get on them because anything past that, they’re canceled, they’re delayed. But I feel like they get that plane in overnight, and then I’m free to go, like, I’ll be in Minnesota at like nine in the morning, but I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I get there, but at least I’m there, you know, with my stuff, like being late and having everything kind of, you know, all over the map. So, it’s—you know, I agree with you, though, I, I do enjoy if I could meet with firms and architects face to face, I, I thoroughly enjoy that, I’m a people person, you know, but I get it too, there are times if I’m meeting with a firm in Vancouver for a one-hour meeting, you know, it’s a little far to go for a one-hour meeting, but, you know, I try to book things around that area at the same time and take a few days and go out places, so I do believe that the person-to-person, I think you have to know the balance, you know, of who’s getting what and kind of figure out how to work with your your audience the best you can so they feel valued as well, you know? And, you know, we have an event coming up in New York here at the end of the month, and, uh, I’ll probably have about 50 brands, 25 vendors, but they’re all local in the New York Metro, you know, whether they’re, you know, out in the island or across the river in you know, Jersey or, you know, up in Connecticut or Westchester, but just that basically there, and I really think that regional events are going to be so much more advantageous where you don’t have to get on a plane, you don’t need a hotel room, you can take the train or an Uber or you know, drive in, go to the event, and then be back at your house that evening.

And I think those types of events, nothing against the national events, don’t get me wrong, because they’ve all been packed, I mean, you, you know, for the most part, but I just think the regional ones are just more conducive for people that, even though they’re national, like, you know, your national, you know, company that you Do stuff all over, but those events that are out there, you know, I wouldn’t even fly. Like here in Atlanta, I can get to Savannah in four hours. I can do National in three hours. Sure, anything that’s less than that, it takes me five hours, I will drive it because by the time I get down to the airport, park my car, shuttle over, go through TSA, get on my plane, I’m gonna be there anyway. You know, Orlando, that’s the worst drive ever because I did the Disney thing when my son was growing up, and it’s just an awful ride, just really boring. Oh, they had the Don Garlits Hot Rod Museum, which I always wanted to stop at, and I didn’t do that when I was coming back. My wife’s like, “No, no, let’s get home.” Like, “Oh, come on, let me go.” “No, no, no, no, yeah.” But it’s just flat, and they’re all selling oranges off every exit, you know? But, uh, I will fly down because it’s a 55-minute flight, boom, I’m there, and it was great. We did a reception when that hurricane was coming in last week, and, uh, Monday it was, yeah, and it was a regional ICC event. They had probably about 4,000 people there, and we did a little cocktail reception that afternoon, but everybody was changing their flights because they didn’t know where the storm was going, you know, the cone of destruction.

So, when I flew in, I’ve been in Orlando a ton of times, and I got into the airport, and I’ve never seen it so packed because everybody was changing their flights and they were getting out of Dodge, and they just didn’t know where the storm was going, and I took a picture, I posted up on Facebook, I was like, “Hey, these people are very concerned about it,” and, uh, but they noticed in that conference, the big day was, you know, on Monday. Anyway, Tuesday was kind of a half day, so it wasn’t, you know, and, uh, but it was still good to see people, but they were all changing their flights. Either they were getting out that night and I had like the last flight out non-stop back, and I’m like right when I got on. I flew down at, uh, let’s see, I flew got down to 2 o’clock, I think, I left. I landed 3:30, and then I flew home. But they texted me a note, and they said, “Hey, uh, there might be a delay in your flight, you know,” and I’m like, “Oh my God, don’t tell me I’m gonna get stuck here,” you know? I don’t want to make that 8-hour drive. Probably won’t even be able to find a rental car. But sure enough, you know, I mean, but there wasn’t a seat left on there. I think they duct-taped them people to the wing. I have no idea, but ever. But, uh, I had someone, one of my guys I did the reception with in the morning, he said, “Oh my God, it’s a ghost town in the hotel, man, everybody’s gone,” you know, they’re all better. So, anyway, um, let’s, uh, so fire troll, um, going, you know, as we finish Q4 and looking at 2024, are you bullish, are you bearish, you know, as far as, uh, you know where you guys are going and just business in general? Yeah, business is great, you know, we’ve got some really large projects that we’ve been quoting that are, you know, most likely going to make it down the pipe, so you know, hotels, convention centers, things like that, they’re realizing that this is a great option. So, very low maintenance too for the product itself, you know, there’s one that’s one thing I know when I meet with architects and they say they, you know, when they come up with their budget for the building owner, they don’t want to see, “Oh, in three years you’re going to have to do this,” or “in two years you’re going to have to do that,” or “you’re going to have to have annual inspections of this.” They want to keep their costs as low as possible, so that’s why, again, with this product, it’s really little to no maintenance because your fireproofing is why you’re buying the product, and it’s encapsulated in a piece of steel in a steel shell.

So, I think that’s what we started to talk about before you asked me about different varieties and I, you know, somehow we got sidetracked, I think because you and I both like to just chit chat, yeah, but we do, we have different shapes and, you know, square, rectangular, round shells, and then whatever type of structural steel that’s inside of that, you know, like I said, that’s up to the engineer. We even do some custom work. Know if there’s a certain style or shape of a room and they need that steel shell to go around and work within the shape of the room. Still as durable as it is, it can be melted under extreme heat, so we can formulate a different steel shell to, like I said, say, could stay consistent with the shape of that room. So the options are really endless with this product. So if there’s any Architects, Engineers, end-users out there and you’re looking for a new look or a new way to build, you know, you know, have the support and your foundation of your building, etc., if any of them want to reach out to Firetrol or you, how would they reach out to you? They could email me, uh, they could call me. So you want me to provide that information? Yeah, sure, okay. So my email is Trish, t-r-i-s-h, at, so it’s f-i-r-e with a hyphen or a subtraction sign, Troll, And then my phone number is area code 860-810-5703. Call, text, whatever you need to do. Listen, like I said, if you’re an engineer, an architect, contractor, whatever, and you were thinking about something low maintenance, easy to install, it’s prefabricated, you don’t have to have all the trades in there, you, they, they pick it up, boom, it’s, it’s in, you know, it’s in place, give Trish a call. You know, you need the day stop learnings that they should go do something else and I, I think this lady knows what she’s talking about, so if anybody wants to get in touch with me, you can get me at davidc at CCR and I, I call it a dash, not a minus sign, but I like that.

There’s so many words I don’t know hype and they’re like, “What is that?” I’m like, “It’s a little C at CCR Dash or a minus sign” And, uh, listen, uh, you know, Trish is a publicist that I know here locally, you know, she, you know, that’s how she got on the thing, they sent me a note, blah, blah, blah, here she is. So, uh, if you got something cool that you want me to, you know, promote, uh, you know, send me a press release. It could be anything. It could be a, you know, a celebration, your anniversary, it could be a golf tournament, it could be a new product release, it could be anything. Don’t prejudge it, okay? And I know you, I say it all the time on here, is if you want to play the lottery, if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win. If you don’t send me something, I can’t look at it. We look at everything. Very tough to get in the magazine, but if you’ve got something, let us be, you know, judge the book by its cover. We have so many different platforms, we post stuff every day, and that’s how we get people to come, and, uh, my SEO is actually excellent, which is, uh, search engine optimization, if those you don’t know what the web is, and it’s very important to be found on Google. And the bottom line is we post it, we sing in the URL, you share it, it’s win-win, it helps us both, and, uh, that’s how you get the word out, and you want to be found on Google on either the first or second page, because if you’re on page 45, not many people go back there and look. So, uh, you know, like I said, let us, let us judge it, and my turnaround time and my tat is, you know, about 48 hours, sometimes I’m quicker, sometimes and I have a digital specialist that, you know, helps me get all the stuff done. So by all means, send us that stuff, we will find it, and you know what’s weird is I, before that before the, uh, you know, the roller coaster started back in March of 2020, I was just putting construction, you know, products and that kind of stuff up there.

But as a lot of people over the last years realized that it’s, you got more to life than just work, so I’ve been putting a lot of other stuff up there, how to buy cell phones, you know, what’s the best insurance, how to buy hair extensions, you know, whether you’re a guy or a girl who knows, people are calling themselves, so it doesn’t matter. I put all this stuff up there because it’s relevant and I think you’ll find some interesting stuff on there, crypto, I mean, all sorts of stuff, and, uh, so we, you know, like I action! So, any last thoughts or what’s your positive phrase that you’d like to leave with our listeners out there, Commercial Construction Copy Talk? He’s written something down because I, I can never remember it. It’s a great quote, I love it. “Take chances, make mistakes, that’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” Awesome, Mary Tyler Moore. Hey, listen, when you go to Minneapolis next month, yep, got to go to the Mary Tyler Moore Museum and her statue is out there because that’s actually where she was from or that, that, right? So, it’s right downtown. I don’t know where you’re staying in Minneapolis, but I have my picture by the statue, and I went into the Mary Tyler Museum that they have down, I forget, but it’s right downtown. And, uh, so if you go there, that’s a Mary Tyler Moore quote for those of you who don’t know. It was a great show. She worked in a news station and, you know, anyway, great show. I grew up with it and I’m giving my age away, but listen, I don’t care, you know? But, uh, if you go up there, that, that’d be a really cool place since he used her quote. But, uh, yeah, no, and I’ll be arriving bright and early like I told you, so I’ll have some time to kill. As a digital guy, listen, I have my business page, I nurture it every day, and I always put up different types of quotes, and I just did one, uh, the other night, it just said, uh, like Nike said, it just said, “Just do it, then do it again.”

You know, repetition is key. You’re gonna play, and I’m a coach, so you’re gonna play as you practice, and, uh, you know, if you don’t practice right, you’re not gonna play right, so, and you gotta be flexible. So, uh, but you gotta take action, so just do it, make the mistakes, everybody’s gonna make mistakes. I’m, you know, look, I can look back at these original ones, I laugh at myself, you know, that I was awful interviewer, but I’m fine. I’m not even that good right now, but from where I was three years ago, hey, I think I’ve come, you know, a long way. So, uh, practice what you preach, and just, you know, and then give it your all because, listen, as long as you, you know, I’m gonna leave on this note, if you’re on that construction site, a couple of things, if you’re on the construction site, we want you to be safe, number one, so you can get home, see your kids, have dinner, and then you can go back to the job site and do it all over again, alright, that’s so really important. Number two, it’s really hot out there still, I know you’re sick of hearing this, but listen, even though it might get a little cooler right now up in the upper, you know, in the Upper Midwest, it’s going to be hot next week because I looked at the temps. So, make sure you drink lots of water, put your electrolytes in, you know, I just, I just chug down a whole bottle of them, um, make sure you stay hydrated because we get headaches, that’s when your mistakes happen. So, stay hydrated and be safe on the, on the side, and lastly, hit that like button on here, okay? We want to keep YouTube. We want to make sure the algorithms can find Miss Trish here and her story about the fire trolling, you know, getting her product specked and all these cool projects.

So, we’d love to, you know, listen, I need you, I need your help, I’m asking you, push the like button, push it, hit the little one, okay? Do it for us. So, well, Trish, pleasure meeting you, she’s one of my advertisers, so we would like her too, and she supports the magazine, and, uh, any last words before you sign off up in Upstate New York? Yeah, no, I mean, you know, I appreciate again you having me here today to talk so candidly about Firetrol, and, you know, to the listeners, if there’s any way that you guys need to be reached that I’m not doing it, please let me know, you know, I’m here to serve everybody in the construction industry, so, um, there’s your call to action. I’d love to hear from you guys and what you thought about the podcast and everything, so thanks again, David, for having me today. Absolutely, my pleasure. CTA, call to action. Yep, that’s a digital term. I’ve got all these things running in my head, so I’m gonna sign off here from Sugar Hill, just below the Beaufort Dam on Lake Lanier. It’s got about 600 miles of coastline, and I think I’m going out on the boat tonight, uh, after I cut the grass, and, um, everybody have a great weekend, relax, clear all the negative stuff out of your head, positive mindset so you have a positive week next week, and, uh, before you know it, you know, you got Halloween, you got Thanksgiving, and then you got the holidays and boom, this year is going to be over, you know, before you even know it. I’m, I’m still shocked I’m even in September right now, I just thought it was January when we opened up the year. So, uh, so with that said, Trish, I look forward to meeting you one of these days in person and, uh, anything that we can do, let us know, and, uh, it’s all you out there, enjoy the weekend once again, and, oh, I should say, “Go Pats,” because, you know, you know the dog, yeah, the dog, we call them the ugly birds, you know, but they’re supposed to be pretty this year, so we’ll see what happens, and, uh, you know, enjoy the weekend, and we will see you next time on another episode of Commercial Construction Coffee Talk. Trish, you’re awesome, I appreciate the time and thoroughly enjoy the conversation. All right, and we’ll see you all next time. Ciao, see ya.


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