Employee Spotlight: John Maxwell

Kathleen Maxwell

John Maxwell of Maxwell Roofing headshot

The popular phrase, “never say never,” is something John Maxwell understands well. With no intentions of ever working in the family business, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s president now proudly carries the torch of his family’s business legacy in Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama. John’s father, Ken Maxwell, a decorated B-17 Bomber Squadron Commander, started the business as Maxwell-Webster Roofing in 1956 as a Nashville branch of the company he worked for in Knoxville. In 1963, Ken bought the Nashville branch from the former owners and established Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.

Before graduating from Tennessee Technology University in 1976 with a degree in electrical engineering, John worked for the family business during his summer breaks in various roles from helping in the business office to assisting estimators and project managers. Upon graduation, John found himself diving in full-time at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., where he has served for the past 42 years.

From his beginnings as an estimator trainee, John never imagined how his career would evolve during the next six years. In 1982, John’s father fell off a roof, landing on his head and injuring him extensively. Though he recovered substantially, Ken couldn’t continue managing the company, and John took on a general manager role to keep things moving along for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. In 1986, John formally became the company president and majority stockholder.

“The 80s were tough for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.,” says John. “With the generational shift in leadership and a compilation of industry changes, we muddled through,” he added. As the commercial roofing industry had been dominated by the old “built-up” tar and gravel style roof, technology gave way to single-ply roofing during the 1980s. The 1990s were more stable for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., as single-ply roofing gained popularity, and the company was tuned into the growing trend. “The 90s were a decade of growth for Maxwell. We consolidated the company and entered a season of expansion,” affirms John.

In 1993, John hired his brother, Dan, to join the company from the automotive industry as parts/tools designer. Dan is still here today and is one of the owners of the company. In 1997, another stockholder, Keith Stiles, joined Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. with a reputable roofing background in Arkansas. “The three of us have been growing the business ever since,” says John. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has been operating in the same industry and geography, using evolving technologies and practices, to serve the same market for more than 60 years.

“If you’re in an industry that values reliability, it’s hard to look past longevity,” says John. “When somebody has been doing the same thing we’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been doing it, it suggests we’re doing something right,” he affirms. In 2010, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. started a small office in Huntsville, Alabama, where it continues to grow. John explains, “We wanted to bring the same stability and reliability we are committed to in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky into the North Alabama region, and it has proven to be a good decision.”

Today, John is proud that two of his own children, Kathleen and David, have been involved in the family business for several years and that they will carry the business forward to a new generation. “Seeing my children step in and serve in such leadership capacities truly shows our family commitment to the business and the commercial roofing industry,” says John.

Current Role:

As the company president, John’s current role is significantly different than it was at first. “For most of my career, I wasn’t truly a company president. I was more of an operating manager who was involved in business tasks such as sales, project management, general management, and more,” says John. Only in the last few years has John backed away from most of the daily business operations. As he prepares to pass the baton, his main goal is to make sure things run more smoothly than when he took over. “It is now necessary for me to remove myself from being a part of every small company detail. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s growth has lended to the need for a true president who oversees the company’s vision,” says John.

John now has five direct reports and around 75 employees who handle the day-to-day operations, and he tries to be a resource for anything they might need. “I love testifying to our company’s capabilities to current and potential clients who want to know we are both capable and reliable. I get involved in strategic accounts and am still involved in overall administration,” he adds.

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Stands Out:

“If you look at what we’ve done rather than just what we say, you’ll see who we truly are,” says John. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has been on the same street in Nashville for 62 years. They’ve been considered as a tier-one roofing company and are leaders in the market not by their acclamation but by their results. John explains, “The real competition (the ones who are truly ‘in the business’) does what it takes to be ‘in the business.’ The others are just imitators.” One of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s core values is professionalism, which is evident to our customers. “Keith told one of our employees once, ‘This is how I feed my family.’ Our work is thatserious, and such a statement is the mark of a professional. The professional takes the challenges of life seriously. The amateur tries everything but doesn’t plant and dedicate his or her life to the vocation. Professionalism requires a high level of confidence. People who want to do business with us do so because we take our work seriously and are confident in our abilities and service,” affirms John.

Personal:

A true Middle Tennessean, John grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, attending the Saint Henry School and Father Ryan High School. Beyond the office, John a genuine family man. John and his wife, Betty Ann, have been married since 1977 and just recently celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. Together, John and Betty Ann have four children—David, Sarah, Rachel, and Kathleen. They have two grandchildren, Henry and Gilbert, both David’s sons. On occasion, you can find John golfing or exploring the outdoors at Percy Warner Park (which he’s been doing since age 5).


Search Resources

Popular Tags

2020 2020 commercial roof Accounts Payable aerial roof moisture survey Alabama anchored article Anchored Client Spotlight Anchored Employee Spotlight architectural design asphalt Baker Twins Real Estate Brentwood Baptist Church Brian Mecomber Budgeting building maintenance building temperatures church roofing Claudette Patterson client spotlight client testimonial clogged drainage Colliers International commecial roofing commercial buildings Commercial Properties Commercial Roof commercial roof budgeting commercial roof construction commercial roof inspection commercial roof maintenance commercial roof materials commercial roof problems Commercial Roof Replacement commercial roofing commercial roofing in Nashville Commercial Roofing Partner Commercial Roofing Preventative Maintenance commercial roofing technology commercial roofing terminology commercial roofs common questions comprehensive roof assessments comprehensive roof maintenance Connection Between Insulation & Commercial Roofing construction construction manager construction misconceptions Contractor Contractor Warranties Controller cool roof cool roofing coronavirus COVID-19 customer service dan maxwell Design Do's and Don't of Roof Installations draining system Drone Inspections drying durable materials Eco-Friendly Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options Elevated roof moisture survey emergency helpline emergency repair employee appreciation employee spotlight employee training energy costs energy efficient tips Ensworth School estimates estimating estimator Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Fabrication fall checklist Featured Article Featured Client Spotlight Featured Employee Featured Employee Spotlight flashing flat roof forecasting Full-service roofing services Grease Traps Green Roof green roofing heat damage Horrell Company Huntsville Huntsville Commercial Roofing HVAC HVAC systems ice damage improve performance Infrared Moisture Infrared Moisture Surveys inspection plan Inspections Installation Insulation jackie sprout John Blue Realty John Maxwell Journey Design Group Kalen Canaday Leak Prevention Leaks longevity of a roof low-slope commercial roof maintenance maintenance plan Manufacturer Warranties Martha Walden Material Warranties Matt Matthews MAXCare Maxwell Monitors Maxwell Roofing Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Maxwell Roofing Client Spotlight Maxwell Roofing employee maxwell roofing experience Metal Roof moisture retention Nashville Nashville Commercial Roofing nashville roof recovery nashville roof recovery systems Nashville Roofing Nashville Roofing Partner nashville winter National Safety Month Next Generation Net Lease ongoing roof maintenance open penetrations planning for emergencies ponding water Preparing for winter prevent a roofing emergency preventative maintenance proactive maintenance project manager Quality Ray Ferguson RCP Companies recovery systems Recycled or Biodegradable Roof Material regular inspections Reputation Risk Management roof assessments roof budget roof construction roof curbs roof damage roof debris removal roof diffusers Roof Drain Debris Removal roof inspections Roof Installation Roof installation tips roof leak repairs Roof leaks roof life expectancy Roof Maintenance roof management roof materials roof performance roof preventative maintenance roof repair roof replacement roof replacements roof safety roof weatherproofing Roofers Coffee Shop Roofing roofing care roofing cleaning Roofing Company roofing costs roofing maintenance roofing materials roofing mistakes roofing problems Roofing Products Roofing Specialists rooftop bar rooftop deck rooftop features Rooftop grease traps Rooftop moisture survey rooftop patio rooftop safety safe construction Safety Samples Properties school roof construction school roofing safety school safety seasonal maintenance service account manager service and repair services sheet metal sheet metal fabrication Skyline Replacement Skyline Replacement Tips sloped commercial roof Solar Panels Spray Polyurethane Foam Summer Heat summer kick-off party summer maintenance sun damage temperature control The EDGE estimating software thermal proofing Thermoplastic Polyolefin Tips for Commercial Roofing Under-roof moisture survey warranties Warranty white reflective roofs White Roof

What Do Our Customers Have to Say?


Read Our Reviews