Jim Ziminski looks to innovation while empowering the Crane Renovation Group staff

 

After five years, the list of changes made by President Jim Ziminski at Crane Renovation Group is long.

The company’s brands — Able Roofing, Mr. Roof and Contractors Inc. — were brought together under a new name and given fresh branding. Crane Renovation Group, which serves both the residential and commercial sectors, also started a new mitigation and remediation division, Responsiv Disaster Recovery. The company rebuilt its marketing department with a focus on digital and social media, helped employees realize the potential opportunities for career advancement, worked on standardizing processes across its many locations and began to look at restructuring the business in order to set it up for another growth spurt.

Behind all those changes is Ziminski’s ability to encourage innovation while empowering his staff.

For example, last year, the marketing department put together some events for the women of Crane, including an art class where they painted individual blocks that were compiled together in a collage for the company’s lobby.

“They didn’t come and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this. Are you OK with it?’ They (just) did it, and that to me was really exciting,” Ziminski says.

In fact, Ziminski just has to think back to the start of his career to remember why it’s so important to give your employees legroom. During his senior year of college, he had an internship with a window manufacturer. Each week, he worked with different departments. By the time he graduated and started working full time, Ziminski knew the company better than some people who had been there 10 years.

“That’s probably stuck with me because I know when you give someone young the opportunity and space — if you get the right people — they can do remarkable things,” he says.

Second time around

Crane Renovation Group is Ziminski’s second time working for the Crane family.

He first joined Crane Performance Siding in 2000, ultimately becoming president of the renamed company, Exterior Portfolio by Crane, which created a new product segmentation within the siding industry. When the company was sold in 2011 to Georgia Gulf Corp., he went along with the transaction.

“When the opportunity came up to rejoin the Cranes and grow another business, it was a good fit for both of us. We both knew one another, trusted one another,” he says.