Posted by Jay W. Curry

We had a chance to sit down with Sean Kenny, President of Mooring USA, to talk about fire, water, and mold remediation.

Please excuse any typos, below is a hasty transcript.


Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We’ve got a great program going today. Our theme is construction. Believe me construction is huge business in Texas. It’s everywhere and it’s important. And that’s our theme for today. We’ve got people lined up in the halls ready to come give us some expertise, tell you some interesting stories and give us a best practice or two. This is going to be fun. We’re continuing on with the program with a very interesting story it’s the Mooring USA company. And I have in the studio the president. But before we get to that, let me remind everybody that you can always go to Texas Business Radio. So if you’re in the car or you’re sitting back and relaxing. Don’t worry about taking notes. Go to Texasbusinessradio.com. Everything is there, every sponsor, every guest. All the information and every topic, every subject. It’s all right there. Texasbusinessradio.com. If you want to connect with us, we monitor #TBR on Twitter. And of course our famous 24 hour telephone number is 844-814-8144. We check that 24 hours a day. So at 2:00 in the morning with that brilliant idea or question comes up. Pick up the phone call us. We will get an expert. We’ll get an answer and we’ll put it on the program the next week. So check us out 844-814-8144. Call any time. All right. We’ve got the business behind us, let’s have some fun. In the studio we have Sean Kenny, who is the president of Mooring USA. Thanks for coming in Sean.

Sean Kenny: You’re welcome Jay. Thanks for having me.

Jay Curry: So, tell me what in the heck is Mooring USA.

Sean Kenny: Mooring USA is restoration and reconstruction company. So if you think fire, flood, wind we come up, we come in and clean things up and then we rebuild. So that’s the simplest way I could put it. We also do some mold, asbestos and lead remediation. But our core business is restoration due to fire, flood and wind.

Jay Curry: All right you kind of have a long history. This is like second, third generation.

Jay Curry: Third generation ownership the Mooring family and it is a very interesting story. So, in 1948 a guy by the name of Scott Mooring and his good buddy Floppy Blackmen who play basketball together at TCU. Decided to go into business together and what they did at that time basically is they clean rugs and restored furniture. And they developed a culture where Scott was the business guy and floppy did the work. And basically they never said “no”. That was their corporate culture. And so in 1948 when they started this business they got a loss. It was a fire loss. And they were called in to clean the rugs and restore the furniture. And when the company turned the air back on soot blew out and got everywhere. And so they were asked to clean the air ducts. And so they went in clean the air ducts and developed that culture of never saying “no”. And they turned Blackmen Mooring into a very large restoration and reconstruction contractor. Pretty much, Scott and Floppy, I could comfortably say were the pioneers of this industry.

Jay Curry: Isn’t that a great story. Only in America. Right?

Sean Kenny: That’s right.

Jay Curry: So, here they are they’re carpet… they install carpet. Are they cleaning carpet? Or anything related to a carpet. And a big fire occurs and bingo they’re off to a whole new business. And that’s back in 19…

Sean Kenny: In 1948 and then they started the business. And then in 2002 during the height of the mold days here in Texas.

Jay Curry: And I remember as well.

Sean Kenny: Everybody was running and gunning to the clean up mold. And private equity came in to significantly invest and by a large portion of Blackmen Mooring. At that time, the Mooring family decided that they wanted to go out on their own. So in 2002 they separated from Blackmen Mooring. They honored their two year non-compete and in 2004 we started Mooring USA. And really today have nothing to do with the original entity of Blackmen Mooring.

Jay Curry: So it kind of started with… started over with nothing but you’ve really grown substantially now. You’re all over the United States or just Texas?

Sean Kenny: Well, that’s an interesting story and an exciting time for us to be in here to tell that story. We started in 2004 pretty much with one truck and two employees. And we did maybe maybe $50,000 worth of work that first year. Today we’re much larger than that. We do anywhere between three and five million in revenue per month. And right now we’ve got relationships with some big box retail chains. And we’re going from a small family owned, regional company, primarily focused on doing business in Texas and the Gulf Coast. To being a full fledged national company. And we were in the process of building out a network of… and building out our footprint. Because we were asked by our relationships with these big box chains to build out our footprint. So that we can respond to losses anywhere in the country. They like the work that we do. And so we were asked you to build out our footprint.

Sean Kenny: Isn’t that great story though? So, now, I mean you’re some pretty substantial company right now. Growing rapidly. It looks like you’re going to explode even yet again. Let’s talk a little bit about this. So you’re in the construction business. You’re dealing with the big boxes, maybe, I don’t know a Best Buy or Target or somebody like that. You do an agreement with them to cover Texas, Louisiana whatever it might be. And then they have a fire or some kind of hurricane comes in or tornado or whatever it might be. When there’s a disaster you’re who they call.

Sean Kenny: That’s exactly right. And what they really want is a turnkey service. So they want somebody who’s going to come in, clean up their store or whatever it may be and then can also do the reconstruction portion of it. So that they could deal with one contractor. And we need to build out a national footprint. We have an office in Houston, Texas and in Dallas and New Mexico. Those are our physical locations. And the way the industry works if you’re not a franchise. Is you build a network of first respondents. So that if if the big box chain had a loss in North Dakota.

Jay Curry: How are you going to cover it? Right?

Jay Curry: That’s exactly right.

Jay Curry: I was going to ask you, how… so you have a big fire in North Dakota and Target calls. You’re not there. And that’s where you’re going with the networking and how’s that work out?

Sean Kenny: That’s exactly right. So you develop a network of first respondents. So that when the big box chain has a loss, they can look on the information that we provide them and they could see how close our first responded is. They call us, we send the first responded out and they start sucking up water and staking the job down. And then we throw all our heavy equipment on a tractor trailer and we’ll get on the road from Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston and head on out to North Dakota or wherever that loss may be.

Jay Curry: So this is an interesting best practice you might consider is, if you can’t be there get a partner. It can work both ways. Right? I imagine they probably bring you business, as well as you’re bringing them business. And as long as when you arrive with the heavy stuff they’ve done their share of lifting to get you to that point. And as far as the customer’s concern nothing going on but just they gave you a call and then there you are.

Sean Kenny: That’s exactly right. The customer just wants the job done. So we were in the process of building out this network of first respondent. Doing it on our own at hawk. And we were approached by a company called DKI. And what DKI is, there a national company and it’s a group of network partners who do exactly what we do. There’s 300 partners, with over 600 physical locations across the United States. So that when we have a loss at a big big box retail chain in the middle of nowhere, they can call us. And that’s what they really want. They want the one stop approach. They want to call us and know that the job is going to get done. And so we’ll send out our first respondents to stake the job down. And generally the contracts we have, they call for us to respond within one hour. These big box…

Jay Curry: Are you kidding me?

Sean Kenny: That’s right, these big box retailers, their stores make some of them $2 billion a day in profit. So their impetus is on getting the store reopened, as soon as possible. And so they don’t want to know how sausage is made, so to speak. They just want you to get the job done.

Jay Curry: So there you go folks, we’re talking about construction. But this is recovery services. You know there’s construction involved at that stage too. This has been very interesting. Congratulations on your business. We’re going to have to pay some bills in a minute but if someone wants to get a hold of you and learn more about what Mooring is all about, how do they do that?

Sean Kenny: Sure, if there’s an emergency or you want to get in touch with us just in general. You could call us at 888-293-9953. Or you could go to our Web site at mooringusa.com.

Jay Curry: All right folks this is Jay Curry, your host of Texas Business Radio. Matt had to step out but he’s signalling me right now, that he’s ready to get on. So we’re going to stop for just a minute and pay some bills. We’ll be right back.

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About the Author
Jay W. Curry

Jay W. Curry

Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.

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