Although many people dream of starting their own business, few pursue it and even fewer succeed after they start. Meet the man who made not one, but two businesses a reality—Jeff Folsom, President of Alpine Roofing Construction. After beginning his career in investment banking, Folsom joined the founding team of an internet-based leisure travel company in the 1990s. After the dot-com crash, Folsom, inspired by a lifelong friend, transitioned to the roofing construction sector and made Dallas the home of Alpine in 2000.
“I’d reached a crossroads in my life and decided I wanted to go from employee to company owner,” says Folsom. Little did he know that his entrepreneurship would result in his business becoming one of the premier commercial, industrial and residential roofing contractors in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The road from employee to employer required time, dedication and many mentors, including advisors at Siplast, the original manufacturer of SBS (styrenebutadiene-styrene) modified bitumen roofing. Folsom has learned many skills through experience and is very grateful for all the help he has received.
“I had experienced contacts at Siplast who educated me, gave me every manual and the product specifications to help me on that path—I am a sponge for knowledge,” he says. In the beginning, Folsom worked as many jobs as possible in the residential roofing sector and then landed his first commercial roofing contract in 2001 for the St. Joseph Catholic School in Richardson, Texas. Mike Steele, Regional Manager at Siplast and the manufacturer’s inspector for that job, has worked with Folsom for nearly 20 years now, but St. Joseph was their first project together. Reflecting on their history, Steele says, “Jeff is such an entrepreneur. He’s dependable, outgoing and always asks for good advice. He is more than a contractor or customer—he’s a guy you want as your friend.”
As Alpine grew from a small business into a roofing powerhouse, Folsom strategically hired individuals with expertise on the technical side of the roofing Business and developed a core team that complemented his own business acumen and experience in financing. It was a winning combination. Today, the company has 30 to 100 employees at any given time, depending on workload. Alpine has expanded its reach beyond the Metroplex and delivers services for commercial and industrial projects across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alabama. Its roofing portfolio includes various installations—everything from hospitals to premier shopping centers to high-rise hotels.