Oklahoma roofing firm exec raised with 'can-do' attitude

BY PAULA BURKES pburkes@opubco.com Published: February 26, 2012
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Northwest Oklahoma City-based Saratoga Roofing & Construction has been based in Oklahoma less than two years. But in that short time, the 13-year-old firm has grown from 12 full-time employees to 48 and, according to the company, realized more than $11.5 million in revenues last year alone.

Much of that growth can be attributed to the “can-do” attitude of founder and chief executive Chris Green. As a girl, Green and her sisters regularly were read “The Little Engine That Could” by their father, she said. As a mom, she instilled the same work ethic in her sons, two of whom work alongside her at Saratoga, she said. And today, Green or “Grammy,” said she repeatedly tells the Little Engine story to her grandsons.

“The words ‘I can't' have never been allowed in this family,” she said.

Saratoga specializes in thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes. The popular poured surfaces — which look like white rubber roofs — provide resistance to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure.

Last year, the company worked jobs in seven states, Green said, including roofs for Sears and Kmart stores and Kansas State University. Local jobs include Lakehurst Shopping Center in Oklahoma City, the IMAX at Warren Theatres in Moore, Oakdale Public Schools in Edmond and Embassy Suites and Norman Regional Hospital in Norman.

From Saratoga's office and warehouse at 209 NW 132, Green, 49, sat down Tuesday with The Oklahoman to talk about her professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:

Q: Can you tell us about your roots?

A: I grew up in the southeast corner of the state of Washington, in the city of Pasco. My paternal grandparents not only had an asphalt roofing and paving company, in which my father worked and my construction company background is rooted, but also a 250-acre quarter horse ranch and abutting racetrack. I can still hear my grandmother — who was a charter member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church — start in on my grandfather when he'd head over to the track on Sunday afternoons. It made for some interesting Sunday dinners.

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Personally Speaking

Position: Founder and chief executive officer, Saratoga Roofing & Construction.

Birth date: Dec. 23, 1962.

Family: Husband/auctioneer Danny Green; sons Denver, 29, Saratoga president, and wife Kristie; Hunter, 24, Saratoga senior estimator; and Carter, 20, a hotel and restaurant student at Oklahoma State University; grandsons Landon, 5, and Eli, 5 months; and Hunter's 5-year-old Labrador “Duke,” who lives at the office as Saratoga's official greeter and guard dog.

Education: Pepperdine University, bachelor's in accounting.

Pastimes: Beth Moore Bible studies and spending time with family. The eight of them go to lunch together every Sunday after worship at Life Church in Edmond, and share an annual Christmas vacation. This past year, they spent it on a working organic farm near the beach in Nicaragua.

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