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Mind of his own

image L-R: Janette Gibreal, Dino Palermo (1st employee of 21st Century in 1996), Gary and Jordan Gibreal at the Mjejane River Lodge in South Africa.

AUSTIN - Not knowing what to major in college is a painted picture we can all relate too, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    After Gary Gibreal got out of the Air Force in 1992, he attended the University of Texas Austin part time as a biology major. He spent the other part of his time painting for his brother who was a contractor.
    “I couldn’t make up my mind on a final major, so I was going to take a year off from college to decide which major I was going to complete,” said Gibreal.
    During that year off he worked as a painter; business in painting for contractors was booming during the mid-90s.
    Things can sure happen quickly. “It went from me passing out flyers on windshields and going door to door” to having a sales staff and a few employees.
    In 1996, Gibreal opened 21st Century Painting & Roofing. Of course, his trade as a painter is how the business started, but then in 2001 he hired a salesman, whose background was in roofing. “He had been in the roofing business for 20 years and he convinced me to add roofing to our services, so we did.”
    Gibreal acknowledges the challenge he had to overcome – “building a business from scratch with no formal business training.”
    But with his background and perseverance he managed to overcome all odds in the 21st century.
    Today, Gibreal now has around 25 employees working for his residential and commercial painting, roofing and siding company.
    The service area includes the entire central Texas area.
    On the commercial side of business Gibreal has established a strong relationship with two local school districts. Their time to service is throughout the summer. “Whenever school is out we are working and we’ve been doing that for about 15 years,” said Gibreal.
    Austin, TX is where Gibreal wants to keep his business. As far as expansion goes, him and his team hope to expand into more commercial painting and roofing.
    And because Gibreal enjoys Austin, he and the company have given back.
    At one point in time Gibreal said he sponsored one of his painters who was a soccer coach. Gibreal has also sponsored a youth football team that his son played on. “He’s got the old jersey from back then,” with the company logo on it.
    Then, Gibreal recalls a compelling story from that time. He said, “A neat thing we did that we had never done before was for the youth football team.” They had painted somewhere short of 100 helmets for the entire team.
    “We brought them into our warehouse and I had six of my painters who worked with me for a long time volunteering about a day and a half of free labor to the organization to come in to prep and paint all the helmets a kind of gold color.”
    Gibreal and his team used automotive paint, “that’s something we don’t do, but we searched youtube and learned how to do it – then we set them all up.”
    Yes, all of them.
     Gibreal then said all the kids who were from ages six to 13 had bright shiny gold helmets. He thought that was pretty neat.  
    Gibreal is a dedicated owner who was once unsure of what to major in. But to think that if had he not taken that year off, or if he had not hired his first salesman, there would be no 21st Century Painting & Roofing.
    21st Century Painting & Roofing is a painting, roofing and siding contractor in Austin, TX. –lv


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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net