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Building on friendship

image Linda Krienke and Ron Harris established their company 24 years ago.

HOUSTON - Not many people can say they have been friends with someone for 40 years, and even fewer can say they opened a company with that person, but a great friendship and hard work is how Linron Company in Houston came to be.

 

 

 

 

 

    Linda Krienke, executive vice president and owner, and Ron Harris, president and owner, met in 1977. Harris hired Krienke for the company they originally worked for. “I was his very first interview,” Krienke laughs. “Back then, you went through employment agencies, so I started out working part-time in the file room, and moved my way up quickly because I’ve always been an over-achiever.”
    Harris eventually left that company to find something new and took Krienke with him. Linron Company was established in Nov. 1993 and now has 33 employees.
    Harris has been around the industry his whole life. “My family had a commercial flooring business and I grew up going out to job sites and learning all phases of the business. I learned the distribution part of the business at the company I worked for with Krienke where I was VP of sales and marketing.”
    They have such a close relationship, and have worked together and been friends for so long that people often assume that they are married. Krienke admits that they do fight like brother and sister, though. “It’s not unusual for a blow up to happen in one of our offices with doors slamming.”
    Despite the occasional spat, they have set a wonderful example for their employees. “Because of the work ethic that they display, the employees have a great work ethic and we are able to build relationships with people in the office and our customers,” shares Angie Adams, vice president of operations and HR. 
    The two make sure to treat their
customers with the utmost respect. “Our claim to fame is our customer service. We treat people right and give super service.
If I get a call from a customer in Los Angeles who wants advice or wants me to look
at a job, I’m on the plane right away,”
Harris explains.
    Two of Krienke’s children and Harris’ son and daughter-in-law work at Linron. “They’ve been working there since they got out of high school. We would like for them to eventually take over and keep the company running and growing; that’s one of our goals,” says Krienke. 
    The company does a lot to give back to the community, too. “Every year we adopt a family for Christmas, we’ve helped out veterans and the Houston Area Women’s Center, and this year we adopted
an elementary school in Gonzalez, TX that lost everything to the flood,” says Krienke.
    Although they both put in a lot of hours, they relax when they can. Harris and Krienke are big sports fans and support all the Houston teams. Krienke and her husband have a farm in Gonzalez, TX where they plan to retire, but for now they visit on the weekends. Harris loves cars – old cars, new cars, cars that need fixing, etc. “He’s probably got every car he’s ever owned. He never trades them in because he thinks there’s going to be someone who’s going to need it,” chides Krienke. and Harris can’t help but admit that it’s true.
    They’ve got a great working rela-
tionship, but more importantly, a solid friendship. 
    Linron Company is a commercial flooring company in Houston. - te


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Tanya Erickson houstoneditor@constructionnews.net