Who says nice guys finish last? Don’t tell that to Ben Weiss, because if the saying were true, he might not have played an instrumental role in Sherriff-Goslin Company securing the large-scale condo project in Marblehead, Ohio.
With Weiss, what you see is what you get. Though he once did four laps in an Indy car at the Indianapolis 500 Speedway and met President Carter in the Rose Garden of the White House, he’s still a guy who lives a simple lifestyle and values family above all else.
Weiss grew up in a family of 11 children in a tiny town just northwest of Richmond, Indiana, called Greens Fork. He began learning the family dairy farming business at an early age.
After high school, he officially went into business with his father when the two decided to invest in even more cows. His background led him to join the Future Farmers of America (FFA), which recognized his leadership potential and sent him out as a speaker to promote farming to young people.
Because of his father’s failing health, Weiss was unable to enroll in agriculture school at Purdue University because, as he put it, “In dairy farming, it’s pretty hard to take even one day away from the job. The cows never go on vacation.”
In 1985, Weiss and his father came to the difficult decision that dairy farming could no longer provide a profitable future. After coming across a Sherriff-Goslin newspaper ad for a salesperson at the Richmond, Indiana branch and talking to an acquaintance about the benefits of working there, he applied for the job.
Though Weiss partnered with standout salesman Jerry Doddridge and they learned how to sell Art-Loc shingles together, his first stint with Sherriff-Goslin was a short one. Weiss thought he could be more useful to the branch as assistant manager. The general manager at the time, Dwayne Rank, declined and Weiss turned in his resignation.
“I jumped from the frying pan into the fire,” he said of his next job: making wire harnesses for the automobile industry. Weiss felt like a number. No matter how hard he worked, he knew he had no way to increase his earnings.
Realizing he had made a huge mistake, he contacted Skip Sherriff about coming back to work for the company – this time as a manager. Sherriff told him about a town in Ohio called Mansfield, and how the company had closed up shop there some 10 years prior. Without hesitation, Weiss and his wife Jewell packed the car and headed out on their new adventure. They fell in love with the city and decided to put down roots, raising their two daughters, Shannon and Lara, there.
In his free time, Weiss can be found in Indianapolis visiting his four young grandchildren. Otherwise, he’s usually at home working on his old Case farm tractor. He says he’s got it running pretty good now.
Weiss isn’t quite ready to retire just yet, though, because he continues to enjoy setting goals in his business and working hard to achieve them. He feels his team in Mansfield is capable of reaching those goals. Other than that, Weiss hopes to help more new people succeed at Sherriff-Goslin by sharing the wisdom of his favorite quote. “Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after an experience becomes your trademark.”
Sherriff-Goslin’s Bobby Classon is as humble as they come. He strives to be the very best at whatever he does, whether as a roofer when he started with Sherriff-Goslin fresh out of high school 17 years ago, as a break-dancer on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” or today, as a dynamite salesman.
“I guess I’m living proof that anyone can be successful here if they work at it,” Classon said. Aside from his stellar work ethic, he credits a large amount of his success to the team of people he works with because they have always believed in him.
Classon grew up in Niles, MI, the oldest of three children. A top student, especially in math and art, he knew that after graduation he needed to find work that not only paid the bills but also challenged him on a regular basis.
A good friend told Classon that Sherriff-Goslin Company was a great place to work, so after turning 18, he picked up the tools of the roofing trade. He loved working outdoors, especially while under the tutelage of Greg Doyle, a veteran Sherriff-Goslin manager from South Bend, Indiana.
Later, Doyle encouraged Classon to venture into the challenging world of sales. So in May 2006, he got his feet wet working with Sherriff-Goslin salesman David Lillich. After a year, his finances were still shaky, and he questioned whether he was truly ready to be a salesman.
Suddenly, in January 2007, a new opportunity presented itself. Many roofers found themselves unable to work due to Social Security Card issues, so Doyle asked Classon if he would come back to roofing to train some new guys. Classon fell right back into the groove and would go on to be named a Top 10 roofer in the company for five consecutive years.
Having accomplished many personal goals, Classon decided to give sales another crack in 2015. This time around, he found his niche. With constant encouragement from his fiancée Jeni, whom he wed last November, he implemented a new marketing plan that included heavy canvassing in neighborhoods surrounding his South Bend home, as well as sending out 500 to 1,000 direct mail pieces per week.
But all work and no fun make Classon a dull boy. So in his downtime, the 35-year-old can be found working on his 1962 Chevy Impala – including all of the custom interior sewing – as well as performing with a group of break-dancers that were once featured on the Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
In the new year, Classon expects to continue to climb the ladder of success, setting a personal goal of becoming a top five salesman in the company, one who is able to sell more than $600,000 worth of product per year. He’ll do so by keeping his favorite quote in mind: “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”
Everyone knows the phrase “comfort food.” The term, traced back to the 1960s, describes a particular dish we associate with security, one that reminds us of home and helps us cope with negative feelings or overwhelming situations.
What nurtures your soul? Is it mashed potatoes – or perhaps lasagna? If you’re looking for something new this winter, check out these five recipes that are sure to provide comfort during the coldest days.
1 – Turkey Pot Pie
This recipe banishes winter chill as soon as you take a bite. Its flaky, golden crust and deliciously savory filling are the very definition of comfort. If you’ve never made a pot pie before, give it a try – it’s not as hard as it seems.
What you’ll need:
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-2/3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 can coconut milk (1¾ cups)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 refrigerated pie pastries (or 1, depending on whether you want a double crust on your pie)
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Boil chopped carrots for 8 minutes, then remove and set aside.
Step 3: Boil diced potatoes for 7 minutes, then remove and set aside.
Step 4: In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in the butter and oil until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix veggies and stir until they are evenly coated.
Step 5: Add the can of coconut milk and allow to boil, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened.
Step 6: Add the cooked turkey, frozen peas, parboiled carrots and potatoes, poultry seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper; mix.
Step 7: Pour mixture into a greased pie plate. If you want your pie with double crust, line a greased pie plate with a sheet of pie dough before pouring your mixture into the container.
Step 8: Place the remaining pie dough sheet on top of your pie and seal to fit. Using a knife, cut ventilation slits through the top of the crust. Be as decorative or as simple as you like – the flower design is classic.
Step 9: Place your pot pie on a cookie or baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, increase temperature to 425 degrees and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Step 10: Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and enjoy!
2 – Creamy Baked Ziti
If you’re more of a pasta person, this one is for you. The savory sausage, creamy ricotta and delicious tomato sauce cook up to a bubbly comfort perfection.
What you’ll need:
- 1 (16-ounce) package of ziti pasta
- 1 pound mild (or spicy if you prefer) Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 (24-ounce) jars of marinara sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Step 2: Boil pasta according to directions on the box.
Step 3: Cook sausage in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.
Step 4: In a large saucepan, heat marinara, cream cheese, olive oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon of basil until cheese is melted and the mixture is well blended.
Step 5: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Step 6: Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with sauce. Layer half of the ziti, half of the sausage, half of the ricotta and half of the mozzarella. Spoon half of the sauce over the top.
Step 7: Repeat step 6 to layer.
Step 8: Sprinkle top with ½ teaspoon of basil and Italian seasoning.
Step 9: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Step 10: Serve and enjoy!
Who can say no to grilled cheese? Here’s a recipe that takes the classic favorite to the next level on your comfort meter.
What you’ll need:
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 slices of your choice of bread
- 1 cup gouda, shredded
Let’s get started!
Step 1: In a medium skillet over low heat, caramelize onion in 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Toss to make sure onion is evenly coated. Cook on low for 30 to 40 minutes, checking frequently to make sure onions do not burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 3: Toss mushrooms in remaining olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked to taste.
Step 4: Heat butter in medium/large skillet over medium heat.
Step 5: While butter is melting, assemble sandwiches. Layer cheese, roasted mushrooms and onions, followed by another layer of cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with another slice of bread.
Step 6: Place sandwich in pan for one second, then flip to other side and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat until cheese is melted and bread is browned to taste.
4 – Chicken Noodle (Tortellini) Soup
Simple and delicious, chicken noodle soup has a place in everyone’s heart. This recipe uses tortellini to put a delicious spin on an old favorite. What’s even better is that you can make it in the crockpot. When you get home from work, dinner is served.
What you’ll need:
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch fresh chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups tortellini of your choosing — we prefer cheese
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Add all ingredients to crockpot, except tortellini.
Step 2: Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Step 3: Remove cooked chicken from crockpot and shred or cube and add back to crockpot.
Step 4: Add the tortellini and cook for another 15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Step 5: Remove bay leaves, serve with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional) and enjoy!
Time for dessert!
Roasted marshmallows and chocolate – what could be better? The taste of everyone’s campfire classic in small bites.
What you’ll need:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¼ cups mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour (available at many health food stores)
- ¾ cup mini marshmallows
- ¼ cup graham crack crumbs or 4 large graham crackers, finely crushed
- Materials: mini-muffin pan, mini-muffin cup liners
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Line mini-muffin pan with liners
Step 3: Heat butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove when melted.
Step 4: Add ¾ cup of chocolate chips into melted butter and stir until mixture is smooth and blended.
Step 5: Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Step 6: Gradually beat in the flour until the mixture is thick and well blended.
Step 7: Stir in the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips.
Step 8: Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, fill each liner with 2 tablespoons of the batter. Push 3 of the marshmallows into the center of the batter.
Step 9: Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the graham cracker crumbs over the marshmallows.
Step 10: Bake until marshmallows are puffed and lightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 11: Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
What’s Your Comfort Go-To?
Are you sticking to old favorites this winter – or maybe attempting a few of these recipes? Post a photo and tag us to let us know what you think! Do you have a favorite comfort-food recipe? Share it with us! Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
The average snow fort consists of a long wall or two, a small stockpile of snowballs and maybe a tunnel. All a determined enemy needs to do is to wait patiently, just out of range, for that stockpile of ammo to be spent. Once your intrepid team runs out of snowballs, the opposing force will rush in like a tidal wave of white rage and your precious snow fort will be no more.
However, with a little foreknowledge and planning, your next snow battle could make your revenge sweet and comfortable from within the ramparts of a reinforced snow citadel. Following a series of professional snow fort building techniques will certainly tip the balance of the next engagement in your favor.
Location, Location, Location!
Choose a spot near a building, wall or another physical barrier. Build your fortress facing outward from that location, which makes any attack from behind an exercise in futility.
Also, if you want your fort to remain intact for an extended period, you ought to avoid building in an area where your mighty fortress will be flagged for removal by local authorities.
A Strong Foundation
Unless you are building on a concrete slab, the chances are good that an uneven terrain full of hazards and obstacles will need to be properly prepared in order to support your fortress.
First, plan exactly where the walls will be built. Assemble your entire team into a huddle and design the ramparts around them by drawing an outline in the snow with a stick, shovel or sword. Make sure that you will have enough room in your completed fortification for your entire army of snow warriors.
Next, pat some snow down to even out the ground and to create a strong, smooth plane for the foundation of your fort walls. A strong foundation will make for better footing and traction for your troops as they hurl carefully aimed snowball grenades over the wall and into the advancing enemy lines.
Build a Wall Worthy of Song
Only an amateur would simply pile up snow and attempt to chisel out a wall-like shape. Instead of showing your enemies a weakness to be exploited, find some large plastic storage bins and pack them full of snow. These will form snow bricks that you can use to build a stronger, thicker, sturdier and taller wall.
Place them the way you would place normal bricks, with each row overlapping the row beneath. Either find or make some slush to use as mortar between the bricks. When you’re finished, your impenetrable wall will be ready to withstand the Mongols and the Persian Empire together at the same time.
Some of the more serious snow soldiers prefer to make their fort bricks out of pykrete instead of snow. Pykrete is essentially sawdust and ice, and it will stand up to almost anything, from a concentrated hail of snowballs to a bullet. However, if you’re fighting a snowball war with bullets you’re going against the Geneva Convention, so be forewarned.
The Final Touch
Once your snow fort is finished and ready to stand the trial of combat, you must complete one more step before the enemy arrives at your gates. Take buckets of water and douse the entire fort with water.
Once it freezes, the frozen water will create an extra solidifying barrier to your snow fortress. Nothing short of an actual tank – or, well, summer – will bring your walls down. All you’ll need is a large stockpile of ammunition and the will to ceaselessly crush your opponent to the point of surrender or annihilation.
Depending on where you decide to build your snow fort, you may also be able to tunnel through a high snow drift or mound of snow to make a secret snowball munitions armory or to join forces with a nearby ally by connecting your fort to theirs. (Never tunnel alone. Make sure there is someone with you at all times in case the tunnel collapses on top of you.)
You can also follow igloo construction techniques to close yourself off to aerial attacks. An enclosed fort area can also be used as a munitions cache, as a makeshift infirmary to tend your wounded or as a throne room for you, the supreme ruler of your army.
Other advanced techniques are primarily aesthetic in nature. You can use food coloring in the snow to add a little panache to your structure (there’s nothing like a brightly colored skull and crossbones to make your enemies think twice about attacking). Some snow fort architects even add lighting to their palaces – but be wary of wires and electronics around water, even when that water is frozen.
You can tip the odds of the next snowball engagement in your favor with a little knowledge and preparation. Evolving out of the stone age of snow fort construction will give you a distinct advantage over most of your opponents as they attempt to hide behind their simple, pathetic piles of snow. Your reinforced frozen walls will intimidate the prehistoric sensibilities of your enemy!
Make Your Roof As Strong As Your Snow Fort
If you want your roof to be as strong and indestructible as your snow fort, Sherriff-Goslin offers a free roofing inspection and roofing estimate for your home. Contact a customer service representative today to schedule an appointment.
Do your friends and family call you the grill master? Are you willing to strap on a parka and boots in the dead of winter so you can barbecue the perfect cut of meat? Well, according to a survey conducted by Weber GrillWatch, you’d be in good company: More than half of American grill owners cook outside all year round, while 37 percent continue to BBQ even when the temperature drops below 32 degrees F.
For those of you who have yet to venture into the wonderful world of winter BBQ, follow these strategic steps for firing up the grill even when the weather forecaster advises you to stay inside.
Before You BBQ
- First things first: Dress accordingly. Just because you’re cooking like it’s summer doesn’t mean you should be wearing shorts and sandals when it’s snowing outside.
- Avoid clothing that could come in contact with the grill, such as scarves and tassels. Fingerless gloves are a wise choice as well because properly gripping tongs is an all-important task.
- Plan ahead. Have all cooking utensils, trays, seasoning and meats at your disposal to save time. Also, recipes that only call for one flip are a wise choice.
- Find a primo spot for the BBQing to take place. No, that doesn’t mean you should bring the grill indoors – rather, identify a space that is protected from the wind. Just be sure to avoid cooking under porches or near vinyl siding or other potential fire hazards.
- Clear a path back and forth from the grill and be sure to remove all snow from the grill long before you fire up the starter.
- Choose smaller cuts of meat and quick-cooking vegetables, which will take less time to thaw, season and cook.
- If you plan on cooking with propane, choose a grill with a high BTU to maintain maximum temperature.
- To prevent food from sticking to the grill, coat the grill with oil.
- Start warming up the grill at least five minutes sooner than you normally would during summer.
While You Grill
- According to grill company Crown Verity, a good rule of thumb for BBQing meat when it’s frigid outside is to add 20 minutes of cooking time for every 5 degrees below 45 degrees F.
- Whether you’re using charcoal or propane, keep reserves nearby. You’ll likely burn through more briquettes and gas than when it’s warm outside.
- Keep the lid closed as much as possible to further maintain the correct cooking temperature.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is grilled properly.
- Using ceramic cookware will insulate food not only on the grill itself but as you transport it back inside to enjoy eating.
After You Grill
- While the grill is still warm, use a grill brush to gently remove build-up.
- Frozen fat is no fun to clean up, so keep a bowl of warm cloths just inside the house for a quick wipe-off.
- Protect your grill with a high-quality, non-flammable, all-weather cover.
- Work safely and quickly so that you can warm up inside and enjoy the fruits of your labor!