Great Service Fuels Roofing Relationship at Gilmore Car Museum
Donald S. Gilmore had a full and fascinating life. After working for his family’s chain of department stores in Kalamazoo, MI, he joined the Upjohn Company, the famous pharmaceutical manufacturer responsible for such household names as Motrin, Rogaine and Xanax, in 1929 at the age of 34. He would eventually become the CEO of Upjohn from 1953 to 1961.
When Gilmore retired in 1963 his wife, Genevieve, gave him a classic 1920 Pierce-Arrow automobile as a retirement gift. It proved to be the beginning of a love affair between Donald Gilmore and classic, collectible cars. He got to work on repairing and restoring his Pierce-Arrow, and as he worked he started buying up other classic cars.
Soon, he had a three-bay repair shop that could no longer house his collection. So he bought a picturesque 90-acre plot of land situated comfortably between Detroit and Chicago and founded the historic Gilmore Car Museum as a non-profit foundation in 1966.
Instead of simply turning to new construction for his museum, Gilmore went all around Michigan buying up classic barns and buildings, which were transported plank by plank to his museum in Hickory Corners, MI, located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, and reconstructed there. He even brought in a 1940s diner and recreated a 1930s Shell filling station on the property (with 18 cent-per-gallon gas!).
Today, the Gilmore Car Museum is a veritable Mecca for car enthusiasts. The antique collectible cars look perfectly at home displayed in the old-fashioned barns and buildings on the museum campus. Two miles of paved road connect about 20 separate buildings, all of them themed to display different types of collectibles, from Pierce-Arrows and Model A Fords to Walt Disney’s Gnome Mobile and classic motorcycles. The museum is a sight to behold for any car enthusiast.
So where does a museum turn for its roof replacement needs, especially when a nostalgic look is so important to the overall aesthetic?
Brian Slighly, manager of the Sherriff-Goslin Roofing Battle Creek office, cultivated a relationship with the museum’s management team and earned the job by concentrating on excellent customer service.
The museum has been a Sherriff-Goslin customer for close to two decades now. In that time, more than a dozen buildings have had new roofs installed. Every building exhibits Sherriff-Goslin’s Art-Loc®, diamond-shaped, charcoal black, interlocking shingles featuring Scotchgard™ Protector to help resist the ugly, black streaks caused by algae.
Safety is always of primary concern while installing roofs, and the Gilmore Car Museum was no exception. Sherriff-Goslin roofers always use equipment that meets or exceeds OSHA requirements. Full-body harnesses, lifeline lanyards and roof anchors are used at all times by Sherriff-Goslin’s fully insured employees.
The most recent building to be completed was the museum’s Heritage Center, home to the administrative offices, souvenir store and The Donald Gilmore Collection exhibit. The Campania Barn, the Classic Car Club of America, the Steam Barn and the main museum building have also received new roofs.
Slighly, a veteran Sherriff-Goslin Company roofing contractor, sends a service team to the museum once a year to do a free roofing inspection, make any necessary repairs and determine if any new roof replacements would be needed.
The museum hosted the Sherriff-Goslin Company’s 2016 summer sales meeting, giving the sales team an opportunity to not only visit the museum, but to see the company’s Art-Loc interlocking diamond-shaped shingles in action.
The relationship between Sherriff-Goslin and the museum illustrates how quality service trumps price.
“The only way they are going to ask you back to do more work,” Slighly said, “is if you continually provide outstanding service before, during and after the job has been completed.”