The 70's & 80's proved to be a period of rapid expansion for the company. Many of the biggest changes, have occurred with Les at the helm. In 1992, Lippert Tile's purchase of the former Boelkow Floors Inc. added carpeting to the company's many specialties.
Les started at Lippert Tile about 33 years ago. During his tenure, the years have brought forth many changes. Not only for the company, but for the construction industry as a whole.
Much of the recent growth has occurred under the supervision of Les Lippert, the current president of Lippert Flooring and Tile.
The decision to renew the name from Lippert Tile Co. to Lippert Flooring and Tile was fundamental. The change reflects the company's comprehensive capabilities in the commercial flooring world.
"I have had the privilege of working in nearly every position there is in our business and have had the luxury of changing responsibilities regularly to keep me fresh and growing," Lippert said, "In the process, the single most valuable thing I have learned is to stay faithful to our absolute values and principles regardless of the short term effect."
The Daily Reporter: Why the name change?
Les Lippert: Lippert Tile has had a well-recognized brand and reputation for quality service and workmanship for nearly seven decades. Though we added commercial floor covering sales and installation via an acquisition 24 years ago, we felt the identity was strong enough to leave alone. The current change is overdue and recognizes that approximately two thirds of our work is commercial flooring, while the rest is tile and stone. Numerous changes to our operation and mission logically prompted a rebranding, and a name change reflecting who and what we have become is appropriate.
TDR: What keeps you coming back to work?
Lippert: The people, and by that I mean our clients, my employees and our vendors. I am at a point in my career where mentoring future leaders, thinking and planning strategically, and setting the company up for longevity and future success are my enjoyable purposes.
TDR: What do you value the most when it comes to your work?
Lippert: Striving to evolve into a better, more dynamic and diversified company - and hitting the mark consistently. I appreciate Vince Lombardi's quote that "if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." We are very good at what we do, but it's gratifying finding the next right answer to the question of how to better serve our clients, employees, and vendors. I am proud of our culture of "change for improvement".
TDR: What would you change about the construction industry, if you could?
Lippert: I entered the business 33 years ago at a time when a handshake and the strength of a relationship were usually enough to secure mutual commitment and fair treatment. I miss those relationships, but fully appreciate and accept that the industry is far more complex and technical than it was, while risk management has become correspondingly more important. The "belt and suspenders" of good contract documents with reciprocal, fair terms - combined with relationships based on mutual trust and shared objectives - make for the very best business outcomes. We are trying to achieve that on every job. I would hurry that process along.
TDR: How would you define success?
Lippert: For as long as I can remember I have entered the building every morning with the purpose of making at least one thing better simply because I showed up and tried. Every evening I leave the building reviewing what I have done to determine if I have actually mattered. Success to me is having accumulated enough of those incidents that I have improved the lives of the people in my orbit, and that I have made the business stronger in every way so it can survive and thrive long after I leave.