Winners Never Quit

    It was over 40 years ago that Lee Borntrager made the decision to launch his dream, a small roofing company in Goshen, Indiana. Little did he realize at the time that his new venture would grow little by little to become one of the largest and most respected commercial roofing companies in the Midwest. In addition to his unexpected successes, Lee certainly didn’t expect the challenges and heartaches that he would encounter along the way.

    Pictured above Lee Borntrager, founder of Borntrager Roofing (left) and Ryan Borntrager, VP of Operations (right)

  • Humble Beginnings

    Borntrager Roofing was founded in 1978 as a roofing installation and repair enterprise. Over the years, under Lee's guidance the business evolved from doing home repairs and new roof installations, into commercial roofing and repairs. He continually refined his business direction adjusting to the challenges and changes that he encountered along the way.

    As with most business owners, to maintain his business Borntrager had to change and adapt with the times. New regulations, new products, new application of products... for small business owners all of that is business as usual, if you can keep all of the parts moving in a positive direction. Obviously, Borntrager figured that out early on as they have certainly become one of the largest and most respected commmercial and industrial roofing companies in Michiana... and even in the Midwest.

    So where has the company's success come from? Well if you chat with Lee Borntrager, who is extremely mild mannered, humble and non-pretentious he will tell you it starts with his team. "That's where I've really been lucky is to surround myself with extremely talented people, that I can trust." Lee puts an emphasis on the word trust. "Borntrager Roofing, actually is all about trust. I have to trust our vendors, my people have to trust each other and our customers have to trust us, for this to work properly and for us to do a great job. Knowing you have talented people and that they are going to do the right things, trusting that your vendors are going to deliver the right product for the right price; this all adds up to trust from our customers. They know we are going to do our very, very best, each and every time, to deliver what they expect at the price they expect and on time."

    Borntrager also attributes that notoriety to the company’s philosophy: “If our customers are happy we will continue to grow. We strive to ensure that the value our customers receive is superior to that of other roofers… it’s a very simple approach that works,” says Borntrager. You can't argue with success and Borntrager has certainly tasted his fair share of success. Unfortunately he and his company have also has their setbacks including a fire in 2015 that nearly put them out of business for good.

    A Tale of the Phoenix

    It was on February 15, 2015, a day that Lee Borntrager and his team will certainly remember throughout their lives. A massive fire ravaged the building that housed the equipment and roofing supplies of Borntrager Roofing. It was devastating enough that it would have ended most businesses right then and there. But, Lee Borntrager, president of Borntrager Roofing, made a very hard decision to keep his business afloat and not let this major setback defeat him. "It was tough." Borntrager shared, "You feel very empty inside. It's like everything that you have built over the years was for nothing. It shatters your nerves and your confidence and leaves you feeling very unsure and unsettled about moving forward."

    The fire may have knocked the wind out of him, but only for a short time. Lee was determined to see his business survive, and even grow stronger. Before too long he was back in the game, swinging harder than ever. "It's not as easy as it was when I was younger. I don't have the energy that I had when I was younger, but thanks to my team, some of which are family, and their support, I just got up every day and fought the battle to come back. My intention was, if we are going to do this, let's come back bigger and stronger than ever. And that's pretty much what we did.

  • According to Borntrager, the period of time between the fire and the building being replaced was the most challenging time. "It was tough to say the least. Trying to get things done, service existing customers, make new sales and recreate everything. That's something that I never want to go through again. But now that we are through that part, things are better than ever in many ways. But I won't forget all of those challenges, re-supplying all the materials and replacing the equipment lost in the fire, dealing with insurance and building permits, while trying to assure customers, old and new, that we are still the go-to commercial roofing company we have always been. That's behind us now, thank goodness for that. Now I can absolutely say we've made it." By the summer of 2016, Borntrager's new facility (pictured above) was completed and occupied and the business was recovering at a rapid pace.

  • Moving Forward

    If you visited Borntrager today you wouldn't even realize they skipped a beat. Their crew from inside out seems happy, confident and positive about their future. According to customers, Borntrager is better than ever. "These guys always deliver." says Doug Edward, managing construction supervisor for one of Borntrager's Mishawaka customers. "They picked up where they left off and we wouldn't have even known about their setback if it were not for the local news. They have continued to provide us with the same service they always have. In fact , we have them quoting out a new project as we speak. It may sound funny but we only use Borntrager for our roofing needs."

    According to Lee Borntrager, the mission has to remain solid “We will continue to provide our customers competitive pricing and the highest quality workmanship, whether it’s a minor repair or a major new installation. Our goal is to always provide exemplary service… before, during and after any project that we undertake. Personally, I feel that we always operate honestly and openly with our customers. When you deal with customers that way, with the highest level of integrity you are going to do pretty good. In addition to that we always use the best quality products with the best warranties in the industry and we hold our vendors to the same level of excellence that we hold ourselves to. THat way we can easily stand behind our work.” When you do those things every day for years, this business isn't that tough.... except maybe for fires."

    And the Beat Goes On

    This way of doing business has resulted in many long-standing repeat customers for Borntrager Roofing, as well as a growing roster of new customers. When you’ve built a reputation of excellence and a respect for your customers, word gets around. And rest assured that Lee Borntrager isn't going to rest on his past successes. He seems to be as aggressive as he ever was when it comes to garnering the "right" new customers, and keeping the existing ones happy. Borntrager's reputation also continues to flourish, noticed by business peers, professional organizations and even competitors. As ongoing recipients of countless industry awards and kudos, good press and notoriety for exceptional work, there is no doubt that Borntrager, Inc. (Borntrager Roofing) and the team will continue to kick some serious butt in the commercial roofing industry in Michiana for many years to come.

    As Lee Borntarger says, "Treat people right, Treat your customers right, treat your team right, treat your vendors right. If you do the right thing, good thinsg are always going to happen."

    Well it seems that Lee Borntrager is doing what's right by his customers, staff and suppliers... and maybe that's part of the reason Borntrager Roofing is one of the largest and most respected commercial roofers in Michiana!

    For further information on Borntrager, Inc:
    Click to see Borntrager's Profile:
    Borntrager Roofing Profile
    or call 574.533.0663

    1715 East Monroe Street Goshen, IN 46528





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