The Future is Bright
Spray Foam Magazine – Winter 2022 – Riley Wilson works for Specialty Spray Foam Insulators. He is the lead spray foam manager and has been in the industry for five years. He got into spraying because he needed a job after realizing he didn’t want to waste any more time and money on college and chose a new path. His father introduced him to the owner of Specialty Spray Foam Insulators, and it just so happened they needed a helper. He jumped in, liked what he saw, worked his way up and has been spraying for two and a half years.
Riley’s favorite aspect of the job is the knowledge he has gained. He says, “Every day there is something new to learn, and I believe it sets us apart from other trades. I also enjoy the feeling of making a difference on the buildings we work on.”
He would like to further develop his skills in management. He’s always been a helper and a sprayer, but he’s ready to take on more responsibility in the business side of the company. He wants to move up from crawling into the tough areas that have to be sprayed, such as tight crawl spaces and dropped ceilings with hvac.
Riley has learned many lessons while working in this industry, “Whenever I’m doing a tough job, having a bad attitude makes working even harder. It is better to look at something that I know is going to be hard as – It has to be done, so why not get through it with a decent attitude and mindset.”
He also reflects on a lesson well learned. He was taking his pump out of one of the barrels and placed his finger on the inside, by the piston. The pump started pumping and his finger got stuck between the piston and the metal support rod. “Luckily, my coworker was close by and could grease up my finger and force it back down and out. The new T3 pumps have a guard spring around the piston, thankfully.”
Next year, he is looking forward to seeing his team grow and accomplish things he never thought were possible for him at the beginning of his career in spray foam. In five years, he sees himself being a large part of the company, managing more spray foam rigs and putting more young guys through the thorough training he got that put him in the position he’s in now.
Conner O’Dea is newer to the spray foam industry. His buddy Riley had been involved for a while and got him into the trade, specifically with the company he was working for, Specialty Spray Foam Insulators. They’re quite the dynamic duo. He has been spraying for about a month, but has been working in the industry for two years. Conner is now the lead spray foam installer.
Client interaction is one of Conner’s favorite things about the job, especially when they’re talking about foam. He also prioritizes keeping the job clean. He says, “Having a clean job at the end of a project is always satisfying.”
On the other hand, Conner reflects on his least favorite part of the job, which is spraying tight crawl spaces and attics. Maybe it stems from a funny experience he had with his friend and coworker, Riley, “Riley and I were in a crawl space from the 1910’s and we thought rats and racoons were going to come out and attack us. It’s funny looking back at it now, but in the moment, it was actually a big fear.”
Working with his friend Riley definitely makes his day easier and more fun. He says, “Knowing each other’s needs on the job without having to ask makes everything so much easier, not to mention joking around makes the day much better!”
In his spare time, Conner enjoys working out, playing basketball and hopping on a boat to go salmon fishing. Our spray foam contractors are nothing short of outdoorsmen.
While he’s a great sprayer, he believes there is always room for improvement. One of his goals is to become faster and more efficient, and wants to fine tune his final product, making it smoother.
In five years, he hopes to become one of the main salesmen for Specialty Spray Foam Insulators. Conner has learned a lot of lessons in this business and has also learned a lot about himself. One thing specifically being very meticulous when it comes to spraying foam. “I want the best looking product I can spray.”
If Conner could give one piece of advice to younger guys getting into the industry, it is to just work hard. “You can make it anywhere with hard work and a good attitude!”
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