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About Us

ABOUT SURFACE EXPERTS

What began as a small spot repair business in the Pacific Northwest is now a franchise system serving quick, quality repairs to customers from coast to coast.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to develop outstanding teams by investing in strong relationships. Together we work to solve our customers’ problems by reducing the waste of time, money and materials which end up in landfills.

To establish and lead a nationally recognized market for surface repair as an alternative to replacement or complete refinishing. Our goal is to be represented in every major metropolitan area, and for our brand to be synonymous with spot repair among all facilities and maintenance management.

MEET THE SURFACE EXPERTS FRANCHISING TEAM

Jacob Grady

CEO

At Surface Experts, Jacob takes the successes and mistakes he made while starting and running two businesses in Bogota, Colombia and Portland, OR and using them to build a healthy model. He works hand-in-hand with franchise owners to achieve their goals and build their businesses.

“We are looking for franchisees who align with our core values of serving others, being a problem solver, and trusting the process. We pride ourselves in our culture of franchise owners who truly care for one another and build each other up,” says Jacob.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jacob and his wife Catherine love the outdoors and are often on a river or a mountain. Their two children have taken up their love for the outdoors in fishing and foraging for berries. Jacob has a passion for entrepreneurs and helping start businesses. Whether in Rwanda, Colombia or around the USA, helping small businesses thrive is what drives him.

Greg Hess

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Prior to joining Surface Experts in 2019, Greg enjoyed a long career in the digital market research industry. He brings skills ranging from accounting to technology to customer service. Greg is skilled at anticipating and diagnosing problems, translating solutions into training systems for franchisees and employees. He is excited to be part of a team working to save its customers money and help the environment by reducing waste. 

In his free time Greg enjoys an eclectic mix of activities such as: gardening, tinkering on various DIY projects, learning, volunteering, and making lists, among other things. 

ERIN ORANEN

Director of Sales

Before joining Surface Experts, Erin Oranen spent much of her 20-year career in sales and sales coaching with the Southwestern Family of Companies. During her 10-year residence in Portland, OR, Erin worked for Nike, Inc. recruiting marketing and advertising masterminds. She loves the psychology behind relational sales, a technique that has served her greatly, and something she truly enjoys sharing with Surface Experts teams as they grow. Informed by her experience, Erin worked closely with Jacob to develop the training curriculum for Surface Experts sales, systematizing the process that worked so well for him. 

In Erin’s words: “We are a sales company with an emphasis on spot repair. Our sales cycle is focused on an educational sale since most of our potential customers have never heard of spot repair. People who do well in sales at Surface Experts trust our process of articulating who we are and what we do so that they can come alongside the customers and serve them well.” 

Erin enjoys being active, creating yummy things in the kitchen, adventuring outdoors and spending time with the people she loves. She lives in Spokane, WA with her husband and two children. She loves connecting with people on all things including (but not limited to): life, goals, personal development, food, adventure, podcasts, books and more.

Otis Laney

DIRECTOR OF TECHNICAL TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

Otis Laney spent over 4 years working with Jacob as a surface repair technician in Portland, OR, learning about various surfaces and processes for repairing them. A patient and consistent teacher, Otis now trains and supports Surface Experts technicians as they learn our proprietary repair process. Otis is also involved in developing repair techniques for new surface types.  

In his words: “I find great satisfaction in seeing Surface Experts technicians solve problems and find solutions to challenging repairs.” 

Otis loves spending time with family, fishing, and the outdoors. 

Kathryn Pearson

SUPPORT CENTER MANAGER

Kathryn is originally from Alabama and moved to Spokane over 15 years ago. Before joining Surface Experts, she owned a successful local dance studio for 10 years in Spokane. As a former small business owner, Kathryn is excited to bring her experiences as an entrepreneur and knowledge in accounting, management, marketing, and customer service to the Surface Experts team. She really enjoys working with our franchisees, supporting them as they grow their businesses, and helping them succeed. 
 

Kathryn enjoys hiking, kayaking, spending time with her 3 boys and going to music festivals with her husband. As a family they enjoy cooking, traveling, and watching SEC football (Roll Tide). Kathryn loves meeting new people and enjoys working with everyone at the Support Center, our franchisees, sales reps, and technicians, and all our customers.

Russ Ward

FRANCHISE BUSINESS COACH

Russ Ward has over 25 years of experience in franchising — from consulting, sales, and operations to ownership. He has been the owner-operator of multiple franchises in the restaurant and retail industries and has worked as a broker selling franchises. He has led large and small sales teams for national corporations. In Russ’s words: “I have a passion for franchising, coaching, mentoring, and helping others.”   

Russ has been married to his lovely wife, Jennie, for almost 27 years. He has two adult daughters, Alysha and Caitlin, and two Labrador Retrievers. Russ and Jennie love being outdoors — boating in Coeur d’Alene and hiking in the mountains and fresh air. He loves sports (“Go, NY!”) and playing golf. 

Mike Johnson

FRANCHISE BUSINESS COACH

Mike Johnson has extensive experience in franchising. He has owned and operated franchises and spent over 13 years working alongside franchises as a coach, district manager, and director of operations. Mike also had many years in the service industry as an owner/operator while partnering with other businesses conducting sales and service. Mike enjoys his current role at Surface Experts, working alongside our franchisees to exceed their individual goals.
  

Mike lives in St. Louis, Mo and is married (26yrs) to his wife, Maggie, with whom he has a son Max (21) and a new rescue pup named Mable. Mike and family enjoy sporting events including hockey (Blues), baseball (Cardinals) and attending the Indianapolis 500 yearly with extended family. On weekends you may find the family enjoying the outdoors and the firepit. 

Jennifer Crane Pyle

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Jennifer is a seasoned marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in visual design, communications, and marketing strategy. She loves translating Surface Experts' values and points of excellence to connect in fresh ways with customers. Before starting at Surface Experts in 2021, she worked in industries as varied as wine, agriculture, fashion apparel, and mental health care. One commonality in her experience is working closely with the leadership of small companies to direct marketing efforts. As a result, she understands the needs, challenges, and pace of growing businesses.  

When she's not at work, you’ll find Jennifer soaking up time with her husband, Brandon, and their son. They’re a family of people who love spending time with dear friends, getting outside no matter the weather, and making art, music, and food. 

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