Yardstick - Issue 4 2017 - 15
[MEMBER PROFILE ]
Materials Co. Ltd:
Celebrating 50 Years
By Brian Kusisto, President, Kenroc Building Materials Co. Ltd.
ou don't stay in business for
50 years without learning
what it takes to be successful.
Ken Sexton has learned
plenty. Over the years, he shared with his
team the lessons that experience taught
him as he built Kenroc Building Materials
Co. Ltd. Today, it is one of Western
Canada's leading businesses in the
drywall, wall and ceiling supply industry.
Now, as his company reaches the
milestone of being in business for half a
century, those at Kenroc are sharing the
lessons to celebrate what has been built.
He would do it himself. In 1967,
38-year-old Sexton invested $3,500 to
launch Kenroc, Regina's first supply
house catering exclusively to the
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
SATISFY A NEED
START MODESTLY AND GROW
Sexton was an established building
supply salesman in the mid-1960s, when
he recognized the emerging drywall trade
in Regina could use a dedicated supplier.
Like plumbers and electricians, drywall
contractors needed an independent
source for supplies and the tools of
At the time, Sexton was running
the building supply division of Bird
Construction Ltd., a Regina builder.
Seeing an under-served market and a
demand in western Canada for homes
and commercial buildings sparked
Kenroc's first building was on
the small side on a leased lot next
to the railway line in Regina's core
neighbourhood near Taylor Field.
Vic Winik was one of Kenroc's first
employees. He drove a rickety forklift
and an old truck with questionable
brakes. Winik kept the vehicles
running, took orders, made deliveries
and managed the tiny Kenroc yard.
They battled the weather, putting up
modest structures to try to protect
Meanwhile, Sexton relied on his
talent for sales and promotion to get
August/September 2017 | YARDSTICK
customers. That combined with good
timing gave him a running start as the
company rode an upswing in the Regina
Once Kenroc was on its feet, new
employees arrived. A few contractors
followed Sexton from Bird Construction
to his new company.
By 1969, Kenroc bought a former Co-Op
property on the other side of the railyard
that had covered storage for materials.
PROVIDE A BENEFIT THE
CUSTOMER CAN'T FIND
In the early days, Sexton needed
to avoid a price war to attract new
customers. Established contractors were
hesitant and it cost them little to stay
loyal to their current suppliers.
So Sexton visited new building sites in
Regina where some were building their