Everyone has their story. This is mine.

I was raised in the small farm town of Wilmington, IL. My family roots run deep in Wilmington. In fact, my aunt, uncle and cousin live on the family farm on Allott Road (my last name). My brother lives just a few miles away off the same road.

Growing up in a farming community taught all of us the value of hard work at an early age. My grandfather owned a plumbing and pipefitting company that built many of the water treatment plants throughout the Chicagoland area. As young as eight years old, I sorted fittings and cleaned up welds for the family business. Without a doubt, my grandfather was and remains my hero. A huge man at 6’5” plus, he was an imposing figure. He was loved by his family and friends and respected by those who did not always agree with him. Like many in his generation, he fought in World War II and then came home to start his business while still maintaining the operations of the family farm.

When I was sixteen, I was hired by the local garage door company. I worked after school hours and summers during high school and college. The skills I learned at a young age would come in handy throughout my life.

After high school, I enrolled at Eastern Illinois University. (No, I don’t know Tony Romo). While studying at Eastern, my life took a left turn when I joined a couple of guys to form a rock band. While it may sound strange, this experience introduced me to the world of public relations and marketing. After experiencing local success and some late night radio play, we attempted to branch out to other colleges. My sales pitch was “we need a lot of money because we are traveling, and no one there knows who we are, so we are not going to draw a lot of people, BUT we are really awesome!” While I didn’t become a huge rock star, I gained life-long friends and learned how to market, communicate and work together with others to achieve a larger goal.

After college, my first step in my career was selling windows, doors, siding and awnings. While working for this company, I started a company that sub-contracted garage door services. Despite being only 24, I could see that I liked owning a small business. While that company has changed over the years, to this day I am happy to provide garage door services (www.overheadgaragedoorexperts.com).

After years selling windows, doors, siding and awnings, I moved on to take a position at Thatcher Oaks Awning Company. With the emergence of the popularity of Retractable Awnings for decks and patios, I saw an opportunity to sell and service a really fantastic product. Within 8 months, I became the Sales Manager. A year later, I became the Director of Sales and Operations. When the owner brought up the idea of selling the residential division (Thatcher Retractables) in the fall of 2011, I jumped at the opportunity. I absolutely love the residential awning business, and I love what Retractable Awnings do to change how people spend their summers.

I am very excited about the future of Thatcher Retactables as well as our other business ventures. In the future, we are going to post some of the backgrounds of our other team members here at Thatcher Retractables. For more information on our products and services, check us out at www.rolloutavacation.com