Jeff Murray Biography
Murray Roofing Company Inc.
Murray Roofing has over 40 million square feet of roofing under warranty!
Bio of Jeff Murray
At a very young age, I loved to be outside all the time and climb trees to see the view from there and see how far I could go up before I got scared. I would often shimmy up the maple tree next to our garage in the back of the house. I loved to be up there.
At about 10 AM the sun would come over the top of the house and heat the black tar paper. I loved to be up there looking at how straight my father had the rolls laid out and how rough the granules were on my fingers and would dangle my feet over the edge.
As usual, my mother would yell at me sternly to get down or she would tell my father when he got home from work and that did not work either. One day when I was up there, I had a life premonition that came to me, that someday I was going to do roofing when I was older and would own a big roofing company someday. And that would be my calling in life as it was to be.
Looking back, I was blessed to know that school wasn’t really for me. I went to catholic grammar school in the fifth grade my childhood friend recalled one of the nuns teaching us at the time, and I probably wasn’t paying attention to her, hit me over the hand with the three-foot poker stick with the black rubber tip and told me, I would not be anything in life. Huh!
I was born with my mother’s drive and personality and my father’s ability with numbers to figure things out. I was one of seven siblings, and we were poor growing up drinking powdered milk, and eating a lot of venison. When I was sixteen, I went to work for our neighbor who had a small residential roofing company. That’s where I quickly learned the roofing procedure and how to do the job. High school was starting back up at the time. I would get out at 11:00 AM and drive right to the job site after school to work the rest of the day.
In my senior year, I slipped on a loose shingle and fell to the ground. Luckily it was a ranch house, and I only broke my left arm. I never missed a day’s work though. It was tough to do roofing with only one hand. On graduation day from high school, I painted my cast white again because it had tar and dirt all over it and nobody knew. I got my diploma and threw my cap and never looked back! Honestly, the caption under my yearbook picture read: Life is a pursuit! Not an occupation, how true that was.
The small roofing company I worked for went bankrupt so I asked my parents if they could lend me money to start my own business. They lent me $750.00 and said that was all they could
come up with. I said don’t worry, I will pay you back when I can. My mother was my secretary, and I had a little desk in my bedroom and a different phone line. I was the only sibling who had a small window air conditioner in my bedroom because my back and body were so hot and sunburned, and tired from working in the sun for long hours every day I needed the coolness to help sleep at night.
I was on my own looking for jobs by knocking on doors. I was a paper boy in the past and was used to knocking on doors and asking for money. So I felt comfortable doing that. People felt compassionate to me and gave me their homes to reroof. Word of mouth spread fast, and I was on my way. I had steady work now and destiny would be again. The girl I married, Pam, her father was a union estimator and taught me commercial estimating. That is where my true passion would be. Suppliers and my banker believed in me and wanted me to succeed. This was a fortunate break for me, breaking the rules at times. Then I changed the name of the company from Jeff’s Subcontracting and incorporated it as Murray Roofing Company in 1976.
Kids came fast. I was twenty-two years old, and Pam was twenty when we got married. Within two years we would have two children. Pam had her hands full raising our kids by herself, cooking, cleaning, doctor’s appointments, and everything else in between. She knew I worked so hard sixty-five plus hours a week was the norm, she let me pursue my dream, and I thank her for that. Without her support, it could not have been done!
It was a time to move along to do bigger/larger jobs. I felt confident in what my father-in-law taught me about estimating, and the ability to get the job done, and by the 90’s things were going very well. Then tragedy struck, one of my employees had fallen from forty feet elevation only to break his femur bone, that was a miracle! I knew at that time that I needed to come up with a solution so this could never happen again! So I came to me to develop a perimeter cable guard fall protection system in 1997 after the accident, a new company was formed called On Top Safety Inc. and we use this cable guard system now and to this day on every job. It sets up fast and is user-friendly. The men liked it as well, it works very proficiently.
As more good luck came my way, I met John Carroccia. He applied for an auto mechanic position with Murray Roofing. I saw great potential in John and offered him fifty percent ownership in On Top Safety to grow the company. I could not do it all myself anymore. It was all too much for one person. Together we came up with some great ideas and John makes things work in product development, patient filings, paperwork, and the internet. Fast forward to our long list of new products – eight to be exact and three currently in development that I can’t talk about yet as we will be branching out into Firemen and Military patents as well.
I believe the best is yet to come for Murray Roofing and On Top Safety.
2024 will be 48 Years as owner of Murray Roofing and still going strong! It could not have been accomplished without all the great people who work for Murray Roofing!
Innovation never stops, it drives you on!