Dane Olson, who served PROSOCO customers in Southern California as a Regional Sales Manager for the past 12 years, has a new title, same industry and different boss – himself.
In July 2021, Dane officially transitioned from a direct employee of PROSOCO to a partner of Element Building Solutions LLC, an independent firm representing PROSOCO products. The transition was long in the making behind the scenes as Olson’s long-time independent rep in the area, Mike Davis, planned his retirement.
“We were losing Mike Davis, my rep here, and it was just opportunity and timing that spurred this on,” Olson said. “You don’t just walk out the door. A lot of things have to happen in a sequential order.”
Along with four partners (David Erney, Stephen Chee, Jerry McMorrow, and Ignacio Salas), Olson formed Element Building Solutions headquartered in Orange County, Calif., to represent PROSOCO as well as other select manufacturers.
Together, the five partners have a knowledge base in waterproofing that spans more than 100 years, Olson says. After working for one line of products for the past 12 years, Olson has been laser-focused on learning the new lines.
“I’m learning about polyurethanes, vehicle decking systems, pedestrian decking systems, below-grade waterproofing, just so much stuff you can’t imagine.”
Once the learning curve of new product lines flattens a little, Olson says he’ll spend about 98% of his time on PROSOCO products, just in a different way.
“I’m in the backyard right now with AirDam in my hand, making sample boards for an architect. I used to be able to rely on my independent rep for this manual labor type of stuff. When we need architect submittals for physical samples, you can’t just send a sausage of each material and a gallon of Spray Wrap Rain Screen. They want cured hard samples.”
Setting the new business up today with established, high-quality product lines is something Olson hopes will help Element Building Solutions survive every high and low imaginable in this industry.
“Construction is always feast or famine,” he said. “It’s been feasting for quite some time, but there’s been plenty of famine. When it’s feasting, nobody will drive more than 20 minutes, because they don’t need to. There’s enough work in 20 miles for them to make good money. I have guys who have 150 guys in the field and that’s not enough. When the famine hits, everyone gets fired down to a core nucleus of eight people to try to stay afloat, and then if work isn’t profitable, they close up shop.”
“During famines, people start crossing state lines. The Texas guys come into California, and Washington guys come into California. Suddenly you’re competing with one-quarter of the U.S. and guys that are going to come in and try to undercut you.”
By repping quality companies with quality people, Olson intends to stay above that fray.
“Being with PROSOCO for almost 12 years, it puts me in a situation where I’m super-loyal to PROSOCO but being independent now, PROSOCO is the best in well-being as far as their presence and name in the market goes. The folks that are associated with PROSOCO are all high-class, top quality and honorable individuals. We’re only working with high-class manufacturers who don’t let just let anyone rep their material.”