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Small Business: Roofer punches new life into local boxing

🕐 5 min read

Betty Dillard

bdillard@bizpress.net

 

Nothing in life is more energizing to Dustin Haney than a good challenge. Haney, the founder and owner of DK Haney Roofing Inc. in Fort Worth, has been staring down challenges since he was a kid. When he was 5 his parents divorced and his mother took him and his sisters to her parents in Hawaii. His grandfather, retired from American Airlines, bought and remodeled old houses and Haney often would help him. “I’ve always been in construction,” said the 45-year-old businessman. If asked, he’ll still tell the story, although he admits he’s tired of it, of installing his first roof at age 5 – on a doghouse. He used a full 50-pound box of roofing nails to secure the roof in place.

“I remember it. I had a lot of fun banging those nails in,” he said. “Who knew I’d have a roofing business one day.” Haney’s career, however, almost went in another direction. His grandfather – like his mom, stepdad and two sisters – is a professional tennis player and coach who also coached his grandson. Haney, who rode bulls and played other sports, became the No. 1 ranked tennis player in Hawaii and by age 15 started receiving college scholarship offers. Instead of college, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 17. “After the Marines, I got my pro status in tennis and my P1 certification to teach,” Haney said. “I started teaching tennis but it wasn’t enough money so I started construction jobs on the side. I went full time in residential roofing but when that industry started to tank I got into commercial.”

Haney returned to Texas and in 1991founded his family- and minority-owned business – he’s part Cherokee Indian – with his wife, Jayme. The firm, which has its own in-house metal manufacturing facility, has evolved into one of the top-ranked roofing contractors in the country, winning multiple industry awards for quality and customer service. The company handles mostly commercial roofing for school districts, cities and municipalities. High-profile projects have included the Dallas Cowboys training facility at Valley Ranch, CBS Studios Channel 11 and the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex. Last year, the company generated $10 million in revenue and is on track this year to make between $10 million and $12 million, Haney said. “When I got into roofing, people said all roofers are crooked and all flat roofs leak,” Haney said. “I figured if we came in and were ethical and did everything right and found a flat roof that didn’t leak, we’d be successful. I think we’ve done that.” When challenged to find a roofing product that prevents leaks, Haney found Duro-Last Roofing Inc., which has been a partner for 15 years. To help superintendents with their schools’ roofing needs, DK Haney Roofing created the Roof Asset Management Program, a consultant grade evaluation tool that serves as a budget matrix. “It makes it easier for superintendents to budget their schools for the future and makes it easier for them to manage their assets. It’s a triple win,” Haney said. “It takes the burden off the superintendent, it makes the insurance company happy and it’s prolonging the life of their roofs. And it’s really been growing our business.” A couple of years ago Haney started boxing for the exercise and got hooked. His competitive nature led him to launch Standing 8 Promotions, a professional boxing company targeted at developing the next generation of local fighters from the beginning to the World Championship level.

The company has under contract five top prospects for national championships – Juan Antonio (Tony) Lopez, James DeHerrera, Super Middleweight Mike (Italian Stallion) Tufariello, Craig Callahan and Texas Super Welterweight Boxing Champion Hector (El Diamante) Vazquez. Since April 2012 Standing 8 Promotions has presented eight local events. The next bout in the Bud Light Pro Fight Series is slated for Oct. 19 at Cowboys Dancehall in Arlington. “I fell in love with boxing,” Haney said. “I met these fighters and I saw a need for those turning pro to have an avenue to be able to fulfill their dreams. “I saw that boxing needs help, like roofing. No one is out there really taking care of the fighter. Again, I saw the challenge and wanted to do something to help these fighters and improve the image of boxing. It’s challenging, but fun.” The fighters, who train at Reyes Boxing Gym in River Oaks, go out and talk to area students about staying on the right track, working hard and going after their dreams. Standing 8 Promotions partners with Fort Worth Metro, a nonprofit youth organization, to help inner-city kids stay in school and away from gangs.

“Just seeing the training these fighters go through makes you appreciate them more. They make boxing look easy. I’m very intrigued by their work ethic and locked into it,” Haney said. “I’ve worked with fighters who could have been in gangs but have gotten out because of boxing. It’s very cool.” Haney says Standing 8 is looking for the diamonds in the rough. “Our job and our agreement with these fighters is to build them up and get them to a world championship. We’re always challenging them,” he said. “It takes a lot of work to get up to a championship. These five have got it. They are definite top prospects to be world champions. Our goal is world championship – all the way from Fort Worth.” As in his roofing business, Haney applies the same philosophy to his boxing promotion. “If you want to win a tournament you have to work your butt off to win it. I look at that the same way at work. We go out and get the work and don’t sit and wait for it. That’s a key to our success. And if you get knocked down, whatever you’re doing, you get right back up. Just do right by it and it’ll be successful no matter what it is.”  

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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