In February of this year, Redmond purchased a controlling interest in Valleywide Fence, one of the premiere fence companies on Colorado’s Western Slope. The move makes Valleywide the latest addition to join Redmond’s group of companies, and the first in Colorado. (It also includes Trigger Fence Products, a division of Valleywide that sells hardware and caps to wholesale customers nationwide.)
Redmond first learned about Valleywide in early 2011, when Best Vinyl’s founder, Vance Barrett, introduced himself to Blu Gray, who started Valleywide ten years earlier and had built it into one of the area’s best fence companies.
”I didn’t have a great reason to stop by,” Vance explains. ”I just heard another fencing contractor talking about Blu’s company, and I figured as long as I was in town I might as well meet the guy.”
As it turned out, the two have a lot in common. After their first meeting, Vance invited Blu to attend one of Redmond’s Lake Powell leadership retreats, and he and his wife, Jaida, made the trip that fall.
”It was a great experience,” Blu says. ”We spent four days there and came home with four weeks of ideas to talk about — for the business and for our family. I didn’t even consider a partnership like this until years later, but I knew early on there were things I could learn from people at Redmond.”
Along the way, Blu recognized several of Valleywide’s own values in Redmond discussions. Both companies are committed to quality products, to learning and growing from opportunities around them, and to the idea that profit is a means to a greater end.
The two companies continued working together, and the partnership naturally moved closer to something more formal. Best Vinyl and Redmond were seeking input from Valleywide, and Valleywide was benefitting from ideas and meetings at Redmond. Eventually, Blu wondered out loud if it made sense to formalize the partnership and discovered Redmond had wondered the same, so a deal was struck.
”It’s pretty much business as usual around here,” Blu says of the change. ”I’m excited to have more support from Best Vinyl when it comes to accounting and all that, but mostly I just have a sense that Valleywide will do more good in the world as part of Redmond than it could if we kept growing it alone.”
Blu got started in the fencing world during college. Each summer, he and some friends would bid on a large government contract and spend their time away from the classroom installing fences.
”After I graduated, I realized I might be better off building fences than if I jumped into the job market,” he says, so he put his engineering and business education to use by starting his own company. Today, Valleywide’s ten associates have earned 75% of the vinyl fence market and 40% of other fence jobs in the Grand Junction area.
”Meeting Vance, and getting to know Redmond, has had a great impact on my life,” Blu says. ”There’s a ton of potential to keep that energy going and help Valleywide make a difference. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.”