Maxson Painting (Ventura, CA)
Maxson Painting was established in 1990 and is a family owned business. In late summer of 2016 the Maxson family’s life was turned upside down. George’s wife Tracy tells it best. Below is her account of the events:
On August 12, 2016 my husband, George had a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by an aneurysm (hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures).
George was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Upon arrival, he coded and was revived! He was put into a coma and paralysis for 3 weeks to help restore his brain. During this time the neurologist monitored him very closely to prevent him from having a stroke and further complications.
On August 13th my son and I had to decide what to do with our company. Our son, Shaun Maxson, is a stay at home dad and handles our Web presence and IT needs. We had no idea what was going to happen – was George was going to pass? - was he going to have severe handicaps? (both of which were very real possibilities) - or would he make it through this just fine? Decisions had to be made about our ongoing jobs, upcoming jobs, and our employees (we had eight at the time).
We decided we needed to keep the company going. We didn’t want our employees to be facing unemployment, and we didn’t want to let our customers down. Most of all, we didn’t want George to wake up and discover his company gone! Shaun took the bull by the horns and started contacting all our employees, paint representatives and customers. There was sadness, tears and many prayers. Over the years George had created a lot of connections- trust and friendships that went beyond the typical client relationships.
One of the most wonderful things came about because in March, 2016 we had taken Shaun to the PDCA convention in New Orleans for the first time. He sat through some of the workshops and knew about the Estimate Rocket bidding software. He purchased the software the first week George was in the hospital, and in the middle of the night, taught himself how to use it. He set out to do his first bids. The company made it through those months with God’s help and the hard work and dedication of our son. George woke up to a smoothly running company, and he is doing great. In fact he and Shaun were able to go to the convention in San Diego this year!
A few of our favorite stories from this time period are that our company is generational; my uncle taught my father, my father (PDCA member for years) taught my husband, and our son stepped in to be the fourth generation in the field. Shaun had our 4 year old grandson hand out the payroll checks while wearing a Maxson Painting shirt. Elijah represents the 5th generation in the business! Also, during this time, Shaun identified a foreman that just wasn’t good for our company’s morale. Fellow employees had a hard time working with him and it was time for him to go. After 16 years with us, Shaun released him from our employment. This was a very hard but very good decision, one we just didn’t want to make. Shaun’s fresh eyes on our company have given us a boost in many different areas.
The PDCA played an important role in helping our business to survive a significant challenge. At the annual conventions George, Shaun and I have the opportunity to gain knowledge, stay abreast of new developments and have meaningful conversations about how to make our business better for our clients, our employees, and ourselves.