Lesson 1: First and foremost: Satisfy a need

In 1967, Ken Sexton had a good job and a young family. The 38-year-old was running the building supply division of Bird Construction Ltd., a Regina builder.

Seeing an under-served market and a demand in western Canada for homes and commercial buildings sparked an idea.

He recognized the emerging drywall trade in Regina could use a dedicated supplier. Like plumbers and electricians, drywall contractors needed an independent source for supplies and the tools of their trade.

He would do it himself.

“Ken decided this is what we were going to do. It was a matter of getting some money together, so he sold the cottage we had and was able to borrow from a bank,” said Bette Sexton, his wife.

That year, Sexton invested $3,500 to launch Kenroc.

It was one of the first businesses in Western Canada dedicated to providing service to the emerging drywall contractor trade.

“When you start out in business, the goal is simply to survive. So, I would think the focus for the family in those early years was survival,” said Brian Kusisto, president of Kenroc and all its operating entities.

In its third month of being in business, Kenroc turned a profit of a $1.41 and has never looked back.

Starting out small but always having a grander vision of what the business could provide and become helped Sexton build Kenroc into what you know it as today.

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