Meet Sean & Tim
As an individual owner, there are challenges that come along with running a business smoothly. A partnership can often come along with its own set of problems, but to find a friendship that smoothly transitions into a working partnership that endures the challenges of a company’s growth is truly unique.
Global Surface Solutions was founded and built by two individuals: Sean Jaegli & Tim Cote. This is their story . . .
Sean’s first job was mowing lawns at a young age when he lived in Kelowna. He grew up to be a hard worker who liked to get his hands dirty. After attending university he graduated with an Engineering degree and worked in Australia and Toronto where he wrote software, spending his time coding in C++, developing neural nets and fuzzy logic, which marked some of the earliest incarnations of AI with a focus on plant automation. After a stint working in Toronto, Sean relocated to Kelowna where his father owned 4seasons now Globall Gym. During this time, Sean met Tim Cote and they became good friends.
Tim’s first job was picking cherries in the Okanagan Valley. Born in Calgary, his family relocated to the Okanagan when Tim was 6 years old. His family had a background in cement and stucco so it was a natural path for him to take when it came time to choose a career. Tim owned his own company doing large exteriors of buildings before moving to Ontario. He worked for a company in Toronto that had bought a large US company that, at the time, was using a surfacing material and system which ended up being the grassroots of GSS.
Tim worked with that same large company for 12 years. Part of his job description was training applicators out of a facility in Las Vegas. The company decided the application materials Tim was most interested in using wasn’t something the company wanted to pursue. Tim, maintaining there was more opportunity with the material if it was altered ,applied and manipulated correctly, obtained permission to continue working with it outside of the company.
A NEWLY FORMED PARTNERSHIP
Around this time, Sean found himself in Vancouver where he owned and operated his own health club. Tim had established GSS and would drop by occasionally and show Sean what he’d been working on and Sean even used some of the material and techniques to upgrade his health club. Sean was quickly tiring of the office environment, and after embarking to Kelowna for a squash tournament, Tim and Sean decided they should start their own company.
“You get really comfortable with taking risks, taking jumps from one thing to another to retrain yourself,” stated Sean of his move from health club owner to surface solution business partner.
Sean’s experience of working with his hands and using tools factored heavily into how fast he learned the production side of the business from Tim. Both gentlemen were passionate about what they were doing and had a genuine interest in the services they were providing, and Sean quickly became proficient. The rest, as they say, is history.
WHY IT WORKS
While many partnerships falter, Sean and Tim have continued to work well together, complimenting their individual skills, and grown a successful business with Global Surface Solutions.
“It’s nice to have that support for venting and problem solving,” says Sean on working with Tim. “It’s difficult to find someone who has a strong work ethic. We’ve always been able to get along, even through tough times. It’s hard to find a partnership that complementary to each other’s skills.”
“We compliment each other very well,” agrees Tim. “We remain calm and objective, we share the same end goal. We’re good friends who respect each other. And we both have a passion for what we do and really enjoy it.”
THE STRENGTH AND GROWTH OF THE COMPANY
While the diversity of the material that GSS uses represents the main product and service of the company, the people who work with it and apply it are equally, if not more important. The people who work for Global Surface Solutions love what they do because of the diversity of the work. No day is the same. Every day being different means there’s so much variety. Tim and Sean are always open to their employee’s opinions on how to do things better, more efficiently. New processes are constantly being developed as a result. Employees are trained from the ground up. A lot goes into developing a system, but once it’s nailed down the system can be taught to anyone.
“No such thing,” says Tim. Because no job is the same and so many variables have to be taken into account, no day is the same for GSS. While some days have similarities, like quoting on jobs, doing prep, etc. there’s a certain amount of reactive intelligence that goes along with the business. The work done at GSS has so many variables from natural elements to architectural needs. “It’s comparable to cooking,” says Tim, “ recipe-like, prep, process, application, etc. Of course there’s a time crunch with jobs when it comes to laying down material. Then it’s go time.”
The business is ever evolving and we’re constantly busy. “We get requests for unusual things all the time,” says Sean. “People ask ‘We have a picture of this thing, can you do it?’ It’s a high end business with a lot of potential applications. And we welcome a challenge!” Tim, Sean, and the crew are constantly pushing new directions, new processes that are unique to specific jobs, always pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and scale.