When Doyle Benton began working at Hollywood-Crawford Door Company in 1959 as an installer, he was 24 years old and the business was only 12 years old.
He could not have imagined that 20 years later, he would own the business, or that in 2017, on the company’s seventieth anniversary; he would still be a regular at the office. Today Benton, 81, stops by each day to check on the business that his son-in-law, Randy Oliver, oversees as company president.
The business has become San Antonio’s largest residential overhead garage door company. Fueled by a strong housing market and a long-standing reputation in the community, it has doubled its sales and grown to a team of 45 employees in the last 10 years alone. Oliver attributes their success and longevity to God first and foremost and to their desire to honor their customers and their employees.
“We’ve been able to grow from a relatively small organization in the beginning, but very focused on our customer and customer service,” Oliver says. “We have become a company with 45 employees that still maintain that customer focus and not lose sight of that which we originally started.”
When Benton started working as a garage door installer, the typical garage door was made of wood and automatic garage door openers were a futuristic dream. Today, insulated steel doors with the look of stained wood are popular, and smart garage door openers allow people to access and monitor their property via smart phone.
Garage doors have become a design feature and focal point of many homes, with homeowners placing a high value on the aesthetics and curb appeal they provide. An emerging trend is placing glass overhead doors inside the home, where they serve as removable walls that open onto outdoor living spaces.
The industry has changed, but the family bonds that have kept the company growing over the decades remain intact. Benton bought the business from owner Harry Crosland in 1979, twenty years after he began working there.
When Benton’s daughter Becky was 11 years old, she met the 13 year-old boy who would one day become her husband at Parkhills Baptist Church. Her father, who volunteered with his wife in the youth group, met the young man who would eventually take over the business.
That was Oliver, who began working for his father-in-law in 1981. One of Benton’s salesmen had left to start his own business and took some Hollywood-Crawford installers with him.
Benton told Oliver that if he would work five years for him, he could earn a share of the company. He started by learning how to install garage doors, eventually working his way into the sales department before becoming vice-president and eventually president. In the mid-1990s, Oliver took over the day to day running of the business.
In addition to enjoying serving their customers and employees, Oliver has served the door and access systems industry while on the board of directors of the International Door Association for over 11 years just finishing a 2 year term as the association’s president. He will continue to serve on the board as the past president through 2019.
“I love to serve. Whether it is serving our customers, our team members, our industry or my church, it is just what God created me to do and so it is what I enjoy,” Oliver concluded.