Rob Boaz builds possibilities, career
When Rob Boaz started at Web Steel in 1989, he knew he would be building more than just steel structures — he was building a career.
Having studied biology at the University of Oregon to become a physician, the Salem native didn't originally set out to own a construction company. But, after several forays into business, he found it was the entrepreneurial spirit he appreciated the most, and after working for Web Steel for 17 years, Boaz purchased the company in 2006.
Over the years, Boaz has owned a restaurant, sold RVs and boats, always appreciating the idea of making his own success as his own boss.
"I went through a series of discovery finding out what I didn't want to do," Boaz said. "I wanted to do something that would lead me to having some ownership. When this opportunity came up with a startup, I decided I had to do it."
It was decided from the beginning that Web Steel would one day be his, and he prides himself on the work he's put into it. "It's never dull," he said. "It's a very dynamic job. I appreciate the satisfaction of putting out a good product and making customers happy."
With Web Steel, Boaz provides people all over the West Coast with steel frame buildings for a variety of uses. Some people use them for events. They're also utilized by wineries and even as the base of people's actual residences.
"There's always challenges," Boaz admitted. "We've gone through a few recessions. Our current challenge is really finding skilled laborers who stick around."
Regardless, Boaz said, "we have a great staff and our business is growing."
"Pre-engineered metal buildings are economically sensible, and people seem to know that," he noted. "They're typically less expensive to erect and easy to insulate. People use them for virtually everything. Come up with a reason or an idea to buy one and we've probably done it. People call up with an idea and say 'Can you do this?' We say: 'We can basically do anything.'"
Besides putting out a valuable product, Boaz said he and his staff "pride ourselves on our customer service."
"We're not a pushy sales company," he noted. "We're consultative. We try to help people understand what they need, and hopefully by educating them it develops trust and they want to work with us. Our customers are really people who understand the value of steel. And, people generally like what we do."
Though he ships buildings to numerous states, including Alaska and Hawaii, Boaz said he gets a lot of loyal business from within Clackamas County, and enjoys working in the small community of Sandy. "We have a lot of long-term employees as well, and they like the community and convenience and like what they do," Boaz said.
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