Tony Trapp, Tony Trapp Remodeling & Repairs

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Tony Trapp, owner, certified remodeler, Tony Trapp Remodeling & Repairs.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging aspect of my job has been managing the rapid growth of the business since I founded it in 2002. Back then, I was the only employee and I only had to worry about scheduling myself, but now we have six employees including myself and that adds much more complexity in balancing schedules and resources.

While growth has been challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. I was able to see my company grow from a one-man operation in 2002 to a respected, full-service remodeler in less than 15 years. It is also very rewarding to work with my team because they are such a wonderful group of dedicated employees. Finally, getting to see the look on homeowners’ faces when they see the finished project for the first time makes all our hard work worth it.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

There’s no specific person that I look up to or admire in business, but I’ve always been impressed with business leaders who are able to grow their business and sustain it over the long term, while also giving back to their community. I admire business leaders who have a system in place so that owners, customers, and employees are all happy without the business leader having to do everything themselves.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

I was honored to be elected president of the Madison chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) in 2015 and chairman of the board in 2016. Leading up to my election, my company won NARI Contractor of the Year awards in 2010 and 2013, and I received the NARI National John Quaregna Award for Young Remodeling Professionals in 2014. We are proud to support NARI because the organization truly values and promotes professionalism in the remodeling industry.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

When I was younger I intended to pursue a career in information technology and computer science and I gained a lot of valuable experience from my education in that field, but my advice to my 21-year-old self would be to move directly into the remodeling industry because that is my true passion. I would probably also give myself some stock tips, like invest a few dollars in Apple and Google.

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5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Everybody knows about Dane County’s high standard of living, our excellent colleges and universities, and our beautiful lakes and parks, but beside those wonderful things the best part of living and working here is the people. From my employees, to my customers, to my neighbors, and even strangers, I’m always amazed by how friendly, talented, and hardworking the people of Dane County (and Wisconsin, in general) are.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I love origami! I often find myself idly folding pieces of paper into small cranes and other shapes. Origami is relaxing and has a lot of similarities to our work. You start with a piece of paper (a room that needs remodeling) and through skilled labor turn it into an object (newly remodeled room) that brings beauty and joy to the world.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

I can’t think of any guilty pleasures — I’m a pretty simple guy. I love chocolate but I definitely don’t feel guilty about that!

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