Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet

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Del Thebaud Sr. headshot
Family Business Honoree

Location: Millersville, MD
Founded: 1981
Industry: Construction
Generations: 2

Category: Medium


Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet

Del Thebaud Sr.
President and Owner

When president and owner Del Thebaud Sr. first launched his business in 1981, the only product he offered was Gutter Helmet, a gutter protection system. “We’ve come a long way from serving customers in just two counties,” says Thebaud. “Our dealerships now employ over 80 individuals and our product suite has expanded into replacement roofing services, retractable patio awnings, and much more.”

Before family members are hired, Thebaud makes sure they genuinely want to work in the business, and that they have some outside expertise that will add value to the company. Once those two qualifications are met, family members go through the same interview process as non-family applicants.

Fun Fact: “For the past 35 years, my wife and I have managed our after-hours customer service. We like to have a pulse on how we are responding to and assisting customers.”

Over the years, Thebaud has learned that being open-minded to suggestions for improvement is critical when working with family. “One of the benefits of working with family members is that they are enormously committed to the company,” he says. “Family is usually involved with the business for the long term, so their sacrifice and dedication is tantamount to that of an owner.”

“When it comes to leadership, there aren’t any books or schools that teach you the ability to adapt to change,” says Thebaud. “A second aspect of leadership not taught in schools is the ability to effectively manage employee and customer relations. As a leader, one must be able to empathetically talk and listen to employees and customers. Family has to learn these great leadership traits through nothing else but practice and experience.”