In my career, I’ve become well known for the relationships I’ve created. For a long time, I was a guy doing training demos and jobsite training for roofing contractors on the commercial side of the business. I wanted to push them to understand that coating a roof is not a second or third option. It can be the option! I’ve worked for manufacturers to increase brand awareness.
Recently, I decided to open my own business called “BrunnoNoBs,” where what I do is geared toward marketing. I also work for a company called Epilay. They do underlayments, and this year, they’re going to launch a line of coatings that’s going to shock the United States. It’s going to be something unique and different, and that’s the reason why I took on that challenge to launch a new product, and one that no one has ever seen here in the United States.
Finding New Challenges
People sometimes tell me, “You change jobs like you change your underwear.” I’m not like that. I’m just the kind of guy that builds up a name for a company, and once they get there, I go to the next adventure to try to help them.
To me, the biggest challenge for companies these days is a shortage of labor. I love to promote minorities, including women and Latinos. Right now, over 70% of our labor force is Latino and Hispanic people, so I push reaching out to them a lot.
As long as I’m alive, I’m going to be preaching and using my voice to defend and promote women and to promote the minority. And when we talk about diversity in this industry, it needs to be together with inclusion. If you don’t have that, you don’t have the opportunity to communicate with the new generation.
With big roofing companies and manufacturers, you are seeing more and more Latinos take over certain jobs. But it’s still not at the executive level. I was working at a company for almost 14 years, and I never had the chance.
It can be like a good-old-boys club. There can be a lot of nepotism and things passing from family to family, and you don’t see much diversity. There is some improvement — particularly since 2019 and 2020 — but it’s still not enough at the highest levels.
When you start getting to know people at the big corporations and headquarters, there’s a lot of people who want to help. But others are still reluctant. A lot of times, it feels like a fish-bait thing. They’ll promote someone to a higher position to make them feel special. But they could accomplish way more at the executive board level.
Giving People a Voice
When I saw people with fewer qualifications get promoted and get the jobs I wanted, I realized I needed to do something about it.
So I started creating connections with LinkedIn. Then came Facebook. Next was Instagram and YouTube, and the last was TikTok. LinkedIn is the best platform for relationships. Facebook is great for having a group of engaged followers without filters. TikTok lets you reach the young generation, especially if you’re able to bring awareness in a funny way. Every platform has some good and some bad to it.
I don’t see anybody as competition. I like to help everyone. I get a lot of people reaching out to me about social media, and I tell them, “Just be yourself.”
If you’re camera shy, maybe there’s someone else around your group of people who isn’t camera shy. Give them an opportunity. Let them shine. The boss or CEO doesn’t have to always be the one in the spotlight. A lot of times, they don’t see the value in that.
It could be one Hispanic guy, having a broken accent like mine, that brings sunshine and gives the voice for other people to see and hear.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the May 2023 issue of CoatingsPro Magazine, with its comments made by Batista on the CoatingsPro Interview Series. The complete podcast episode can be listened to below.