For Father’s Day: “The Best Advice I Ever Got Was to Work for and Learn From my Father”-Charlie Horn
When Bill Horn opened Paul Davis of Louisville in 1980, he did so with a business philosophy that was based on strength, trust, dependability, and a caring spirit for others. For more than 40 years, the thousands of customers Paul Davis has served throughout the region have been the benefactors of those good graces. But when the time came for one of their own to be on the receiving end, that’s when the difference Paul Davis has made for so many others hit close to home.
This past January, 43-year-old Charlie Horn – Bill’s son, who now serves as president of the business his dad started – suffered a kitchen fire at his family’s home. “It was one of those that we all have seen hundreds of times in our careers,” Charlie said. “It started on the stove and quickly escalated to the entire kitchen with smoke throughout.”
Recognized as the insurance industry’s restoration expert, the Paul Davis team in Louisville and hundreds of others across North America are part of the company’s newest method of identifying their team members; as Difference Makers™, honoring daily the company’s mission to “deliver an experience of extraordinary care while serving people in their time of need.” And that’s exactly what the 37-member team at Paul Davis of Louisville did for Charlie Horn, who couldn’t have been more grateful.
“Our entire team reached out to us, wanting to help US, just like they do every day. But now it was one of our own. We’d all do it for any of our team members, but now I was on the receiving end,” Horn said. “They all stepped up and made a difference in my life using a servant’s heart, extreme care and a ‘serve others first’ attitude that helped us get back to normal.”
Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, the Horns’ Paul Davis’s offices – houses 37 employees, and a fleet of 20 vehicles – are in two buildings across the street from each other. The main office building was once a factory that manufactured Studebaker automobiles, a fitting setting for a legacy company such as Paul Davis. From there, Paul Davis of Louisville serves clients throughout Jefferson and bordering counties, as well as southern Indiana.
It’s been quite a journey for a business whose origin can be traced back to when a cousin introduced Bill Horn to the man for whom Paul Davis is named. “My dad had held several other jobs, but nothing really stuck. After they were introduced, my dad took a shot and called Mr. Davis,” Charlie Horn said of his father. “With all the money he and my mom had, he rolled the dice on a hope, idea and a ‘southern gentleman’ in Paul Davis. Bill will still tell you today that all he really wanted to do was make a better than normal living at something he loved to do that allowed him to take care of his family. While the business hasn’t always been easy, his goal has been accomplished many times over. My dad lives by the motto ‘He who serves the best, profits the most.’ He built our foundation on service and care.”
Charlie Horn, however, never thought he’d have a career with Paul Davis. Charlie had another passion. He envisioned a career in the golf industry as a club professional after growing up with the game. But after graduating from college in 2002 and serving as an apprentice to a teaching pro at a club in Louisville, Charlie got some advice when the pro learned he also had the opportunity to join his father’s business. “He told me to learn from my father and have a long and successful career helping others, and that if I really loved the game, I should use it to my advantage within Paul Davis to promote the business. He said insurance guys love to play golf.”
Charlie joined Paul Davis in 2002 and started working in the mitigation department and eventually worked in every division before taking over as president in 2016. Paul Davis continues to thrive. Bill still comes in the office occasionally to provide “advice and wisdom,” according to Charlie, whose wife, Angela, serves as Paul Davis’s “CSR and culture ambassador.” Meanwhile, Paul Davis continues to serve thousands of people each year in their time of greatest need.
“My dad’s legacy on myself and our business is complex and very simple at the same time, and it goes along with one of our promises: serve,” said Charlie, who expects the business to grow eight to 10 percent each year. “Our parent company, FirstService Brands, has used the term, ‘First Serve Others.’ That’s Bill. Serve others first. That’s what my dad taught me and that’s what Paul Davis of Louisville stands for.”
Rhonda Sanderson is a franchise specialist and publicist with 41 years in the industry. For more than 55 years, Paul Davis Restoration has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms, and disasters. Paul Davis is a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration and is approaching 350 franchises in the United States and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction, and remodeling. For more information, visit the company website at www.pauldavis.com. For more information about a franchise go to www.pauldavisbusiness.com