Who hasn’t seen that red caboose in the center of Lee’s Summit? Downtown Lee’s Summit is home to dance parties, food, fun and community, and this red caboose, which is housed next to the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce office, is a staple.
Steve DeRousse and his company, Major Painting, painted it that bright red.
“We are a member of the Chamber, and were contacted by the Chamber to bid the downtown caboose before one of their big events this spring. We presented a bid, but this project was different,” he says. “Being a long-time resident and painting contractor from Lee’s Summit, the train means a little more to us, and therefore we wanted to do something special. We decided to help get this project done by donating half the labor it would take to complete the train’s transformation and PPG, our paint supplier, was even gracious enough to donate the coatings needed to execute the project.”
Steve funded his accounting degree in the 1980s at UMKC by painting houses. As a youngster, he had a neighborhood lawn mowing company. One summer, he painted his family’s home for his father. A neighbor saw the craftsmanship and attention to detail he showed and hired him to paint his house. Word spread, and his painting started to become a business. He founded Major Painting in 1988. They are now focused on commercial and residential customers, including Price Choppers, CBRE, Block Real Estate, Central Bank of the West, US Bank and Kauffman Foundations are just a few of the many commercial clients across the entire state of Missouri and Eastern Kansas.
“We treat our customers and employees the way we want to be treated and are proud to have numerous employees who have been with us 10 years, and one with us for 20, which is unheard of in our industry,” he says. “We also have customers we have worked with for over 20 years. Years ago, I was told by a customer, ‘you can tell the character of a business owner by the way his employees treat the customer.’ I took that to heart and make every effort to ensure we have happy employees who represent our company well with great customer service. We are also very proud to be one of just a few painting contractors with a commercial office location allowing our customers complete access to our company.”
Steve, his wife, Tammy, and their four sons live in Lee’s Summit and are involved in the community. He puts Major Painting to work on behalf of our community by sponsoring the Lee’s Summit Baseball Association. They also support the Ali Kemp T.A.K.E. Foundation and Kansas City Hospice.
“My oldest son, Chase, graduated from the University of Missouri three years ago and was anxious to join the family business in June of 2015,” he says. “He brought a lot of energy with him and really ramped up the marketing resulting in double-digit growth every year since. We also have expanded our services to more general construction services and do bathroom and kitchen remodels for Lee’s Summit homeowners, as well as commercial tenant finish projects.”
Tammy works part-time helping clients with interior design and picking finishes for bathroom and kitchen remodels.
He believes one of the best things about his business is the ability to improve his customers’ homes and workplaces.
“A painting project allows the consumer to see an immediate return on their investment. Thirty years later I am still amazed at how a coat of paint can change your surroundings,” he says.
4236 NE Port Drive, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, 816.795.9049