February’s Capital Region Living features Teakwood and Jim Sasko

The February issue of Capital Region Living Magazine highlights locally owned businesses, and features a Q&A with Teakwood Builders’ own Jim Sasko. Be sure to pick up your copy of CRL, available free at local area businesses and supermarkets.

Owner(s): Jim Sasko

Describe your business with a brief history: I founded Teakwood Builders in 1996 based on my vision to create beautiful buildings of high-quality construction and detailed craftsmanship. I started out by subcontracting for several residential builders, and increasingly saw a need for a builder/remodeler who would more fully understand and interpret clients’ unique design needs as part of the construction process. Building on my education in construction technology and management, and my forte in design, I decided to form my own company. I hired slowly, built strong relationships with clients and my own team of craftspeople, and grew the business into a full-service design/build company that today employs 14 full-time professionals. The name “Teakwood” comes from a street name in the neighborhood where I grew up in Clifton Park. Coincidentally, it is also among the most beautiful and durable of the tropical hardwoods!

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times? We have maintained great relationships with our clients over the years, and been fortunate to be asked back by many to do new and different projects. We have also grown our outreach through advertising and marketing campaigns, and now social media. To adapt to the growing competition for business in this economic climate, we have had to invest a lot more time and resources in the design and planning phases of our work, helping to educate prospective clients in the value of working with an experienced, professional design/build team that can ensure a successful project.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business? We have developed a strong pipeline of sales leads, and are seeing an enduring interest in our company.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested? I worked at my father’s building supply store in Cohoes when I was younger, and always had an interest in construction. I earned an associate’s degree in construction technology from HVCC, and a bachelor of arts in construction management from Utica College. My advice to others: Find a mentor, and follow his or her lead.

Who are your role models? I look to leaders who have managed to win the trust, respect, and support of others, despite adverse circumstances. As a fan of military history, I would cite generals Stonewall Jackson, George S. Patton, and Norman Schwarzkopf as people who have been successful in this.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of creating a brand that is recognized and well-respected in this area, and forging a positive company culture. I am privileged to work with great people who possess amazing skills and depth of knowledge, and who share my goal in creating distinctive and architecturally beautiful projects.

Hours: M-F 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.