Tracy Weninger didn’t worry when her husband sold his well-drilling business and teamed up with his brother-in-law in a completely new field – roofing and remodeling.
“Not really,” she said. “My husband is one of those guys that can do it all. He’s just a manly redneck. They’re both rednecks.”
The “rednecks” – Jon Weninger and Clint Winter – and their wives became owners of Winter Roofing and Remodeling in January. Based in Colwich, the company works on residential and commercial buildings across Kansas and northern Oklahoma.
“They’ve always been good friends and brothers-in-law, so they decided to join forces,” Tracy Weninger said.
Tracy said there may have been more of a learning curve for the women in the group. Office work wasn’t part of the experience they brought to the new business.
The two couples bring varied backgrounds to the enterprise.
Clint Winter grew up working on his family’s 1,300-acre farm near Colwich, got a job in the roofing business and started his own company, Winter Roofing, in 1996. His wife, Shellie, is the sister of Jon Weninger. Shellie helped out in the Weninger family drilling business while growing up, then worked as a respiratory therapist.
Jon Weninger, who grew up in Andale, drilled his first well at age 14. He studied engineering at Kansas State University, then owned a commercial tree service and landscaping business before taking over the well-drilling business from his father.
Tracy Weninger was a social worker for 15 years. She is handling social media for the new company. Shellie Winter is the office manager, Clint Winter specializes in roofing jobs, and Jon Weninger focuses on remodeling projects. Tracy and Shellie are also the owners of Winter Commercial Roofing, set up to help clients qualify for tax breaks tied to minority-led companies.
Tracy Weninger said her husband and brother-in-law’s previous businesses have given them “years and years of contacts” with potential residential and commercial customers.
Additionally, she said, “We’re trying to do social media really big.”
One recent job was remodeling the Imbue Aesthetics and Wellness center on North Ridge Road. Another was getting the new location for Winter Roofing and Remodeling ready. The couples took over the old lumber yard on Colwich’s main street. It had sat vacant for a decade.
The front has been transformed into a showroom for Cambria countertops, Simplifire fireplaces and other products the company handles. The lumberyard racks out back will soon be filled with shingles.
Tracy Weninger said her previous career has come in handy in this family business. As Clint and Jon readied a bid for a job in Oklahoma on Wednesday, Tracy and Shellie bantered about the correct temperature inside the showroom.
“Especially with me being a social worker, the family dynamics have been interesting,” she said. “You have brother and sister, brother and brother-in-law, two sets of couples.”
The business also employs four people who aren’t related by blood or marriage. Tracy Weninger said they “just kind of sit back and watch the fireworks.”