The History of Gulf Western Roofing

Joseph K. Lamb, Jr., the CEO and Founder of Gulf Western Roofing, grew up with contracting in his blood. His father was the president of a very large building contractor on Florida’s booming east coast, and almost from the start, Joe Lamb was groomed to one day head up his own construction operation.

Joe was born in Washington DC.  As shown in the photo above, his uncle, Richard Lamb, and his father, Joseph Lamb Sr., entered the roofing business installing shingles, gutters, and flat deck hot asphalt applications on residential jobs in 1962. At the age of 8, Joe’s family moved to Davie, Florida, when his uncle and father purchased R&J Roofing. At the young age of 13, Joe started gaining experience in the roofing industry. Working under his father and uncle, Joe pressure-cleaned and repaired tile roofs, set tile, carried hot asphalt, did dry-ins and metals, and even helped haul pea rock in the dump trucks.

Joe attended Tulane University before transferring to the University of Florida to study Construction Management. He became a licensed roofing contractor in the 1980’s, then went on to acquire his building contractors license in the 1990’s. 

And so his learning wasn’t all from books, Joe also worked in both the office and the field. He spent time as everything from a laborer to a job foreman; from an estimator to an accountant; and from a salesman to a manager. Joe credits this all-around, hands-on experience with giving him a somewhat unique perspective on the industry, and the people who work inside it.

Joseph Lamb Sr. and Richard Lamb ran R&J Roofing until 1982, at which time Joseph Lamb Sr. formed R&J Roofing of Palm Beach, Inc.,  and moved the operation to Boca Raton. During this time, Joe was assigned as a project manager for the largest asphalt shingle project in the United States, The Bluffs in Jupiter, FL, a project by Burg and Divosta. R&J Roofing of Palm Beach started growing rapidly, eventually becoming R&J Roofing of Florida in 1993 and expanding to Naples, FL.

It was during visits to the Naples office and the surrounding area that Joe began thinking of striking out on his own. Captivated by the beauty and laid-back lifestyle of Southwest Florida, and looking for both a change and a new course for his young family, Joe made the decision to break from his father’s company and relocate to Naples, where he could start a new company entirely of his own.

 In 1999, Gulf Western Roofing was formed. The company began with a single client, a one-room office, and a lone computer, all inside a very small office in a Naples industrial park. Over time, word spread that there was a new contractor in town who had a different approach, and a better one. New clients were acquired, and that meant that new employees had to be hired, as Joe could no longer stretch himself thin enough to do all the management, accounting, and janitorial work on his own. One employee became two, two became four, and four became too many for the small office. Gulf Western Roofing now resides just off Bonita Beach Rd. and we have even added a second location in Orlando, Florida.

Throughout the years, Gulf Western Roofing has developed a sense of community by participating in many local charities including the Blessings in a Backpack program, Meals on Wheels, The Children’s Network of SWFL, and multiple charitable golf tournaments. They have also provided no-cost roofs for a local veteran in Southwest Florida, and a children’s ranch in Central Florida. In 2009 and 2010, Joe was also the business manager for Knox Academy, a private special education school in Bonita Springs.  

Aside from its community involvement, Gulf Western Roofing sets itself apart from its competitors by taking great pride in the roofs they install. They have maintained a high level of quality and integrity in their work for over 17 years, and have a well-known willingness to stand behind every single one of their roofs. At the same time, the company has also developed unmatched financial strength and stability.

In 2008, Gulf Western Roofing proved its financial strength by keeping its doors open during the deep recession, and even avoided undergoing massive layoffs and cutbacks. Anyone who is involved with, or even pays attention to Florida’s construction industry, has been witness to a bumpy ride over the past decade. From the heady construction boom of the early part of the century to the global financial recession, things have been anything but settled. Because of this, the roofing industry saw many once-major players stumble and fall by the wayside, but Gulf Western Roofing withstood the storm. In fact, many of the company’s current managers have weathered the boom and the recession right alongside Joe, celebrating over ten years with the company.

In founding Gulf Western Roofing, Joe has made it both his mission and the company’s to become the most respected roofing contractor in the area. By any measure, Gulf Western Roofing has been very successful in meeting that goal.