James Kuhn with his wife Nikki,
and their children Jacob and Hannah
In the summer of 2005 my wife, Nikki, and I took a trip to visit her sister and brother-in-law in Georgia. While there I was able to spend a couple of days watching one of my brother-in-law’s crews install polyurethane foam insulation into a new home. As I watched, it donned on me how much emphasis I had placed on energy efficiency during my own home’s construction. Like countless other new home-builders, I was simply looking at the insulation as part of the building process. After all, we all know what is important to most of us when building a home is how the house looks, not what is behind the sheetrock. After asking many questions and seeing the installation process and the final results, I was so impressed that I contemplated starting my own spray foam insulation company.
At the time I had been employed by Georgia Pacific for about 10 years and was in the process of reenlisting into the Marine Reserve. So starting a new business was not really feasible. Upon completion of my enlistment I knew deployment was a strong possibility. A year later I took the oath for the second time in my life and became part of Bravo Company 4th Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), out of Roanoke, VA. Shortly thereafter Bravo Company deployed to Iraq. Having just reenlisted I would spend the next year state side being in charge of all of the Marines who did not deploy and getting myself up to speed on everything you forget after 10 years of separation from the Corps. As Bravo Company returned to Roanoke I transferred to Charlie Company 4Th CEB, Lynchburg, VA to deploy to Marine Corps Base 29 Palms, CA for training and acclimating. Three months later we left 29 Palms for Iraq in support of 3rd Battalion 4th Marines where we were stationed at a Marine outpost in the Al Anbar Province of Western Iraq. Our platoon would spend the next eight and half months providing engineering support for line companies and providing security and support for foreign and U.S contractors.
As my time in the country was beginning to wind down I began to think more and more about the possibility of starting an insulation company. I knew I had a good job waiting at Georgia Pacific, but that did little to satisfy my interest to be my own boss and build something of value. Upon returning home, and after careful consideration with my family, Virginia Foam Insulators was born. During the first year I went back to full-time shift work at Georgia Pacific. In between shifts I traveled to Georgia to spend time with my brother-in-law and his growing spray foam business. It was here that I had my first experiences in the application of spray foam. I would make many trips back to Georgia for manufacturer training courses and plenty of hands-on training while trying to establish the business part-time. Almost a year to the day after returning home from Iraq, I resigned my 13-year job with a great company, Georgia Pacific, and went full-time with Virginia Foam Insulators.
Since then we have been blessed. In what has been a tough economic environment we have been fortunate to experience growth year over year. I believe our success has been attributable to having a knowledgeable sales staff who recommends the best options to meet a client’s particular needs, having expert installers to install the product correctly, offering clients a great product at a fair and reasonable price, and lastly taking pride in each job that we do. We at Virginia Foam would like to say thank you to all of the people and businesses that have supported us and that continue to refer friends, family and clients.
God Bless and Semper Fi,