Juan Camilo Florez
Chattanoogan since 2000
What do you do for work? What's your role in the community?
I am one of the shareholders of Top This Roofer, but I consider myself a problem solver and a creator. On top of the roofing, I enjoy helping other businesses grow and achieve their goals. The responsibility that comes with this is normally self-imposed, but I love being able to have the freedom to create businesses and products that in turn help a lot of people; the more the better. In Chattanooga and Atlanta I’m known as the “QR Code Guy”, this started off as a joke 2 years ago, but quickly turned into another passion of mine. Since the average person doesn't sit around and talk about roofing, I had to get creative. With the help of QR Codes, I created a faster way to connect with others while leaving a lasting impression. No matter where I went people remembered the “QR Code Guy”. I quickly found out that bringing value to others and helping them solve their problems in regards to business was my way to build my network of connections, thus allowing me to be more than just Chattanooga’s Best Roofer.
When we saw a crisis begin to strike our city, what were your first thoughts when deciding to step up for your community?
QR Codes were one of the three concepts we came up with to help with this new normal. We saw the opportunity to show small businesses how they can go contactless with QR Codes, so they can continue to operate. A traditional city like Chattanooga was more difficult to convince than a bigger city like Atlanta, but within 6 months our plan worked. More and more businesses caught on and now over 65% of restaurants in town have adopted the use of QR Codes in their business. Many other types of small businesses are also contacting us to find out how they too can benefit from our services and go contactless.
When the tornado destroyed our city in the spring, we spent the first 2 weeks in the affected areas clearing trees, providing water, and at one point passing out food to those that simply couldn’t leave. Our team drove to the affected areas every day until trees weren’t blocking the roads. From there we started tarping roofs with missing shingles and making small roof repairs so that the damage inside didn’t get worse. Little by little, we made progress and were able to make a difference in our community.
When you think back at everything that’s happened this year and what you’ve done, what message do you see telling yourself before all of this happened?
Okay, Juan things are about to get crazy so remember to invest more in the stock market when it’s down. Read more books during the lockdown. Don’t waste precious time, bring immense value to others, learn new skills, give more when times are rough, and be quicker to help others. Guard your mind and stay positive because this too shall pass.
What has been the greatest challenge for you in 2020?
My biggest challenge this year has been to continue to adapt daily. Things got complicated especially in the social and economic environment. There is no real way to have prepared for something like 2020, but It is important to continue educating ourselves so that years like this don’t hit as hard or for too long.
What has been the most rewarding part of 2020?
The most rewarding part of this year was being able to help other people and businesses stay alive during Q1 and Q2 of 2020 and set them up for success for years to come. Overall being able to take something as bad as this pandemic and writing a positive story really changes the narrative. The mainstream media is constantly feeding us lies and fear, it’s so important to step back and remember to smell the flowers and see the positive side. It may be hard at first but there’s a lot of things that went right for us this year. My personal growth, for example, is at an all-time high and I am happy that I was able to develop healthy habits instead of taking another path. We all write our own story, so be positive and keep your head up.
One of my favorite people once said, “Take your 10-year plan, and do it in 6 months… you are going to fail, but you will be way further along than if you just sat back and accepted that it was going to take you 10 years.” -Elon Musk. Success leaves clues, it’s so important to never give