Founded by Jimmy Woodley, Kansas City-based Woodley Building Maintenance continues to grow with the next generation of Woodleys
When Jimmy Woodley started cleaning buildings in 1969, he started out of the trunk of his car. In the more than 50 years since, his business – Woodley Building Maintenance (WBM) in Kansas City, Missouri – has grown into a family legacy that continues with his children, Tiffany and Terry, and his wife, Robery.
“My dad’s first sizeable contract was cleaning an office complex in Lee’s Summit after his previous job went on strike,” said Tiffany Woodley, the chief financial officer at WBM who joined in the family business at age 27. “He didn’t have the financing to do the work in Lee’s Summit, so he got a loan from his old boss and the business grew from there.”
Yet, as the business kept growing, Jimmy’s former manager told him he needed something else on his side: a bank. That’s where Mercantile Bank, which was eventually acquired by U.S. Bank, came in.
“The banking relationship is something you talk with other business owners about,” said Tiffany Woodley. “I’ve always enthusiastically shared my experience with U.S. Bank because, even if it is a large bank, there is a small bank personality. When something does happen, I can always reach out to people and that’s one of the main reasons I haven’t entertained making any kind of change.”
The oldest accounts at U.S. Bank with the WBM date back to 1977, with the partnership lasting through some of the most challenging times in recent memory. That includes during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Woodleys worked with U.S. Bank to apply for and receive a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was launched to help business owners keep their employees.
WBM is owned and operated by Tiffany Woodley; her brother and WBM’s president and chief operating officer, Terry Woodley; and her mother, Robery Woodley. It’s a successful business that is steeped in history that all started with Jimmy, Terry Woodley said.
“The banking relationship is something you talk with other business owners about. I’ve always enthusiastically shared my experience with U.S. Bank because, even if it is a large bank, there is a small bank personality."
“When Tiffany and I joined the company, it was already a good size to support our parents,” said Terry Woodley, who joined the business when he was 30. “Since then, we’ve been able to grow and also create a joint venture with another building maintenance company that was the brainchild of my father and his good friend, Skip Marsden.”
While Marsden passed before the launch of that joint venture – which is known today as Tier One Property Services – and Jimmy Woodley passed not long after, Terry and Tiffany have seen it grow from idea to a multi-state, multi-million-dollar commercial janitorial, building maintenance and specialty property services business.
“It was their trust in one another that led us to where we are today with Tier One,” said Terry, who noted that WBM is a majority stakeholder in Tier One Property Services.
Looking back over the decades and generations, the relationship between the Woodleys and U.S. Bank runs deep.
“The entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset that started with Jimmy lives on in Tiffany and Terry,” said Jack Golden, a business banking relationship manager at U.S. Bank. “It’s an honor to support them as they continue to grow Woodley Building Maintenance and strategically plan for the future of their business.”
Today, succession planning is top of mind for the Woodleys and they are working with Golden to outline possible paths forward as they think about the legacy of their company.
“The third generation are my kids, and my kids have other interests,” said Terry Woodley. “One is studying cyber security and the other is working towards becoming a chiropractor, so we want to see what options are out there for the business down the line.”
When looking back during their 50-year anniversary as Woodley Maintenance Company in 2019, Terry Woodley said, “it is humbling to take a step back and reflect on our history and the journey that led us to where we are today. It is a notable accomplishment for our customers, our team, our partners, and our family.”
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