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Meet the 2022 APC Advisory Board

25 January, 2022

APC prides itself as being THE magazine for painting contractors, and as much as we enjoy bringing you the news and ferreting out the best information, we also rely on painting contractors to keep us up to date and to share their stories to educate and even to entertain. The members of the 2022 APC Advisory Board have made some great contributions to the magazine as well as the industry as a while, and we’ll stay in touch with them to help us stay in touch with you! We thank them for fitting us into their already busy schedules!

APC Board Zach Ausherman

Zach Ausherman, Ausherman Painting, Mechanicsburg, PA

Zach is owner and chief vision officer of the second-generation, family-owned Ausherman Painting. Zach graduated from Juniata College with a degree in marketing and political science, and he worked in politics as a lobbyist and then in the equipment industry as a safety coordinator before joining his father’s business in 2016. Since then, Zach tripled the gross profit of the company, increasing the crew from five to 14. In January 2021, he took over the business as owner. Zach was incredibly proud to see his senior crew leader, Jody Harlacher (whom he has known since the age of 4), awarded the PCA Craftsman of the Year Award for 2020. When Zach’s not working, he enjoys traveling, either with his wife to New York City or visiting other painting contractors from around the country.

APC Board Austin & Lacie

Austin and Lacie Ilsley, Ai Painting Plus, Columbia, MO

Austin Ilsley, president, started Ai Painting Plus in 2013 after obtaining the skills and expertise from having worked in the trade since he was 16. His mission is to change how people view painters, and with that in mind, he created a solid foundation not only with performing the work but also running a company dedicated to professionalism for both him and his crew. In 2021, his wife Lacie became the new CEO. She brings an incredibly detailed history of growing businesses, developing teams and building culture, not to mention she also has been a mentor to Austin behind the scenes since the start of Ai Painting Plus.

APC Board Louis Jasso

Louis Jasso, Elite Fine Finish, Houston, TX

Louis Jasso, president of Elite Fine Finish, is a third-generation wood coating specialist who has cultivated his craft into a multifaceted business that consists of a finishing shop, manufacturers’ rep agency and, most recently a specialty coating store. His work has appeared in print publications worldwide, and most recently, he was seen as the wood coating expert on the popular television series, “Texas Metal”. Louis credits much of his success to the skills he gained from his father and his grandfather, who both have enjoyed long careers in the wood finishing industry, and to his wife and business partner, who helps him manage the day-to-day activities of their busy enterprise.

APC Board Christian Militello

Christian Militello, Militello Painting and Power Washing, Ambler, PA

Christian Militello has 20 years in business and shares credit with his wife, Angelina, who joined 11 years ago, for his company’s success. As a family man, he enjoys coaching his boys’ Little League teams and watching his daughter grow into an awesome bassist. As a business owner, he enjoys watching his team grow mentally stronger and being an active member of the community. His company includes a substantial pressure-washing business, and he’s on the board of the Pressure Washers of North America.

APC Board Suhaiba Neill

Suhaiba Neill, John Neill Painting & Decorating, Ardmore, PA

Suhaiba Neill is the vice president of John Neill Painting & Decorating, a family-owned residential painting company located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, with over 45 years in business. Suhaiba is also the owner of The Full Circle Business, a consulting company founded to help fellow contractors get from “stressed to streamlined.” Using her 15+ years of experience in the family business, she has crafted proven strategies to help others increase their productivity and profitability through the use of systems and processes.

APC Board Curtis

Curtis Tankersley, Just Add Paint, Shiremanstown, PA

Curtis Tankersley founded Just Add Paint in 2004 after years of painting part time to help pay for college at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. His scenic route to the coatings field included stints as a musician and martial arts school owner/instructor and work as a therapist. While he found this work quite rewarding, he soon realized that he wanted a hands-on job, with less time behind a desk. And for this noble reason, Just Add Paint was born! Just Add Paint specializes in high-end residential painting and cabinets. During rare moments off, Curtis can be found traveling, playing music with his crew and eating sushi.

APC Board Beth Warnecke

Beth Warnecke, Classic Creations Painting, Troy, IL

Beth Warnecke is a decorative artist and painter and the principal of Classic Creations Painting, and she has been creating art in client homes for over 15 years. Beth specializes in plaster wall and ceiling finishes, concentrating on the current trends in the design industry.

Along with running a successful painting business, Beth sits on the board of directors and is the current president of the International Decorative Artisans League, an organization dedicated to furthering the education of decorative painters. She has been published 
twice in design magazines and is very honored to have been chosen for the APC TOP JOB Award several times.

Beth enjoys spending time with her two Labrador retrievers. She has five amazing children and their spouses, who call her Mom, and is happiest when they are all home for a visit.

Peter Lawton, LeadSMART Training Solutions

Safety Training - Peter Lawton

Peter Lawton founded LeadSMART Training after 33 years in the residential construction and remodeling industry. Peter holds several certifications including Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO) in Construction, earned after extensive training through the OSHA Educational Center and Keene State College. In addition, he studied Public Sector Safety and Health Fundamentals (PSSHF), recognizing him as an authority on training obligations for municipalities. In addition to leading LeadSMART Training, Peter is the principal of Parker Safety Group, a safety consulting practice offering services and safety specialty products to a wide range of building and construction trades. He believes in contractors training contractors and works with clients to create a culture of safety.

APC Board Jason Lunn

Jason Lunn 3M

Jason Lunn is a 3M senior application engineer for safety and electrical products. He oversees training and education for a wide
variety of safety products — he’s extremely knowledgeable about masks and respirators. His ability to communicate this information succinctly has helped many a paint contractor literally breathe easy.

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If cost and liability were not an issue, what's your one must-have at the company picnic?

Paintball Feld
Axe Throwing
10-Foot Nacho Trough
Potato Salad

Dang it's hot! Does your work vehicle have an orange water cooler?

It's not orange

Did you work for a painting contractor prior to owning your company?


Why haven't you hired a business coach?

Not worth the money
Too difficult to find a good one
I don't need one
I did hire one!

Has OSHA ever inspected your jobsite?


Who Buys the Paint Brushes?

We do...the company
Our painters buy their own

What's the most paint you've ever spilled?

5 Gallons
An Ungodly Amount

Did you take a week-long (or longer) vacation this summer?

Not yet, but I'm gonna

If you had to rename your company one of the following, which would it be?

Flapjack Painting
Porkchop Painting
Half Slab Painting
Whole Hog Painting

You meet someone new, and they ask what you do. What do you say?

I'm a painter
I'm a contractor
I'm a painting contractor
I own a painting business

On the job site, my painters mostly listen to...

Classic Rock
Hip Hop
Who knows. They got headphones

Which social media platform is most effective for marketing your business?

I don't use one

What do you drive for work?

Pickup Truck

How long ago did you redesign your company hat?


Do you have a spray booth?


If you've bought a used sprayer, was it a good decision?


Will your crews be working the week between Christmas and New Years?


Do you accept credit card payments from customers?


Will you be giving end-of-year bonuses (not gifts) this year?


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