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Company Bios

Sharon Garcia – Owner / Founder

Leslie Mitchell – Owner / Founder

Andy Garren – Inside Sales & Operations

Patrick Logan – Owner / VP National Business Development

From the PHX Team

Snapshot: Phoenix Protective Coatings Staff Experience

  • Formulating: 65+ years  
  • Manufacturing experience: 70+ years 
  • Distribution experience: 95+ years 
  • Technical Support/Training: 50+ years 
  • Customer Service: 125+ years 
  • Marketing: 35+ years 
  • Spray Technicians: 20+ years 
  • Shop Owner: 10+ years   

Sharon Garcia

Owner / Founder

In 2000, I took a leap of faith and a lot of prayers, trading Louisiana for Houston armed with little more than a car, a few credit cards, and a determination to build a new life. With a background in accounting, I quickly secured a job, though it soon became clear it wasn’t the right fit for me. But I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge.

That challenge led me to a small coatings company where, despite my initial ignorance about the industry (seriously, “polyurea” was a tongue-twister!), I embraced the opportunity to learn and grow. When Versaflex acquired the company in 2006, I was hesitant, but back then, they still had a family-like culture, and it quickly won me over.

Over the next 11 years, I poured my heart into my role as Operations Manager, focused not just on plant operations and supporting our outside sales staff, but also working closely with the marketing team growing our online presence, and of course on fostering meaningful relationships with our current and future customers. Whether it was expanding our facilities to five times their previous size, being responsible for helping to launch and manage globally-recognized initiatives like “Polyurea University,” or simply ensuring our customers received the best service possible, I was dedicated to our shared success, because it all felt like we were working toward the same goal. 

Whether it was expanding our facilities to five times their previous size, being responsible for helping to launch and manage globally-recognized initiatives like “Polyurea University,” or simply ensuring our customers received the best service possible, I was dedicated to our shared success, because it all felt like we were working toward the same goal. 

However in 2017, when the company was sold to a private equity firm, the dynamic shifted. Despite my initial optimism for the future, it became clear that the new leadership prioritized profit over people (or actual knowledge). Dealing with uninspiring and lackluster new management, and then watching colleagues leave in frustration was tough, but it also made me realize where my priorities lay.

It is extremely hard to wrap your mind around someone coming in and destroying something that you helped build that worked so well, especially when in truth the way it worked was why they bought it in the first place. I was so confused and hoped that they would figure out how important the customers were to their business, and that they would right the ship. They not only did not right the ship, I felt like they were trying to sink it as quickly as they could. 

In the end, I made the difficult decision to move on. Saying goodbye to the company I helped build was tough, but I carry with me the lessons I’ve learned and the relationships formed. Now, as I look ahead, I’m excited to apply those lessons in new endeavors, always keeping the importance of customer service, honesty, and integrity front and center.

Leslie Mitchell

Owner / Founder

In 2005 my husband wanted to join a few friends in building a membership racetrack (a 3.2-mile road course). Between the two of us we had 5 children, with school and activities etc.; even so, I wanted to be able to contribute in some way to the growth of the track while the kids were at school. To make a long story short, I loved working at the track. Our members became our friends, and the events that we were able to put together and host were exhilarating. 

One of the members was an owner at UL [Ultimate Linings], and we sponsored a few events for him, and also went with him to a few events in Las Vegas in order to make introductions for him to sponsor some racing events, etc. At this point, my husband and I were minority partners in the track, and in 2008 they [the owner group] began to discuss selling the track. I am not sure I had ever been so sad, and anxiety-ridden. I had thought the track was and would be my life until I didn’t want to work anymore. My husband did not trust the folks that were coming in to buy the racetrack that we had worked so hard to build up — and he ended up leaving the track upon the completion of the sale. 

However, we still had an ownership stake and I wanted to try to protect that, so I stayed for about 8 months. For me, that was my kid’s college funds or our retirement money that we had invested. We had never been looking to sell — in fact, we had hoped some of our children would step in at some point to run the day-to-day. Yet soon it became clear that staying there was no longer an option; we no longer fit the narrative; it became all about the money. 

Yet soon it became clear that staying there was no longer an option; we no longer fit the narrative — it became all about the money. 

When I left, the member I referenced above had been forced out of UL and was looking to begin a new venture. When he found out I had left the track he called and asked if I would be interested in helping him start up a new business. I said sure. We started work in aftermarket accessories for Range Rovers and car care products. And as soon as his buyout non-compete was up, he wanted to go back into the bedliner business. By then, I was managing the operations, as well as the books. 

He partnered with Rhino Linings in 2010. I didn’t really know anything about bed liners or coating materials. I had to learn how to answer questions about how the product worked, and why you would choose this material over others in the market etc. I loved the learning process. I am a hyper-curious person so learning about things is certainly one of my happy places. 

In 2011, tragically, my husband passed away while on vacation with our children. I have never ever felt so destroyed or lost … there are no words to describe the utter devastation I felt. My kids are what kept me going, but now I had no one to be my partner, to always be on my team. I vested more of my energy in my job and grew and developed the business. 

At the end of 2014 some things started to come to my attention that I was not only uncomfortable with, but also made it clear I needed to move on. Being a single parent made it difficult to come up with a plan to move forward; luckily, I had the support of a good friend at the time who believed in me (he is now my husband). If it wasn’t for him, I am not sure I would have had the courage to just step out on my own. 

I met Sharon at the end of the year in 2015 when the group I worked for decided to entertain other companies for chemicals to more fully round out our product offering. In a meeting that afternoon, my boss told me that he was going to put all the further discussions on hold; I was elated. 

I remember one of the first things Sharon said to me was, “We [VersaFlex] are not the cheapest company on the block for sure. We are the company that supports their customers, and we are the company that believes in creating high quality products that work all the time for our customers.”  I was all in!!  Based on the combined unethical business practices of my boss and the lack of transparency we were able to provide our customers that were having product issues, I decided then with my new husband to start our own company. And here is where Sharon’s and my path began to join.

In January of 2016 I started a company with a PE group out of New York. In listening to these guys, I thought we were going to build an amazing business and be fully funded to make all the challenges and objections so much easier to overcome. However, at roughly 3 months in, it became clear to me and my husband that the true objective was to learn about all our vendors, how coatings work, who the targeted customer base was, and then we would be obsolete. 

Over the next 12 months the PE group decreased our ownership with every dollar infused by 95%, and removed one of our partners from her position as an owner at the company. To say we were shocked is an understatement; they used every loophole in our partnership agreement to take away ownership, our income and our ideas, all the while asking us to work harder. At one point, they actually said that if we truly believed in the business we would contribute our time to the business — to work for free for something we now owned 6% of collectively after their machinations. 

To say we were shocked is an understatement; they used every loophole in our partnership agreement to take away ownership, our income and our ideas, all the while asking us to work harder.

We had locations in FL, OK and Texas in 2017 going into 2018.  We felt trapped, and looked seriously at quitting and opening a Chick-Fil-A, or going to work for different companies. Something had to give.

In 2018 we decided that our family should not have the entirety of its livelihood dependent on the fate of our partners (if you could call them that).  My husband found a job in a new industry, which was difficult because we had a very young daughter that we had been able to both be with every day at work. Now our family unit would have to change.    

Sharon and I had become fast friends as Sharon helped to develop our material.  Sharon was manufacturing at her plant for us and our  company. At the outset, the chemical we were developing was different from the chemicals VersaFlex was used to developing, so there was a challenge there. Sharon became an integral part in helping us learn and understand how our chemical should behave and why.

We spent countless hours dialing in the product line to make sure that it was user friendly, had high quality raw materials, a higher transfer efficiency and made our customer’s lives easier. Sharon’s constant support, knowledge, and communication made me more determined than ever to try to share all of what we had learned with our customers. 

We spent countless hours dialing in the product line to make sure that it was user friendly, had high quality raw materials, a higher transfer efficiency, and simply made our customer’s lives easier.

Here is where I will say everything seems to happen for a reason. Sometimes you cannot see the path before you and things seem hopeless and dark; 12 months (or some period later) that path makes sense. That path was necessary to get to the next place in life. While in it, it seems overwhelming and even scary, but everyone can use the trials and tribulations to learn and become stronger in the next parts of the road.  

The more Sharon and Leslie worked together, the more they both felt comfortable sharing the difficulties they faced navigating the PE groups’ ways of doing business.  Leslie watched Sharon struggle daily against the powerful machine that was now running her once happy home, and destroying her customer’s livelihoods with new rules, new business practices, along with a decrease in products and undisclosed formulation changes, all for an increase in gross margins. 

VersaFlex was no longer the place for Sharon, but having dedicated 19 years of her life to the values of the business and the support she was able to provide her customers made leaving so very difficult for her.  She fought every day to try to explain the customer’s perspective on all the newly implemented changes, and she was able to enlist some people higher up to agree with and support her in the desire to educate the new owners.  However, as those individuals stood by her to fight for the customers they were removed from their positions, resigned, and/or were terminated from the company for not sharing like-minded values with the new VersaFlex. 

At the same time, since Leslie was struggling in the same manner as Sharon, she decided to just ask Sharon her thoughts on joining her at a new company. Leslie thought for sure Sharon would say, “I really like you Leslie, but I am not sure I want to start all over again on a wing and a prayer.” 

Instead, Sharon said, “You know what, let me talk to my husband and I will get back to you tomorrow.” 

Leslie was so excited at the thought of this new partnership.  Now they could spend time developing a true foundation and providing a customer experience that matched their own expectations as customers of how to be treated.

Leslie was so excited at the thought of this new partnership.  Now they could spend time developing a true foundation and providing a customer experience that matched their own expectations as customers of how to be treated.

Sharon and Leslie decided they would add their Creative Director to the team in order to consistently create a wide variety of marketing materials, to provide relevant, helpful content, and to improve the company website as they grew and developed their business.  They are proud to say that he has been with them since 2018; the first day Phoenix came to be. 

And they did not barrel out of the gate; Sharon stayed with VersaFlex for 12 months after the two became partners because they [VF/newco] had asked that she help get everything from her facility stable before she left. Sharon and Leslie agreed that this was the best course of action for Sharon because her obligation was to the people, the ones she had helped for 19 years, the employees, and even the new company. Sharon wanted to make sure they were all accustomed to the new way of business, and she did not want to leave the people that worked for her in a situation that would impact their families in a negative way.   

In October of 2019 Sharon helped shut down the plant in Houston and made sure every employee got a severance that allowed them to stay and help with the shut down, and have time to look for new employment. During this time, she came over to Phoenix every day; however, she continued to help her old customers place their orders and manage their expectations on delivery times, pricing, and application procedures. 

As a company, Phoenix maintained its relationship with VersaFlex as a customer, with VersaFlex providing high pressure material, cartridge material and industrial coatings.  In 2020, Covid hit and caused several businesses to close for at least the short term, so to keep their employees full time, Phoenix continued to spray trucks for municipalities and sell industrial coatings. However, by that point, the distribution business had slowed way down. 

In 2020, Covid hit and caused several businesses to close for at least the short term, so to keep their employees full time, Phoenix continued to spray trucks for municipalities and sell industrial coatings.

Sharon and Leslie met Andy Garren at the beginning of the supply chain disruption because he was with a manufacturing company in Houston that was going to close their doors, and the owner of that business (and Andy) were looking for a place for their customers to land.  Phoenix brought Andy on directly, and he was able to start servicing his customers immediately without skipping a beat. 

Andy Garren

Inside Sales / Operations

After my time in the Army, I ventured into Houston’s building products industry around 1990, dedicating more than two decades to the field. In 2013, I made a shift to the coatings industry, taking on roles as both a salesman and production manager at Spray On Products.

However, early in 2020, Spray On Products closed its doors due to the owner’s retirement, presenting me with a significant challenge. I was determined to ensure continuity for our loyal customers, and so I started a thorough search for suitable referrals. After many calls to industry contacts, two ladies’ names, Sharon & Leslie, and their company, Phoenix Protective Coatings, came up again and again.

I called them, and had a discussion with both Sharon and Leslie, as I tried to determine their company’s suitability to handle our clients’ needs. By the end of that conversation, I knew exactly where to send our customers.

To my surprise, those conversations led to an unexpected offer for me to join Phoenix as a sales representative.

Excited about the opportunity to continue prioritizing customer satisfaction, I eagerly accepted the position at Phoenix. I found comfort in the shared values and commitment to excellence within the company. With my dedication to providing outstanding service, I looked forward to contributing positively to Phoenix Protective Coatings’ ongoing success.

At about the same time, Sharon and Leslie reached out to one of Sharon’s old customers who was producing hand sanitizer, and quickly began repackaging hand sanitizer to get into their local community (especially those businesses like churches and elderly communities that were being so negatively impacted by Covid). 

In order to keep everyone busy they started packaging for companies like: Cheesecake Factory (nationally), DuckDuckGo, Peloton, McDonalds, Brookshire Bros, college campuses throughout the US, Urgent Care facilities, and many others. They felt very fortunate to keep busy while serving their communities and communities throughout the country.  They were also able to continue to provide material without interruption – or price disruption – to their customers.

They felt very fortunate to keep busy while serving their communities and communities throughout the country.  They were also able to continue to provide material without interruption – or price disruption – to their customers.

By the end of 2020, business seemed to be more stable in the coatings industry, and as hand sanitizer and other personal care/safety products came back to shelves, we at Phoenix put that on the back burner, continuing to help a few while they waited for their normal supply to get back to normal.

That being said, there were some grumblings in the coatings world about disruptions in the supply chain. Initially the word was that it would be a temporary disruption, but that applicator shops would not miss a beat, and that it may just be touch and go for 30-45 days.

But then a hurricane hit the gulf coast, and then a severe freeze in February 2021. That combination took down production and distribution of raw chemicals. This disruption, as many very well know, was incredibly difficult for our industry. Phoenix was able to utilize their relationships with several different systems houses to not only keep their customers spraying every day, but also to keep many of the folks you see in the distribution market today in business. 

“We got a phone call from one of our competitors about 5 miles down the road asking if we would help him get material because he wasn’t going to be able to keep his doors open if he couldn’t get material.  When we said, ‘Of course, come on over,’ he was shocked.”

For example, they got a phone call from one of their competitors about 5 miles down the road asking if they would help him get material because he was not going to be able to keep his doors open if he could not get material.  When they  said, “Of course, come on over,” he was shocked.  He said he would totally understand if they wanted to charge him a premium because he was a competitor, and they said, “Absolutely not.”

At this point, Phoenix needed a full-time tech to service all of their customers with their Graco equipment, and Phoenix became a Graco Distributor.  They hired their first tech, and subsequently added two other part-time technicians for questions, training, and installation of equipment.  

As the company continued down the path of helping folks they met Patrick Logan.  Patrick was refreshing – he was passionate about what he did, and about his customers. He decided to leave Line-X in December of 2021 and pursue a career in another industry. Sharon & Leslie told Patrick if for any reason he did not like that job they would love to have him join their team. In April of 2022, Patrick missed the customers and bedliner industry and May 2, 2022 he joined Phoenix.

Patrick Logan

Owner / VP National Business Development

I began my career in the aerospace industry working for Boeing and General Electric, and my time with both companies was a great learning experience.  I witnessed firsthand what large corporations can do to hard working people when they lose sight of the individuals and the hard work that built their business.  I moved on with my career by working for a couple smaller companies in the car wash industry selling automotive accessories to full-service car washes that supported and helped small business owners grow their business.  As that business grew, the company started acquiring competitors and quickly became the largest in the industry, still always focused on the small business owner.  

 I was looking for a new opportunity when I joined LINE-X after the corporate merger and acquisition by Grahm Partners.  I started my role as the Midwest Regional Operations Manager, developing relationships with the Franchise Owners in my region.  My career continued to grow over the next nine years, developing great personal relationships with the franchise owners as I provided support for them while they grew their small businesses. 

I continued with LINE-X through multiple acquisitions over the next several years and saw firsthand what the private equity companies can do to a company with a great brand and the best small business owners/operators in the industry.  In the Fall of 2021, the new direction of LINE-X was in the beginning stages of where things have evolved to in 2024. 

I continued with LINE-X through multiple acquisitions over the next several years and saw firsthand what damage private equity companies can do to a company with a great brand and the best small business owners/operators in the industry.

I saw firsthand that the hard work and blood, sweat, and tears many of my friends had put into their small businesses was about to change and felt I could not be part of that. Instead, I took a job with a company in the green energy industry, yet quickly found out that I missed working in the polyurea/polyurethane industry.  

I met Sharon Garcia and Leslie Mitchell from Phoenix Protective Coatings during the chemical shortages when several of the franchise owners purchased products from Phoenix to keep their doors open to survive.  Sharon and Leslie stayed in touch with me, and then in April 2022, they reached out and asked if I would join them at Phoenix Protective Coatings.  I visited them over a long weekend, having very open and honest conversations about their passion for their customers and desire to grow their business the right way through hard work and exceptional customer service, appreciating their customers. I quickly realized that Phoenix Protective Coatings was going to be my new home.  

Sharon and Leslie’s industry experience complemented my own experience, as well as our common shared goal/outlook to be the best manufacturer and distributor in the industry.  Phoenix is a family-oriented small business who values our customers by developing the personal relationships that we all believe in.  Phoenix has grown significantly in the last couple of years by listening to our customers and taking their feedback and input, and developing new products to serve our customers better. 

Phoenix is a family-oriented small business who values our customers by developing the personal relationships we all believe in.  Phoenix has grown significantly in the last couple of years by listening to our customers and taking their feedback and input, and by developing new products to serve our customers better. 

Phoenix believes that by setting ourselves apart from our competitors in the industry, by manufacturing our own products, sourcing our raw materials from US companies and manufacturing everything we make in Texas, we can provide the best products in the industry at competitive prices.  We only use the highest quality raw materials in producing our products, setting us apart from others in the industry who are buying and reselling products from toll blenders. 

At the end of 2023, Sharon and Leslie brought me in as a business partner with them to join the family-owned small business.  The diverse backgrounds that we three come from and our common focus to grow our business by developing personal relationships with our customers and developing a partnership where our customers succeed is the foundation of our business.  We are 100% committed to the success of our customers and appreciate the opportunity to grow long term relationships with each and everyone. 

Sharon and Leslie were very happy to have Patrick Logan join the team. Shortly after Patrick joined the team, he suggested that they meet with Andy Puckett, who had worked for Line-X for 13 years. At the time Andy and his wife were pursuing a few other business ventures and he was out of the coatings industry.  Phoenix called Andy and just asked if he would be interested in rebuilding equipment and fielding some tech calls.  He said he missed it and was interested in helping on a part-time basis.  

In July of 2022, Phoenix decided to start manufacturing their cartridge formulations in-house.  They put the material through several rigorous tests and decided to go ahead and send their manufactured product to their customers. 

Also in July of 2022, they added their pure polys to their manufacturing process. They picked up several industrial customers who were not happy with their current suppliers – either because they had changed their formulations, the pricing was too volatile to bid a job properly, or their vendors had been purchased by other much larger companies and the customer service had left the building.

Currently, Phoenix has introduced 7 new pure polys into the industry.

From the team:

We have  watched raw materials prices settle down and even reduce slightly while several manufacturers maintained their pricing without passing any of the savings to their customers.

We here at Phoenix are committed to getting our customers as close to pre-shortage pricing as we possibly can.  While raw materials did not go down to anywhere near where they had been in the past, we negotiated with our suppliers to make concessions so that we could give our customers a high-quality product at a fair and reasonable price. 

We started manufacturing our High-Pressure material in September of 2022. We sprayed samples of our material for 8 months prior to taking it to market. We have been spraying for the same dealer groups in-house for close to 10 years. We let them know about the changes, and they were very supportive of our endeavor to manufacture. Each of them has provided invaluable feedback along with our sprayers, which has helped us perfect our formulations. 

Our spray technicians both have over 10 years of experience spraying, and we have had them spray every product we manufacture, and these materials are currently being sprayed today by our customers. Each of them would tell you that our material is the easiest material to work with in the industry today. We have 4 variations of this material that are available for purchase today.

We think it is important to note that we spray out of every batch we make.   

 As we moved into 2023 and things were not such a crazy whirlwind, we were able to create better relationships with our suppliers in order to get more favorable pricing. We also started stocking hundreds of supplies, developing our website, creating materials that make things easier for our dealers (warranties, forms, marketing materials and so much more). At the end of the year we started working on tops coats, primers and bonding agents.  This R&D has continued into 2024.

 In Early 2024, we offered Andy Puckett a full-time position and he is now our Business Development Manager/Senior Technical Advisor for the Gulf CoastIn March of 2024, we brought on Ben Saville, a retired Line-X franchise owner, as the Business Development Manager/Technical Advisor for the East Coast.

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