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The Long Story

Bob LongA Family Built Business on a National Scale

When Bob Long returned home from service in the merchant marines in 1948, he joined Long’s Fence, the company he had helped finance through the income he sent home. His father had forgone his baseball career to start Long’s Fence, a small fence company that operated out of an old Washington, DC Transit bus, parked in rented space at 18th and Rhode Island, NE.

Though his father ran the show, Mr. Long was fueled by ideas for expansion. When he decided to break off on his own, his father thought the company’s end was in sight. Eventually, they reached a new agreement–Mr. Long would take over the company–and so the legacy began.

Bob Long purchased Long’s Fence Co. Inc. in 1960 when yearly sales reached $350,000. Operating under the Long Fence name, sales increased by 15% per year through 1994 and continue to grow. It was apparent that Long Fence had become a household brand name, and Mr. Long realized that the marketplace was in need of a trusted leader in other products for the home. Customers trusted Long Fence and preferred the name when it came to product choice and service.

In 1994, Mr. Long realized Long Fence had the capacity and relevance to take on additional products. That May, he met with this team of managers and presented his plan to add products, and John DePaola–the Vice President of Business Development– was given the opportunity to lead the new endeavor.

Mr. Long and Mr. DePaola agreed to run the home improvement product lines as a separate division, and in a short time, Mr. DePaola became President of Long Fence and Home. By 2005, home division sales surpassed a level that made their pilot a success. Customers were genuinely looking to Long Fence as a trusted supplier of quality products for the home. They decided to separate the division and rename it Long Fence and Home. John and Mr. Long’s daughter, Jill Long DePaola, became the company’s new owners.