Monday, May 27th, 2019

A&A Awnings and Storm Shutters Story


A&A AWNINGS AND STORM SHUTTERS

Providing protection and comfort no matter the weather

by Cristi Sanchez


Mike McDonald

Mike McDonald

Although he’s only owned the company for 12 years, Mike McDonald has made A&A Awnings and Storm Shutters in Virginia Beach his home for 22 years.

As a young man in his twenties, Mike spent a few years in construction, but as an affable people-person, he desired a job with more personal interaction. So, his search for a different line of work began, and he soon found his perfect door of opportunity in 1997.

“I saw an ad in the paper for a sales position with construction experience,” Mike recalls. “I decided to give it a shot and got an interview with the owner of A&A. He was a great guy. We really hit it off.” There was also a happy coincidence that helped seal the deal for Mike. “The owner was implementing Auto CAD into awning design capabilities and I just happened to have taken some Auto CAD courses in college.”


“Success takes team effort.
I literally could not do what I do
and be successful without these folks.
A&A has always been an extended family,
and I like to take care of my employees
as if they were my family.”

—Mike McDonald


It was a match made in heaven. Mike was offered the job and has been with the company ever since, eventually buying it from the previous owner in 2007. “I’d only been here a month when I realized I loved what I was doing and that I could do this for the rest of my life!” he smiles happily. “Fast forward 22 years, and nothing has changed. I still absolutely enjoy every day, and wake up every morning ready to hit the ground running.”

Mike and his team at A&A Awnings and Storm Shutters have spent those 22 years providing quality shade and storm shutter products to homeowners and businesses to provide maximum protection from the elements. Offering fixed and retractable awnings, as well as storm shutters, accordion shutters, and Bahama shutters, they service customers throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, and Maryland.


Retractable awnings provide shade when its wanted and sun when it’s not.

Retractable awnings provide shade when its wanted and sun when it’s not.


Mike’s love of his job contributes to A&A’s success, but, always humble, he is the first to say that his team of faithful employees is a crucial key. “Success takes team effort,” Mike stresses. “I literally could not do what I do and be successful without these folks. A&A has always been an extended family, and I like to take care of my employees as if they were my family.”

He’s clearly doing a good job, for many employees have been on board since Mike purchased the company. “He’s a great guy! He really takes good care of us!” enthuses Carol Richards, office manager.

Project Manager Penny Stankoski couldn’t agree more. “I’ve been here seven years, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” she says beaming. “I come here every day with a smile and leave every day with a smile. Life is good here,” “Mike bends over backward to help his employees and his customers.”

Mike’s philosophy on customer service is another key element in A&A Awnings’ longevity. “My philosophy on customer service is really pretty simple,” he explains. “We are always working toward happy customers. We work diligently to do right by them. Money isn’t a motivator here. My reputation in the business is extremely important. In order to maintain that reputation, I’ve got to make sure that the customers are happy and the job is done well.”


“We’ve always manufactured our own awnings.
Manufacturing awnings on site
provides quality control you can’t get
when purchasing third-party awnings.”


—Mike McDonald


Evidence that Mike and his team have succeeded is found in a thank you letter from a client who had storm shutters installed on his oceanfront home. The letter, expressing “sincere appreciation for the truly excellent and professional installation,” as well as for Penny’s “helpful and cordial” service, clearly illustrates how A&A achieves their goal of happy customers.

“That letter makes me truly happy,” Mike says with a grin. “That’s what keeps me going. The fact that customers are so satisfied that they took the time to write to me a letter expressing their gratitude is what it’s all about.”

While A&A Awnings is praised for their top-notch customer service, there’s another aspect of the business that makes them truly unique: they manufacture their own retractable awnings. Their 10,000 square foot warehouse building is divided into separate manufacturing zones that work together like a well-oiled machine. The manufacturing area houses a seamstress shop for sewing awning fabric, a bay where retractable awning frames come together piece by piece, plus a staple bay where awnings are attached to frames and a welding bay.


Mike McDonald and his team at A&A Awnings and Storm Shutters have a philosophy:<BR> “We are always working toward happy customers. We work diligently to do right by them.”

Mike McDonald and his team at A&A Awnings and Storm Shutters have a philosophy:
“We are always working toward happy customers. We work diligently to do right by them.”

“We’ve always manufactured our own awnings,” Mike explains. “That’s a big part of why I purchased the company. Manufacturing awnings on site provides quality control you can’t get when purchasing third-party awnings. I try to get the best quality parts, fabric, threads, and materials and that quality is backed up with a lifetime warranty on frames and a 10-year warranty on awning fabric,” he adds with satisfaction.

It also allows for Mike and his crew to manufacture custom designs for clients. “We’re in the process of building a custom awning for a boat lift canopy that’s 34 feet long and 16 feet wide. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done,” Mike says excitedly.

While the weather in Hampton Roads changes frequently, A&A Awning’s commitment to quality and customer service doesn’t. Whether making one-of-a-kind custom creations, standard retractable awnings or installing storm shutters, one constant remains: Mike’s love and passion for his work have created a successful business that always focuses on quality products and happy customers.




A&A Awnings

544 Central Drive
Va Beach, VA 23454

757-463-1446
www.aaawnings.com