Who is Alec Cook? Meet Continental Siding’s Owner
Is Alec Cook Related To Jerry O’Neal? No, Alec Cook is not related to Jerry O’Neal.
“Although I’d be proud to call Alec family, he is not related to me in any way. The right for him to purchase this company was earned, not inherited.” Jerry O’Neal Ingram’s Business Magazine, April 2021
Many Kansas City residents are familiar with Continental Siding owner Alec Cook through the frequently aired TV commercials that for years featured founder Jerry O’Neal. In 2016, Alec Cook began joining Jerry in these commercials until he began appearing in them by himself as the sole spokesperson in most commercials, although Jerry still joins him from time to time. This has led many people to ask the question “Who is Alec Cook?”
In 2009, Alec Cook was hired by Jerry O’Neal for a part-time job with Continental Siding while he was a full-time college student. Jerry has been quoted as saying “When I first met Alec on June 2, 2009, I was impressed with how he carried himself—he was wise beyond his years.” Immediately after the interview, Alec was offered a job and began to learn everything he possibly could from Jerry during the next 10 years. In 2014, Alec took over as general manager of the entire company after only five years of working there. At this point, Continental Siding Owner Alec Cook had already been married for two years and his son would be born that same year. Alec’s daughter would be born in 2016, the same year he became a familiar face in Continental Siding’s commercials.
In 2017, Alec Cook became a minority shareholder of Continental Siding and became Jerry’s first-ever business partner. Only two years later, at the young age of 32, Alec Cook would purchase the remaining stock from Jerry, becoming the sole owner of Continental Siding. Alec Cook, a dedicated family man, went from part-time employee to owner in less than 10 years, a feat that isn’t common in this industry and was not at all what he expected when he joined the company.
Recognition for Integrity, Philanthropy, and Leadership in the Community
Since taking over as the owner of Continental Siding in 2019, Alec Cook has earned an unprecedented number of awards and other accolades for all of the effort that he has put in. This began with the local mayor choosing Continental Siding to represent her city as a Great American Story. Mayor Eileen Weir understands that Continental Siding is the type of company that represents the values that best represent Independence and the entire state of Missouri.
The awards continued as Alec Cook’s leadership enabled Continental Siding to earn the manufacturer of the year award from the Economic Development Council, a Philanthropic Business of the year award, the 2020 Business of the Year award, Better Business Bureau Integrity Award, and the Corporate Citizen of the Year award by the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. All of these awards speak to the quality of Continental Siding’s work and the commitment to the local community that Alec has built into the fabric of the company.
Furthermore, Continental Siding owner Alec Cook has even recently been named to the 2021 class of 40 Under Forty in Ingram’s Business Magazine. This honor reflects the remarkable extent to which Alec Cook has stepped up, learned everything he can, and became a leader at such a young age. Clearly, Continental Siding has a bright future ahead under Alec’s leadership.
As a father to two children, Alec Cook has made it a priority to invest in the future of our community. For Continental Siding, that includes providing scholarships to local students. In fact, as the owner of Continental Siding, Alec Cook ran an essay contest to encourage high school students to consider the importance of upholding strong core values in the business world. The topic of this essay was no coincidence as Alec has always prided himself on placing the values of his company over the amount of business it does. At the conclusion of our essay contest, we awarded a Truman High School graduate with a college scholarship in recognition that we are a product of our community, so we know investing in the future of the community will help us all.
Also, Continental Siding has created a charitable partnership with Summit Park Church to put necessity boxes outside of local elementary schools. The goal was to fill these boxes with necessities that may not be available to local families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Alec spoke on NBC 41 Local news stating that “hopefully by people seeing that we’re doing this they can do more themselves if they’re allowed to.” The organizers of the program were hoping that those who needed help for the first time would feel comfortable receiving the help anonymously using the necessity boxes.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Continental Siding owner Alec Cook knew that the right thing to do was to suspend all sales commercials on TV. Instead, he realized that there were much more important things to focus on at that time rather than siding. Instead of pulling our TV ads altogether, that money was instead spent to promote positive messages throughout the community to help raise people’s spirits during what was considered to be the darkest time for many local homeowners. Instead of just saving that money and not doing anything at all, Alec Cook knew the right thing to do was to try and be part of the solution and give hope when things were so scary and intense for so many people.
In addition, Alec Cook initiated a 100 Days of Giving program from day one of the stay at home order so that they were able to support the local community and give back to those that continued to support all local businesses throughout the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continental Siding offered a matching donation of $10,000 to City Union Mission, donated 30,000 meals to Harvesters, gave $500 gift cards to 32 single mothers in need, paid 20% pay bonus to all staff for all three payrolls of the stay-at-home order, and also provided a $500 “someone in need” bonus to all staff members so they could be generous to someone they knew that was in need.
Later in the year, Alec organized a group of other Community Leaders to help local businesses that were struggling. We realized that we weren’t hit quite as hard during the pandemic as many of the area’s smaller businesses. Alec understood that supporting the Independence Chamber was the morally responsible thing to do so the Chamber could, in turn, support every business of all sizes throughout the community.
While Continental Siding Owner Alec Cook has become a familiar face locally through our TV commercials, there have also been many additional media appearances over the years that have attracted attention to our company. One of the first appearances since Alec Cook took over as owner was when Missouri’s Lt. Governor visited Continental Siding’s manufacturing facility to promote the “Buy Missouri” Program. This was a big deal for our company as it allowed us to be recognized as a leader in the local economy, not only in Independence, but throughout the entire state.
In the years that followed, Continental Siding has been featured on ION Television Network’s “World’s Greatest.” This appearance reinforced something that we’ve always known, that Continental Siding is the “World’s Greatest Siding Company.” Furthermore, under Alec’s guidance, our company has been featured on HGTV’s hit show “Bargain Mansions,” and Alec Cook has made several news and radio appearances talking about our company’s many charitable contributions to the community.
After getting to know a little more about our owner, Alec Cook, we hope you feel confident in him just like our founder, Jerry O’Neal, does. Jerry O’Neal dedicated a large amount of his life to Continental Siding and he believes it’s in great hands, just like we all do! You can learn a lot about a person by understanding what they care about. Alec always says, “I care much more about how we do business than how much business we do.”