John Murray – owner and founder of Counter Intelligence – started out his remodeling career by working part-time at a local cabinet shop while still in high school.
At only 15 years of age, John quickly fell in love with the art of building cabinets and making countertops. Realizing this was the career path he wanted to pursue, he embarked on a journey that – 40 years later – would prove to have been the right decision to make.
“It’s hard to believe that Counter Intelligence has over 25 years of history. I still remember fabricating laminate and corian countertops in my basement.” – John Murray
After high school, John embarked on a series of ventures including building and renovating high-end homes around the Washington DC metropolitan area. After a decade of doing that (and loving it), John found an interesting gap in the countertop market. It was underserved. Fabricators in the area were doing a horrible job with both quality and customer service. John immediately recognized the opportunity, as these were two areas he clearly understood and was great at, thus giving birth to Counter Intelligence in February of 1987.
“I’ve always had special appreciation for architecture, construction and design. It’s what I love to do.” – John Murray
When building houses in the early 80’s, John recalls his group of friends as being guys who just loved to either build something from scratch, or tear it apart and build it back up to make it better. This is the same group of friends he would invite back to his home years later, to help in tearing out the walls of his basement in preparation for renovation. While admiring the space that was created by removing the walls, John realized it was perfect for a fabrication shop! Something that Frances – his wife – was not all that excited about at first. Not many people know this, but Counter Intelligence operated out of this basement for almost seven years after that. In fact, several of the employees that started working alongside John in this basement, are still working in the company today. That same loyalty employees continue to give the company is the same loyalty instilled by John to give our customers.
“When he decided to make the switch from laminate to corian, I was the doubtful one, but as always, I trusted his judgment and supported him - the same thing happened when he made the switch to Silestone!” – (smiles) Frances Murray
Working out of the basement gave John a chance to be closer to his family. “I was blessed by having the opportunity to watch my kids grow. I was a very lucky man. Often times Frances would be out doing tailgate-deliveries for us while pregnant, or making lunch for the guys. All while being a mom. She’s been great!” John recalls now.
“If John sets his mind to something, he will research endlessly, and then when it’s time to implement, he’s all about it, even if it’s totally new. Change is always difficult but he seems to see ahead and makes it work.” – Frances Murray
From the early days of formica and corian, Counter Intelligence has come a long way. The implementation of technology and the innovation in our processes and systems have played a key role in the growth and development of the company. Many fabricators from around the country and even Canada have visited our manufacturing facility in Silver Spring. John has always been open to helping others and is never afraid to try new things. This is the reason other fabricators value his opinion. John Murray is the leader, innovator, and visionary behind our success.
Counter Intelligence, Inc.