Profiles in Prosperity

Episode 80 - Glen Wojcik

Title: An Acquisition

Owner, Pioneer Valley Environmental in Ware, Massachusetts

Intro: Welcome to Profiles In Prosperity, the leading podcast for residential service contractors sponsored by Service Roundtable and hosted by David Heimer.

David Heimer: Hi, this is David Heimer. Welcome to Profiles In Prosperity. I’ve got an interesting interview today. Glen Wojcik is the owner of Pioneer Valley Environmental in Ware, Massachusetts. That’s right in the middle of the State. Pioneer Valley Environmental is well-known for providing excellent plumbing and HVAC services to their customers. Glenn is a very smart and thoughtful guy. I had a great chance to talk with him last week at the Barefoot Roundtable in Clearwater Beach. And among other things, he was telling me about a recent company acquisition that he did. I thought it was a really interesting story, and I thought it would be great for others to hear about it. You know, a lot of people think about doing acquisitions, some of them actually do acquisitions and some manage to do them successfully. So, I think it’s useful to talk to someone who’s done acquisition and learn from his experience. So Glen, welcome to Profiles In Prosperity.

Glen Wojcik: Thank you for having me on.

David Heimer: Just to give a little context to your story. How did you get into our industry?

Glen Wojcik: One of the things that I did funny enough was I kept thinking when I was in high school, what am I going to do? I thought that, you know, for me, I’m kind of a hands-on guy and I want to do something with a little bit of a technical challenge and a little bit of hands-on. So there was a contractor in town that did refrigeration work and he seemed to have a pretty good lifestyle, and I thought, you know what? I think I’m going to try that out. I’m fortunate to go to school after high school, a private trade school and that’s how I started getting into it. And it’s been a great ride all the way from 1983.

David Heimer: That’s great. Well, it sounds like you were very thoughtful about it in high school, which is much better than I was. So at some point in time, you either started or bought the business Pioneer Valley Environmental. How did that come about?

Glen Wojcik: Well, I was fortunate to work with some very good contractors along the way, some good mechanical contractors. The last contractor I worked for was a national contractor called Johnson Controls. It was a very good experience, very good contractor, but they were shifting their direction from a lot of installation and a lot of services. They were kind of narrowing it down at that point, and that was in 1999/98 Atthe end of it, we actually started in 1999. So to make a long story short, I ended up leaving there and starting on my own in December of 1999. And we kind of mi mic that process for us. We got a lot of schools, did a lot of service work at public schools and hospitals, that’s where Johnson Controls had done a lot of work. And it kind of grew from there. We did that for the first, I’m going to say 18 years. We did pretty well, but then we joined Service Nation Alliance growing rapidly.

David Heimer: Turn more of your focus to residential service then?

Glen Wojcik: We did, we were only industrial commercial service for the first, essentially 18 years of our existence, which did work, but once I had gone to a couple of Success Days over the years, probably for a couple of years before we actually joined. And it kept intriguing me and doing some more research. Then when we joined in March of 2019, we really kind of started turning the business plan around to the residential service and replacement. And we probably, at this point, after a little over two years, we probably do 70% residential and probably about 30 we’re pushing a little further; that will probably be at, you know, 20% commercial and 80% residential.

David Heimer: Tell me a little bit about the company now, how many people are on your team?

Glen Wojcik: We had five, six with an apprentice if I want to call that or intern from a trade school. And then we acquired a company in September and they were essentially the same size. They had five mechanics and they had one person as an intern from a trade school. So at this point, we have lost a couple of people in that transition. We are at 10 people and one of them is an intern from a trade school.

David Heimer: All right, so let’s talk about the acquisition – happened last year in September, right?

Glen Wojcik: It actually started the previous year in October.

David Heimer: So the acquisition closed in 2020, but you actually started the whole process in 2019?

Glen Wojcik: Yeah, I think that the process started with a conversation from a salesman that I knew this company, and we were fortunate enough that he was selling And after being involved with Service Nation Alliance, it was always in the back of my mind if the opportunity arose, if I saw something that was interesting. So I kind of jumped on it if I want to call it that, and called the owner and had some dialogue and then we met up. Unfortunately, I think COVID kind of slowed down a little bit, probably would have been a little bit quicker, but there were some other hurdles.

David Heimer: So it took almost a year, but COVID intervened in it. What about the process? I mean, was he actually looking to sell or was it just a good opportunity for him or what was the situation with his company?