Spotlighting Family Plumbing Businesses for National Son’s and Daughter’s Day
August 11, 2022
Many plumbing businesses are family businesses. Sons and daughters grow up learning from their fathers and mothers and become a part of the business as they get older. Today, we’re highlighting a specific company, Plumbing Express, to give you a glimpse into their experience as a family business. Peter outlines their story below.
The Bogacz Family Business
The business was started and ran from 1986 to 1996 with a father and son team, the Gulsbys, and then was purchased in 1996 by Paul Bogacz. His son, Peter, began working with him in the summer of 1996 part time while he went to college. In 1999, Peter came on full time with the company. The entire business to that point had been small homes but seeing how the employees were skilled to be able to work on custom homes, Paul began to turn the company away from the small builders and more towards the custom home market.
After working in the custom home market for many years and having a lot of customers that they did the plumbing build for their new homes ask if they did service, they finally added a service department to their company. Paul brought Peter up through the ranks of apprentice to lead plumber to taking his test and becoming a Master Plumber, teaching him both construction and service. For several years, Paul and Peter were the service department for the company, splitting up the on-call schedule for the holidays. All during that time, he would encourage Peter to get all the knowledge that he could from apprenticeship school and mentorship with other plumbers. This experience led to Peter teaching part time at the local plumbing apprenticeship night school for 13 years, helping to train up the next generation of plumbers in their area. Now, as the business gets closer to its 40th birthday, a comprehensive formal training program has been set up to fully develop each plumber to reach their very best abilities. Together, Paul and Peter have used each other’s different strengths to advance the business while always finding common goals to direct the company towards.
Q & A with Father: Paul Bogacz
How did you get into the plumbing trade?
I was newly married and looking to get into a career in the trades that would provide a good life for my wife and future family. I got into the PHCC (Pluming-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association) Indiana Apprentice Plumber Program after getting a job at a plumbing company in Indianapolis.
When did your son start to show interest in joining the family business?
He became interested in plumbing after a summer job at the shop where I was a foreman. Another summer, he delivered plumbing parts and supplies for a local wholesaler.
What do you love about working with family?
It’s an opportunity to see my first born on a daily basis and to share the success of our business, to talk about the vision for the company’s future and to enjoy the father-son camaraderie that we love.
What has been the most rewarding part of working with your son?
It has been the most rewarding to see how he has embraced his career and grown into an accomplished plumber and businessman. It is gratifying to see the vision that he has for our business and in taking it to the next level through training our employees in people skills as well as plumbing skills during classes several times a week. I am proud of my son and have been thankful to share these years together working side by side.
Q & A with Son: Peter Bogacz
How did you first develop an interest in working for the family business?
I have always loved to understand how things work and to build things with my hands. This led into an interest in mechanical things and plumbing by way of connections with my father. I didn’t think that would mean I would work for and with him though at that time. That was something that grew naturally as I got older.
How has your role developed over the years?
Well, my father is a believer in that you can’t lead what you don’t understand. That meant starting at the bottom and working my way up from there. That helped to drive into me the importance of having a strong foundation of knowledge and skill for your trade in life. Over the years, I worked my way up from apprentice to Master Plumber and my roles changed and grew as my abilities did as well. My father’s mentorship helped me to understand how to be a great plumber and as a continuation from his parenting a good man as well.
What is your favorite thing about working with your father?
We fit together well and have a lot of the same beliefs for our company but still have enough differences to drive change and growth in the business through pushing each other to reach for new goals. Our relationship is one that has allowed me to see him in not just a father role but as one of a leader in our business and a man respected by his peers in the industry.
What was the main reason you decided to work at the family business?
I knew that the plumbing company that my father ran was going to be one of the best in the area even before starting to work there just because I knew his values and his commitment to take care of his employees. I was proven right over the last 24 years as his leadership has seen us through a major recession and a pandemic where we retained our team of employees and actually grew the business. As our company heads towards 40 years of serving our community, I know that my father has built a legacy of quality of work for the customer and quality of life for our employees that I will be able to take into the coming years.
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