Mongiovi & Son Plumbing Contractor, LP provides plumbing installation and repair services for commercial, industrial
and large residential projects. Mongiovi & Son Excavating, which supports the plumbing side of operations, was formed because Rick was tired of job delays caused by waiting for excavators and other companies to perform excavations. The third division, Mongiovi & Son Fire Protection Services, installs sprinkler systems in new buildings and retrofits systems in existing structures, and also provides sprinkler repair and inspections.
Rick owns all three companies, and his sons work alongside him in roles that complement their respective leadership styles and skill sets. Randy serves as Senior Vice President of the companies and oversees the fire protection division; his older brother, Ricky, has worked with their father the longest and is a Master Plumber and a Project Manager who oversees the plumbing side of operations.
Ricky, now 29 years old, started working for Mongiovi & Son straight out of high school—literally. He recalls, “On the Monday following my graduation party, I was out in the ditches digging holes.” Soon after, he attended technical school and obtained his Master Plumber license.
“I worked as a foreman for many years and ran a bunch of big projects,
including one of the biggest ones in our company’s history at Warrendale Point, which involved 17 buildings and around 300 units. At one point I had 23 guys on the job. Dealing with that many guys on a daily basis can be frustrating, but it was exciting
and I worked with some really great people. After that job, I was promoted to Project Manager,” says Ricky.
Today, Ricky has several foremen working beneath him, but heeds his father’s advice to always continue to learn from these individuals and others in the industry. “It doesn’t matter what my role is, I’m still learning from everyone—from accounting and human resources, to watching the project managers and guys out in the field who are older and more experienced than me.” He adds, “I really depend on my dad’s insight, too. He helps me feel validated in certain decisions that I make.”
The Mongiovi sons didn’t always want to work with their dad. When he was 18, Randy was set on moving across the country to Los Angeles to attend film school, but his dad asked him to stick around and work at the companies instead—an option that would allow Randy to be near his family, an important consideration for him. Having always been intrigued by the idea of running a business, Randy stayed and studied project management and business at a community college while he worked with his dad.
One thing that Randy enjoys most about his career is making important decisions for the companies. “My favorite thing to do is to
negotiate jobs in scope review meetings. It’s like Friday night football—you’ve prepared for it and you’re excited, and then you
get to perform and show the customers what you know about their jobs and what you’re going to do.”
One experience in particular helped affirm Randy’s reason for being in this line of work—and also prevented one division of the company from being shut down. In March 2010, Randy took it upon himself to investigate a problem in the fire protection services division that had caused the company to lose money for years.
“You don’t want to see your dad lose money—it’s just heartbreaking,” says Randy. Even though he had little experience in this area of the business, he wrote a fivepage proposal to his father outlining a solution. Randy also proposed that if he was able to turn a profit by end of year, the fire services division should continue to operate with him at the leadership helm.
Randy’s efforts did indeed right the nearly-sunk ship. “By the end of the year we’d made a $56,000 profit—it was the first time we’d made a profit in the fire protection services division in three or four years, and it’s stayed profitable ever since,” he says, and proudly adds, “My dad was so happy. Now we’re at the point where we want to grow it even more.”
The company is already involved in three markets (plumbing, fire protection sprinkler systems, and excavation), and there are no immediate plans to expand into other areas. “We know these three trades, and we’re focused on growing and enhancing our services within each of them,” states Randy.