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How Is Lesco Different?
Incredible Office Staff
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The Best Technicians
Our Company’s History
When he was 12 years old, Mike Marvon found a lawn tractor that somebody had thrown out. With typical ingenuity, he bought new parts, reconstituted the engine and turned that five-miles-per-hour tractor into a 45-mph go-kart.
“That thing was dangerous,” he said. “My friends and I used to play with it all the time. We’d take it out into the woods.”
It’s that kind of drive to make things better that has enabled Mike to build Lesco Plumbing, Heating & Cooling into a successful business that averages 4,000 service calls a year and is worthy of appearing on an HGTV show.
From a young age, Mike was tinkering with gadgets, taking them apart and putting them back together. He was always intrigued by how things operated. At the same time, he went out of his way to be useful to people. He lived in an apartment complex where his grandfather was superintendent and helped senior citizens by taking their garbage to the dumpster, helping them carry their groceries and shoveling snow. When he was old enough, he took on an after-school job working at the apartments as a helper to his grandfather.
Eventually it was time for Mike to make his way in the world. He started out as a helper and then became an apprentice to a family friend who owned a plumbing company. Here he learned the nuts, bolts, and washers of the plumbing and heating industry. His mentor’s most important piece of advice was never hesitate to ask questions. Mike asked and then synthesized all he learned. His willingness to continue learning has never ceased.
At the age of 22, Mike was among the youngest to take and pass the New Jersey master plumbing exam and the New Jersey business law exam. He went on to complete and to obtain a large number of trade specific certifications:
Mike’s drive to succeed in the world soon had him working on small projects for family and friends. At the age of 22 he obtained his Master Plumber’s license and he bought his first van. “It never felt good making customers wait until after work or the weekend for service,” he said. “To meet my customers’ needs and give them faster service, I decided it was time for me to go out on my own. I never looked back.”
He asked his sister Alexandra to join him in running the business. “I needed her to be the inside so I could continue to run and grow the outside with dedication and loyalty to my customers.” From the start Mike asked his new customers questions about the experience they had with other companies.
“I knew if I was there, it was because the other company did something wrong,” he said. “I was always amazed and shocked by what other companies do or simply just don’t do. My philosophy is to do what’s right, to treat the customer like a king.”
Mike has gone so far as to remove a part from his own home heating system to complete a repair in the dead of winter for a family with children so they could be warm for the weekend until the supply house reopened on Monday. His mantra is be kind, compassionate, loyal, honest, generous and conscientious.
Starting a new business is filled with challenges, but the biggest for Mike was Hurricane Irene, which flooded his first shop in 2011. His company was essentially homeless when he stopped by his regular plumbing supply store to find a large realtor’s sign on the door. Not one to stand idle, Mike called the realtor and closed the deal to lease the space. His business and his 10 employees had a new home.
His company began to thrive as satisfied customers spread the word about the good service they had received. To his ability as a serviceman, Mike added a knack for management. One of the skills of a successful businessman is to hire the right people. Mike is fortunate to have a talented wife, Jennifer, who joined Alexandra managing the inside of the business.
He is diligent in finding the right kind of technicians, looking for people who have his vision and match the company’s culture. They must be kind, pleasant, honest, sincere, genuine and likeable first; then Mike evaluates their technical abilities.
Much of the company’s success, and its ability to offer lower prices, come down to Mike maintaining a tight rein on the budget. That means keeping costs down without compromising quality service, and delivering the best products in the market. That’s why, although there are bigger companies in northern New Jersey, the HGTV network went to Lesco Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to do the plumbing for a custom bathroom on one of its shows. That’s also why Lesco has been featured in two well-known service company publications.
In the end, Mike takes the most pride out of helping clients with their needs and solving issues that were beyond other companies.