I never will forget the looks on our daughter’s faces at the dinner table the night I announced we were starting a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning business. They were shocked I planned to quit a good-paying job and make this change.

It was probably good back then Deb and I did not realize that 90% of our types of businesses fail within 10 years. John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical turns 20 years old next month. We have been fortunate.

Every day provides interesting challenges and opportunities to improve. The biggest challenge was to understand who we should become as a company and then make necessary changes to progressively improve each day to reach that goal.

Most phases of building a business are kind of like learning to ride a bicycle. It’s too easy to lose balance and suffer. Eventually, it becomes easier and the mishaps sort of go away. At the same time, the risks are always there. The moment you think you have made it, you have not.

It was also important to learn what the customer wants and provide it efficiently to meet or exceed those needs.

We are doing many of the right things because our community has given John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical‘s awards for Best of Lincoln, People’s Choice Awards, Angie’s Super Service Awards, and two Better Business Bureau Integrity Awards. Thank you for those humbling awards that we fully appreciate!

Speaking of our team, it took 20 years of careful searching and hiring to get the team we have assembled. Our thorough hiring process beyond the basic background checks includes a seven-personality trait survey to make sure applicants’ profiles match the desired positions. The employee will be happier and so will everyone around them. Only safe techs will be in your homes. We “hire for attitude and train for skill”. Quality service and professionalism start with providing a trustworthy team.

The measurement of our team’s success is not in profits, but something much more valuable they constantly give us. An example is our team voted for John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s as Lincoln’s Best Place to Work. That tells a lot about their big hearts, great attitudes, and dedication. Thanks, team: you are appreciated!

Many of you have commented on the quality of our fleet of service trucks. Some have over 2300 parts on them to reduce trips to the supply house!

We think our office is interesting and is available to see if you want a tour during normal office hours. Check out the museum pieces in our “diner” and hear some fun history stories in our Learning Center.

Our Learning Center has been a great place to bring the team together for meetings and training. It’s a Free Zone where everyone can speak openly. Open communication is vitally important in companies.

John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team developed a LINKS program to recognize other team members when they go that extra mile. They became “good finders” and look for the good in others so they can post it on the LINKS board. Team members generating the LINKS and also the ones recognized have an opportunity to be awarded through cash drawings each year.

I started writing these articles in 2001, with a major focus in mind on serving and protecting you. Safety in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning is serious stuff!

Interestingly enough some have asked if I write my articles; yes, I do! Writing is fun and challenging. It makes me more observant and aware as I look for new “stories” around every corner!

One obvious thing is how much the world around us has changed since 2001. Together we have been through a lot as a country.

My goal is to leave this world a better place for future generations like past generations did for us. Many paid the ultimate price so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. We honor them through our ongoing achievements and giving back to others.

A 20th anniversary is nice to celebrate, but the reality is the main celebration is in the ongoing effort to continue achieving even greater things. Some companies just grow older and lose focus. That’s sad for everyone involved.

The John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s 20th-anniversary celebration luncheon is on August 31st from 11:00 to 1:00 and you are invited.

Hopefully, this article did not seem too personal, but it was time to announce our anniversary and thank those that have provided valuable support through the years. Because of your support we grow stronger!

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