While most people recall getting their driver’s license at the age of 16, Jacques Campeau, owner of Campeau Heating, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, remembers 16 as the time he became a licensed HVAC technician. Six years later, he opened the doors to his company, and, today, it is known as the award-winning 2017 Best Contractor to Work For in the Canadian region.
“I was ecstatic to learn we had been selected as the premier Canadian contractor to work for,” Campeau said.
And, after 34 successful years of business, it’s clear Campeau Heating is doing something right.
“Managing a business, especially an HVAC company, isn’t easy,” Campeau continued.
The company offers multiple benefits, including a competitive health and dental plan, a retirement fund with employer matching, and a vacation package that increases with seniority. While these perks are certainly valuable, they are not enough to keep employees loyal considering they can receive similar benefits at competing contractors. So, what makes Campeau Heating the best? It’s an old family secret, but Campeau gave The NEWS permission to share it …
“A happy team will create happy customers,” he said.
LOCATIONS: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Originally started in 1983. The company was sold to Lennox Industries in 1999 and bought back in 2014.
BULK OF MARKET: Residential HVAC and Hearth
TOTAL SALES FOR 2017: $5 Million
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 34
TOTAL SERVICE TECHNICIANS AND INSTALLERS: 22
AVERAGE HOURS EMPLOYEES SPEND IN TRAINING: Minimum of 50 hours per year
BENEFITS BEYOND MEDICAL/DENTAL INSURANCE: Registered retirement saving plan (RRSP) contribution toward pension, paid training with wage increases upon completion, rotating schedules, spiffs for techs who get good reviews, and vacation pay that increases with time.
INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION & CONTRACTOR GROUP MEMBERS: Sudbury Home Builders Association; Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI); Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH); Hearth Patio and BBQ Association (HPBA); Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT); Service Nation Alliance; Sudbury chamber of commerce; PEP, an HRAI peer exchange group; and Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
THE NEWS SELECTED THIS CONTRACTOR BECAUSE: Campeau Heating puts its employees first in order to ensure its customers receive the best service. The company offers competitive benefits, numerous incentive programs, and invests in the future of its employees.
Investing in your employees and their futures creates a sense of loyalty and trust — as they witness the company expanding, they, too, want to experience a level of growth.
“This company will go around the moon and back to ensure you have a future and you reach your peak capability to succeed and grow with the business,” said Dominique Chretien, office supervisor and daughter of the owner. “Every day since 1983, Jacques Campeau and his wife, Marie-Paule, have always come to work with a vision and a sincere heart for all employees who work for them.”
Ron Galipeau, an installer who has worked for the company for all 34 of its years, agreed.
“Campeau Heating is always willing to invest in the company by ensuring that every employee has the tools needed to guarantee growth and success,” he said.
According to him, one of those tools is empowerment, and, because they work as a team, employees are empowered to make decisions on their own rather than having to seek permission to provide solutions for customers. For him, it’s one of the most valuable aspects of the job.
“I’m proud to work for Campeau Heating, a company that prides itself on family values and teamwork,” he said.
While he has been with the company long enough to witness it’s entire evolution, even new employees seem to have the same impression of the company as the lifers.
Ivan Flores, an install tech, came to the company just two years ago looking for a change after working in the mining industry for a number of years. He was drawn to Campeau Heating due to its long history of serving the community.
“My decision for working for Canada’s Best Contractor was the right choice for me and my family,” he said. “I feel honored to be working for Campeau Heating.”
While employees at Campeau Heating value the unique culture of the company, knowing that the environment isn’t as enjoyable everywhere, the owner is humble and genuine about his approach to running a business.
“We strongly believe the team makes you successful,” Campeau said. “We recruit the best available, and we continue to invest in their knowledge to improve their ability to service our customers — a win/win scenario.”
In order for the company to ensure growth for its employees in the future, there must be a future in sight. For family-owned businesses, that’s not always the case. However, HVAC contracting runs thick in the Campeau blood, and the family is not ready to retire the business anytime soon.
“My father actually opened his HVAC company back in 1948 and ran a successful company until his sudden death in 1974 at the young age of 48,” said Campeau. “I was only 13 at the time, and it actually motivated me to follow in his footsteps.”
Soon, both Campeau’s daughters, Chretien and Natalie Flores, will be taking over the business — the third generation of HVAC contracting company owners in the family.
“What amazes me most about working here is how the owner and family are involved and get together in the day-to-day activities and challenges,” said Ivan Flores.
As children, Chretien said she and her sister didn’t fully understand their father’s commitment to the business. They wanted him to be home more and at work less. But their mother explained to them that he had a dream he was turning into a reality, he loved them, and he was working those long hours for the family.
“My sister and I also have a dream, and that is to follow my father’s footsteps,” she said, “and to be kind, devoted employers.”
Campeau said he feels fortunate for the last 34 years and is hopeful for a bright future ahead.
“After 34 years, I still enjoy this industry and look forward to having my family continue developing and setting a strong presence in our community,” he said.
A lot of companies are good at what they do — some of them are great at it. But, the best companies are great at what they do while fostering an environment that the people who work there enjoy thriving in.
“I am proud and honored to be a part of a company that has the qualities to win such a prestigious title [Best Contractor to Work For],” said Chretien. “It makes me want to continue and push harder to become even better.”
Not all employees were aware the company was nominated for the award — while the news may have been unexpected, the fact that Campeau won was no surprise at all.
“I speak for myself, and I’m sure the rest of the team would agree that Campeau Heating is well deserving of this award,” said Galipeau.
When asked how he felt about being named Best Contractor to Work For, Campeau was thrilled, of course.
“If they like where they work and who they represent, we all win,” he said.
Publication date: 1/22/2018
Best Contractors to Work For: Comfort Experts/Hobson Air Conditioning
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