Twenty years after he launched Service Roundtable, President Matt Michel is stepping down to pursue other interests. Michel made the announcement at the 2022 Service World Expo, a show he was instrumental in creating back in 2016.

Service Roundtable was launched by Michel and David Heimer on Sept. 12, 2002. Along with Michel, Heimer will be retiring from the organization at the end of the calendar year.

“After funding was secured, Matt and I would meet at 10 p.m. and work until 2:00 a.m. weeknights from April until September,” Heimer said. “We built the Service Roundtable from the ground up. Today, the Service Roundtable has more than 5,000 member companies.”

The duo sold the business five years ago, but continued to work in the company.

“Our founders and investors were the usual three Fs: family, friends, and fools. But they were also California angel investors. Primarily our investors were ‘smart money.’ They are stalwarts of the industry, who saw Service Nation as an opportunity to give back. They were patient, but after 15 years, they were looking for a return, so we began the process of looking for a buyer,” Heimer said.

Service Roundtable was a very attractive asset and more than 60 companies expressed interest in them. They decided to sell to Pay Simple, which became EverCommerce.

“We did that because of the fit, culture, and financial strength,” Michel said. “And, when all is said and done, our founding investors will have received a return of nearly 5,000%.”

Starting in 2023, Service Roundtable will be led by Tom Peregrino, a contractor who joined the Service Nation Alliance, became Contractor of the Year, sold his business, joined Service Nation, and built the Alliance Premier program.

It has been a good run for Michel.

After graduating from Texas A&M University, Michel started as a project engineer with the Turbo Refrigerating Co., performing manufacturing engineering.

Michel got a little closer to his eventual HVAC career when he took a job with Lennox.

“I took The NEWS directory and wrote letters to every manufacturing company within 30 miles,” he said. “I would write to the vice president of manufacturing looking for a job.”

Lennox had a new position for an advanced manufacturing technology engineer to be in charge of factory automation for nine manufacturing facilities. With only two years of experience, Michel talked his way into a job that required 10 years.

He was asked to move into marketing because Lennox thought it was a better fit. He learned well enough that he moved up the chain and wound up handling marketing for Lennox’s Western Division.

From there, Michel had stops at both Titus and Air Serve, before starting Service Roundtable.

“Our mission has always been to help contractors improve their business and financial performance, leading to a profitable exit strategy. One of the things we are most proud of is how our members have consistently outpaced the industry growth rate,” Michel said.

Michel expects to stay busy in “retirement.”

“I will continue to write for the trade press and speak from time to time. Plus, I have a couple of books I want to write. I plan on starting on them in 2023,” Michel said.