Angelo Verardi: AV Mechanical – A Decade of Exceeding Expectations
After celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary in February 2021, AV Mechanical’s founder and president talks about the importance of company culture, high-profile projects and what continues to drive his motivation.
When Angelo Verardi founded AV Mechanical over 10 years ago, he didn’t want to start just another plumbing company. He wanted to shake up an industry.
Rather than slip into the framework set by those before, Verardi wanted a business that would elevate the standard of work to a level unseen. One that would marry functionality with esthetics and grow organically, propelled by that high standard of work. As Verardi believes, making it simply work isn’t good enough. It’s about making it work and look great at the same time.
“A lot of our industry is quick and fast, in and out,” Verardi says. “I wanted a company that really thrived on professionalism and a high standard of work. Ten years later, we hold the same values and have built a team that aligns with those values.”
AV Mechanical puts the “art” in the “art of the plumbing trade,” informed by the collective skill and imagination of its team with a company culture that delivers on a promise to pursue excellence. Much of that comes from building trust with clients, following through on its promises and being there when a client needs AV Mechanical.
The business itself delivers individualized professional services to a wide range of clients. With a suite of options that include plumbing and hydronics, the company’s portfolio spans commercial, industrial and custom home-design projects across the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas.
Of course, establishing all of this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes determination, integrity and hard work. “Having pride in what you do is key to success,” Verardi says. “People will always notice when something’s done with pride. The right people will always notice quality.”
Verardi credits his work ethic to the incredible example that his grandfather set for him growing up. Having emigrated from Italy to Canada and then to Florida to start a hotel business, Verardi felt inspired to follow his own ambitions, just like his grandfather did, and understood the deep reward that comes with hard work, “He was so generous and hard-working. He always held himself, and others, to a high standard and communicated that with love and sincerity,” Verardi shares. “He was fearless, so well respected and people loved to be around him.”
What’s perhaps most difficult in establishing a business like this, however, is creating a team that shares the same outlook and ethics. After a conversation with Verardi, you understand the team’s passion, well-being and desire to work with AV Mechanical are what drive much of Verardi’s focus. When we asked him what continues to drive his motivation, he replied simply with “our team.”
“It all starts with culture,” Verardi says. “It’s important that our clients are taken care of, but even more important that our team is taken care of. If the team’s happy and the culture’s right, we know that will transfer to the clients. Creating a culture and work place that people love has always been a top priority for me. A great culture breeds success, it breeds healthy competition, accountability and positivity, which can only lead to growth.” Verardi continues, “When the culture is strong, the energy is magnetic and cannot be ignored.”
“I Wanted A Company That Really Thrived On Professionalism And A High Standard Of Work. Ten Years Later, We Hold The Same Values And Have Built A Team That Aligns With Those Values”
What’s the company’s secret to success? Open communication. “In the construction industry, there are a lot of empty promises and unknowns, which make it hard to trust, and [they] lead to unnecessary pressure,” Verardi explains. “So, as an owner, it’s about having open lines of communication with my team every step of the way. It’s about listening to what they feel the best approach would be and [then] communicating that to the client.”
That communication doesn’t just rest with the team, but also with the customers. “It’s about keeping our word and being there when we say we are going to be there,” Verardi explains. “It’s also about effectively communicating unforeseen or potential future issues, having those open lines of communication and just making people feel comfortable with the work that’s being done.”
In the years that have followed, it seems AV Mechanical’s work has been noticed by the right people. As well as being ranked on the 2019 and 2020 Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastest-growing companies, it was named as one of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month Great Employers in 2020 and was on the Globe and Mail’s ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies in 2021.
Verardi also explains how along with its extensive portfolio of custom residential projects, the company has worked on some high-profile projects, including Toyota’s Eastern Canada distribution facility and the first stand-alone McCafé in North America. Verardi states how this diversity of experience and projects helps keep everyone on the team sharp and offers them freedom to focus on the parts of plumbing they enjoy most. “The successful execution of these projects are due to the collective effort and commitment of our team and its leaders who have dedicated themselves to AV Mechanical. It is and will continue to be a great honour to work alongside them for many years to come.”
And it doesn’t look like AV Mechanical is stopping anytime soon. “In the next 10 years, we’re looking to expand into the United States and across Canada. I’m also looking for growth opportunities for my team. That’s what feeds my desire to grow this business,” notes Verardi.
28-111 Zenway Blvd., Vaughan, Ont.