A company our size (25-30 people) is a living, breathing organism, constantly undergoing change – through the evolution of those that make their living with Boccacino Heating, adding new members, and having others move on. It is impossible for such a large and dynamic entity to ever perfectly reflect any person, let alone someone as exceptional as Mike Boccacino.
But it is clear that a company can take on the qualities of the man that started it. Particularly as we are blessed to have most of our crew leaders and a handful of other employees that worked for years with Mike, even though he hadn’t worked in about 10 years. It is inevitable that the namesake is going to gravitate towards the types of people who share his character traits and values.
Mike exemplified many things that you’d want to find in a company, but the two that stood out most of all were hard work and honesty. As we look around our workforce, we see those two qualities more than any others. When Mike’s body was beginning to fail him, he would come up with inventions that would enable him to keep working well into his 70’s (Mike was also an amazing inventor of things – almost exclusively related to golf and HVAC, and probably in that order). He was within his rights to put his feet up and enjoy some well-deserved rest, his body was telling him it was time, but his work ethic was relentless. It was necessary. Working in HVAC is extremely hard work. You go home sore. You wake up sore. Our guys are incredible in the way they get up the every morning and give everything they’ve got everyday. While you’ll probably find hard-working guys at most heating companies, we feel that our guys give the best of themselves in their work as well as anyone out there.
Mike was also an incredibly honest man. A man of few words, he earned his relationships by offering fair pricing and being the most reliable guy out there. He maintained those relationships by being accountable when something didn’t go according to plan. Those are simple principles, but they are difficult to maintain. Particularly in an industry with so many moving parts and so much uncertainty.
As a third generation member of this business, I have been constantly inspired to hear people (who had no idea of my relation) speak of Mike with such respect. For people in the industry of a certain age, the first words out of their mouth upon seeing the company name printed on my shirt were complimentary words for Mike. He is a legend in the Rochester home-building and HVAC communities, thought of by those that knew him with trust and appreciation. He created a difficult image for us to live up to, particularly since the qualities that defined him are so hard to come by these days. It is why we take such pride in our work and our workforce. We tirelessly seek the most honest people who do the best work out there, because that is exactly what it takes to live up to the legacy that Mike built.
I am thankful for the opportunities created by Mike and his wife Betty. You can’t forget her, as there were plenty of romantic dinners that were cancelled so Mike could help someone out of a no heat situation on a cold night, and others she’s told me about when she had to sit in the car while he ran in someone’s house to perform a service call on the way out to dinner, coming out covered in heating oil, sweat and grime. They of course still went out, because few couples enjoyed a night out at an Italian restaurant more than Mike & Betty. And of course there were the many long hours she could have used a hand with three kids, but Mike was working long hours to keep things on track. She is just as responsible for our success as Mike, and we work to make sure that the company that bears her husband’s name can make her proud on a daily basis.
It’s a responsibility that we carry with pride.