HVAC

Solano HVAC contractor SH Mechanical returns to Inc. 5000 fast-growth checklist

Shannon Hacker started SH Mechanical in 2009 with a focus on installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in high-end homes and brought three decades of technical expertise to the table.

But then Hacker’s wife Kerlita joined Solano County full-time until 2013. She helped prepare it for growth, organize finances, and delegate tasks. The biggest change, however, has been the shift from specialty residential projects to government and industrial jobs.

“The numbers rose to the point where we no longer have any residential properties and point that to another company in the area,” she said.

Sales roughly doubled every year after she got on board until they slowed down last year. The company debuted at No. 658 on Inc. 5000’s national growth list last year with sales growth of 688% in 2015-2018, the most important ranking criterion for the business magazine, and was number 32 among construction companies on the list.

SH Mechanical returned to the list this year with # 1,167 and a 387% growth in 2016-2019, ending the previous year with sales of $ 2.4 million compared to $ 2.2 million in 2018. The company had the fastest growth of the nine North Bay companies on this year’s list.

Kerlita Hacker largely attributed this revenue slowdown to the aftermath of the 2018-2019 federal budget struggle, which resulted in a number of departments being closed for 35 days from December 22 to January 25. This resulted in a slow start for public projects this year.

But even with this delayed start, the company was running a sprint project. The Federal Bureau of Reclamation had requested the rebuilding of a 15-ton hoist and portal in the Marble Bluff Fish Passage Facility at the southern end of Pyramid Lake, northeast of Reno, Nevada. SH Mechanical won the job.

The office was expected to take a year and a half to complete, but the company completed the $ 600,000 project in just five weeks and finished it earlier this year.

Another slowdown in projects has been linked to the coronavirus pandemic since March. Now it will be “a sprint to the end” to complete the work, which is set to total $ 2.5 million. Despite project delays this year, the company has pledged to pay its 10 employees year-round.

“Even if we see a decline in profits, we want our employees to be able to put groceries on the table,” said Shannon Hacker, vice president.

Another major project recently was the installation of a new HVAC system at an inmate training center at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County. Commitment to government projects required a commitment to improve the company’s security procedures, including maintaining staff capable of passing security controls.

The pursuit of such contracts, particularly those related to defense, has demanded an even higher level of security.

Carolina Itzigheine, Project Manager, has completed 600 hours of cybersecurity training to prepare the company for mid-level qualification (Level 3) of the Department of Defense’s upcoming CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) program. This preparation took two years and included changing the company’s software – qualified for Microsoft’s exclusive government applications – and hardwiring all computer networks, eliminating the need for WLAN.

“SH Mechanical does not want to be left behind, especially if it affects our competitiveness in the field,” said Itzig-heine. “We knew this was the future.”

Jeff Quackenbush (jquackenbush@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4256) deals with wine, construction, and real estate.

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