As the recent sale of the Hevac Group companies, along with Heat Merchants and Tub & Tiles, to Wolseley marks a new beginning (see page 33), it also signals the end of the English family involvement in the building services engineering sector. Established in 1974 by John English, Hevac was not just part of what was then a fledgling market segment, but rather a leading force that helped shape how it evolved.
While Hevac developed into a multi-million euro turnover operation over the years, John – and later his daughter Carol and son Seamus, both of whom took over the reins after his death – continued to retain that “family” atmosphere and ethos. Indeed, it was this which attracted many to join the company. It is also reflected in the number of long-serving employees still with the company.
That said, and like all good families, hard work and initiative was also encouraged. It is no surprise to learn that many of those now running their own businesses in the sector, or working in senior roles for other companies, received their grounding at Hevac. While sorry to lose them, John – and later Carol and Seamus – were genuinely supportive of those who struck out on their own ventures. Participation in CPD events and involvement in industry bodies and institutions was also supported.
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