Truck of the Month: P.A.C. Plumbing, Heating & AC
P.A.C. Plumbing, Heating & AC | Staten Island, New York
After returning from Vietnam, Paul A. Campione Jr., a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, came home to his wife and worked many odd jobs until he got into the plumbing industry. Because of the economy, he bounced around trying to find steady work to support his family. Finally, getting sick of being laid off, he decided to open his own company with the help of his father, Paul A. Campione Sr. P.A.C. Plumbing, Heating & AC was founded in 1978.
“Throughout the late 70s and 80s, the company did plumbing and heating in hundreds of residential homes in the Staten Island area,” says Eric Campione, director of operations for P.A.C. and son of Paul Campione Jr. “It received a lot of calls from homeowners who wanted their homes customized to add gas appliances, bathrooms and so on. Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. considered they were already providing the warranty on plumbing and heating, so they decided to get into the service side of the business. It was a great niche that not many companies were doing in this market back then. While plumbing new construction on Staten Island got worse, they moved heavily into the public sector and grew the business in that area as well.”
Shortly after Paul Campione Sr. retired, Paul Campione Jr. acquired an air conditioning company and expanded the service side of the business. As the business grew, Paul Campione Jr.’s sons Paulie Campione, Chris Campione and later, Eric Campione, joined the family business. At that time, the company was above $5 million in annual revenue and still growing.
However, tragedy struck both the family and business when Paulie and Chris Campione were killed in a car accident in 2011.
“It crushed the growth of the company,” Eric Campione says. “The morale was down, staff that was employed 20 plus years were getting laid off or leaving. The contractors P.A.C. worked for were going out of business owing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bankruptcy was knocking on the door.”
Eric Campione still had some fight left in him and started networking locally to help grow the service side of the company. He entered a business plan contest and ended up winning the grand prize of $50,000.
“My business plan was to get back to the basics, eliminate the construction side and focus heavily on the service industry and the community that helped keep us in business all these years,” he says.
He put the business plan in place with the help of his mother, Ingrid Campione, and the remaining staff. Since then, the business solely works in the residential and light commercial market, focusing on plumbing, heating and air conditioning.
“Today, the company is as strong as it has ever been,” Eric Campione notes. “The company culture is amazing, the talent is plenty and the team is powerful.”
The company services Staten Island, Manhattan and New Jersey with 16 employees and five fleet vehicles. The fleet includes two 2018 Mercedes Sprinters, a 2017 Mercedes Metris and a 2014 Dodge Caravan.
When it came time to rebrand the company and give the fleet a facelift, P.A.C. turned to Kickcharge Creative for help.
“A lot of our clients didn’t realize we did heating and air conditioning,” Eric Campione says. “With this new logo, we wanted to get brand awareness out there, letting people know we do more than just plumbing.”
Additionally, the new look features a bold slogan: ‘Call Paul.’
“We use ‘Call Paul’ because it’s catchy and people love Paul,” Eric Campione says. “We took Paul and made him immortal. I know he is going to want to retire at some point, but one of the things that makes our company great is you can always ‘Call Paul.’ It was branded on our old trucks for 35 years. I wanted to make sure even when Paul is gone and out of the industry, you can still call him. We get compliments all the time from people in local businesses to random strangers on the street. Everyone always gets a kick out of it when they see Paul and recognize him from the trucks.”