AGE: 36
COMPANY: Baker-Elman Plumbing Co., Newton, Massachusetts
TITLE: Plumber

How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?
I have been in the plumbing industry for 17 years. I began my apprenticeship when I was 19.

What drew you into the industry?
I was enrolled in college for a year when I realized it wasn’t for me. I am more of a hands-on person, and I decided to leave school and find a different path. A family friend needed help at his plumbing company so I took the opportunity to make some money and figure out what I wanted to do next. I was really enjoying the work and I realized how profitable this industry could be for me and decided to pursue it full-time.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?
The most rewarding aspect of the plumbing industry would be meeting new people daily and being able to help them with their issues. I love being able to help people in all aspects of life, so helping people with their plumbing and heating, I get to do that every day.

What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?
I wish it was explained better at a younger age what being a tradesman could do for you. There is a lot of emphasis on college after graduation, however, I think there should be more conversations on the other options including going into a trade. I also wish that people understood all of the work, schooling, and time it took to become a licensed plumber. Sometimes, I don’t think people respect or understand the effort and knowledge needed to get to this point.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
The proudest moment I have as a plumber was being referred and chosen to be a well-known athlete’s personal plumber. Getting a referral is always a great accomplishment knowing you did great work but also had a good relationship with the customer. This opportunity was a proud moment in my career. (Athlete may not be named due to NDA).

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
The one thing most people don’t know about me is that I am very active and passionate about supporting the research for a rare disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT). CMT is one of a group of disorders that cause damage to the peripheral nerves. I had never heard of this disease before my 5-year-old son was diagnosed. As of now, there is no treatment or cure, but my wife and I are determined to spread awareness and raise funds for research which will hopefully result in one in the future.

Why he was chosen as a Next Gen All Star Top 20 Under 40 winner:
“Drew has been with Baker Elman for a few years now and the energy and enthusiasm he brings each day is more than welcome! He takes the lead on difficult projects, he adds on extra jobs to his schedule because someone called off, he will stay late if a last-minute emergency call comes in. I could go on. Not only is he an amazing plumber, but also delivers 5-star customer service consistently. When customers talk with Drew, they can hear how much he cares about their problem or their new build project. He never leaves any job without knowing he has left no stone unturned, and he hardly ever gets a callback. Drew is a very important part of Baker Elman and we are lucky to have him! We would love to see him recognized for his hard work,” says Erin Joyce-Brady.