Bringing a legacy of plumbing expertise – passed down through generations – and demonstrating outstanding leadership in the industry and ensuring professionalism for generations to come, Rob Bertolino and Tony Bertolino were honored as the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) 2023 Plumbing Contractors of the Year. Sponsored by Delta Faucet, the award was presented Oct. 27 at PHCCCONNECT2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.

For Rob and Tony, owners of Rob Bertolino Plumbing & Heating in Virginia Beach, Virginia, commitment to resolving plumbing issues efficiently and cost-effectively was ingrained at an early age, when the brothers worked with their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather in plumbing up and down the East Coast.

As was shared during the PHCC awards ceremony, “in an industry where trust is paramount, the Bertolino brothers stand out.” Under their leadership, the company – providing service and light commercial work – prioritizes customer education over commission-based sales, ensuring that clients are well-informed to make decisions. Their marketing efforts focus on social media, referrals, and word-of-mouth, emphasizing reputation over volume. As an example, the company has a reputation for not charging fees for emergency calls … and for meticulously caring for clients’ homes and belongings. The resulting customer reviews and referrals are a centerpiece of their business growth.

Among their staff, Rob and Tony foster a culture of continuous learning and growth, and they actively encourage employees to expand their skill sets and participate in leadership programs. They are engaged in recruiting and training the future workforce as well; Tony is an instructor at the Norfolk Technical Center and was instrumental in creating PHCC of Virginia’s Future Leaders program to nurture the next generation of industry leaders.

The Bertolinos’ innovative approach is reflected in their company policies, such as using box trucks to carry a wide range of tools and parts to optimize efficiency. Team meetings often feature discussions on unique plumbing challenges to foster creative problem-solving among employees, while their expertise in supporting older home systems sets them apart from their competitors.

Beyond business, the Bertolino brothers are deeply engaged in civic activities that enhance the industry’s image. Their support for PHCC and apprenticeship programs, along with sponsorship of community programs, exemplifies their dedication to giving back. And, their family-oriented approach, both within their business and with their valued customers, sets them apart as leaders in the industry, most deserving of this award.