We put Ryan on the cover of our October 1998 issue, and told how she had revitalized the company founded by her father, Robert Wark, in 1946. Village currently employs 33 and specializes in residential work in the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston. The company also operates a 2,000-sq.-ft. showroom.
Pictured alongside Ryan is 4-year-old daughter Maggie, who also figures prominently in “Maggie” refrigerator magnets and “Maggie” dollars, which customers can trade in for services on future calls.
“Needless to say, Maggie gets a lot of compliments,” General Manager Colin Bull told us.
While the motto “Cleanest Plumbers In Town,” may sound modern, it's actually been the company's slogan since its start almost 60 years ago. Techs wear boot covers and put down red mats to do their work. Clean shaves and clean uniforms do their part, too.
Incidentally, the “tech” on the side of the van is actually the son-in-law of Bull's secretary. That way, the marketing image can remain the same regardless of staff turnover. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that those are Ryan's legs appearing on the back of the van.
The vehicle is, one of six Sprinters all with the same marketing design. Bull says the company plans on replacing 10 other vehicles with Sprinters over the next 12 months.
One big selling point is the vehicle's fuel economy. “We only fill the tanks once a week instead of three times with gas engine vehicles,” Bull says of the diesel-powered Sprinters. “We're saving about $300 a month per vehicle on fuel.”