This year, we have the privilege of celebrating 30 years in business. It has been an honor to serve businesses and households across the Portland area during this time. We thank you for your business & we look forward to what the future brings! We recently sat down with company owner & founder, Norm Matheis. Here’s what he had to say about Specialty’s journey.
Question: When you first started the company, what was your vision for it? Has that stayed the same over the years or changed as the industry has changed?
Norm: Having come from the food services industry and working in private country clubs, I had the opportunity to witness customer service at its highest level. The coaching provided by the managers taught me to focus on customer service. This is something we focus on every day!
My vision was always to grow a business where people enjoyed working and to provide a great customer experience. I always want it to be memorable enough to entrust our services to their family & friends. We continue to grow today and provide opportunities for employment and we enjoy training new people and watching them grow.
Question: Please name and describe a few milestones that have happened over the years that you are proud of.
Norm: Well, the big ones are going through 3 recessions and coming back stronger each time by adapting and embracing new ways to do business. I have purchased 4 other companies at a time when they needed an out. In each case, I took on some of their burden to make the transition easier. It feels good to have helped them through a tough time. In addition, because of our belief in customer satisfaction and sound business practices, Specialty Heating received a top honor from Carrier Corporation 6 years in a row: The Carrier Presidential Award for Customer Satisfaction and Growth. We are the only dealer in the Western United States to have been awarded this honor 6 years in a row.
Question: Describe how the industry has changed while you have been in business and how Specialty has adapted to those changes.
Norm: Thirty years ago the majority of a heating contractor work was in new construction or service. Since the housing booms in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s, 85% of the work being done by heating contractors today is retail replacement of existing systems. Along with this is an increased focus on indoor air quality, due to tighter construction practices, sealing of ductwork, and whole home testing to find sources of high energy use. Mostly due to leaking ductwork, lack of insulation and poor construction, we’ve kept up with this growing demand by creating a home performance department. We perform a test to find air leaks and heat loss throughout the home. We have integrated duct sealing using the state of the art Aeroseal process and we perform duct cleaning. When replacing a heating system, it is critical to know how the entire home performs. This will assure the customer the high efficiency equipment will be able to perform as expected!