What began in 1987 as a moonlighting venture with nothing more than a bucket of tools has evolved into an incorporated business that has forged a three-pronged partnership with other individuals in the immediate area.
In just over 10 years, Robert Spencer, owner and operator of Spencer Mechanical Inc., 3007 Lycoming Creek Road, launched his business from a proprietorship to partnership in pursuit of the ultimate dream of owning his own farm.
Spencer Mechanical Inc. specializes in the installation of HVAC systems as well as working within the ventilation and plumbing trades.
Spencer Mechanical Inc., 3007 Lycoming
Creek Road, is owned by Robert Spencer, who single-handedly began the business in 1987. Today, he specializes in HVAC and ventilation systems, as well as plumbing.
The entrepreneur worked after hours as an employee of Silvertip Inc. in Lewisburg as he developed his maturing business until 1995, when he signed on partner John Scheaffer.
In 1998, he brought in his other partner John Young, and became incorporated.
"It's been a real learning curve the past 15 years," Spencer said.
A lot of people often tell Spencer it must be nice "being your own boss," but when suppliers and property owners come into play, "you're not as independent as some think," he said.
Along with keeping clients happy, Spencer said there are a lot of concerns that arise from owning a business, as well, such as keeping the business afloat, keeping employees busy and being profitable.
Spencer employs about nine men on his staff who work in the field.
"It's construction," he said of the work. "They put in some long days, which takes brains and muscle."
Spencer said he doesn't miss the days of moonlighting when he worked in the field, but said that he sometimes still goes out and works every once and a while.
As with any business that works with technology, the owner noted a few of the technological changes taking place in the trade that weren't around when he began branching out on his own 22 years ago.
Since the recent "green movement" to keep facilities as environmentally friendly as possible, many of the commercial and business industries he works with now are transitioning to geothermal heating and cooling systems.
"They're looking for natural ways to heat and cool spaces," Spencer said, adding solar and wind-powered systems have also been growing in the mechanical field as well.
He said he's stepping into the energy conservation methods of the field cautiously, just to see how things prove themselves in the long run.
"I don't know if it's a trend - but it's hard to say," he said.
The methods and menus for doing work have also changed, too, he said, which have simplified things more.
Spencer Mechanical Inc. works within about an 80-mile radius that includes going up to the New York state line, he said, but excludes areas of Berwick, State College, Shamokin and Sunbury.
"We're a business that's been established by men willing to go out for the American Dream," the owner said. "We've pulled it off - working on both sides of the force: employees to employers. I think that's a better way to relate to the employees, and we're fortunate enough to have good employees."
Spencer said he's proud of what his team has accomplished so far, and he can now enjoy working on what he sought to obtain more than 20 years ago: his own farm in Liberty.
For more information, call 494-2077.