TP’s Cincinnati Service Team just completed a unique turnkey project for a school in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Installation of the brand-new Daikin VRF system took only months for the entire process from bid to completion. This quick pace was crucial to ensure the school’s opening date remained on schedule. TP Mechanical also partnered with Denier Electric to change the service in the building to accommodate the added equipment. This scope of work was conducted and managed under TP Mechanical’s contract with the client.
VRF or Variable Refrigerant Flow systems are a completely state-of-the-art, modern, and efficient option perfect for commercial spaces or school classroom settings. The main benefit to utilizing a VRF system is that it allows each room to run heating or cooling – at any time – depending on the load in each part of the building. This system consists of multiple groups of indoor units where each group runs off a pair of condensing units. There was also a section of the facility where an Energy Recovery System was installed to meet outside air requirements and guidelines. Though these systems are complex, our service team is equipped with two fully certified technicians capable of installing, commissioning, and repairing the equipment.
Following proper procedures for startup was crucial to ensure the validity of the manufacturer’s warranty. Each part of the system had to go through a series of tests, as well as requiring a recorded run time of 72-hours total to complete the start-up. Our certified technicians were able to successfully finish the start-up process virtually with a Daikin representative.
A big thanks to our team, including Project Manager Scott McEvilly, Sales Representative James Hatfield, and Project Lead Dennis Meredith for all their hard work to make certain everything was up and running in time for the first day of school.
Other Team Members:
Scott McEvilly, Project Manager
James Hatfield, Sales Representative
Dennis Meredith, Project Lead
James Johnson, Startup and Commissioning
Tony Schroeder, Piping
Mike McGaha, Piping & Controls
Zach Meister, Sheet Metal
Greg Deardorff, Helper
Carson Cagle, Helper
TP Mechanical is part of the design-build team constructing a distribution facility addition featuring refrigerated storage for Team Modern in Somerset, Kentucky. Jordan Lewis, project manager for Denham Blythe – the design firm in charge of the project – engaged TP Mechanical in part to our team’s proven experience with Denham Blythe on a 2016 project for Senko. Pride, quality workmanship, refrigeration experience and an excellent safety record were all phrases used to describe TP’s successful involvement on the Senko project.
Team Modern is a supplier of snacks, cold drinks, ice cream, and other inventory to a wide network of convenience store clients throughout southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee. In addition to installing air rotation and exhaust fans for the entire 110,000 square foot facility, our crews will install 12 walk-in cooler condensers and 23 cooler evaporators in order to chill the facility’s 13,000-square foot freezer, 8,000-square foot cooler, and 4,000-square foot refrigerated dock.
The same, agency-wide defining characteristics that describe TP’s involvement on Senko will shape and define our work on the new Team Modern project, of which we’re proud to be a part.
Shortly following a remodel of Indiana Farmers Insurance office, located in Carmel, Indiana, the need arose to upgrade the building’s dated HVAC equipment. Due to the enormous size of the existing air handling units and the expense associated with removing the units, TP Indiana’s General Manager, Mark Hunter, and the TP Mechanical Indiana team, worked to propose a creative solution through Retro-Commissioning.
“Taking something old and making it new is an excellent option to avoid unnecessary time and expense,” says Hunter. “Re-purposing older air handling units and re-engineering major components provides an efficient system that operates like new. Additionally, this retro-commissioned equipment is covered under a new equipment warranty and helps with lowering maintenance costs for the coming years.”
For Indiana Farmers Insurance, TP completely replaced the system components on (4) air handling units to include a new blower motor, blower wheel, bearings, blower shaft and pulleys. Additionally, the old R-22 evaporator coils were replaced with custom built R-410A coils and the (4) old roof mounted condensing units were replaced with new energy efficient condensers as well.
TP Mechanical’s team was able to save Indiana Farmers Insurance time, frustration, and a large sum of money by eliminating office demolition which would have been required to entirely remove the old units.
Last year, teams at TP Mechanical embraced a new goal: developing a stronger customer service culture. TP recently created a client-focused training program to help our team members who interact with customers the most, including sales reps, dispatchers, service techs, and project managers.
Spearheaded by TP President/CEO Bill Riddle and implemented by TP’s Business Development Leader, Matt Anderson, and Learning and Development Manager, Vanessa King, the training helps TP staff approach their jobs from the customer’s point of view. TP’s goal has always been providing first-rate, quality-driven work exceeding our clients’ expectations. This new initiative builds on our already strong foundation, ensuring our commitment to customer service is industry leading.
Half-day trainings incorporating exercises with real-world scenarios began in 2019 and will continue with teams throughout our markets in 2020. Additionally, TP’s construction and service teams will continue with our existing CARE (Customer Appreciation Retention Escalation) and Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs – which help teams evaluate how we are performing on projects and how we can improve customer experience.
“We always want to do what’s right for the customer,” said Anderson. “By training to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, we’ll strengthen our reputation as a very customer-service focused culture.”
Now in his fourth and final year with TP Mechanical’s Apprenticeship Program, Ben Handley is a rising star both in the classroom and in the field. Currently the lead operator of the Trimble® Control Unit (TCU) on our Big Walnut High School project in Sunbury, Ohio, Ben also holds down a 98.9% GPA in his coursework and serves as an ambassador for TP’s Apprenticeship Program. In this role, he travels to local high schools and career centers to speak about the advantages of working with our company.
At the Big Walnut project, Ben’s work on the TCU provides essential GIS (geographic information system) mapping details, which enables TP teams to properly design and position the project’s plumbing and HVAC systems. Ben is so skilled at using the TCU technology, he now trains other team members on its operation. Last year, Ben worked in the mechanical rooms at TP’s Covelli Arena project on the campus of The Ohio State University, learning to weld in the process.
We feel fortunate to have Ben serving as an ambassador for TP’s Apprenticeship Program – an industry-leading training program including 8,000 hours of on-the-job training plus 576 hours of classroom learning across four years. Ben truly has a passion for working with our company and serves as a shining example of the talented, new generation of skilled team members we have in our ranks.
Pivotek – a prefabricated, modular bathroom manufacturer – recently turned to TP Mechanical to replace 30 rooftop HVAC units at its Milford, Ohio location. Pivotek has partnered with TP’s commercial construction division for several years; however, this installation marked Pivotek’s first project using our service division.
Having just moved into the facility six months prior, Pivotek leadership hoped to replace all of the aging rooftop heating and cooling units – which were original to the plant – at the same time. To provide a seamless installation, TP account manager Russ Shively, project manager Scott McEvilly and Clay Smith, operations leader for TP’s Cincinnati group, worked to ensure correct measurements for the new units were taken and curb extensions – required for some units due to new roofing which had been installed – were utilized when necessary.
All 30 units were strategically placed on the rooftop in a single day using a crane and then systematically installed. Because the units varied widely in size, TP team members were careful to tag and match new equipment with existing equipment, to ensure proper placement in the appropriate rooftop locations. “Every unit had some customization to it, so every unit had to go into a specific location,” explained McEvilly. “We worked to make sure every item was carefully labeled and identified.”
TP Mechanical team members completed the placement and installation of all 30 units within one month, operating only on Sundays to avoid disrupting the six-day-a-week manufacturing schedule at the plant.
Since joining TP’s leadership team in 2015, Kelly Wilson, Director of Human Resources, has worked to oversee new talent acquisition – as well as employee relations, leadership development, and performance management for TP Mechanical’s roughly 500 employees. Prior to her move to TP, Kelly worked in HR in both healthcare and distribution logistics.
At TP, she makes it a priority to integrate on-the-job training opportunities like the Rising Leader program, which develops current employees into future leaders, and a highly sought-after Apprenticeship Program. The Apprenticeship Program is accredited through Columbus State and consists of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of four years. “We try to promote from within as much as we can at TP,” Kelly says. “It’s a place where employees can find not just a job, but a real career path.”
One of Kelly’s challenges is finding enough skilled workers to fill the demand of available positions. In addition to her involvement with the Apprenticeship Program, Kelly works hard to establish relationships with area schools and speak about the numerous opportunities for plumbers, HVAC technicians, pipefitters, and more. “These jobs are in high demand,” she says. “Every company needs them. The biggest challenge is shifting the perception many people have regarding a four-year college as the only path to success.”
Kelly feels a sense of pride driving by buildings TP employees constructed, knowing her fellow team members helped bring those assets to the community. “I’m proud to work at TP Mechanical,” Kelly says. “Every day I try to pass my excitement and pride onto my colleagues and potential employees.”
Brittany Knue began at TP four years ago as an administrative assistant and was quickly promoted to assistant project manager. Last year, she was again promoted to her current position as TP Mechanical’s Kentucky Region Safety Specialist. For Brittany, safety is more than just a job – it’s a calling. “It takes everyone at TP Mechanical working together as a team to reach the safety goals and to achieve our level of safety culture,” said Knue.
As Safety Specialist, Knue plays a central role in continuing TP’s longstanding mission to make safety the top priority on every project. As proof of TP’s commitment to injury-free projects, Knue lauds the company’s longstanding safety protocols, which go well beyond minimum OSHA standards and are some of the most stringent in the industry. She also points to the company’s EMR rating* of 0.65 – 35 percent lower than the industry average of 1.0. As a company, TP Mechanical has worked more than 5 million hours without a lost-time accident.
In her current position, Knue is following in the footsteps of her father, who was also a corporate safety director in general industries. As Safety Specialist for the Kentucky Region, Knue oversees safety on all of TP’s Kentucky projects as well as some in Cincinnati. Her main priority: ensuring all TP employees go to work in a safe environment every day. “It’s a challenging job, but there is a large amount of satisfaction making sure the guys go home safe to their families each day,” she said. “There’s no greater feeling than to know you are a part of a safe return home!”
*Modification Rate, or EMR, is used by insurance agencies to measure a company’s past cost of injuries and risk of future on-the-job injuries.
General Manager Mark Hunter has brought an energetic leadership style to TP Mechanical’s Indiana Service Division, and his vision has helped take the Indiana office to new heights in a short time. Ken Wood, TP’s Director of Service, attributes “Mark’s leadership as general manager is one of the big reasons for the Indy office’s vision and growth.”
Since becoming General Manager of TP Mechanical’s Indiana Service Division based in Indianapolis, Hunter has taken the office from a team of two to 15. “We’ve tripled our staff in four years and built a good team,” said Hunter, whose previous professional background includes all aspects of the mechanical contracting industry, from HVAC to refrigeration and field technician to sales manager.
Hunter said his favorite part of working at TP Mechanical is the family atmosphere the company maintains – even though the staff now includes nearly 500 total employees across all locations. “You can open anyone’s door and walk in and talk to them anytime,” he said.
TP’s Indiana Service Division has developed a key niche in refrigeration, and unlike other companies, TP’s crew includes an in-house electrical team, ensuring work is done reliably and cost-effectively. “In some ways, we stick to an ‘old way’ of doing business, where customer service is our top priority,” Hunter explained. “I like the fact that we are helping people. When emergencies strike, we’re driven by an urgency to get things handled for our customers as quickly as we can.”
Tim Hoover has worked his way up to an executive leadership role at TP Mechanical through dedication, skill, meticulous attention to detail and a service-oriented focus. “It’s about getting things taken care of and serving others every day,” he says. Having this mindset has made him a respected, integral team member of TP Mechanical – where teamwork, servant leadership, and a winning attitude are part of our daily approach.
Tim began at TP Mechanical as a journeyman technician, before working his way up in the field and at the corporate level to hold positions of project manager, Apprenticeship Program instructor, regional manager, chief operating officer, and, most recently, executive vice president for Columbus and Dayton Operations. As Executive Vice President, Tim oversees business development and operations in TP Mechanical’s growing Columbus and Dayton markets. Tim says he’s “constantly evolving” his leadership skills to better communicate with his team members and to stay abreast of advances in the ever-evolving industry.
Before launching his career at TP Mechanical, Tim served our country in the Ohio Army National Guard. Tim first met friend and fellow TP Mechanical colleague Mike Kelley – now a Field Quality Control Specialist – during his military service. It was Mike who reached out to Tim about an open position at TP Mechanical, helping launch his long career with the company. More than two decades later, the two friends are still working together.
While his titles over the years may have changed, Tim feels his mission has stayed the same: setting the bar high and exceeding customer expectations for every project. “We always work to provide our customers with the results we have promised,” he says. “It is how we build loyalty and credibility with our clients.”
We are honored to call Tim one of our own and thank him for his years of client-focused service to our company and industry.