Angelo Verardi: An Entrepreneur Leading By Example
Before Angelo Verardi founded his company, AV Mechanical, one thing was certain: the plumbing industry was in need of a shakeup.
“By the time I was close to receiving my plumbing licence I was disenchanted with the trade,” Verardi shares. “I felt that the industry as a whole lacked integrity, as there was no value put on the quality of the work or on the people who did the work, whether it came to their personal lives, time or pay.”
After a string of jobs in the trade that resulted in unpaid overtime, a lack of support and poor company culture, Verardi didn’t just realize there was a problem with the way the sector did business, but that it was in desperate need of change. After some deliberation, Verardi decided to take a leap of faith and launch a business that set out to readjust the status quo and align profit with purpose. The result? AV Mechanical.
“I ended up quitting my job, proposing to my wife and deciding I was going to go on my own all in the same month. I had no experience in the office, no contacts or guarantee of contracts. I just knew how to work hard. I got my licence in January and was incorporated a month later.”
Take a look at AV Mechanical now and you’ll see the risk has paid off. As well as offering a suite of professional services to commercial, industrial and custom home-design projects across the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas, it’s worked on high-profile projects with brands like Toyota and McDonald’s.
Having recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, marking a decade of high-quality work for a growing portfolio of loyal clients, the company is planning an expansion to the United States. For Verardi, the key to long-lasting relationships is quality. “People who know the industry and want that peace of mind understand and respect quality,” he notes.
Much of this comes from his approach to people. First, with his employees. Given the experiences he’s had and the hardships he faced in the industry, Verardi goes out of his way to ensure the culture at AV Mechanical stands above the rest. In addition to its incredible roster of clients, AV Mechanical was named one of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month Great Employers in 2020 and is on the Globe and Mail’s ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies in 2021.
“All The Money In The World Isn’t A Good Example To Them. Doing The Right Thing When I’m Trusted To Make The Right Decision Is”
“The way I want to succeed is by seeing others succeed,” Verardi notes. “I’m empowering people to be the best version of themselves and, as a decision maker, ensuring they’re compensated for how much they commit. I want to show my staff how big a part of the company they are. The more I empower them, the more they empower others, and the more we grow collectively.”
The fact he’s a family man also has an impact on the success of his company and speaks to the qualities that have led Verardi to where he is today. “My wife, Cristina, whom I have been with since I was 16, has always been my biggest supporter. She is fearless, talented and has been a large part behind many of our business-related decisions.” Verardi continues, “She has also spearheaded our social media, which has helped catapult AV Mechanical into the commercial sector and prove our legitimacy.” Two years after the business launched, Anthony Verardi, Angelo’s brother, wanted to make a change in his career and ended up becoming AV Mechanical’s first employee. “Having family by my side, including a close childhood friend, has proved monumental in the growth of AV Mechanical. Having people that you can trust is priceless. Working with family can be difficult but also presents a wonderful challenge to build something special that can provide opportunities to everyone involved.”
As a father to two sons, Verardi feels the way he runs his business says a lot about how he is as a father. “I’m a father before anything,” he says. “I want to be a great example to them, which is why that culture is so important to me. If I can’t be an amazing father, nothing else matters. All the money in the world isn’t a good example to them. Doing the right thing when I’m trusted to make the right decision is.”