Our Founder: Edward J. White (1904-1987)
1920: The "Roaring Twenties" was the decade when Americans began discovering the joys of modern sewer systems and indoor plumbing. It was an era of prosperity, but for many teens it was a time when high-school education played second fiddle to supporting their families.* This was true for our founder, Edward J. White. At 16, Ed quit high-school and went to work as a Plumber's Helper.
1925: Five years later, Ed's employer moved to Florida. Recently married, the self-confident apprentice purchased his employer's Model-T Truck and, working from his home, launched Edward J. White Plumbing and Heating.
1927: As "Lucky Lindy" rose to fame, Edward J. White Plumbing and Heating had its feet well off the ground as well. When the business grew too big for his home, Ed rented half the building at 1011 South Michigan Street, South Bend, where the company remains today.
1937: The owner of the building lost it due to the depression. Although growth in the business was slow, at the bank's suggestion, Ed purchased the building.
1945: The company became Edward J. White, Incorporated.
1946: At the end of WWII, knowing that design and build work was the key to growth, Ed decided to hire Fred Hotop. Fred was leaving the army after service in England. Ed knew that at least one of his competitors was after Fred's services. In a pro-active move, he picked Fred up from the airport and persuaded him to come to work for Edward J. White, Inc. Fred stayed with the company as a designer and draftsman for many years.
After the war, the economy boomed and growth was rapid. The company purchased the two lots across the alley to build its first warehouse. Since that time, the company has continued to prosper and has purchased properties surrounding the original building to allow for growth and expansion.
1954: Edward J. White remodeled, combining the company's separated store fronts into one office building and added a warehouse to the back of the building.
1989: The company purchased the building to the north of the offices for use as an extra warehouse and the addition of a prefabrication shop.
1992 to Present: In 1992, Paul and Joe White restored the company's 1929 Model-T Panel Truck. Four of Ed’s five sons, four of his grandchildren and one great-grandson have worked at the company at one time or another beginning with Ed's oldest son, Richard.
When Richard White graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering, he went to work for the company and eventually became the president. When he left to start an engineering consulting firm, Paul White became the president. Paul is still the current owner of Edward J. White, Inc. and Ed's grandson Joe is the company's president.
Today, Edward J. White, Inc. is proud to remain a full-service plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor serving northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Our line of work includes service and repairs, plan and spec, new construction, design build, remodeling and renovations. Our customers come from all sectors: residential, commercial, and industrial.
Paul White, CEO: Paul started working for the company after school in grade school. Working at Edward J. White. Inc. is the only job he has ever had. Graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1960. He is a past President and former Board of Director member of the Saint Joseph Valley PHCC. Paul also served for many years on the Labor Relations and Apprenticeship committees.
Joe White, President: Also a past President as well as a current member of the Board of Directors of the Saint Joseph Valley PHCC, Joe oversees the day-to-day operations of E.J. White, Inc. and estimates and manages our small to mid size construction projects. Joe graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Building Construction in 1991.
JC German, Vice President: After service in the U.S. Navy 1979-1985, JC attended Tarkio College and played baseball. He joined Edward J. White, Inc. in 2003. JC is our director of safety and our marketing manager. He estimates and manages residential and small commercial HVAC projects. He is a former Board of Directors member of the Saint Joseph Valley PHCC and currently the President of the River Valley School Board.
Jeff Bucher Jr., Vice President: Jeff graduated from the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 172 Apprenticeship school in 2005. He estimates and manages our mid to large-scale commercial plumbing and HVAC projects.
Mike Taylor, Secretary: After graduating in 1982 from Northwest Tech with a degree in accounting, Mike went to work for Redi-Froz. Mike joined our company in 1990. Mike is our controller and handles all of our accounting duties.
Michelle Krych, Service Manager: With us since 1997, Michelle manages the Edward J. White, Inc. service department and assists Mike with some of our accounting duties.
All of our service technicians and plumbers are union trained and drug tested. We have a very low employee turnover rate. Nearly half of our team of 25 employees have been with Edward J. White, Inc. ranging from 15 to 40 years.
All of our employees are well experienced in plumbing and/or HVAC work. Most employees carry specialized certificates in their area of expertise: welding, HVAC, backflow prevention, and device testing. By employing a variety of knowledgeable and experienced personnel, we are able to solve almost every problem with speed, confidence and ease.
I have had some emergencies, and some requested service. I think I have met at least three of your techs. All of them have been superior, and gave me more than I expected. Such is the case when Brian showed up on the 9th. He was new to me. He diagnosed the problem immediately without any fussing as to where the problem existed. Tools, drop cloth, materials and supplies where brought in promptly. He changed the thermocouple, and when finished, he, like all of your people you send, looked for other potential future problems that may create another emergency. He pointed it out, and with my OK was back early the next morning.- Michael P.
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