Case Studies

Fox & Hearn Inc.

Small mechanical contracting firm delivers big results for more than 50 years

Located in Austin, Texas, Fox & Hearn Inc. is a full-service mechanical contractor skilled and experienced with HVAC, plumbing and specialty piping systems. For the past 55 years Fox & Hearn has provided mechanical contracting services to customers throughout Texas and nearby states and has developed and maintained a reputation as one of Texas’ premier multifaceted mechanical contractors.

Founded in 1961 by David Hearn, Jim Hearn and Curt Fox, Fox & Hearn specializes in light commercial plumbing, heating and air conditioning work. As a relatively small firm, Fox & Hearn has been able to maintain a steady workflow for more than half a century by practicing transparency and placing honesty and integrity as top priorities. “In this business it is feast or famine depending on the economy,” says Ron Janecka, vice president of Fox & Hearn. “We stay competitive by doing every job right the first time.”

Fox & Hearn Inc.

Company culture

Fox & Hearn Inc. is a member of several trade organizations including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers; Associated Builders and Contractors and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association. “We are very proud of our 55-year history within the community and pride ourselves on our finished product and excellent service,” says Susan Janecka, president of Fox & Hearn and daughter of David Hearn. “Our dedicated and experienced team strives to make every project worry and hassle free.” All Fox & Hearn field personnel have extensive training in their respective fields to ensure that all work performed by the company is done in a proper, professional manner.

Fox & Hearn’s key employees have a combined industry experience of more than 120 years. Along with its highly skilled labor force, Fox & Hearn performs its own sheet metal and pipe fabrication work in its 4,000-square-foot fabrication plant. This enables Fox & Hearn to price competitively and ensures a superior fitted product.

With a great benefits package and family-atmosphere, the company has been able to attain strong employee retention throughout the years. The company also encourages the professional and personal growth and development of its employees. “Anytime an employee expresses interest in gaining more knowledge and moving ahead in the company, we fully support it,” shares Susan. “We’ll gladly look into options to assist an employee in furthering their education. All they have to do is mention it.”

Up for a challenge

The market that Fox & Hearn services includes clients encompassing a wide range of industries including government, education, health care, office space, hotels, churches and correctional facilities. A challenging project that the company completed within the past decade was the Texas governor’s mansion in Austin. Fox & Hearn completed all of the plumbing upgrades for the historic building that was constructed in 1854.

For this remodel project, preservation of all aspects of the mansion was the top priority. All contractors were required to use extreme caution as not to cause any damage. “It was a real challenge,” says Ron. “We had to install new piping without disturbing the structure of the walls. There was not any room for error.”

Challenging projects such as the governor’s mansion are welcomed by Fox & Hearn. With its talented team of technicians, the company enjoys displaying its abilities and applying them to jobs that other mechanical contractors might be hesitant to take on. “These remodel projects are interesting because you never know what type of challenge you’re going to be met with,” says Susan. “When a general contractor calls and they need help on a challenging job, we’re always right there and we do whatever we can to assist them. That’s how we have established so many good relationships.”

Susan has been with Fox & Hearn since 1981. Along with David Hearn, she is the majority owner of the company and is in charge of the day-to-day management of all office staff. She also oversees all accounts payable and receivable. Her husband Ron has been in the plumbing and mechanical business since 1980 and with Fox & Hearn since 1993. Ron oversees all day-to-operations including estimating, job cost review, project management, CAD shop drawings and all financial affairs. “Between the two of us we make sure all aspects are taken care of,” says Susan. “The fact that we are able to provide a quality place to work for some really great people is what we love the most about what we do.”

By maintaining a company culture that promotes growth and development and keeping good relationships with general contractors, Fox & Hearn Inc. is positioned to remain a leading contractor of the Southwest for another 50-plus years.

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Spring 2018



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