Case Studies

Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

A Third-generation Family Institution
  • Written by: Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
  • Produced by: Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc. (Marino & Son) is a third-generation family-owned and -operated plumbing company located in Baton Rouge, La. Founded in 1925, the business has been in the same area of town since it was established, and it continues to earn the trust of both its loyal and new customers, while expanding its operations and taking on larger and larger projects.

Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Review

Stephanie Marino Dauzat is the CFO of Marino & Son and the granddaughter of Sam Marino, the company’s founder. Upon Sam’s retirement in 1980, his daughter Shirley Marino Dauzat and son-in-law Ryan Dauzat purchased the business. In April 2012 their daughter, Stephanie, purchased the business along with her cousin Donnie Marino, who now serves as president of the company (Donnie’s father Joe Marino was Sam Marino’s younger brother).

Stephanie grew up with the company as the granddaughter and then daughter of the owners before coming to work at the family business two years ago. She laughs, “I was always here [when I was a child]; I could tell you what was in every closet.” These days she and her cousin Donnie share responsibilities. While Stephanie manages the financial aspects of the business, Donnie, who has been working at Marino & Son for more than 35 years, is the Master Plumber and responsible for the construction operations.

On a Course for Growth

Over the years, the main changes at Marino & Son have been in relation to the size of the projects the company has undertaken, as well as the technology utilized for the business. Stephanie notes, “The sizes of the projects have grown tremendously. Of course, the way we used to conduct business was all paper-driven, and now it’s computer-driven, but other than that we still work with the same union, Plumber’s Local 198, and we haven’t changed the scope of the business.”

Marino & Son, which currently employs 27 workers, self-performs all of its plumbing and gas piping work, but it subcontracts some of its insulation work, as well as some municipal portions of jobs. Stephanie notes that the firm has had long relationships with Coburn’s Supply Company and Southern Pipe & Supply Co., both of which are local, with major southeastern presences, and which are Marino & Son’s two main suppliers.

Much of Marino & Son’s recent work has been with schools and universities, including both renovations and work for new structures. For example, Marino & Son installed the plumbing for both LaSalle and Melrose Elementary schools’ renovations and additions. The company also did the plumbing work for T.H. Harris Hall at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Marino & Son is also the plumbing contractor for two new large projects in the city: the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Louisiana State University and the new main East Baton Rouge Parish Library at Independence Park. Stephanie says, “The Independence Park Library needed to become current with technological changes, so instead of performing a retrofit on the old one, it was more economical just to build a completely new library.”

Because of the company’s longevity and consistency, Marino & Son is trusted by many municipalities, public institutions and civic organizations, which the company counts as repeat customers. Reflecting on the status of her family business within the community, she remarks, “We have a lot of work within the city because we’ve been around here for so long. People know us and depend on us because they know we’re a respectful and responsible company. You can’t stay in business for 87 years and not maintain quality service.”

A Tried and True Louisiana Business

Marino & Son offers its services throughout much of southeastern Louisiana, extending throughout a region that reaches about 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. As fate would have it, the terrible economic hardships New Orleans endured in the wake of Hurricane Katrina led to an increase in business for builders and subcontractors in Baton Rouge, where many fleeing New Orleans resettled.

Stephanie remarks, “The infrastructure in Baton Rouge doubled overnight. While the rest of the country was going through the pain of the economic downturn during those years post-Katrina, we were not. Now, in the last three years or so, we’re trending more in line with the rest of the country.” Just recently, however, it has been reported that Baton Rouge had a 12-percent year-over-year increase, making the metro region the 11th best-performing metro area among 337 metros nationwide for job gains during the month of November 2012, according to the monthly jobs report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

In spite of the challenges that Marino & Son has faced over the years, it has continued to grow, nurtured by its roots. Stephanie notes, “A lot of our journeymen have been with us for quite some time, starting with us when they began training as apprentices.” In addition to enhancing the company’s online presence, Stephanie’s plans for the foreseeable future are “to continue to grow the business, maintain quality plumbing service in our area, and to do so with the values we’ve inherited through the generations.”

Throughout its long history, Marino & Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc. has become a respected Baton Rouge institution that has gained a reputation for honesty and integrity. With those values and its quality workmanship, this family business should continue to thrive for many more years to come.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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