Case Studies

Mavo Systems Inc.

St. Paul's most respected environmental and specialty contractor

In 2011 on the tail end of the Great Recession, Mavo Systems Inc. (Mavo), an environmental specialty contractor based in St. Paul, Minn., had a record-breaking year, logging more than $40 million in sales. Nearly three years later, the environmental specialty contractor is still growing and not just in terms of sales, but also in size and services with a new service and a new location.

“We weren’t going to sit and wait it out,” explains Dana Sawrey, CEO of Mavo. “Instead, we took an active approach to go after more work and expand while other companies downsized.”

Making the most of the downturn

Sawrey, along with owner-partners Larry Reese and Jay Robertson watched competitors make cutbacks and realized the opportunity to broaden Mavo’s services and client base. The owners assembled a top-notch sales, marketing and project management team and started formulating a plan to put Mavo on the map.

“We kept our quality people through the downturn, so when things picked up we already had established crews and it was easier to hit the ground running because we had the manpower,” says Sawrey. Holding fast to good people allowed Mavo to hit the $40 million mark in 2011 and a new high of $50 million in 2013.

 “Mavo was formed in 1982 by Cindy Meuwissen,” says Sawrey. “In 2000 the three partners purchased 75 percent of the company from Meuwissen. At that time, Mavo was a small environmental company working primarily performing asbestos abatement, mold remediation and HVAC cleaning. In 2002 they took total ownership and started on their journey.”

“The company was averaging roughly $2 million in revenue annually,” continues Sawrey. “We said to ourselves, ‘The asbestos is eventually going to run out. We have a great reputation in the industry, we need to diversify.’ In the 12 years we’ve owned Mavo, we drastically expanded the company’s services and have subsequently grown revenues from $2 million to $50 million to-date.

Precise positioning equals rapid growth

Mavo has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception and is now a strong player in the upper Midwest. Today, the company offers a full range of industrial and commercial environmental and specialty contracting services, including: water, fire and storm restoration, asbestos, lead and mold abatement, mechanical insulation, scaffolding, HVAC cleaning, sealing and decontamination, interior demolition, floor preparation, concrete/terrazzo polishing and vacuum truck services.

“We currently employ over 300 trained personnel regionally,” explains Sawrey. “With the opening of our newest office in Bismarck, N.D., we feel we can provide our services more cost effectively and timely to our industrial and commercial clients in the Dakotas and the Montana area. Scaffolding is a first for Mavo, we currently are performing scaffolding in many of the power plants in the area.”

Sawrey goes on to explain that Mavo has also expanded its footprint in the Southern Minnesota area, as well. “With the projected a $9.8 billion revitalization project at the Mayo Clinic and surrounding areas we felt the need to add additional personnel and services to our Rochester office,” Sawrey continues. “The outlook for 2014 into 2015 could not be brighter.”

Mavo’s newest service added to its list is air duct sealing. “This latest technology allows our technicians to quickly pinpoint and seal air duct leaks providing building owners and managers and inexpensive repair,” Sawrey explains. “This results in considerable energy savings and longer HVAC life, increased thermal comfort and improved indoor air quality. This service is gaining popularity quickly and we have plans to do it regionally.”

Delivering cutting-edge solutions means keeping up with the latest equipment. “Our biggest challenge in trying to be the best provider is the constant demand for new equipment and the considerable investment,” says Sawrey. However, Mavo knows that the investment is well worth it as the company continues to welcome record growth.

Now with offices in St. Paul, Duluth, Rochester and Wausau, Wisc., as well as Mavo’s newest office in Bismarck, N.D., much of the company’s work comes from customers who rely on Mavo as the preferred construction partner. When others scaled back, Mavo Systems Inc. came on strong, securing a position in the upper Midwest market that’s progressively achieving new milestones.

Published on: November 10, 2014

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