The History of Armstrong Plumbing
A Brief History of Armstrong Plumbing:
In 1985, Tom Vance, his wife Marlene Vance, and their son Michael Vance packed up their small home in Las Angles and moved to Sacramento. Tom Vance was offered the chance to buy a small plumbing shop owned by a man named Bob Armstrong. This small warehouse located at the edge of town was called Armstrong Plumbing. He jumped at the offer and began to go to work! After a few months, Tom’s oldest son Milton Vance and his wife Corlis moved to Sacramento to join the company. Together with his sons, Tom Vance began to lay the groundwork for what was to come.
In 1995, 10 years later, Marcelle Flowers (Tom’s oldest daughter) joined the crew. Marcelle along with her mother became the backbone of the company running the day-to-day office tasks. In October of 2000, Armstrong made an unprecedented change… ARMSTRONG PLUMBING HIRED A MAN TO WORK IN THE OFFICE! Marcelle remembers hearing her mother making comments about how Armstrong’s customers would not be receptive to hearing a man’s voice on the phone. However, adding a male to the office Armstrong was well-received, He brought new ideas and procedures to the table which helped set the standard for how we communicate with our customers today. Soon after, Terry Flowers (Marcelle’s husband) joined the crew in 2002 as our warehouse manager. Bringing the family member count to 7.
At the time Armstrong Plumbing primarily worked with Commercial Plumbers, with a small number of Service Plumbers. However, do the decrease in commercial work, Armstrong was forced to shut down the commercial division and put its primary focus on service plumbing. In 2003, we hired Mathew Martinez as our new service manager. With Marcelle at the helm and help from her newly found team, Armstrong plumbing found its footing and began to grow once more.
In 2007 another family member came aboard. Armstrong Plumbing added Justin Vance (Milton’s Son). Soon after Armstrong Plumbing hired Peter Chappel (The longest-lasting non-family member). He has been with the company for over 12 years!
In 2013, Tom Vance called for a family meeting. Tom and Marlene made the announcement that it was finally time to hand the reigns over to their children. This had been a long time coming. Marcelle had been managing the business for quite some time and this was the opportunity for her to drive. Tom gifted each of the children a share of the business, giving Marcelle majority ownership. With Marcelle’s new influence she was able to take Armstrong Plumbing to new heights! However, It was time to change the image of Armstrong Plumbing.
In the Fall of 2013, Armstrong Plumbing began discussing a new look and simultaneously started considering purchasing a new building. Marcelle came up with the idea of changing our colors and branding to pink and blue and making Rosie the Riveter our mascot. The men hated it. However, it stuck and our branding was changed to pink and blue. In 2014, we officially launched our new look celebrating over 50 years of being a business! Armstrong continued to grow, adding 6 more employees including 2 more family members Dillon (Marcelle’s son) and Kelsey (Milton’s daughter). A few months later, Armstrong Plumbing had finally found a new building and started to remodel it.
On Jan 12, 2015, Armstrong Plumbing opened the doors of the new building! New offices, New Desks, Chairs, Phones, Ipads, Computers, A Real Breakroom, Chalkboard walls, and so much more. Armstrong Plumbing had grown from a small 3 office building to what felt like a palace! Gone was the small 7′ by 8′ breakroom that had no heat except for the small amount of warmth that radiated from the water cooler. Gone was the small tv from the ’80s in the corner of the room. Gone was the 900 square foot office space that 8 people occupied. No more drive-through warehouse that filled the offices with the smell of diesel. Armstrong Plumbing finally had the home of their dreams!
With Marcelle at the helm, Armstrong Plumbing has since continued to grow, adding over 50+ employees, a trenchless division, relaunching the commercial division, adding a new general manager, and much more!