NAVOBA - National Veteran Owned Business Association: BPI Plumbing Credits SBDC as Part of Help

Plumbing Protégé
Navy and National Guard vet turned plumber knows who’s boss.
by Kathleen Ganster

Alex Galicia grew up in his family plumbing business, but when he assumed ownership in 2006, he didn’t just want to run it, he wanted to grow it, “five fold.” After all, Galicia knew challenges from his time in the Navy and Army National Guard, and his leadership and operational planning experience were “very useful,” he says. But military and personal resolve aside, the 2008 economic crisis was still a challenge along with other issues the new vetrepreneur faced.

“It was hard attracting qualified plumbers (to work with the company), and we had very little succession planning because my uncle—the founder—died suddenly,” he says. But Galicia found the Mentor Protégé Program and a mentor in Rich Collins, a Vietnam Veteran and founder of Collins Plumbing. “The lack of more experienced mentorship was solved,” Galicia says.