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Paul Nebrasky knows a few things about hard knocks. The big reason there’s even been a Nebrasky Plumbing, Heating Cooling, Monroe, New York, since 1988 is because he took over a broken down business run by his stepfather.
For the record, Nebrasky was a plumber working elsewhere. But the day Nebrasky decided to go into business for himself was the day his stepfather, a talented plumber who wasn’t as talented at running the business end of a business, called Paul and told him he and Nebrasky’s mother were calling it quits and heading to Florida.
Since then, Nebrasky has grown the business to a staff of 30, including highly trained technicians and office administrators, and provided services to residents in Orange, Dutchess and Rockland counties. Over the years, the business has also added HVAC, whole house generators and home energy assessments to its service lines and been recognized for its innovation.
“The key to success is all about communication and customer service,” Nebrasky says. “Treating our customers the way we want to be treated is a practice I’ve instilled in our staff since the beginning. It’s important to understand that when a customer asks about our services, they are in need. From the compassion exhibited by our employees answering the phone to the service provided by our technicians, we do our best to ensure our customers’ needs are met and their experience is unparalleled.”
One of those techs was a guy named David White.
“I met David when he was in his late-20s,” Nebrasky says. “He’d had his share of challenges up to that point, but he turned into one my most productive employees.”
White died in an accident when he was only in his early-30s. In his honor, Paul and his wife, Ilene, set up the Nebrasky Foundation last spring to annually award funds for education training and assistance for Hudson Valley students who may not fit the traditional four-year college model.
“David exemplified the type of individual the foundation aims to help,” Paul explains. “He had on-the-job training to teach him the skills that a program would have provided so that he could have advanced even quicker in his career here. He will be greatly missed and will forever serve as a model for those who this program will embrace to help and guide.”
The foundation recently awarded its first $1,000 scholarships to Michael Babcock and Logan Cossack of Sullivan County.
Babcock and Cossack, graduates of Tri-Valley High School, are planning career paths in electrical construction and will begin higher education in the fall. Both students received glowing letters of recommendation, were very active in their school and community and will use the funds to offset some costs of schooling.
With the memory of White in mind, the foundation’s stated goal is to inspire and build confidence in young adults during an important decision-making time in their lives.
“And we will provide financial assistance for more than just vocational-school training,” Nebrasky adds. “If people need help buying tools, we’ll help them, too. Our goal is to fulfill any need we can meet while finding ways to encourage positive life skills.”
To learn more about, or to donate or apply to, The Nebrasky Foundation, which has been established through The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, please visit https://bit.ly/2GSuNxT.
While the foundation is the latest charitable activity for Nebrasky Plumbing, the company has also donated backpack and school supplies the Backpacks for Hope program in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.
School supplies were donated from Nebrasky employees and members of the community. The Boys & Girls Club, in turn, distributes all items to children in need throughout Northern Orange and Sullivan counties.
While any donation is appreciated, Nebrasky Plumbing wanted to give a special shout-out to tech Keith Westphal’s wife, Tamara, who handmade 50 children-sized masks to make sure the kids are extra safe.
“Giving back to the community is an important part of our mission,” Nebrasky says. “And employees really do like to work for a company that give back to its community.”
This feature is part of our Plumbers Giving Back series, sponsored by the the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).