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Menser Inc. is celebrating its 115 year in business this year, and held an open house on Oct. 23, 2020 to commemorate the milestone. The company is also celebrating its first anniversary under new owners Jennifer L. Bittinger, president and CEO, and Matthew H. Bittinger, vice president and COO. The firm was co-owned by Todd E. Menser and Marilyn M. Laughery. The change in ownership was effective on Sept. 30, 2019. This year also marks the 115th year in business owned and operated by the Menser family.
Working for the company for over 22 years, Matthew and Jennifer are the fourth generation of the Menser Family to own and operate the company, and intend to continue to grow the business and extend the excellent reputation it has held over the past 115 years. Todd and Marilyn retired in 2019, however, they continue to be involved in the company.
Matthew Bittinger has applied his years of plumbing experience and completed the West Virginia Master Plumbing Exam. He has received certification as a Licensed Master Plumber by the West Virginia Division of Labor.
Jennifer Bittinger is also proud to announce national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by WBENC. She is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) as well as Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the WBENC. WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women. By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.
In 1905, the family’s patriarch founded W.E. Menser Co. He was a master plumber. At the time many homes did not have indoor plumbing. He would receive his materials by train car. In July of 1973 his son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth W. and Margaret F. Menser took over the company and renamed it Kenneth W. Menser Plumbing and Heating.
They successfully carried on the company and trained their children Todd E. Menser and Marilyn M (Menser) Laughery. Kenneth passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 1982. At that time Margaret became the principal owner and sole proprietor. They incorporated in 1989 as Menser Inc. Margaret Menser continued as the president with Todd Menser as vice president, and Marilyn Laughery as secretary/treasurer. They continued to grow the company at the West Main Street family home until 2000 when construction was complete of a 7,500-square-foot building at 147 Plumber St. in Somerset.
A 1,500-square-foot showroom and retail sales counter allowed Menser Inc. to expand and better serve its customers. Margaret still visits the office on regular business and offers sage advice, as does Todd and Marilyn. Matthew and Jennifer are working to add more products to the company's warehouse to better serve its retail customers.
Menser Inc. continually upgrades its showroom to display the newest kitchen and bathroom products from companies like Moen, Aker, and American Standard. The company is working on a functional Moen vertical spa and shower display with Basic shower doors, where it will have the ability to show customers the functionality of various shower heads. Menser Inc. is now a Bertch cabinetry distributor for vanities and countertops, and has become a Generac generator dealer as well as a RapidAir compressed air piping dealer.
The company said it is constantly exploring new business opportunities, and will continue to strengthen its relationships with plumbing, heating, and air conditioning manufacturers. Menser Inc. continues to be a Bryant dealer for heating and air conditioning and trains its technicians on the products to be more efficient and create a better quality job. The company provides each of their technicians with continued product training to be up to date on troubleshooting and installation techniques as well as safety training.
Menser Inc. has seven full-time and four part-time employees, with technicians on call 24-hours a day. The showroom, retail parts counter, and the office is open Monday through Friday. The company said it is looking to hire qualified technicians with training and experience, and is expanding its service area with its commercial construction and travel throughout the state of Pennsylvania and into West Virginia.