TAMPA, FL — In remarks delivered on Oct. 19th at the 2022 Service World Expo, Service Roundtable co-founders President Matt Michel and Senior Vice President David Heimer announced that they would be stepping down from their leadership positions with the organization at the end of the year.
[Matt Michel has been a long-time contributor to CONTRACTOR, with a regular monthly column on marketing and best practices. - Ed.]
The capstone, they said, of their time with the organization was shepherding it through the recent pandemic. "In early 2020, ours was the lone voice of optimism stressing the growth opportunities for residential contractors," David Heimer said. "Not only were we optimistic, we were right."
"Now, we have emerged from that dark period and our work is done," continued Matt Michel. "For those who are worried about the people in charge of Service Nation, don’t worry.The company will be led by Tom Peregrino, a contractor who joined the Service Nation Alliance, became Contractor of the Year, sold his business, joined Service Nation, and built the Alliance Premier program."
Reflecting on 20 Years
Michel and Heimer founded Service Roundtable in 2002 with just 200 members. Today, it is the nation's largest private contractor group with more than 5,000 members. Throughout the years it has remained true to its mission statement: to help service contractors improve their business and financial performance, leading to a profitable exit strategy.
In 2008 Service Roundtable launched the Retail Contractor Coalition, a branding program that has introduced hundreds of local, private labeled equipment brands in the industry. Also in 2008 the group launched Roundtable Rewards, a program that allows members to leverage their collective buying power to receive rebates and discounts from more than 130 participating vendors.
In 2009 the group launched the Service Nation Alliance, a contractor best practices program. Approximately ten percent of Service Roundtable members have upgraded to the Alliance.
In 2016 Service Roundtable launched its signature event, Service World Expo, with industry educators, networking events and more to help residential contractors take their businesses to the next level of success. This year's Expo included keynote speakers Tim Tebow (two-time national champion, first-round NFL draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner), Scott Mann (Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), and former U.S. Army Green Beret), and Chris McChesney, (bestselling author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution).
"Our founders and investors were the usual three Fs:family, friends, and fools," said David Heimer, "but they were also California angel investors.Primarily our investors were 'smart money.'They are stalwarts of the industry, who saw Service Nation as an opportunity to give back.They were patient, but after 15 years, they were looking for a return, so we began the process of looking for a buyer."
"With a compound annual growth rate of 39.5% over 15 years, the company was attractive," said Michel. "More than 60 companies expressed interest in us.With our investment bank, we narrowed it to four finalists and chose PaySimple, which became EverCommerce because of the fit, culture, and financial strength." The sale was completed in 2017.
Not resting on their laurels, Service Roundtable has continued to innovate. In 2022 the group launched Alliance Premier, a training, coaching, and mentoring program with coaches coming primarily from the ranks of contractors who have built and sold their companies.
In their remarks Michel and Heimer expressed their gratitude to two retired members of group, Janet Thomasson who served as Chief of Staff, and Liz Patrick, who started our as a telephone sales rep and retired this year as Vice President of Strategic Alliances.
They also thanked those who would be continuing on the groups' work in their absence. In addition to Tom Peregrino, they acknowledged Jim Hinshaw who will head up vertical markets and oversee Alliance Premier; Pete Danielson, head of marketing; Bob Viering, head of Alliance Programs; Andrew Kissel, head of IT; Peter Galanek, who inherits Liz Patrick's role as head of the Roundtable Rewards program; Stephanie Fritz, head of sales; Sarah Blackhall, vice president of creative and events coordinator; and Carol Longacre who works as state- and local-associations liaison.
"It is because of this team that Service Nation has been recognized by the Dallas 100, Fort Worth’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies, Aggie 100, and Inc 5000, including multiple times as one of the top 75 business service companies in the nation," Matt Michel said.
What the Future Holds
Both men are looking forward to a less stressful life, but neither one is exiting the industry altogether. "I will be launching a new podcast, app, and building a small company around those," Heimer said.
"I will continue to write for the trade press and speak from time to time," Michel said. "Plus, I have a couple of books I want to write."
Both expressed great pride in the value they had delivered to Service Roundtable members—with most consistently outpacing the industry growth rate—and the return they had delivered for their investors.