Ross Trethewey

AGE: 38



How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?

RT: My entire life. Officially since I graduated college, but I grew up in a family of plumbers.

What drew you into the industry?

RT: I was the fifth generation of my family to work in the plumbing business, so I was always around and immersed in it. I am naturally curious, so I wanted to learn the how and why a system worked, which led me down the mechanical engineering path.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?

RT: In many ways, this industry is a thankless one — you are only noticed when things don’t work right. So I tell all our new hires to not expect many thank you’s or pats on the back. But the most rewarding aspect is when a project is completed. I/we take tremendous pride in what we do, and the most rewarding part is when we know we designed and constructed a comfortable and efficient building that will last for many decades to come.

What motivates you every day?

RT: Our existing housing stock is substandard — too many buildings are unhealthy, inefficient and uncomfortable. I am motivated to design and build better buildings. Our company slogan is ‘Comfort and efficiency, one building at a time.’

What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?

RT: I wish more focus was placed on the systems of the building. They are often ‘value engineered’ in lieu of expensive fixtures or countertops. The systems are required to do so much — keep us safe, healthy and comfortable, and provide us with heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, cold water, electrical power, lighting and so much more.

What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?

RT: The proudest accomplishment of my career was earning my Professional Engineering license. The best single moment was winning an Emmy award for my work on the TV show; “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House.”

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

RT: I grew up and lived on a 35-foot wooden sailboat with my family every summer. We traveled the East Coast, and basically lived at sea for days on end. This taught me a lot about conserving resources and interacting with mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. I was fortunate to sail the Intracoastal waterway and race to Bermuda.