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ACCA’s 2024 Residential Contractor of the Year: FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical

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Congratulations to FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical for being named ACCA’s 2024 Residential Contractor of the Year! ACCA’s Contractor of the Year awards are the most prestigious annual honors for contracting businesses. Each year, we recognize one Residential and one Commercial contractor as the year’s top company.

FLAME offers residential and commercial services throughout the Detroit metro area, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. 

“We feel fortunate to have been considered for this year – it’s a representation of the type of team that we have here,” says Matthew Marsiglio, general manager of the Warren, Michigan-based company. “If you are a FLAME employee, you will always do the right thing, your success will come from taking care of the customer, you look, act, and think like a professional, you consider the team in all of your actions – and you’re reliable, dependable, and committed,” Marsiglio says. 

FLAME was founded in 1949 by Robert Marowske, and in 2001 his son, Gary, took hold of the reins. In 2021, the company was purchased by a private equity firm, which then merged FLAME into Heartland Home Services, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gary retired at the end of last year. 

Marsiglio has been with the company for 26 years, starting off behind the wheel of a truck, servicing and installing equipment. After years of performing in the field, he had the opportunity to move into sales. Marsiglio then progressed into several managerial roles, and most recently was named general manager. 

FLAME primarily services the residential market with a small mix of light commercial, providing equipment add-ons or replacement. Initially, the company focused solely on furnaces, but then later transitioned to heating and cooling as air conditioning became popular in residential homes. 

As FLAME’s services grew, the company hired on-staff electricians to wire HVAC systems after ensuring a property’s electrical service was large enough to accommodate the systems. “At first we subcontracted that out, but then we decided to add an electrical component to our business so that we didn’t have to pay outside contractors and so that we could offer additional services,” Marsiglio says. “In 2011, we added the plumbing arm of the business.” 

FLAME proudly employs NATE-certified HVAC technicians, master and journeyman electricians, and master and journeyman plumbers. The company also promotes and rewards employees to seek EPA 608 technician certifications. 

“We’re in a multitude of homes on a daily basis, so the biggest thing I’m proud of is the team satisfying 100-plus customers a day,” Marsiglio says. “When you have a team that is focused on taking care of the customer – that’s what’s rewarding to me.” 

FLAME is a five-time winner of the Bryant Medal of Excellence and has been named a Contracting Business National Contractor of the Year. Employees of FLAME have been interviewed by numerous industry publications and have been presenters at multiple industry events. A number of employees have also held positions on a variety of industry associations and state boards. 

FLAME has distinguished itself by “being there when our clients need us,” Marsiglio says. The company isbuilt to serve,” and managers and employees alike are heavily involved in the communities the company serves, working with local charities and nonprofits to install furnaces labor-free – and sometimes at no cost for the equipment. 

“The cool thing about it is that our employees stepped up without asking and volunteered to donate their time without compensation, which we didn’t allow to happen – we feel that they should get paid for it,” Marsiglio says. “But again, it speaks to the character of the team that we have here.” FLAME’s technicians have also offered to pay for repairs if customers don’t have the funds themselves, he says. “We don’t want to leave somebody without heat,” Marsiglio says. “That’s something that we do because it allows us to serve people who may get turned down elsewhere.” 

At the end of the day, FLAME’s first core value is to “always do the right thing.” “That’s where we hang our hats on,” Marsiglio says. “Of course, we want to be profitable – it’s what keeps us from business. But the right thing to do is to take care of people that may not have the means to do it themselves.” Indeed, the company’s mission statement reflects just that: “We are in business to help people.” FLAME has a “family feel,” truly putting employees and customers first. The company has “service-above-self mentality” spread throughout the organization. 

“It’s important to know that FLAME is truly a family,” Marsiglio says. “When one of us is down or in a hard spot, it’s a race to help them – whether it’s helping them move, donating PTO time, covering lost wages when someone is out due to medical issues, paying for funeral costs for an employee’s parent, helping to get a car fixed, providing daycare – the list is endless.” 

Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Posted In: ACCA Now, Events, Residential

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