Modern Niagara is proud to support the entire building lifecycle by providing industry-leading service offerings. Our Building Services team and our technicians in the field ensure that clients have access to tailored, high-quality support. Those individuals know the importance of the work they do to support the lifecycle of a building – but also the importance of a career filled with learning and growth.
Domenic Scopelliti, Senior Manager of Estimation, Building Services in our Toronto office, started his career in the trades in 1987 as a residential sheet metal apprentice. From there, he moved on to working as an apprentice at a small HVAC company for a year, before attending George Brown College. That was the beginning of his journey into the world of HVAC.
“In 1990, I went back to school at George Brown and took the heating technician course,” Domenic said. “Once I finished, I had my Gas Technician 1 (G1), propane license, and oil burner license, and from there I got my first job with a small heating contractor, Burns Heating – the deal was I had to work for free for two weeks to get hired, they got their money’s worth!”
Domenic worked as a boiler mechanic for several years, before joining Modern Niagara’s Toronto office in 1999 as a service technician, initially.
“I was working in a service truck for about six months as a boiler mechanic, then one day I helped the owner, my manager, with a stack of work orders on his desk, and from there, I haven’t left the office since 1999! I started in the office as a service coordinator pricing AC repair,” Domenic added. Having been with Modern Niagara for many years, Domenic spoke about how he has seen the company grow and why he has enjoyed working with Modern in that time.
Larry Moreau, Senior Manager of Accounts and Sales in Building Services, began his career in the industry from working in the sheet metal trade with his father, and eventually moved over to the refrigeration and HVAC trade in 1993, after his father bought into a business more focused in air conditioning and refrigeration work.
After pursuing numerous night school courses and certifications to compliment his sheet metal and refrigeration licenses, including getting his G1 license for natural gas and heat loss/gain duct design certification, Larry ended up working as a technician in the field for many years. Eventually Larry was offered a position with Modern Niagara Toronto after meeting with Shaun Robertson, Vice President of Building Services, and has been with our Toronto office ever since.
Adam Hample, a Refrigeration/HVAC Lead Journeyman at Modern Niagara Alberta, has been working in the industry since 2002.
“I received a Building Environmental Systems and Technology diploma from NAIT, from there I ended up getting into the field service level, and I haven’t looked back since!” Adam said. After working for various service companies in Alberta, Adam joined Modern Niagara’s Alberta office in 2018.
“I was brought in along with two other service techs, Jordan Baxandall (Service Manager) and Chris Harriman (Service Forman) and we essentially were the beginning of Modern Niagara’s service-branch in Edmonton”.
Oscar Gerow works in our Building Services team as a Service Estimator with Modern Niagara Alberta. Although he had little experience in the trades when he joined the industry, he was contacted by Megan Mathes, General Manager Building Services at Modern Niagara Alberta, who said that they had estimator opening in the services department. Since becoming a Service Estimator, Oscar has been with Modern Niagara for close to two years.
Braedyn Hilton is a Service Technician with Modern Niagara who works for our service team in Vancouver. Braedyn entered the trades in 2015 after completing a co-op program at his high school in North Vancouver, where he was able to shadow some of the journeymen in the school’s services department and learn the basics of plumbing. From there, Braedyn joined Keith Plumbing & Heating as an apprentice. When Modern Niagara purchased the company shortly thereafter in 2016, Braedyn joined our services team in Vancouver, where he has been working ever since.
Finally, Russel Joseph, Plumbing Foreman at Modern Niagara Vancouver. Russel picked up plumbing after being inspired by his stepbrothers, who were also in the trades. After working with different companies in British Columbia, Russel took a position in Keith’s Plumbing & Heating and eventually became part of our Vancouver office when Modern Niagara purchased the business.
While each of these team members have had different paths to Modern Niagara, they all share one thing in common – an appreciation for the organization that they’ve become a part of. Having been with Modern Niagara for many years, Domenic spoke about how he has seen the company grow and why he has enjoyed his time here.
“My experience has been great, I’ve seen the company go from your typical mom and pop shop to a national company, with really great people focused on creating a great working culture all along the way,” Domenic added. “My managers have been fantastic over the years and still are. They helped me grow as a person and professionally, they give you the room and tools you need to do your job effectively, and their door is always open. They have supported me all the way.”
“I absolutely love it, one of the best companies I’ve ever worked for”. I think their culture is unique in the way Modern Niagara treats their employees as the priority, because once you figure that out it trickles down to all other employees, customers, and people outside of the company, who I think can feel the passion we have for the company.” – Larry Moreau, Senior Manager of Accounts and Sales in Building Services.
“The best thing about working in the services division are my brothers, the service techs that I work with, all the people I work with are great!” Russel commented.
In addition to the individuals, he works with, one of Russel’s favourite aspects of working in services is the feeling of completion that comes with accomplishing many of the tasks or projects that are typical for a service team member.
“I like the feeling of accomplishing a job each day,” Russel added. “I worked in construction for a while, and you don’t get that same sense of completion when you’re working on a project for two-three years, but in the service industry, you’re instantly pleasing the owner of that unit or building and getting instant gratification from their appreciation of your work.”
When asked why he enjoys being a part of the services team, Braedyn highlighted how he can learn more about the equipment and solutions in buildings by working in the services and how he also enjoys the problem solving required for working in this trade.
“In construction sometimes we get used to installing a solution or a piece of equipment but not seeing how it works or what it looks like when it doesn’t,” Braedyn commented. “In the service side, we are always going to places where there are issues and we have to trouble shoot and fix those things, sometimes focusing on multiple areas of plumbing all in one day.”
Adam discussed the nature of his role as a service journeyman, and how the responsibilities of the service techs often extend beyond repairs and maintenance.
“Our office is essentially our service van because we are always going to client sites for service calls or maintenance,” Adam mentioned. “We’re often meeting with the clients’ employees and acting as the face of the company, so you need to not only be able to speak and engage with people but also have a wide range of knowledge because of all the things we work on in a clients’ building, whether it be heating, air handling units, boilers.”
Larry also outlined what his role entails as a Senior Manager of Accounts and Sales in the service team in Toronto.
“I have a lot of different responsibilities: making sure that the team always has their foot on the gas, helping our existing customer base and helping grow our preventative maintenance sales always looking for new clients, helping to procure certain components from suppliers, along with other tasks that hit my desk during the day” Larry said. “I’m always trying to make sure that our customers are getting the value add that Modern Niagara has to offer.”
“I think one of the best things about working in services is the day-to-day action, making sure things that are working well and helping the clients with what they need is very satisfying,” Larry mentioned. “Working in services for so long, I know when our clients call for service, they need us right away.”
Domenic added that one of the most interesting parts of the services for him is being able to assist clients as well as sharing the incredible work of Modern Niagara’s service teams with current or prospective clients.
“I enjoy going to meet customers and talking to them face-to-face, as well as trying to solve their problems and support them, but I also enjoy going to a site where we’re doing some work and talking to our service people,” Domenic added. “We do great work here and the people are so skilled, so I enjoy being out there and pitching the projects.”
Domenic encourages everyone thinking of entering the services to continue learning along the way, even after completing a school program.
“Try to go to school and get as much information under your belt as you can because things are changing all the time,” Domenic added. “Apart from going to George Brown, I’ve taken courses at ASHRAE for small duct design, amongst others, to help me with what I do, and I’d recommend that those entering the trades do the same.”
Oscar also emphasizes the importance of continuing to learn and not being afraid to ask questions, especially from those experienced tradespeople around you.
“Always keep your head up and keep learning, there’s always something new,” said Oscar. “In this industry you learn something new every day and everybody else is always learning too, so don’t be afraid to keep learning, to ask questions, or to take on something that you might be uncomfortable doing.”
Similarly, Braedyn also encourages those new to the trades to remain determined and not be intimidated by new or challenging work.
“Don’t ever be intimidated,” said Braedyn, “There are going to be situations where you aren’t sure what to do or where something might seem above your pay grade, but just start asking questions and you’ll learn along the way!”
Our Modern Niagara Service Teams are supporting building owners, operators, and tenants by providing high-quality service and assistance of all kinds. Are you interested in joining the team that’s building for life? Check out our current career opportunities today!