Couple building stronger
village one pipe at a time
By Patty Jo Sawvel
For The Clemmons Courier
When Teresa Freer heard that West Forsyth High School wanted new books to teach healthy choices and drug prevention, she jumped at the chance to help. A 1983 graduate, Freer understands the impact that public high school education has on the growth of the community.
“These teens will grow up to be a part of Clemmons community. I feel that these books are a huge asset in helping students make wise choices personally as well as for their community,” Freer said.
The books, Under the Influence: The Town That Listened to its Kids, was selected by the school district. At West Forsyth, the book was requested by Coach Kenneth McIntosh.
When he heard that Pf Plumbing had sponsored all three classroom sets he said, “That’s great! I know exactly who Pf Plumbing is. We see their trucks going up and down the road all the time.”
On any given day, 30 trucks are going to fix leaky faucets, connect new hot water heaters, install plumbing in new commercial and residential construction, and even excavate city sewer lines in the greater Triad area.
However, Pf Plumbing is more than pipes and wrenches. Mainly, it’s a people business. In fact, that is why Paul Freer pioneered Pf Plumbing 28 years ago. He wanted to grow in his skills and hire like-minded people to offer a high quality service to the public.
Three years ago, Freer hired 24-year-old Matt Hoots. In that short time, Hoots has received several pay increases and multiple training classes.
“They really invest in me,” Hoots explained. “Part of my training is centered on my trade, but the other half teaches me how to better serve our clients. I really appreciate the high standards that we set for ourselves here.”
These standards aren’t simply taught in class, they are modeled by both co-owners, Paul and Teresa Freer. Two years ago, elderly Margaret Chestnut had emergency leak that flooded her bathroom floor. She called Pf Plumbing in a panic and lamented that she could not clean up the mess because she’d recently had two rods placed in her femurs and was using a walker.
“Teresa pulled up behind the plumbing truck and got out and started mopping up the water, I could not believe it. But she sensed that I was in great distress and she insisted on helping,” Chestnut said.
When Teresa heard this story recounted, she smiled and said, “We have so many of our clients that become our friends. I still think about John McCashin. He used to call me “Little T” (Teresa is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds) and he called often just to lift our spirits. He passed away and it was like losing family.”
This “family” spirit pervades from the company outward into the community, but also permeates the internal organization. Tom Smith, who hired on 19 years ago and recently retired said, “Paul and Teresa run the business like a family and that is why they have so many employees that have stayed with Pf Plumbing for 10-15 years. They want you to reach your full potential and I worked my way up to Project Manager. But we also have fun times like our annual Christmas party and cook outs.”
What started out as one young married couples dream and a single truck—has grown to 62 employees, 30 trucks, and dozens of excavating machines. Pf Plumbing also holds an unlimited and unclassified general contractor’s license—something only a handful of contractors in the state possess.
Paul Freer said, “I think the most satisfying aspect of my business is the ability to grow the employees personally in their skills, to have had the flexibility to raise our daughter, Lauren (now 25 and also a graduate of West Forsyth), and to give back to the community.”
Pf Plumbing is a Title sponsor for the Clemmons Food Pantry 5K race at Tanglewood on September 14. Cooper the company mascot, brought to life by Matt Hoots, will be there to bring giggles to the kids while supporting a great cause. Pf Plumbing will also participate in the Christmas fundraising telethon for Benner’s Children’s Hospital asking for matching donations. Regarding the sponsored books, Under the Influence, Clemmons Middle School is still seeking three sponsors.
For more information, call Patty Jo Sawvel at 336-869-9102 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.