Home Next generation of footsteps: Brothers assume leadership of HVAC company in Harrisonburg

Next generation of footsteps: Brothers assume leadership of HVAC company in Harrisonburg

Rebecca Barnabi
Matt Blauch, Chris Blauch, Stacy Shiflet, Jim Blauch Jr. Courtesy of Blauch Brothers.

In 1954, brothers Jim, Ralph and Dale Blauch began Blauch Brothers Mechanical Contractors in Harrisonburg.

Today, the company carries on the same mission of providing HVAC, piping, plumbing and service for commercial and industrial. In 2010, a second location in Winchester was added.

“That’s pretty much what we’ve always done from the beginning,” said Chris Blauch [pronounced blau and rhymes with plow], Jim Blauch Sr.’s grandson.

Jim Blauch Jr. became full-time as an estimator in 1980 and moved his way up through the company to vice president and then president.

“I worked alongside my dad and also my brother-in-law,” Jim Blauch Jr. said.

Jim Blauch Sr. retired in 1988, by which time his son had taken charge.

Now, Jim Blauch Jr. is preparing to retire.

“The goal would be to fully retire by June of 2025,” Jim Blauch said.

He said he is ready to spend more time with his family, including his wife, Dana, and three granddaughters. The couple looks forward to travelling.

And Blauch Brothers will be left in the capable hands of the next generation of brothers, Jim’s sons Chris and Matt Blauch.

“I have a great deal of pride in the fact that my sons are taking over the business,” Jim Blauch said.

He added he is confident they will be able to continue to grow the company and be successful.

“We owe a great deal of gratitude to all of the employees we have who have made us successful,” Jim Blauch said.

Chris Blauch said he became full-time with the family business in 2016 as a controls installer. Matt Blauch became full-time as a projects managers in 2014.

“From a young age, I was interested in the business. I had seen my dad be successful in the business. It seemed like a good career path,” Matt Blauch said.

According to Jim Blauch, both sons have been involved in the day-to-day of the business for several years. At age 63, the goal is for him to leave “and no one really know that anything has really changed in the company.”

Matt and Chris Blauch are the next generation to lead Blauch Brothers Mechanical Contractors in Harrisonburg and Winchester. Courtesy of Blauch Brothers.

And for his sons to know that dad’s advice, knowledge and support are all just a phone call away.

Chris Blauch said he was also interested in the business and enjoyed the work.

“I enjoy building things,” he said.

And he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

“We’re both very excited to continue this transition,” Matt Blauch said. He added that the company is blessed with its employees, “which I think is going to make this transition all the more smooth.”

Chris Blauch said he and his brother taking over the family business will allow their father to enjoy a retirement that he deserves.

Their plan is to continue business as usual.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.