My name is Dale Healy. I started Eco Plumber Gas Fitter in February 2010 from a desire to supply the best plumbing service possible. Contrary to what most people think we are not a franchise or a nationwide business; we are a small locally owned family company.
Let me tell you a little about us and how we started…
I did my apprenticeship in Te Puke in the early 90s and got to know rural Bay of Plenty very well during that time. Having spent a large portion of my childhood on a farm I loved spending so much time back in the country. After completing my plumbing and gasfitter apprenticeship I had a foray into the roofing industry for 5 years before finding myself wishing for a return to the plumbing industry. I missed the problem solving and client relationships that are developed in this industry. I had worked for several other plumbing companies gaining broad experience in the Bay of Plenty before starting my own business in 2010.
In the beginning an old plumber, Paul wished to get out of the industry and retire. He offered to give me his phone number so his clients would have somebody to call when he retired. He also gave me some advice on how to manage being a one-man-band. The phone calls did come in but not enough to provide for a young household so I hit the streets handing out cards and introducing myself and my new business to anyone that would slow down long enough to listen. This proved successful and work started to come in.
I found I needed to start employing people so I could do a decent job in the office answering phones and quoting. In the beginning it was super difficult to find decent tradesmen and had several false starts before a couple of decent guys answered an ad. With some decent tradies onboard I was able to undertake larger and more complex challenging projects.
It has been a huge challenge to transition from being a tradesperson to being a business owner; constantly evolving along the way with the support of my wife and family it has become possible. Determined to grow the business I had to learn marketing, accounting, management, and HR. I have found human resources the most difficult to learn as I am an old school plumber in a new politically correct world. Fortunately the people we employ have a good sense of humour regarding this.
I have employed many good tradesmen and unfortunately several have moved on for further experience elsewhere or have decided to start their own business. I wish them all the luck and maybe things will work out further down the line. It is difficult to see nice guys and people I have worked with closely to move on.
I have worked in the trade all my life with head down bum up, working instead of doing the great overseas trip many do early on in life. In the last couple of years it has been a great pleasure to take an overseas holiday (almost) every year with my wife. Our most recent adventure was Bali, we even rode an elephant there.
Somehow my lovely daughter has managed to survive my rather clumsy fathering attempt and is now a young lady having successfully completed a double major at university with a German language diploma and a Psychology Diploma. She has now left home and is based in Auckland pursuing her own successful career.
My wife is a textile designer who has been running her own business for the last 14 years and has her own successful bridal label, Jopanni Bridal. With her couture bridal designs, Deidre has managed to exist off purely word of mouth advertising.
I would describe my interests outside plumbing as quite varied. My passions are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, having recently obtained a brown belt; and Wing Chun Kung Fu, in which I obtained a black belt status several years ago. A keen competitive shooter I travel around the country with my buddy Paul attending many national competitions (my enthusiasm for shooting does outweigh my skill level, however). Fishing is also one of my hobbies and there is nothing like getting out on the water with some buddies. Fortunately, there is often a fish and chip shop on the way home from the boat ramp.
If you have read this far, thank you for your patience and, if we could help you in any way, we would appreciate the opportunity.