To all of our customers past, present and future - it is because of YOU that we have become one of the oldest, family-owned companies in America
for 155 years running
WE THANK YOU!
THOS. SOMERVILLE CO. CELEBRATES 155 YEARS
DC based wholesale distributor celebrates 155th year providing plumbing and HVAC supplies to area contractors and homeowners
Upper Marlboro, MD – March 21, 2016 – Thos. Somerville Co., a Mid-Atlantic leader in wholesale plumbing and HVAC distribution celebrates 155 years in business. In 1861 at a most turbulent time in our country, the demand for brass finishing work increased dramatically surrounding our nation’s capital. Scotland native, Thomas Somerville saw this as an opportunity for his family to prosper and opened a small brass foundry on Maine Avenue in NW Washington DC, then named The National Brass Works. The company kept busy providing Union armies with castings and fittings for cannons and howitzers during the Civil War.
Since then, the Thos. Somerville Co. has evolved into providing plumbers and HVAC contractors with high quality products for both residential and commercial applications. The company now employs over 400 people and operates out of 21 branches and 10 retail showrooms with a corporate headquarters and central distribution center located in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Over the years the company has survived many ups and downs, but the beacon through it all has been the Somerville family’s strong commitment to the success of the company and their belief in the people who are a part of it. Great-grandson of Thomas Somerville and former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the company, Michael J. McInerney believes Thos. Somerville has been able to endure the past 155 years for three reasons;
“One; excellent and accurate communication both socially and professionally. Two; diligent Board of Directors consisting of two corporate members, two family members and two outside members all chosen solely for their qualifications. Three; Experienced and passionate owners aged 96 or younger and living from the East to West coasts, who put the family’s interests above their own.”
Although it may seem that 155 years is plenty of time to perfect the business, the Thos. Somerville Co. still operates under the mentality that “we can do better.” It is the mindset, passed down from leadership that has propelled the company through all sorts of ebbs and flows. In the late 70s, during the time of hardship for the company, the family made the decision to search for a new President and CEO outside of the Somerville family. This past March, Doug Riley had the honor of speaking at his second annual company meeting as the third non-Somerville President of Thos. Somerville,
“As I look back to when I started in 1986, at a time when Somerville was celebrating 125 years, I recall attending my first Somerville Annual Meeting and hearing Michael McInerney talk about the family/shareholders commitment to reinvestment. How reinvestment has been an important guiding principle from the beginning and knowing that 30 years later that guiding principle is no less important. Several years ago, I was fortunate to tell the current employees that we stick to that principle, because we understand the game isn't decided over a few fiscal quarters or even years. It's decided over decades, or in Somerville's case... Centuries! I suspect in 45 years, when Somerville turns 200, someone will still be talking about the company's commitment to the long term, almost as if they haven't already endured the long term.”
Currently in a growth spurt, the company is constantly looking for new innovative products, enhanced brand partnerships and new talent to join the team all in an effort to continue to provide the best in customer service to everyone with whom they come into contact.
To all of our employees past, present and future - it is because of YOU that we have endured the good, the bad and the ugly and made it out alright
for 155 years running
WE THANK YOU!
Are you or is someone you know ready to join our family as part of one of the oldest running family-owned businesses in the country?
To see more of our favorite moments, people and artifacts from over the years, please visit our Facebook Page. We hope you enjoy taking a peek into our rich history as one of the longest operating, family-owned companies in America.