Featured Entrepreneur: Marty Rosica
Originally published: 10.01.18 by Pete Grasso
Like many entrepreneurs in this industry, Marty Rosica started right out of high school, going first to a technical school where he learned a trade and started as an apprentice in the residential field.
“I went from residential into commercial, and then into commercial HVACR sales,” Rosica says. “I worked for some of the big union firms — $70, $80 million companies.”
Rosica had a sales territory from Boston down through D.C. — selling facilities management as well as facilities services and mechanical services. The network of companies he isited was vast.
“I wanted to come back home … travel was not for me,” he says. “Plus, I always wanted to own my own business.”
In 1976, Mark Hawks had a vision to provide the Delaware Valley with a fresh approach to mechanical services. With his background in commercial and industrial boilers and burners, Hawks developed a niche position in the market place as the region’s expert in this field.
Company: Hawks & Company
Year Founded: 1976
Headquarters: Deptford, N.J.
Work Performed: Commercial Service & Maintenance, Energy Services, Design/Build
No. of Employees: 33
Annual Revenue: $6.5 million
Vendor-Partners: Mitsubishi, Reliable Controls, Lochinvar Boilers
Affiliations: Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Synergy Solution Group
Partnerships: Leading Age New Jersey, Health Care Association of New Jersey
Eventually, Hawks & Company added traditional mechanical services such as air conditioning and refrigeration service to their service offerings in order to support their growing client base with solutions to their climate control problems.
By 2007, Hawks was looking to get out of the business and that’s when he met Rosica. An entrepreneur by nature, Rosica loved the idea of trying something new.
“I knew nothing about his business,” Rosica says. “I knew the HVACR business, but I didn’t know his business.”
Nevertheless, Rosica purchased Hawks & Company and was officially a business owner and an entrepreneur.
“I took an entrepreneurial class at the local community college, which consisted of learning how to build a business plan and understand the financing needed,” Rosica says. “I had all the fundamentals, and then they introduced me to a commercial lender. It was great.”
In his first 10 years owning Hawks & Company, Rosica added more than 15 employees and grew the business five times over.
A 100 percent commercial and refrigeration company, Hawks & Company relies on relationships to drive business. All lead generation comes from being seen, so Rosica knew marketing and the look of his fleet would play an important part in obtaining new relationships and clients.
“We don’t do cold calling, plan and spec work or bid through general contractors,” he says. “We differentiate ourselves against the status quo, and being seen and remembered is a big part of that.”
Another big area of focus for Hawks & Company has been education and recruitment.
“We look for people who either went to technical school or came out of the public vocational-tech environment, and have an interest in a trade,” Rosica says. “But I’m not hiring them for what they know. I’m hiring them for all of their potential and what I’m going to make of them.”
Rosica’s passion is to deliver a value-enriched service product while working with direct owners and managers. He works very closely with his team of experts to reduce customer owning and operating costs by employing the latest technologies to optimize the use of their mechanical systems
“Our staff are held to the highest of standards,” he says. “We are dedicated to training our team through mentorship, on-the-job training and classroom exercises that push them to be the best that they can be.”
Over the years, Rosica has developed a great relationship with the instructors at the area’s technical schools, something he credits for Hawks & Company’s ability to recruit quality talent.
“I do site visits, but I also invite them here,” he says. “We have a training room in which we do our in-house training. I invite the kids to come here with the instructors so they see our operation.”
Rosica believes you don’t need to be college educated to be an entrepreneur and do the right thing … as long as you surround yourself with smart people, you’ll be in good shape, he says.
“I don’t have a college degree — I have a technical school degree,” Rosica says. “I came through the industry and that’s where I like to go back and apply my expertise.”