What started out as a modest plumbing business in Lynn in 1929 has grown beyond what its founders could have imagined: a 4th generation powerhouse mechanical contractor with exceptions expertise in Plumbing, HVAC, Fire Protection, Service, and much more.
E. Amanti & Sons, Inc. (EAS), which relocated from Lynn to Salem in the 1950’s has witnessed dramatic growth, but still retains the pride and personal touch that people associate with an old-fashioned family business.
Currently run by a combination of Tom Amanti (President), Tom’s wife Dottie Amanti (CFO), Steve Amanti (VP of Operations), and Vin Cemerlengo (Executive VP), the company focuses on commercial projects, with a few residential projects by special request. Tom’s father John, no 89, still contributes on the estimating side. Diane Amanti, another 4th generation Amanti, is Controller. By self-performing multiple trades, Amanti is able to control and coordinate multiple aspects of construction work, providing them with competitive advantages. They’ve even been known to be a “single source” company on projects with aggressive timelines.
Their current niche includes work for public schools and major institutions, such as MIT, Tufts University, the North Shore Medical Center, and large local high schools including Wellesley and Malden High. Currently EAS is working on significant school building projects in Methuen, North Reading, Salem, Stoneham, Dorchester, Sutton, Georgetown, Ayer/Shirley, Concord Carlisle, and Weston. EAS was recently awarded both the Plumbing and HVAC contracts for the new MLK School in Cambridge. One client that‘s particularly notable is the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), which has undergone rapid expansion over the past 10-15 years.
The PEM project – involved building a new energy heating and cooling system to power not only the Museum’s existing building, but a 5-story addition. Moreover, PEM needed their existing boiler room removed from expansion, thereby requiring a new mechanical plant to be installed on the facility’s roof while maintaining the existing systems until completion in less than 9 months. To accomplish this, Amanti and various Sub-contractors were responsible for 10 new boilers, 3 chillers, 5 cooling towers and other state-of-the-art equipment.
There are many reasons for EAS’ impressive growth over the decades, but V.P./Project Manager Steve Amanti (Tom & Dottie’s son) was quick to point out the importance of old-fashioned work ethic within his family’s company. “It’s our family name on all of our work, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
They’ve also developed a tight-knit culture within the company resulting in an uncommonly low turnover rate among their employees. “We’ve got employees who have been working here for over 30 years, and 65% of our employees have been here over 20 years,” noted Amanti. That’s translated in now just great camaraderie, but superior workmanship.”
Evidence of that low turnover rate and retained expertise is exemplified by Tom Amanti and Vin Camerlengo. They’ve been working together for decade, know the market inside and out, and know when not to pursue projects that the company can’t truly be competitive on – a common trap that many subcontractors fall into.
And by knowing the market, EAS has been able to not just survive, but grow over the decades. “The competition’s getting fiercer, more so than 15 – 20 years ago,” said Amanti. Because of the amount of public work, the company is always competing on price – a necessity as the lowest price bidder who’s qualified to do the work wins the job on public projects, with no subsequent negotiations allowed.
With this emphasis on price, skilled estimating becomes a necessity, not a luxury, to survive. “Tom and Steve are involved with every bid we put out, with Tom putting his magic touch on it before it leaves our office,” Camerlengo commented.
Amanti & Sons’ body of successful work has enabled them to get their foot in the door early on many projects. “We’re now at a point where some of our clients come to us and ask us to bid on their projects, which is a great compliment to how we do business, both in the office and in the field,” said Amanti.
They also highly value educating their workforce on the latest technologies and certifications. “When LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certifications came out, 85% of EAS’s workforce attended classes from the Gould Institute. In fact, both Steve and Dottie Amanti have LEED A/P certification. The company is also involved in multiple charity endeavors; they’ve even got a birthing/waiting room in the North Shore Medical Center named after them.
And they highly value their membership in the Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts (ASM), the state’s premier trade association for commercial subcontractors. “ASM offers great networking events, and has helped me build relationships with other contractors in my trade and beyond,” Amanti observed. “I get to bounce ideas off others, which helps when we run into tricky situations. And their educational programs are top notch; we frequently bring those materials back to share with our team.”
But while technologies and market conditions are ever-changing, one thing that doesn’t charge at EAS’ is its commitment to their clients and their employees. It’s a 4th-generation company with a senior management team that truly cares about every project, and every employee.
“Everybody here feels like they’re part of something important, and it shows in our work,” Amanti concluded.