Celebrating 50 Years
J.A. Croson LLC was founded in 1959 by Jim Croson in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The date – January 1 – marked a new year and a new business consisting of Jim, a 1950 red pickup truck and $500 borrowed from his mother, Anna. Joined by his brother, Stanley, three months later, Jim embarked upon the venture without an existing customer base. It was up to them to build their plumbing business from seemingly nothing.
Seemingly was the operative word, as hard work, integrity and the ability to recognize and act upon opportunities proved to be valuable assets. By 1962, J.A. Croson Co. was the largest plumbing contractor in Central Ohio, specializing in new home construction. The company expanded its scope into apartment construction three years later, and became one of the two largest plumbing companies serving apartment construction contracts in Central Ohio by 1967.
In that year, J.A. Croson Co. added HVAC services. High demand resulted in the installation of HVAC in more than 1,500 apartment units during that same year. Jim’s practical foresight allowed the company to be well-positioned to meet the challenge of shifting its emphasis to commercial projects when the multi-family housing market began to decline, with 1973 marking the year in which most of the company’s business was commercial. By the mid-‘70s, J.A. Croson Co. was the largest non-union mechanical contractor in Ohio.
Jim was joined in the company by his son, David, in 1978 upon his graduation from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering. David assumed operation of J.A. Croson Co. when Jim retired soon after. However, retirement was short-lived, and Jim launched a division of J.A. Croson Co. in Naples, Fla. The Florida and Ohio divisions became separate companies in 1987.
The intelligent approach to growth followed by both companies attracted interest from a national company that later became AMPAM. In 1998, the Florida and Ohio companies became part of the national organization, which at the time was the largest plumbing company in the United States. In 2004 – one year after AMPAM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – Jim and David bought back the Florida company.
Now as J.A. Croson LLC, the business that started small enjoys the position of being Florida’s premier plumbing company. With expansion well under way in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, J.A. Croson is again developing opportunities to establish its reputation for hard work and integrity in new markets, for new generations. In Jim’s own words, “50 years is just a good start.”