2019 marked Andy J. Egan Co.’s 100th year in business. The mechanical contractor and fabricator serves West Michigan construction managers and builders with engineering, fabrication, mechanical insulation, controls, and 24/7 service. To celebrate the centennial, the company embarked on a year-long $100k Community Giveaway, giving $10,000 to 10 West Michigan nonprofits, one each month from February through November 2019.
“100 years is a long time to be in business. We recognized that we did not get to where we are on our own. We wanted to show our appreciation for the community that helped us achieve this milestone with a donation that would make a big impact,” says Amy Jones, vice president, Andy J. Egan Company. “And, 100 years and $100,000 are nice round numbers.”
The fourth-generation, family-owned company has installed and renovated the mechanical systems of some of the region’s largest and most complicated projects, including the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, JW Marriott, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Van Andel Institute, and DeVos Convention Center.
Choosing the 10 recipients was a huge undertaking for the Andy J. Egan committee charged with the task. From more than 200 applications, they focused on nonprofit organizations where $10,000 would make a huge difference in their operating budget, outreach, or impact.
Recipients included Heartside Gleaning Initiative, which distributes farmers market leftovers to individuals, food pantries, and free and low-cost meal programs; Camp Sunshine, an inclusive camping environment for people with developmental disabilities; Covenant House Michigan Grand Rapids Campus, a faith-based shelter for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth; The 3 Mile Project community youth center; St. Luke’s Diaper Bank serving the Kalamazoo area; Grand Rapids’ YMCA’s Back to School Bash; Rise Community Center’s Spark after-school program serving Jenison and Hudsonville’s marginalized elementary students; Access of West Michigan Congregation Connections program; Susan Mast ALS Foundation; and Folds of Honor scholarship program for family members of deceased and disabled service members.
Over the years, its charitable contributions have supported other local charities including the Make a Wish Foundation, Kids Food Basket, and Beautiful You by Profile. Andy J. Egan Company encourages employees to be charitable, as well, for example, by pairing up with children with disabilities playing baseball with the West Michigan Miracle League.
“They are a very good organization that is very local and dear to us, helping women and children going through the cancer process,” Jones says. “We also do a lot of different drives — food drives, socks, and coats for the homeless, Toys for Tots. Last year we did a mission trip to Texas to help families that had homes destroyed by hurricanes. We had a great turnout among our employees. The $100,000 give-away was above and beyond the typical things we do.”
Andy J. Egan employs between 325 and 350 union and non-union workers. While union workers are guaranteed good wages and benefits, the firm is committed to providing a good wage and benefit package for all employees.
“We really try to take care of the healthcare as much as we can because it can be a huge burden,” Jones says. “The employees and the people are what make our company awesome. If we give our best effort to take care of them, they are going to take care of the company. We couldn’t do what we do without all these amazing men and women, their skills and talents.”
She notes that Egan’s charitable involvement with the community reflects its company culture. Usually, it keeps its contributions under the radar, but decided to venture out of their comfort zone to celebrate their centennial anniversary. The entire $100,000 gift was a "huge and genuine thank-you to the community" for Egan’s century in business.
“We like to do things behind the scenes, but it was good to give these organizations that voice that built them up and put them out into the public eye a little more. These values and culture very much were created by my father. He’s very humble and we have learned from him.” Jones says. “We really wanted to thank all the people, businesses, and charities making West Michigan an amazing place to live and work.”
Written by Estelle Slootmaker Development News Editor
Photos courtesy Andy J. Egan Co.