It is common for home service companies to be handed down through family generations, but that is not the case for the daughter of a Baptist preacher who now sits at the helm of Gene Love Plumbing, Air & Electrical.
Tammy Ferris made her way to the top with a pipe wrench in hand and a entrepreneurial spirit that feeds itself with the reward of keeping the people of Greater Columbia comfortable in their homes. Her commitment to customer service took her from part-time dispatcher to the accounting department to management within three years, under the guidance of business founder Kathy Love. “I was Kathy’s right hand,” said Ferris. “She was a good role model and she groomed me to take over the company. When it came time for her to exit, I bought the business.”
Ferris is a licensed plumber and a well-respected leader and mentor across the continent. She serves as Chair of the Board of Nexstar® Network, an international business development and best practices organization in her industry All Nexstar members adhere to a code of ethics and share a commitment to be simply the best. Tammy credits her
15-year membership with Nexstar for keeping her profitability up and her peers for keeping her and her management team focused.
Working in a male dominated industry hasn’t always been easy for Ferris, especially since most people assume she inherited the business from her daddy. She says, “When I became the service manager at Gene Love, I was a red head from the south in fashionable clothes and matching shoes, managing technicians. You can imagine the reaction!” But Ferris refused to take offense. Instead, she stayed focused and persistent. “I could have gone out and sold shoes, but I would rather sell a service that protects the health and safety of our nation and that’s what plumbers do.”
Gene Love has served the greater Columbia, South Carolina area for more than 30 years. Their professional plumbing, heating and cooling technicians contain and control water in your home, keep you even tempered and breathing clean air. They guarantee their work. Gene Love has won 19 Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Plumbing Company” along with other service industry awards, including Nexstar’s Select Service Award.
Tammy Ferris and her home service team give back to the community by donating their time and expertise to people in need. They have contributed plumbing upgrades and repairs, sewer cleaning, and furnace and air conditioning installation. With many pet owners on staff, they have a special place in their hearts for Pets, Inc., a program to rescue, care for and find homes for stray or stricken animals. In fact, The Gene Love company “spokes dog” Bucky is now lending his time and talent to the cause by barking up publicity for the organization!
Ferris’ sets the tone for success at the top and it flows throughout her entire company, especially the service technicians who carry out her charge to make people comfortable in their homes. “We are guests in every customer home and we want to make a positive impression from the moment we walk in the door,” said Ferris. “Our technicians wear shoe covers and they are trained to listen and respond appropriately and respectfully.”
Innovation also drives Tammy Ferris. She says she loves introducing new products and services that can make life easier and more comfortable for Gene Love customers. Most often those products are also more efficient, saving energy and money. “We work with water, air and energy, so it’s natural for us to be good stewards of our environment,” says Ferris. “And it’s really great when our customers benefit from it.”