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Benefit from the expertise 70 plus years in the mechanical contracting business brings.

KEY NEWS & EVENTS

2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters - Recognizes R.W. LaPine as a Gold Sponsor

R.W. LaPine Inc. is pleased to announce that they were recognized for their Gold Corporate Sponsorship and support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kalamazoo. LaPine is proud to give back to the community by assisting Big Brothers Big Sisters mission to change the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever.


CSM Group Announces the 2014 Recipients of the Key Performer Award

R.W. LaPine Inc. has been named one of CSM Group’s 2014 Key Performer Award recipients. They were announced at the 2014 Contractor Appreciation Event on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Bell’s Brewery.

These companies all demonstrate dedication to excellence in the CSM Select program, and have performed in the top 1% of all eligible candidates.

The CSM Select program has been in place for 9 years, and since its inception, CSM Group has been consistently rating all of its trade contractor partners with a 14-point grading system on a monthly basis. The program is intended to provide trade contractors constructive feedback in order to improve overall performance within the industry.

Link to Story on CSM Website  | Link to Mlive "At the Watercooler" 


CSM Group Announces the 2012 Recipients of the Key Performer Award

Kalamazoo, MI– CSM Group is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the Key Performer Awards to Circuit Electric, Inc., Hazelhoff Builders, Inc., and R.W. LaPine, Inc. These companies all demonstrate dedication to excellence in the CSM Select Program and have performed in the top 1% of all eligible candidates out of 400 to have earned this honor.

The CSM Select program has been in place for seven years and since its inception CSM Group has been consistently rating all of our trade contractor partners with a 14 point grading system on a monthly basis. As a result of these three companies’ outstanding performances they were selected for the award and recognized at CSM Group’s bi-annual company summit. 

Link to Mlive "At the Watercooler" 


 

Our History

A rough road to success - the history of R.W. LaPine

 

Roy Wilson LaPine                   Lyle Ray LaPine

Times were tough for Roy Wilson LaPine growing up in Cheboygan, Michigan. After his father was killed in a boating accident on Mackinaw Island, Roy had to quit school when he was in the sixth grade to help support his family. Many years later, Roy moved to Kalamazoo and went to work for the Kalamazoo Stove Company as a young adult making sheet metal fittings for residential heating systems.

Roy also farmed as a sidelight to make ends meet, and in 1934 Roy and his wife decided to move to a farm in Paw Paw. Roy's family struggled to get ahead financially, and Roy got tired of going to work and doing the same thing day in and day out.

So one day by chance, Roy met a Mr. Phelps, who had him install sheet metal for his new heating system. Mr. Phelps was very impressed by Roy’s workmanship that he told Roy he should start his own business. By 1944 Roy was ready to do just that. He took Mr. Phelps’ advice and left the Kalamazoo Stove Company to start his own sheet metal business, LaPine Sheet Metal.

The new company was housed in a corner of a warehouse, space provided free of charge by the Paw Paw Wine Company. In the beginning, the company assets were an eight-foot work bench and a few hand tools. Business was depressed by World War II. Sheet metal was hard to come by due to rationing out based on what you purchased the previous year. Roy visited junk yards and dumps to find anything made of sheet metal that could be turned into duct work.

In 1946 Roy hired a fulltime helper and his oldest son, Lyle, during the summer when Lyle wasn’t attending classes at the University of Michigan. By 1951 the war was over, but the business was still struggling. Roy’s youngest son, Jack, graduated from high school and joined the firm. Roy finally reached a point where he didn’t know how he was going to pay his bills with what little work he had going. But one Monday morning a gentleman in search of a new heating system paid Roy a visit. That job proved to be a turning point for the business. From then on work continued to come Roy’s way. Work started to flow more or less regularly, and Roy was able to keep the young company alive and well.

When Lyle graduated from the University of Michigan as an engineer, he went to work for Boeing in Seattle, Washington. But by 1955 left Boeing to join his father and brother in the family business. Roy retired in 1967, and Lyle and Jack incorporated the company, renaming it R. W. LaPine, Inc. in honor of their father Roy. In 1989, the third generation, Kirk (Lyle’s son) took over as President of the company.

Today, R.W. LaPine is a third generation, full-service mechanical contractor serving pharmaceutical, medical, commercial and industrial customers. And it still serves its customers according to the standard Roy Wilson LaPine set when he founded the firm: “Quality thru experience, excellence by commitment.”

 

5140 EAST ML AVE KALAMAZOO MICHIGAN • 269.388.2045