The Whitescarver family of Roanoke founded Whitescarver Engineering Company, Inc. in 1937. In those days air conditioning was in its infancy, and Whitescarver’s primary business was industrial sales, installation and service. The company typically dealt with boilers, chillers, air compressors and ice making equipment.
In those early years the company was located in downtown Roanoke (the old photograph in the lobby was taken in front of the original location). Whitescarver was known as a premier designer and installer of large industrial equipment and piping systems, with emphasis on design-build projects.
In 1973 Jim Preas became a partner in the company, and by 1985 the Whitescarver family no longer had an ownership role in the company. Instead, the company was owned by three partners; Mr. Preas, Clarence Brooks and Nelson Simpson. The firm continued to work primarily in large industrial settings, which had become the company’s niche.
In 1998 Hugh Joyce purchased the company. Mr. Joyce is also the owner of James River Heating & Air Conditioning Company in Richmond. James River Heating & Air Conditioning is a full service mechanical firm serving commercial and residential markets. The company’s reputation is as a high quality service provider that concentrates on working directly with owners and developing deep and long lasting relationships.
Whitescarver Engineering began to focus more on the mainstream HVAC and refrigeration applications and less emphasis was placed on the heavy industrial specialty systems (such as ammonia and ice building systems). The niche markets were diminishing while the opportunities in commercial HVAC/R were on the increase. This was a turning point for the Company.
The Company began to develop a strong service business with emphasis on maintenance agreements. Strong relationships were formed with these long-term customers and a proactive service approach was adopted. This service group is the heart of the Company, around which all operations revolve.