Life Celebration Commemorates Wendell’s Enduring Legacy of Business Innovation, Employing Over 2000 People and Serving Northern Virginia & Southern Maryland for Over 4 Decades
A remarkable sight unfolded on June 16, 2023 as a multitude of My Plumber Plus trucks lined Route 66 forming a powerful symbol of homage and respect to pioneering local businessman, R. Wendell Presgrave. The convoy, driven by My Plumber Plus plumbers, HVAC service experts and electricians, was a display of admiration and appreciation for their company Founder.
The motorcade traveled from the My Plumber Plus headquarters in Manassas to the Park Valley Church in Haymarket, where a Celebration of Life memorial service was held. The event brought together friends, family members, employees, and distinguished colleagues from all over the US and beyond to pay tribute to Wendell’s life, and to over four decades of his profound influence on the local business community.
LINK TO PROCESSION VIDEO – https://youtu.be/ExVek6aLNGE
Wendell’s passion for plumbing, customer centric focus, and strong work ethic can be traced back to 1968 when he began as a parts runner for Griffin Plumbing. After earning his Masters in Plumbing license, he started his first company in 1975, Courthouse Plumbing, which he sold in 1982 and begin My Plumber, later named My Plumber Plus due to the addition of HVAC and electrical services. His innovative “Same Day Service Guaranteed” promise became a trendsetter.
Wendell went on to be a 4 times past President of the Virginia PHCC (Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association), and to earn many awards alongside his son and business partner, Mark Presgrave, including PHC News Magazine Top 100 Contractors of the year, Washington Business Journal Top Contractor, Prince William County Business Excellence Award, PM Plumbing & Mechanical Best Contractor to Work For, and Leader of Nexstar‘s Top 10 Overall Selective Service Companies, to name a few.
My Plumber Plus has employed over 2000 people and served hundreds of thousands of customers in Virginia, Maryland and even San Diego, CA where a West Coast office was opened in 1999. While Wendell’s business accolades are well-deserved, those who worked with him say he was quick to give the credit to his My Plumber Plus team. Wendell had an abundance mentality, believing that there was an abundance of opportunity out there for his company and others. He openly shared his insights and actively helped others in the business community succeed.
Pictured Above: R. Wendell Presgrave
“What can I say about one of the Godfathers of the service industry. I had and always will have a lot of respect for one of the greatest service business operators of my lifetime. I will always remember how kind and helpful Mr. Presgrave was with me and a lot of the lessons I learned from him helped influence what I have done in my own company. Even though I am not a jealous man, I was always a little envious about how Mark and Wendell worked side by side as father and son, and how I would have given back all my accomplishments to have my father by my side.” Basim M. Mansour, Proud Son, Michael & Son Services, Inc.
“I had the pleasure to have called Wendell Presgrave a good friend, mentor and someone who would be there for you no matter how crazy or outlandish your request may be. He would always listen, non-judgmentally, to anything you would talk about with him. A true confidant that I could depend on.
I can’t imagine the number of people who he touched in his lifetime, and they are grateful for his advice, friendship and cheerful outlook on life. He was always there with a smile and kind words; he will leave a void in my life, his familys’ and so many others. Wendell was a true pioneer in the industry.” Theresa Dagenhart, VP, Long’s Corporation
Recognizing a need for qualified and available tradespeople, Wendell’s spirit of innovation led to the creation of the My Plumber Plus Academy. This educational program provides paid learning opportunities for aspiring plumbers. Wendell has inspired countless young individuals and apprentices over the years, leaving an indelible impact across Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
Pictured Above: Wendell presenting certificates to My Plumber Plus Academy graduates on 4/6/2023.
Wendell was a lifelong Northern Virginia native and a proud graduate of Herndon High School. In his earlier years, he served as a volunteer firefighter and as a member of the Army National Guard. He even showcased his dance moves on the local Milt Grant show on Channel 5, earning him the title of the most sought-after dance partner.
Active in his local community, his support extended to various causes, including Little League and minor league sponsorships, local food drives, Wounded Warriors, Alzheimer’s Association, Breast Cancer Awareness, Autism support and the Firefighters Fund of Fairfax County, among others.
“We didn’t build this by ourselves, our employees built it. We’ve been blessed by the right people coming along to help us—including Mark. He’s a much better businessman than I ever was. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I’m so proud of what he’s done.” R. Wendell Presgrave, My Plumber Plus Founder (From 2021 Interview)
“When I think of Wendall, I think of a smile and a laugh. I think of a man who valued connection, friendship and making people’s day better. Wendall would attend Nexstar events but rarely step foot in the meeting rooms. He would instead hold court in the hallways and break areas, talking, laughing, and making people feel special. When I would encourage him to come into the meeting rooms, he would smile, tell me a joke, and then say in all seriousness, “That is ok. I am here to see friends.” He would travel across the country not to attend a seminar but to see people that he cared about. Wendall was a special man who made this world a better place.” Jack Tester, Former President & CEO, Nexstar Network (and friend of Wendall Presgrave)
“I first met Wendell when I decided to make a move from the “corporate” plumbing company I worked for. They were getting a bit rigid in the policies. I remember walking into the shop on Orchard Street in Fairfax. Wendell met me with great enthusiasm! Very upbeat and an enormous smile. He explained how his system worked. This was in 1985. Wendell offered me the job and I took it with open arms. Wendell was always generous with his time and encouragement. Wendell always encouraged me in my plumbing career. He was a generous and understanding man to work for. I was there for 33 years and never regretted a moment. He will be sorely missed.” John McDonald, My Plumber Plus Plumber (Part of the original plumbing team)