President and founder, Tangora Technologies, Inc. in Delmar, New
Mike completed an Associate’s degree in HVAC
at Hudson Valley Community College in upstate New York in 1985,
and is certified in the use of refrigerants. He has also completed
numerous product licensing courses and business management seminars.
Mike jump-started his career in HVAC when he was
still in high school. “After tenth grade, I found a summer
job servicing large boiler systems for a local company,” he
explains. In June of 1996, he launched Tangora Technologies, a company
that provides design and installation services in heating and air
conditioning, home automation and security, structured wiring, central
vacuuming, home theater, and more. Mike’s business now employs
nine people and has grown by 300%.
On the Job:
Starting at 7:00 am, Mike spends the morning supervising
general operations, then visits job sites for quality control, sales,
or design. “I plan just one activity for a three-hour block”
in the afternoon, says Mike. After some evening family time, he
returns to his business to complete proposals and job costing.
“We’re always looking for a better way
to do things,” says Mike. He especially loves the challenge
of creating new solutions for his clients. “As a customer,
you have your own fingerprint,” Mike explains. “Our
systems are built around your lifestyle.” His devotion to
customer satisfaction has earned this entrepreneur one of his greatest
rewards—the Consumer Electronics Association’s Mark
of Excellence in 2002 and 2003. Tangora Technologies’ winning
installation exemplified Mike’s customer focus and technical
innovation. He also received the Excellence in Small Business award
from the New York State Business and Development Corp. in 2002,
and earned recognition from Home Automation Inc. as a Five Star
Dealer in 2002 and 2003.
Early on a spring morning, Mike was driving 35 miles
through a cold drizzle to treat a customer emergency: An automated
home security system’s trip sensor would not shut off. “It’s
an important client with an important problem,” says Mike.
So after talking the customer through the steps to disable the siren,
Mike hit the road to complete the repair. “I’m the sole
salesperson for the organization,” says the technician. He’s
also the customer relations supervisor, operations manager, chief
quality control officer, and financial director in a business that
requires 14-hour days.
Importance of Education:
Mike’s college education reinforced his early interest in
HVAC. He is “constantly learning and researching” new
growth opportunities. Business seminars have been especially useful
to him as an entrepreneur.
Mike knew early on that he wanted to create a unique
career path. Business ownership has allowed him to explore cutting-edge
technologies for an upscale clientele. Within the next five to ten
years, he would like to reduce his long hours.
Words of Advice:
Mike advises choosing a trade early and building field experience.
“Look for a job now,” he urges. “There is no reason
why you can’t start looking in high school.” An apprenticeship
“can help you find out if you’re really interested.”