A Letter From our *Retiring* Principals

Robert Monaghan, Pete Kelly, Jeffrey Pierce
Our Retiring Partners

Farewell messages from our three retiring partners...

A message from Jeffrey Pierce:

I am a relative newcomer to WAM having begun my career here in 2005 at the Western Allied Corporation headquarters in Santa Fe Springs. I was called in to set up a newly purchased accounting software package called Forefront (now Viewpoint Spectrum). This involved taking the archived information from the previous software and porting it over for both WAC and WAM. In 2006 Angie Simon and the management team asked me to move to Northern California as the Controller for WAM. What an exciting time it was as I built a wonderful team, many of whom are still with us.

There have been many highlights for me during the subsequent years, such as becoming a Partner and being named CFO. However, the most meaningful highlights involve the WAM culture and the way I have seen it grow. Watching PM’s grow into partners and the future leaders of WAM is extremely gratifying. Now, as I hand over the Finance reigns to Juan VirgenTorres, I feel confident that the best is yet to come for our wonderful company. I feel blessed to have been a part of WAM and I am excited to see us move under one roof at the Union City facility. What an exciting future we all have in store! I say “we”, as I will always be a WAMER!

I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the importance of several folks during my career here. I have always been able to depend on the professionalism of my staff. Rather than single out anyone, I will say that I will always remember all of you, past and current, and your immense contributions to WAM. I consider all of you trusted friends. Thank you.

Finally, I want to honor Angie Simon. She is the one that convinced me to come to WAM, the best business decision I ever made. Thank you for your trust in me Angie!

Here’s to WAM, its’ people, and to the future for all of you. Cheers!


A Message from Robert Monaghan:

It’s definitely surreal to be retiring this October 31st after spending more than half my life at Western Allied. I accepted the job on April 22nd 1988 (my 30th birthday) and will be here for 34 years, 5 months, 3 weeks and 3 days to finish off my career here. I originally made the move to provide a secure future for my young family and my job at the time wanted me to move to Chicago.

I’ve seen many prominent figures retire from our Western Allied family in the past, and I’m confident that it’s time for me to pass the baton to the next generation, just as they passed it to me. Some of the most significant retirements I witnessed were Harold Waterman (one of the original Founding Partners), Dick Debrine, Jim Mercer, Jim Muscarella, Bob Dills, and Angie Simon. I also had the pleasure of seeing dozens of other valuable office and field employees move on to the next chapter of their lives. I‘ll be sharing my special day with several other retirees and that will make it even more special: fellow principals Pete Kelly (whom I actually brought in to WAM in 1993) and Jeff Pierce. It’s amazing how fast time flies at this point in my life and I plan to spend the rest of it with family and friends. I learned from my retired peers that it is important to have plenty of hobbies and to stay busy. With my collection of planes, cars, and motorcycles, I know I won’t be bored.

For everyone in the wonderful WAM Family, I will miss you. Good luck with your future, and since our new facility is on the arrival and departure path of Hayward Airport, you should see me buzzing overhead on a regular basis.

A Message from Pete Kelly:

This is my 30th and last year at Western Allied. Here’s a reflective look back on my experience. I started in the construction industry in 1979, working one year as a common laborer, then working my way in the trades through college graduation in 1988. In 1990, I was asked by Rob Monaghan to come work at Western Allied Service Company of Northern California (WASC-NC) in the Customer Service division. I was working for another contractor in the east bay at the time and not inclined to make the move. After a one-year hiatus in 1991-’92 to travel overseas, and returning with no expectations or immediate career goals, I ran into Rob in front of his house. Rob and his brother Phil were influential on my decision to pursue an engineering degree in the early ‘80’s. When Rob suggested I interview for the job at WASC-NC, the timing was right.

In 1993, I started at WASC-NC immediately selling, engineering, and managing my own projects. It was a great fit; I had a lot of autonomy, the talent level of our crews were solid, and my boss liked the fact that our jobs were successful without him having to get involved. At that time WASC-NC was a small business enterprise as defined by the federal and state government, under $6 million per year revenue. I used this classification to our advantage to land many contracts. My boss Dennis Schreck, the president of WASC-NC told me that as soon as I sold $1 million within one year, he’d get me a project manager. Within one year Billy Gee joined my team. In another couple years I added another PM. Within six years I had four members on my team, and the Customer Service division had grown to become an important part of Western Allied, adding an element of diversity to the business portfolio. The nature of our specialized work required that we develop a Piping Department which was only two people in 1993. Western Allied was a sheet metal contractor up through the 1980’s, and our Sheet Metal department was already strong. Our piping capabilities catapulted forward in the 1990’s, and we built up a very capable Piping department, which really allowed the company to become a full-service mechanical contractor. New superintendents in the late ‘90’s helped us transition into a new era.

When we started Western Allied Mechanical (WAM) in 2003, we merged Construction and Service.  Our Customer Service division was rolled up under Construction and renamed the Special Projects division. We continued to grow and expand our capabilities filling in between Construction and Service. Up until 2018, when the Construction division began its most recent growth, the Special Projects and Service divisions each contributed about 25% of WAM’s total business revenue.

In late 2021, at the beginning of my last year, the Special Projects division was impacted with the loss of some key team members. With my transition to retirement comes a transition for Special Projects. Some work will be handled by our Service department which is where we started. The remainder will be spread into the Construction department.

In all my years working at Western Allied, I have had fun and strived to make the work fun for my teams. Special projects are what would be called dirty work on reality TV. Someone has to do it and we just got good at it. The work is mostly retrofit and must be handled strategically different than service and new construction work. It comes with logistical challenges, requires special engineering attention to design and a turnkey team of multiple trades to execute. Because we act as the prime contractor, we typically are working directly for the building owner rather than for a GC and the project management requirements are also special. I’m proud that we have become the best special projects team around. This is testimony to the capabilities of our in-house group of PM’s, admin staff, engineers, and field crews.

I thank all the folks at WAM who have built our safety program – no easy task. The level of commitment from the safety leaders and skilled crews has allowed us to develop a true safety culture and one of the finest safety programs in the industry. I’m honored and very proud to have been able to have helped develop and manage this program. There is no end to the pursuit of safety, keep it going.

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to be a leader at Western Allied and to be a founding member of WAM. We launched the company, took on new challenges, and had some rocky times. I’m especially thankful to the other WAM founding partners. We experienced plenty of challenges and disagreements, but we always worked through them for the benefit of the company. I am grateful to those who came before me, we didn’t build this company, we just kept building upon a legacy.

I have grown stronger personally as a company leader. I have learned so much from others and from the experience. In turn, I have had the opportunity to help many folks at WAM including a few of the current generation of WAM principals learn and understand the finer points of mechanical design/build contracting. I will move on from WAM filled with honor, great experiences, great friends, and plenty of pride in what we accomplished.

Our company is moving in new and exciting directions with the next generation of managers. They too will continue to build upon the legacy and solid foundation. I wish them success. I will miss working at WAM and will miss so many of you. I wish you all the best.

Robert Monaghan, Pete Kelly, Jeffrey Pierce
Our Retiring Partners