A-1 Mechanical was incorporated in 1985 by Bernie, Doris and Dave Smith as an electrical – mechanical company.
Bernie started working for his dad at Consumers Power Company as an apprentice lineman. He then went on to work for a local electrical contractor as an apprentice electrician.
When Dave was fourteen years old he began working for Great Lakes Electric, working in the shop cleaning, organizing and helping the electricians in the field. Dave worked under his dad as an apprentice electrician on all types of electrical projects including small and large construction projects, and service work. After working the required amount of hour as an apprentice electrician as required by the City of Grand Rapids he tested and obtained his journeyman’s card. After working as a journeyman for approximately two years he then tested and obtained his master’s license which would also enable him to obtain an electrical contractor’s license.
He then enlisted in The U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War, earning the rank of electrician’s mate. Upon his return, he once again worked for local electrical contractors until he and Doris started Great Lakes Electric in the early 60’s.
In 2007 as the economy went into a tailspin it became evident that it would be necessary for A – 1 to curtail its operations. Dave then decided that it was necessary to work for other local electrical contractors. Over the years as the economy slowly continued to improve, Dave felt that now, once again he would be able to re-juvinate and re-start A-1 Mechanical Inc.
Shortly after this Dave and Bernie met Harry Thompson a small refrigeration contractor on a restaurant remodel project. Dave began working with Mr. Thompson on weekends learning refrigeration working on restaurant’s, flower shops, and farm milk bulk tanks. During this period, he also enrolled in GRCC in their H.V.A.C & R Associates Degree Program. After obtaining his associates degree wanting to further his education he enrolled in Ferris State Universities H.V.A.C. & R Engineering Program in Grand Rapids, Mi. Working during the day and attending classes at night it became increasingly difficult to complete the required courses offered in Grand Rapids, in their current rotation. To remedy this problem Dave decided to attend Ferris State as a full time non-traditional student in Big Rapids, Michigan where the required courses were more readily available. In 2002 Dave completed his Bachelor’s Degree in H.V.A.C. & R Engineering. Upon graduation Dave was able to devote all his time to the electrical and mechanical contracting business.