Home Grown

A series of unforeseen events led the Peña family into a business venture with humble beginnings that quickly grew into a thriving operation.
Jul 8, 2022
Jennifer Blomquist
Jeffrey Crane

“Peña’s Mechanical Contractors literally started in my parents’ living room in their home in Ossian, Indiana, in July of 2003,” says Adam Peña, president of the company. “Myself, along with my brother, Isaac and my dad, Gilbert, had all been working for the same company when it went out of business that summer. We had a choice to make: Start another occupation or try to do this on our own. It was a gamble, but here we are 19 years later and we’re still going.”

Adam says things quickly fell into place for the industrial services company. They moved the operation out of the house and into an industrial park on Carol Ann Lane in Ossian. Numerous employees from the company that closed followed the Peñas and joined their team. 

“We truly value our employees and our customers,” says Isaac Peña, vice president of the company. “Because we’re family-owned, we run the business like a family. We all have a job to do, but it’s about the worker, not just the work.”

“Company gatherings have always been a highlight,” says Adam. “We have a good time together outside of work and we’re looking forward to doing that again this summer. Everybody knows each other and their families, and I think when you have that kind of bond you create a family-like environment; that’s been important to us.”

“There aren’t too many owners of a company like this that will sit down and talk with you,” says Wayne Close, a now retired employee of Peña’s. “If there’s a problem, we could go talk to them about it and they’ll do their best to help you out.”

Peña’s Mechanical Contractors offers an array of industrial services including engineering and design, piping, fabrication, millwright, maintenance support programs and material handling systems. 

“We do a lot of processed piping fabrication and installation, and that’s all custom,” says Adam. “We do custom steel fabrication of structural components that could be a variety of things a customer needs such as platforms, stairways — you name it. We do millwright work for lifting and moving equipment, and over the last few years with the manpower shortage, a lot of our customers have requested help with maintenance teams.”

In addition, Peña’s carries an ‘R’ Stamp accreditation.

“We provide ‘R’ Stamp services, which involves making repairs and alterations to rated pressure systems like tanks or piping,” says Isaac. “Our welders also have ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) certification. Having the ASME and ‘R’ Stamp status holds our welding processes and welders to a higher standard. Our processes are audited every three years and our qualified welders are verified every six months. It’s something we take pride in because it sets us apart.”

Safety is always a priority for every employee and customer. In addition to weekly safety topics and daily safety huddles, Peña’s is a member of a third-party safety verification program called ISNetworld. This program collects and reviews health and safety data for the company, ensuring everyone is vetted before stepping foot on a job site.

Gilbert, better known by his nickname of “Gil,” has since retired from the business. As co-owners of the company now, Adam and Isaac say they have always respected their dad’s advice about putting the customer front and center of everything they do.

“We can be the very best, but without our customers it wouldn’t work,” says Adam. “We want to continue to grow with them and help them in the future.”

While the company’s service area covers the greater Fort Wayne region, Peña’s footprint spans most of the country.

“A lot of our customers have plants all over the United States, so if they have projects going on elsewhere we will take care of that,” says Isaac. “We’ve gone as far west as Seattle, as far east as New Jersey, and down south to Florida and Mexico. It’s all customer-based. Whatever they need, we take care of it.”

“Our customers are like family to us much like our employees are,” says Adam. “Just like we all know each other, our customers know all of our employees and it’s not at all unusual for them to ask us about how our employees are doing, or about family members of employees. Over the years, we’ve had some employees who have needed to take their children down to Riley for medical care. Our customers will ask about them and really take an interest in them. That means a lot to me.”

As a home-grown business, the Peña’s like to recruit future employees from local communities.

“We visit local high schools a couple times every year and talk to the welding students about the great career opportunities we offer,” says Isaac. “We also work with local technical colleges including Ivy Tech, Purdue University Fort Wayne and the Hobart Welding Institution by reaching out to their students through job fairs. A lot of people don’t realize that we pay our employees while they’re being trained, so you don’t have to know everything before you start to work with us. We will help you.”

The Peña’s say they recognize the importance of supporting the local economy and are seen as a true asset to the community.

“They could have taken their business anywhere, but they chose to stay in Wells County,” says Erin Prible, executive director of the Wells County Chamber of Commerce. “They treat their staff and customers as family, and they truly care about everyone they meet.”

“It’s been a blessing to have the support of our community, customers and our employees,” says Adam. “That’s what has kept us strong for 19 years and counting.” 

Peña’s Mechanical Contractors

Owner(s): Adam Peña, President; Isaac Peña, Vice President

Address: 405 Carol Ann Lane, Ossian, Indiana 46777

Phone: (260) 622-1312

Website: penamechanical.com

Years in Business: 19

Number of Employees: 40

Products & Services: Engineering and design, ‘R’ Stamp (Repairs and Alterations), piping, fabrication, millwright, maintenance support programs, material handling systems

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